Relevé & Eleve
Relevé: raised. A raising of the body on the points or demi-pointes, point or demi-pointe.
Relevé is a classical ballet term meaning “raised.” It describes the action when a dancer rises up and seemingly is standing “on their toes” in a demi-pointe or a full en pointe.
Relevé is a ballet step that is taught to beginners in early classes. It can be done in many different positions – on one or both legs. For example, a dancer can do a relevé in all the positions of the feet (first, second, fourth, and fifth), and also in positions like arabesque, attitude, devant, derrière, en tournant, passé en avant, passé en arrière and so on.
There are two ways to relevé. In the French School, relevé is done with a smooth, continuous rise, while the Cecchetti method and the Russian School use a little spring. Occasionally the term may refer to a lowering of the working foot from a position pointe tendue to the ground and re-raising it to the position pointe tendue, as in battement tendu relevé. In the Russian School, the term relevé is also used to mean the slow raising of the stretched leg to 90° in any direction. See Battement relevé lent.
A relevé can “end” in a couple of different positions – the first being demi-pointe, usually done in flat ballet shoes. A dancer relevéing to demi-pointe will raise their heels while trying to relax their toe joints to be in a “high demi-pointe,” which would describe the dancer’s heel being high off the ground. The toes remain flat and relaxed on the floor.
When a relevé is described as going to full pointe, or en pointe, it is usually done by a female dancer in pointe shoes. It is unsafe and impractical to rise onto the toes’ tips if not adequately supported by pointe shoes.
- Movement Explanations:
- Start in First position (elevé).
- Rise all the way up to the balls of your feet – Demi pointe.
- Turn out your legs.
- Slide down.
- Start with plié (relevé).
- Rise all the way up to Demi pointe.
- Slide down.
- Movement Techniques:
- Engage the muscles in your legs.
- Weight spread equally between your toes.
- Think up while sliding down.