Decoding Ballet lingo: Get ready for Moscow Festival Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty


Moscow Festival Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty leapt into Ames at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22, at C.Y. Stephens Auditorium.

Maggie Curry

Ballet gets most of its terminology from France and Italy. Use these ballet terms to impress your friends while watching the Moscow Festival Ballet’s production of “Sleeping Beauty” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22, in C.Y. Stephens Auditorium.

Tickets for “Sleeping Beauty” are priced by section: $59, $50, $45, $35, $25; for Youth & ISU Students: $59, $25.

Tickets can be purchased at the Iowa State Center Ticket Office in the north entrance of Stephens Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; at all Ticketmaster centers; by phone: 1-800-745-3000 or online via Ticketmaster

Before the show begins, Beth Clarke, owner of Beth Clarke Studio of Dance in Ames, will present a short preview and insights into “Sleeping Beauty.” She will speak before the show at 7 p.m. in the Celebrity Café, located on the ground level of Stephens.

Some terms used to describe the ballet include:

Mime: /maɪm/

action without spoken word and an important foundation of ballet.

Pas d’action: /pah dak-syawn/

dance sequence used to further the plot, shows action.

Divertissement: /dee-ver-tees-mahn/

dances used to show the skill of a dancer without adding to the plot.

Adagio: /uhdah-zhee-oh/

means slowly, or “at ease.”

In “Sleeping Beauty,” Aurora has three adagios that focus on her girlhood, falling in love, and her marriage.

Pas de deux: /pahduh dœ/

a dance partnering, usually for the principal two dancers.

In this ballet, the princess and her prince have an adagio that is part of a pas de deux.

For more information, visit the Iowa State Center website at