Monthly Archives: January 2010

Ballet Lessons: Adage, Adagio, part 1

[French: a-DAHZH].  Adage is a French word derived from the Italian ad agio (most commonly used in America), meaning at ease or leisure.  It has two meanings:

(1) A series of exercises following the centre floor practice, consisting of a succession of slow and graceful movements which may be simple or of the most complex character, performed with fluidity and apparent ease.  These exercises develop a sustaining power, sense of line, balance and the beautiful poise which enables the dancer to perform with majesty and grace.   The principal steps of adagio are pliés, développés, grand fouetté en tournant, dégagés, grand rond de jambe, rond dejambe en l’air, coupés, battements tendus, attitudes, arabesques, preparations for pirouettes and all types of pirouettes.