(Beginner English Learners: Definitions for Watching a Ballet and for This Lesson Are Inside this Blog Post. Enjoy!)
Hi English Language Lover,
So you are heading to a ballet for your next date, but you don’t know any vocabulary on the subject. Don’t worry. This blog will help you to know what to wear and how to act. We will also talk about famous ballets that you can mention while on your date. Lastly, since no one wants to ask their date the meaning of words for an entire date, we will learn fifteen vocabulary words on the subject of ballet.
If you have never seen a ballet live, you may not know the manners required to attend one. Let’s talk about a few of those manners now:
- If you don’t already have your tickets, you should arrive at least an hour to an hour and a half early in case the ticket line is very long.
- Don’t be late to the ballet. If you are late, you may have to wait until the intermission to be allowed into the auditorium.
- Turn your cell phones on silent.
- You should wait until the intermission to leave your seat to make a phone call or to use the restroom since standing up during the performance may distract other attendees.
- It may be against the rules to take pictures or videos of the live performance. You should ask someone who works for the ballet for permission before doing this.
- Don’t leave the performance early unless you have an emergency. To leave early is an insult to ballet dancers – it may imply that you don’t like their performance.
- Don’t eat or drink in the auditorium without permission from someone who works for the ballet. This includes chewing gum.
How to Dress
What to wear during a ballet performance may vary, but ‘business casual’ is usually acceptable attire at most ballets. Business casual is a phrase used to a form of dressing that is neither too formal or too casual. For a man, business casual may be a button up shirt without a tie, and some wool or cotton pants/trousers. For a woman, business casual may be a knee-length skirt or dress. If the lady wears a skirt or pants, the shirt should cover her cleavage and bra straps should not be seen. If the lady wears pants, wool or cotton pants/trousers should be fine.
Famous Ballets to Talk About
If you don’t know a lot about ballets, it would be smart to learn about some famous ones. Here are four famous ballets to know about:
The Nutcracker – This ballet is about a young girl who dreams about a toy nutcracker. The nutcracker looks like a prince, and in her dreams, they are both adults. The ballet is mostly about her dream and their love story. *Note: A nutcracker is a tool that breaks the shell of nuts such as walnuts, pecans, and almonds.
Swan Lake – This ballet is a love story about a human prince who falls in love with a beautiful queen that was forced to become a swan. During the day, the queen is a swan, but at night, she becomes a human. The prince tries to rescue her from the evil man that changed her into a swan.
Don Quixote – This ballet is about Don Quixote, a man on a quest to find a woman he has had dreams about. He finds a woman, but she turns out to not be the same woman he saw in a dream. Since the woman is in love with another man, he supports the woman and her lover while they escape their city. The woman’s father has chosen another man to marry the woman and tries to prevent her from running away. Don Quixote works to help the woman and her lover to finally marry.
Giselle – This ballet is about a beautiful peasant woman named Giselle. A nobleman pretends to be a peasant so that he can get to know her. The nobleman has already promised to marry a princess but lies to Giselle that he is free. Giselle finally learns of the nobleman’s lies and is overcome with grief.
Most of the vocabulary words used in the art of ballet are written in French. Often, French words have a different pronunciation than English words. For this reason, we will only study ballet vocabulary that is written in English to avoid confusion.
If you study these words, you will have a lot to talk about on your next date! In English, some words will have more than one meaning, so these words may mean different things when not speaking of the ballet.
- Cavalier – the male partner of the leading female ballerina
- Choreography – movements combined to make a dance
- Live – a state of ‘happening at that very moment’
- Intermission – a short break in the middle of the show
- Auditorium – a large room where the dance takes place
- Ticket – something that proves you have paid to see the dance
- Ticket Counter – the place you go to purchase your ticket
- Footwork – this refers to movements concerning the feet
- Tutu – a skirt worn by ballerinas
- Ballet Slippers – thin shoes worn by ballet dancers
- Pointe Work – a dance technique of standing on one’s tippy toes
- Performance – when the dance is done in front of an audience
- Abstract Ballet – a ballet without a story; it is done purely for the beauty of dance
- Variation – when a ballet dancer has a solo
- Standing Ovation – to stand up at the end of the show and to clap to show appreciation of the dancers
Here are a few vocabulary words for beginners who read this blog post. Please remember that in English, some words may have many meanings. These definitions will only apply to how the words were used in this blog post.
- Date – This word has several meanings. It could mean date as in a ‘calendar day.’ It could mean the ‘lover’ you are about to go somewhere with. It could mean the ‘place’ you and your lover have fun at.
- Famous (adjective) – to be known by a lot of people
- Mention (verb) – to talk about
- Manners (noun) – good behaviors to have
- Attend (noun) – to go
- ‘In Case’ – A phrase that means to do something because something else may happen
- Distract (verb) – to cause something or someone to lose focus of something else
- Attendee (noun) – a guest
- Permission (noun) – to be given the ability to do something by someone in authority
- Emergency (noun) – something very important that happens that you must care for
- Insult (verb) – to do something rude
- Imply (verb) – This verb means to do something, usually without words, to express a certain emotion.
- Attire (noun) – clothing for a certain place. i.e. – school attire is different than restaurant attire.
- Formal (adjective) – When speaking of clothing, this is clothing wore to very important places.
- Casual (adjective) – When speaking of clothing, this is clothing wore to common places.
- Cleavage (noun) – the area between the breasts (only seen when wearing clothing not appropriate for formal events)
- Rescue (verb) – to help someone in need
- Quest (noun) – a long search for something
- Escape (verb) – to run away from danger
- Prevent (verb) – to stop something from happening; to stop something from finishing
- Peasant (noun) – Many years ago, in European countries, very poor people who took care of land for rich people used to be called, ‘peasants.’
- Pretends (verb) – to lie through behavior
- ‘Overcome with Grief’ – This phrase means to become too sad to control one’s behavior.
- Avoid (verb) – to go the opposite way
- Confusion (noun) – a time when nothing can be understood
- Remember (verb) – to think about something again
- Apply (verb) – to be used during a certain time or to be used for a certain thing