Lesson. The daily class taken by dancers throughout their career to continue learning and to maintain technical proficiency. It consists of exercices à la barre (side practice) followed by exercices au milieu (centre practice), port de bras, pirouette practice and petit and grand allégro. See these terms.
Centre practice, or exercices au milieu, is the name given to a group of exercises similar to those à la barre but performed in the centre of the room without the support of the bar. These exercises are usually performed with alternate feet and are invaluable for obtaining good balance and control.
Exercices à la barre
[eg-zehr-SEESS a lah bar]
Exercises at the bar (or barre). A group of exercises performed by the dancer while clasping a bar with one hand. This bar, generally a cylindrical piece of wood is fastened horizontally to the walls of the practice room at a height of about three feet six inches from the floor. Bar exercises, or side practice, are the foundation of classical ballet and are to the dancer what scales are to the pianist. Every ballet lesson begins with these exercises. It is at the bar that the dancer acquires the fundamental training for the attributes he must possess. These exercises are essential for developing the muscles correctly, turning the legs out from the hips and gaining control and flexibility of the joints and muscles. The exercises at the bar can be simple or varied but in general they include the following movements:
(l) Pliés in the first, second, fourth and fifth positions.
(2) Battements tendus.
(3) Battements dégagés.
(4) Battements fondus.
(5) Ronds de jambe à terre.
(6) Battements frappés.
(8) Petits battements sur le cou-de-pied.
(9) Ronds de jambe en l'air.
(10) Grands battements.