Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The story of the word "bourrée"

The pas de bourrée is a kind of all-purpose filler dance step, and its etymology is very appropriate, for it comes ultimately from the Latin burra, which was coarse wool used for stuffing. In French this became bourre, a bundle of twigs with such stuffing used for bonfires. But what is the connection with dance? In 1565 (just 15 years before the creation of what is regarded as the first "ballet", the Ballet Comique de la Reine) a country dance from Auvergne became the rage at the French court. It was a dance traditionally performed around a bonfire and thus called a bourrée.

Here is Ulyana Lopatkina bourréeing exquisitely in "The Dying Swan":

For the story of the word "adage", click here.
For the story of the word "entrechat", click here

For "fouetté", click here

For "pirouette", click here, and to find out what dancing has to do with falling over, click here.

If you love ballet, please check out my season of outstanding ballet trips in 2012-13 by clicking here.


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