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Word of the Day
Friday, July 28, 2017

Definitions for ballon

  1. Ballet. the lightness and grace of movement that make a dancer appear buoyant.

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Citations for ballon
For a ballerina she had pretty much zero ballon at this point. Her feet dragged across the floor like the last two dodoes. Charles D'Ambrosio, "Screenwriter," The New Yorker, December 8, 2003
Ballon: A quality of movement by which the impression is given that the dancer, by a reversal of the laws of gravity, is continuously thrown off the ground, instead of pushing himself away from it, and should not be confused with elevation, which is more concerned with the height of the dancer's jumps. Leo Kersley and Janet Sinclair, A Dictionary of Ballet Terms, 1953
Origin of ballon
Ballon is a French term used especially in ballet, describing a dancer who appears to be floating in the air while executing a jump or other movement, like “His Airness,” Michael Jordan. Earlier English spellings of the word include balonne, baloune, and balloone as well as balloon. The original sense of the word in the early 17th century was “ball,” specifically a large, sturdy, inflated leather ball hit with the arms protected with wooden boards or kicked like a soccer ball. By the late 17th century ballon and balloon had developed the meaning “a large globular glass vessel” used for chemical distillation; and by the late 18th century, balloon (thus spelled) also meant “a round, flexible, airtight bag that rises into the air when inflated with heated air or gas.” Balloon becomes the standard English spelling in the late 17th century. Ballon, as a ballet term, entered English in the 19th century.