“Dance possesses all the divine properties of intellect”, by Cem Catbas.


Why turn-out?

The answer came from watching a high jumper who jumped the highest backwards.
In a world where every creature which lives on land anatomically bends their knees in the opposite direction of the intended jump; why turn-out?
For two reasons:
1. Turn-out eases the jump upwards from two legs since they both bend outwards. With it, every dancer who wants to do a highest jump in any direction will have the push needed.
2. Classical Ballet pirouette and sissonne-simple are both executed with a knee to the side; therefore turning out provides the best preparation for a jump or turn with one or two legs on sur-le-coup-de-pied or grand-retiré.


Sur le cou-de-pied (also en avant and en arrière)

Literally, it means “on the neck of the foot”.  The working foot is placed on the part of the leg between the base of the calf and the beginning of the ankle, with the heel of the working placed in front of the leg, while the toes point to the back.  The instep (le cou-de-pied in French) of the working foot “hugs” the lower leg and is stopped by both heels on both sides (up and down).  On the accent en avant (in front), the heel of the working leg is placed in front of the leg with the toes pointing to the back.  On the accent en arrière (back), the heel of the working leg is placed behind the leg with the toes pointing to the back.




Literally it means “over-under” when a dancer rises up onto pointe or three-quarter pointe (relevé) with the toes touching the other foot’s toes and the heel touching the other heel, crossed in a particularly tight fifth position.  It is the foundation of every beat in the air.  Sus-sous is believed to be a term of the Cecchetti school.



Sabre-saut (Saber-jump)

A term of the Russian and French schools indicating sus-sous in the air like a shape of a slightly bent saber sword.  It is a sudden spring or jump from both feet (with the possibility of traveling) during which the legs are crossed in a particularly tight fifth position landing on both feet in the same position as they started.



Sissonne-simple (Simple-sissonne)

It is a jump done from two feet landing onto one foot in sur le cou-de-pied en avant or en arrière.



Changement (Entre-chat-deux in Cecchetti Style)

Literally it means “changing”, a jump in which the feet change positions in the air.  For instance, begin in fifth position with the right foot in front, plié (bend the knees) and jump, switch the right to the back, and land with the left foot in front onto fifth position.  The term petit-changement-de-pieds would mean smaller changement where the feet barely leave the floor.




In essence it is sabre-saut and  sissonne done together.  It is a royale jump if after beating with a sabre-saut in the air, the legs are opened before landing onto either two or one leg.




A step of beating in which the dancer jumps into the air and rapidly crosses slightly bent legs before and behind making it a movement in between sabre-saut and saut-de-chat.  Although Cecchetti changement is still executed in this manner, for any other beat that still carries the entre-chat term such as entre-chat-quatre (the legs change direction twice), the legs are kept straight in the air.  Even numbers end to fifth position, odd numbers end to sur le cou-de-pied in front or back.




Literally, it means “the jump of the cat”.  The dancer while in mid-air, bends both legs up (two retirés) bringing the feet up as high as possible, with knees apart sideways forming a diamond shape.














I am born with most beautiful strange dolor

Which breaks out now and then as a dancer

Who cares about that outside temperature?

When heart and soul are all in an adventure

Hermes’ Voyage.


The moment thou performed thy art

With the true knowledge of thy heart

Would undoubtedly be the dayspring

Wherein one transcended everything

Ever known to the minds of mankind

Make Someone Happy.




In a world seeking the fickle truth absent anaphors

Change forms the healthiest journey for existence

And dance is a fashionable shape to its awareness

Why is it kept as a mystery that there is no secret?

The body knows not it hurts to become selfish yet

And must meet its destiny on that road to avoid it

Trust is the first instinct; empirically is the way of truth

As windows with a darker side acting how mirrors would

Money cannot bring bliss if nothing, not even light could

Change by Chapman.


