Tuesdays and Tutus – Fondu

Last time I introduced you to some simple things like pliés and foot positions.


Plié in fourth position

In keeping with the simplicity of pliés and foot positions, I bring to you the ‘fondu’.

Fun fact: Fondu means to melt! And guess what! The Swiss dip bread into melted cheese and fruit into melted chocolate (not at the same time) in a pot and they call it fondue!

Isn’t that a coin-ki-dink 😀

With this double meaning in mind, look at my recipe poststitle and put two and two together…smart, eh?

“pat on back”

Returning to the ballet move. A battement fondu (this is the full name) is:

1) Fondu: a plié of the supporting leg, while the working leg forms a ‘coupé’ on the side of the supporting leg’s foot.

2) Battement: the working leg is then extended and the supporting leg straightens until both legs are straight. The working leg can end up on the floor (à terre) or in the air (en l’air), to the front (en avant), to the side (à la seconde) or to the back (en arrière). This whole process can even be executed ‘double’.

Non-dancers all go: Huuuuuh?! I might’ve well just said gobble-de-goop..Ballet moves are definitely not easy to describe non-visually, which is why I took some pictures.

Begin in 3rd/5th position

Begin in 3rd/5th position

Plié of the supporting leg, coupé of the working leg

Plié of the supporting leg, coupé of the working leg

À la seconde à terre

À la seconde à terre

À la seconde en l'air

À la seconde en l’air

En avant à terre

En avant à terre

En avant en l'air

En avant en l’air

So what is a coupé, you ask? Coupé literally translated means to cut. It is both an action used as a link between steps, like here in the fondu (also used in pas de bourré and grand jeté, definitions coming soon :)). It’s also used as it’s own move where it will mean to close or fall, exchanging from one leg to another (more common: tombé avant, stay tuned!)

Coupé with the supporting leg in a plié

Coupé with the supporting leg in a plié

Interchangeably used for a coupé is the ‘sur le cou de pied’ (literally on the neck of the foot). This is a static movement unlike the coupé which is a linking movement. The working foot is placed between the base of the calf and the beginning of the ankle.

There are two accents here: devant, where the heel is placed in front of the leg, the toes point back and the in-step (cou-de-pied) ‘hugs’ the lower leg


..and derrière: the heel and the toes are pointed behind. Alternating between devant and derrière is called petit battement  (bending action is at the knee, upper leg and thigh remain still). Stay tuned for more information on the petit battement, and many other kinds of battements!


Pfeeew I really threw some French at you 😉 I’m a bit rusty after not using it in over a year, but ballet helps keep some of the vocab alive!

With attitude and nail polish, Anoushé xoxo

One thought on “Tuesdays and Tutus – Fondu

  1. Pingback: Schwiizerdütsch | ...of pirouettes and concealers

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