Tours en l'air organizes ballet-themed escorted holidays to see the best companies perform great ballets in beautiful places. You can join a trip from anywhere. A highly knowledgeable balletomane who has enjoyed 100s of performances in over 20 cities around the world,I speak English, French, and German, and am a Travel Industry Council of Ontario certified Travel Counsellor. I also teach ballet appreciation courses.
For a taste of what our trips are like, follow on facebook.
Tours en l'air Ballet Holidays are offered in partnership with CWT Victor Travel, 101 - 8800 Dufferin Street, Concord, ON L4K 0C5, 416-736-6010, TICO # 1892647


Privacy policy: we will not sell, rent, or give your name or address to anyone. You can unsubscribe at any point.

Subscribe to E-newsletter

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

History of the word "fouetté"

 The word "fouetté" can be traced ultimately back to the Latin name for the beech tree, fagus, which in Old French became fou (not to be confused with the modern French word fou meaning "crazy", though one might think that a more appropriate description of the movement!). Add a diminutive -et ending to fou, and a fouet was a young or small beech tree and then a stick of beech wood used for beating, before finally settling down to its modern meaning, "whip", which describes the action of the working leg in a fouetté.

Viengsay Valdes of Cuban National Ballet performs the Black Swan fouettés stunningly:

And here's the unusual sight of a man doing 32 fouettés, Paris Opera Ballet's Jose Martinez in Harald Lander's Etudes (starting at about 4:10):

For the history of the word "adage", click here.
For "entrechat", click here
For "bourrée", click here
For "pirouette", click here, and to find out what dancing has to do with falling over, click here.

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


Use the buttons below to share this post on facebook, twitter, by email, or other social media.


  1. Hi, Wordsmith:

    Just found your web site via "Ballet Alert". What a creative idea of doing a "etymology of ballet terms" series. Being a wordsmith & having an extensive ballet background, I find it most interesting. Thank you so very much. I am sure I will be back in touch re booking ballet trips. With a triple tour en l'air landing on my elbow, I grand jete into cyberspace.

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it and hope the next posts in the series will give you as much pleasure. Careful with those triple tours!

  2. Now THAT was an INTERESTING ballet (Harald Lander's Etudes). Thanks Katherine!