Question about arms in Corsaire
Posted 19 March 2003 - 07:42 AM
I am studying Medora's variation from the Corsaire pdd (or pas de trois), the slow version. I am watching variious versions on video. One of them is Margot Fonteyn (with Nureyev) I have noticed that both in her and his variation they sometimes place their hands on their shoulders. Is anyone able to tell me the meaning of this? I need to know the meaning of my movements when I dance, that is why I ask.
Posted 19 March 2003 - 07:57 AM
Posted 19 March 2003 - 02:50 PM
Posted 19 August 2003 - 05:17 AM
Posted 19 August 2003 - 05:58 AM
Posted 19 August 2003 - 12:30 PM
Posted 19 August 2003 - 02:14 PM
Posted 19 August 2003 - 04:20 PM
Posted 20 August 2003 - 02:10 AM
Anent Princess Florine, I don't know if there's an orientalism there, but in the tale, she and the Bluebird take off for holiday in China. Now, I have no idea whether French bluebirds migrate to China, but the medieval French didn't really know where they went. China seems as good a place as any.
And remember, in the original "Chopiniana" prelude variation, "Chopin" was actually onstage playing, and the Sylphide was listening to his music. I don't know about the shape of the music, but every printing of it I've seen has been rectangular. To the best of my knowledge, the world had to wait for Satie for a rather more spherical form of composition!
Posted 20 August 2003 - 08:39 AM
I am SO grateful for the Sylphides info, and will no longer cringe at the thought of spherical music when I see the Prelude dancer pause and look soulful. That's an entirely appropriate response to Freddy C. The Satie pear, incidentally, was made into a little touring ballet here in 76. European readers will be familiar with the participants because Harold King, the choreographer, went on to found the London Ballet, and the ballerina, Marina Nicolaou (the soubrette-crossover type much favoured by me--with a fine jete and metatarsal arches to die for) went on to dance in Belgium with great success (I'm told). Marc H probably saw her there. The ballet was a totally forgettable trifle called Under a Pear Tree, and it featured a butterfly net. I can't recall now if Marina was catching butterflies (rather less brutally than Franz in Ivanov's Coppelia!) or being caught as one.
Where Florine is concerned, I think one needs to distinguish between turquoiserie (if there's such a word, or if not, la vogue turque) and chinoiserie. I think the St Petersburg signifier for China is the index finger held vertically and pointing palm outward (whereas Violente's indices point palm inward)--and I base this on stills from the traditional Benois-designed Festival Casse that was staged, I think, by Beriosova's father. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Anyhow, they show a huge teapot and danseuses en attitude devant on either side, fingers pointing heavenward.
However, I do think there IS a little vestigial "meaning" in the otherwise abstract Florine dance. Paul has written eloquently in another thread about Sibley's avian Florine, but I'm not sure that that was Petipa's intention, and Messel must be blamed for clouding the picture. In my ideal SB (hey! I can dream, can't I?), she would wear a white classical tutu with a little blue braid--not a feather in sight--a little couronne and, please note, a PAPIER MACHE bluebird on her wrist. Her var is a gavotte manque (befitting a princess), and you can prove this by playing four semiquavers on the first two beats of every bar from bar 3 ff. Voila! an echt gavotte. The avian dimension emerges from the skirls that are really there, and which match the skid of the fouettes to perfection; and also from the chirping acciaccature. That's where the bluebird on the wrist comes in, because her eyeline will meet it at almost every juncture of the dance, right up to that mysterious codetta, where she bourrees de cote with gestures half acknowledging, half-warding off the bird that is flying after her on her wrist. There is no other way I can explain this insufficiently abstract moment in the design. It bears comparison with the warding-off gestures that accompany the bourees of Miettes, who, one could say without undue fancifulness, is trying to clear the stage of the abundance she has called into being.
Posted 20 August 2003 - 03:45 PM
Posted 21 August 2003 - 12:03 AM
Posted 21 August 2003 - 02:25 AM
Posted 21 August 2003 - 08:58 AM
I haven't been able to turn up any Greek images main a l'epaule, and indeed it's very hard to decide what the characteristic Gk posture should be (in summary balletic terms, that is). Clearly profilic, but that would apply to Egyptian imagery as well. In my search for images of Nijinsky's Faune, I noticed that he is fond of posing, even for classical roles, in an unballetic Maenad posture with the hand turned out above the forehead, as though he were shading his eyes from the sun. This free movement (opposed to the regulated curves of the danse d'ecole) is almost certainly courtesy of Fokine and therefore of Isadora, and I would guess that a free Bacchante surge was the definitive Greek posture post Petipa. Stills of The Awakening of Flora, if any exist, might throw some light on what Petipa's own ideas were. I suspect, though, that there was very little Hellenism, if any, in that ballet.
This morning I found a picture of the Faune nymphs in the Buckle biography of Nijinsky, which I didn't consult when I was looking for Spectre pictures because it's housed in my office ready for my annual Wilbur seminars. In this particular photo, the hands don't touch the shoulders, but are recurved and clenched above them--a favourite Nijinsky motif that he applied repeatedly to the ports de bras in Jeux. I think Nijinska also uses it Les Noces, but I can't lay my hands on any photos offhand, and I've never seen the ballet.
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