This year at Atlanta Dance Central, each youth program student has been given a textbook for each class.  Each student can now dive into the world of dance and learn vocabulary, dance history, historical ballets, important dance figures and much more!  By the end of the year, each one of our students will have a more well rounded education about dance as an art form, regardless of what discipline they are studying. 

This week in ballet we had a review of some important and basic vocabulary terms that are essential to a successful ballet class.  Since we know that your ballet dancer comes home talking about all sorts of French things you get confused, we’re going to give you a break down of some common dance terms:

1. Plié – bent or bending, a bending of the knee or knees.

2. Tendu- To stretch, stretch the leg out from the standing leg with a fully pointed foot.

3. Degagé- to disengage, similar to a tendu but foot comes off the floor.

4. Relevé- to rise, includes a plié before rising up.

5. Elevé-  a rise with no plié before rising up.

Still confused?  That’s exactly why we have classes for ages 2.5 through adult!  Come by and you’ll know the vocabulary in no time!

This month we are also learning about a famous ballet, La Sylphide.  La Sylphide is your classic soap opera story including a witch, a sylph (forest fairy), a little bit of magic and of course, a love quadrant.   Here is the quick version of the story:

James is supposed to marry Effie.  Gurn (Effie’s friend) is in love with Effie.  The sylph is in love with James. Madge, the witch, predicts that James does not love Effie and that Effie will one day marry Gurn.  The sylph shows up to woo James a couple of times.  The second time, Gurn sees and tries to tell Effie, but when he tries to expose the sylph, she has disappeared.  The sylph shows up at James and Effie’s wedding and lures James into the forest.  Some wedding guests go to search for James, but call it quits after a little while.  Madge puts a spell on a magical scarf and tells James he can catch his love with it.  When James catches the sylph, the dark magic on the scarf kills the sylph and her wings fall off.  James is left heartbroken, and Effie marries Gurn. 

Here are two videos of La Sylphide.  The first video is much older than the second. 

What are some similarities and differences you find between the two ballets?  Which one did you like better?

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