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2.13. Why all that French?




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This article is from the Ballet and Modern Dance FAQ, by Tom Parsons twp@panix.com with numerous contributions by others.

2.13. Why all that French?

The first ballet school was in France, and the terminology was
crystallized there. Nearly everything in ballet is described by a French
word or phrase. (You even wish dancers good luck in French. Actors wish
one another good luck before a performance by saying, "Break a leg!"
Dancers say, ""Merde!"") The drawback of this is that you must learn the
French names for the steps and movements; but you would have to learn
*some* names in any case, and the advantage is that you can take a ballet
class anywhere in the world and, no matter how unintelligible the rest of
the talk is, the terminology will still be in French and you will
understand it.


 

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