Allégro

Ballet Term Definition

How to say & pronounce Allégro:

a-lay-GROH

What does Allégro translate to?

Brisk or lively.

In ballet, allégro is a term applied to bright, fast or brisk steps and movement.  All steps where the dancer jumps are considered allégro, such as sautés, jetés, cabrioles, assemblés, and so on.

Allégro in Ballet Class

In ballet class, allégro combinations are usually done toward the last part of class, as the dancer is usually most “warmed up” at this point and can better execute quick or large jumps that require lots of control to do properly.  Usually a teacher will provide a warmup combination consisting of simple sautés in the basic positions of classical ballet.  Following the warmup, a teacher will likely give petite allégro combinations or exercises consitsing of petit assemblés and jetés.  Moving onward, the teacher may then give a medium allegro which consists of sissones and entrachat cotes that are done higher and larger than the petite allegro.  Lastly, a class may nearly finish with a grande allegro, which typically will consist of grande jetes, cabrioles, fouettes en l’ air, saut de chats, and other jumps, or allégro, performed at the highest height a dancer can reach while still dancing properly to the music.

Allégro in Female Variations

Allégro in a female variation usually consists of petit allegro, such as quick jetes, assembles and beats combined with quick foot work.  When a female dancer performs grande allegro, it is usually in the form of grand jetes, saut de chats and cabrioles among other jumps.  However, most female variations are either fast and focused on quick and precise petit allegro, foot work and pirouettes, or slow and focusing on fluid adagio movement.

Allégro in Male Variations

For males in classical ballet, most of their solos, or variations, will consist of grande allegro and pirouettes.  Variations from Don Quixote or Diane and Acteon will highlight the usual strengths and excitement of male dancing with large jumps like double cabrioles, grande jetes, revoltades, saut de basques and double toures.  However, not all male variations consist of grande allegro, and instead focus on quick petit allegro such as James’ variation from La Sylphide.

 


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