Venus, envious and jealous of a mortal girl Psyche’s beauty

Asks her son Eros to use his golden arrows in her dormancy

When she awakens, although Cupid first wanted to disagree

She would fall in love with a monstrosity placed by Aphrodite

He flies in Psyche’s room at night through her window invisibly

Takes pity on her as she is born too beautiful for her own safety

He readies an arrow, careful without a sound, approaches slowly

Leans over yet she wakes, looks right in the eye despite invisibility

Startled, Cupid scratches himself and falls in love with her deeply

Abandons his mission, reports back as she appeals to him steadily

Venus spells a curse keeping her from meeting a husband angrily

Eros upset, decides not to shoot as long as the curse is on Psyche

After months of no man or animal marrying or mating, Aphrodite

Is concerned and allows Eros to have it his way; he desires Psyche

Venus agrees, he starts shooting arrows far and wide immediately

Earth praises her, begins to look young once again like it used to be

Psyche’s parents consult an oracle how all admire her yet none marry?

She says to leave her on a mountain; her beauty is too great and godly

Terrified, they follow but Zephyrus, the west wind carries away Psyche

To a magnificent palace where servants attend her till nightfall ghostly

In the darkness union is consummated by the promised husband to be

Eros visits her every night, forbids use of any lamps, conceals his identity

Reminds her she should not try to discover his true form till time is rightly

Before Zephyrus brings her two contentious sisters to keep her company

“Rumor is you married a terrible serpent waiting to devour you both Psyche”

Pregnant with Eros’ child “Conceal a knife, an oil lamp, slay him when sleepy”

Advice taken, she recognizes god Cupid’s fair looks on the lit bed accidentally

Pricks herself with his arrow, kisses him with desire on his shoulder instantly

A drop of oil wakes him; he flies away as she falls to the ground romantically

She tells both resentful sisters what had happened and tricks them separately

Into believing Cupid has chosen them as wives on the mountaintop vengefully

Each sister jumps off the peak absent Zephyrus falling to their deaths eagerly

Psyche searches her lover endlessly, stumbles upon a slovenly temple finally

As she sorts out the mess, Ceres appears, advises her to call on Venus directly

Psyche next calls on Juno but she tells her the same “The Temple of Aphrodite”

Venus orders her to separate a basket full of grains of mixed kinds presently

An ant takes pity on Psyche, with its ant companions separates them gladly

Outraged “Retrieve some wool of the grazing golden sheep” says Aphrodite

River-god helps her “They are vicious and will kill you, but if waited patiently

At noon they go to the shady side of the field and sleep; pick the wool freely

That sticks to the branches and bark of the trees.” “Water” asks Aphrodite

Flowing from a cleft, guarded by serpents, impossible to obtain for Psyche

This time an eagle performs the task willingly. Venus still in disbelief furiously

Claims caring for Cupid and Psyche’s lack of faith made her lose some beauty

“Go to the Underworld and ask Queen Proserpina to place a bit of her beauty

In that box I gave you” she says, hoping this would be the last task for Psyche

Psyche decides the quickest way to the Underworld is to die fairly painlessly

By throwing herself off a high place so she climbs to the top of a tower hastily

But the tower speaks up and tells her how to get in The Underworld lively

And return, gives Psyche a biscuit for Cerberus the three-headed dog briefly

Notes to eat nothing but coarse bread beneath the Earth most importantly

As anything else would trap her there forever; she follows orders precisely

Once Psyche leaves the Underworld, she wants to herself a bit of the beauty

And opens the empty box; an infernal sleep arises, overcomes her suddenly

Cupid had forgiven Psyche, flies to her, wipes the sleep from her face gently

Puts it back, sends her on her way and begs Jupiter for his help passionately

Zeus calls a formal council of the gods, declares his will that Eros marry Psyche

He fetches her to Mount Olympus, a drink of Ambrosia grants her immortality

Love conquers all, Aphrodite and Psyche understand each other begrudgingly

Cupid and Psyche have a daughter, Voluptas whose Latin name means happily

Sichuan Dance Academy.


Beware, some paint outside the wall

All they know is that they know it all

A child’s innocence awakes their soul

Sharing it is the true meaning of love

Le Sacrifice, Nijinsky.


If it was not for Cupid’s unforeseen passion

Beauty should have to remain often hidden

A red rose would be worth nothing unless in

The clasped hands of beloved and the loving

Love dances as an emotion the most apparent

But there are lots more novels written about it

Than any other mysterious or rigorous subject

By charmers who convey signs of some intellect

Maybe it is not an utterly satisfying feeling yet

Rather the kind whence heart and soul benefit


Evgenia Obraztsova as Cupid, Mariinsky Ballet.