Fondu: (fondue) sinking; a classical ballet term meaning “sinking down.” A term used to describe a lowering of the body made by bending the supporting leg’s knee.
It describes both the movement and the quality of a dancer as they are doing a plié on a single leg. If you think of a plié being for two legs, a fondu is the same, just for one.
Saint- Léon wrote, “Fondu is on one leg what a plié is on two.” In some instances, the term fondu is also used to describe the ending of a step when the working leg is placed on the ground with a soft and gradual movement. An example of this is jeté fondu.
Fondu is one of the most beneficial exercises at barre because it allows the dancers to work against gravity, push firmly against the floor, and focus on controlling the movement every centimeter of the way. This movement, when done properly, helps the dancer gain strength and control that is then translated into countless other steps. If a dancer does not have a good fondu, almost every additional step will be more difficult and not as smooth. Like the plié, never forget the importance of a fondu!
Many teachers like to describe a fondu, much like the tasty French meal of melted cheese. When you pull the bread out of the melted cheese, it slowly pulls away from the bread as opposed to instantly falling off. This is the kind of controlled, gradual quality a dancer tries to achieve.
- Movement Explanations:
- Start in First position.
- Bend both legs at the same time and straighten them.
- Put your toe between your calf muscle and your ankle.
- Bend both legs at the same time
- Straighten both legs while the “fondu” leg goes forward in point.
- Movement Techniques:
- Follow your natural turnout line to the side.