2 3 Terminology Tuesday Défilé | Ballet Webb

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Terminology Tuesday Défilé

Terminology Tuesday Défilé

Défilé [day-fee-LAY]s a term used at the Paris Opera, and it means the entire cast is onstage. The word itself means a parade, procession, or a narrow pass.

In Gail Grant’s book Technical Manual and Dictionary of Classical Ballet https://archive.org/stream/GailGrantBalletDictionary/Gail%20grant%20ballet%20dictionary_djvu.txt she explains the word in more detail:

“On rare occasions the partition dividing the famous “Foyer de la Danse” from the back of the stage is removed for the défilé of dancers. The entire company, from the eleves to the etoiles, appears on the stage. The défilé of dancers is as follows: (1) Eleves (apprentice dancers; also known as “les petits rats”). (2) Premiers quadrilles, seconds quadrilles (corps de ballet). (3) Coryphees (leaders of the corps de ballet). (4) Grands sujets, petits sujets (soloists). (5) Premieres danseuses
(ballerinas). (6) Premieres danseuses etoiles (prima ballerinas). Each “cadre”
(framework or division) has its corresponding number of male dancers also.”

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Terminology Secret #49:
“Défilé means parade or procession.”

Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“A procession is a participants' journey, while a parade is a performance with an audience.”
― Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking

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