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The Etymology of Ballet : Plié

Learning the etymology of ballet words can help you visualize the intention of the position or exercise. It also makes for great trivia for your next class! Let’s dissect the word Plié [plee-ey].

etymology of ballet

What it looks like in ballet: A plié is very commonly seen in ballet. It is the bending of the knees. This exercise renders the joints and muscles soft and pliable and the tendons flexible.

Etymology: The word originated in 1890 France as a noun derived from past participle of the verb plier, meaning to bend, according to

How to use it in barre: Plié on demi pointe in parallel or first position (see Chapter 8 of the IBBFA Barre Certification Level 1 manual).

Other meanings of the word today: Plié is still the past participle of the verb plier (to bend) in French.

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etymology of ballet

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