What does bourree mean in French

Random... what does bourree mean literally?
By dream_ballerina

On Fri Nov 25, 2011 05:33 PM

So my teacher was asking us if we knew what bourree meant literally (like how pas de chat is step of the cat, etc). And none of us knew. So then he said we had to go home and look it up; he wouldn't tell us.

After searching constantly on the internet (I feel like I've tried everything, from ABT's ballet dictionary to Google translate)... I can't find it.

I've got that 'pas de bourree' means step of the drunken lady... so does 'bourree' literally mean drunken lady?

I'm extremely curious now

15 Replies to Random... what does bourree mean literally?

re: Random... what does bourree mean literally?
By Serendipity42

On Fri Nov 25, 2011 05:41 PM

Edited by Serendipity42 (215267) on 2011-11-25 17:42:31 spelling error

Well, according to Wiki, it's a dance of French origin that has quick, little steps to it (double time), and stems from the 17th century. Webster's online dictionary concurs.

It's similar to the "pas de Basque" term - pas is "step," de is "of" and Basque is simply a place in France where it originated.

re: Random... what does bourree mean literally?
By Sumayah

On Fri Nov 25, 2011 05:46 PM

The word originates from an old French dance resembling the gavotte; it's a dance taken from the Bourrée being an Auvergne dance. It's also a type of music. I'd guess that just like in Pas de Basque, where Basque is taken from a people, the term bourrée is taken from the dance Bourrée less than the term bourrée. ???

re: Random... what does bourree mean literally?
By MuffinHead

On Fri Nov 25, 2011 06:38 PM

[boo-RAY] Literally, bourree means to to cram or stuff. The term is also used to describe a quick French dance done double time. Whether a dancer is in regular ballet shoes or on pointe, bourree's are usually done in fifth position on releve. The dancer has her feet tightly together and quickly moves either the front or back foot and then following with the other foot as quickly as possible. Bourree's are tiny steps that are done very quickly and are beautiful to watch.
(writing.colostate.edu . . .)

re: Random... what does bourree mean literally? (karma: 1)
By Christine

On Fri Nov 25, 2011 07:22 PM

Edited by Christine (207347) on 2011-11-25 19:23:54 error

The Bourree was a courtly dance of the middle ages (Baroque). This is the footwork for the step

This is what it looked like when danced at court



The literal translation is "stuffed". Go figure.

Keep On Dancing*

re: Random... what does bourree mean literally?
By panic

On Fri Nov 25, 2011 09:58 PM

OMG, I did not know bourree means stuffed! I distinctly remember asking my ballerina friends about this word several years ago, and they just said it was a dance - which I already knew.

re: Random... what does bourree mean literally?
By greenpumpkin

On Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:15 PM

I played a number of bourrees, mainly by J.S. Bach, while studying the violin as a kid.

re: Random... what does bourree mean literally?
By Rose

On Sat Nov 26, 2011 03:52 AM

According to Google Translate:
bourree = bourree
bourrée = packed
bourré = stuffed
bourre = wad

La Bourrée = a certain street in France (according to Google Maps)

wikipedia.fr
fr.wikipedia.org . . .
Bourrée means something like 'farmerlike'.
Bourrée itself is a dance (or several dances alike), from 1700, still done by folkdancers.

re: Random... what does bourree mean literally?
By Rose

On Sat Nov 26, 2011 03:54 AM

MuffinHead wrote:

[boo-RAY] Literally, bourree means to to cram or stuff. The term is also used to describe a quick French dance done double time. Whether a dancer is in regular ballet shoes or on pointe, bourree's are usually done in fifth position on releve. The dancer has her feet tightly together and quickly moves either the front or back foot and then following with the other foot as quickly as possible. Bourree's are tiny steps that are done very quickly and are beautiful to watch.
(writing.colostate.edu . . .)


What is described here, is pas de bourrée suivi or pas de bourrée couru.

re: Random... what does bourree mean literally?
By imadanseur

On Sat Nov 26, 2011 05:27 AM

I think when I was studying for my oral Cecchetti ballet exams bourree meant series of little steps. I don't have my theory books handy, but I am 99% sure that is how it was translated in my book.

re: Random... what does bourree mean literally?
By panic

On Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:20 AM

^That's what I was taught.

I actually used google translator to try and find a translation, but I guess I didn't include the accent. Jeez. All these years. Oh well, at least none of my friends knew it either.

re: Random... what does bourree mean literally?
By Heart

On Mon Nov 28, 2011 01:47 AM

bourre is from the verb bourrer.

Wiktionary says:

French
Etymology: From bourre (“stuffing material”).

Verb: bourrer

(transitive) To stuff with stuffing material.
(transitive) To completely fill by shoving in.
(transitive) To make to eat a lot.
(transitive) To force-feed.
(transitive) (slang) To hit someone.
(pronominal) (slang) To get drunk.
(pronominal) (slang) To binge.
(intransitive) To jam by way of excessive accumulation.
(intransitive) (Europe) (colloquial) To rush.


Thus,

coup de bourre m (plural coups de bourre)

(idiomatic) a rush; a hurry



My money is on that last definition, though I don't know how old that usage is.

re: Random... what does bourree mean literally?
By DreamsOfDance

On Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:33 AM

A couple of years ago my teacher asked us what bouree ment and none of us knew untill we reserched and came to the conclusion that it ment stuffed (:

re: Random... what does bourree mean literally?
By toroandbruin

On Mon Nov 28, 2011 07:20 PM

Since the dance steps, themselves, look to have nothing to do with the name, I can only assume it was performed after Christmas dinner and on other festive occasions when everybody was quite thorougly bourré.

re: Random... what does bourree mean literally?
By allegro731

On Tue Nov 29, 2011 09:14 PM

Interesting. Growing up I was always taught that "pas de bourree" meant "step of the weaver". From this, I would assume that bourree meant weaver. But I guess not. You learn something new everyday.