Pronouncing Ballet Namespet-EE-pah or PET-ee-pah
Posted 08 July 2003 - 09:16 PM
I was wondering about the pronunciation of various ballet dancers/choreographers names. Whenever I talk about ballet, I always get nervous because I'm not sure how to pronounce people's names, because I have never heard them pronounced myself. So, a few examples -
Marius Petipa- PET-ee-pah or pet-EE-pah or pet-ee-PAH?
Female Russian Names: I have heard Danilova pronounced as da-KNEEL-ova, is this a standard pronunciation for russian names ending in -ova? In other words, is Toumanova too-MAHN-ova or too-man-OH-va?
That's all I got for now, but thanks for replying and I imagine other Ballet lovers have their own questions.
Posted 08 July 2003 - 09:23 PM
It's PET ee pah.
Russian names are usually on the second syllable -- Tou MAN ova, da NEEL ova. (Likewise, Mak KAR ova, Kar SA vina; and also for men: Noo REY yev.
Thanks for asking -- ask more And I'm sure others have some too (including me.)
Editing to add that we have both native French and Russian speakers on the board, so they may have a different take on this!!
Posted 09 July 2003 - 06:22 AM
Posted 09 July 2003 - 07:02 AM
I can give more Danish examples than French or Russian ones. Niels Kehlet is pronounced (sort of) Kay'l in Danish. (The ' means you think hard about a letter while swallowing). Americans think it's "Kay-let" When they're talking among each other, they'll say Kay'l. When they talk to us, they say Kay-let. Make sense? (I was rather startled when I began my book on Kronstam of how many people said "Hang Krwone-stam" until I realized that "Hang" was "Henning".
In America, we'd say PET ee pah, or risk sounding pretentious. I'm curious about the British pronunciation?
Posted 09 July 2003 - 07:27 AM
Alexandra, on Jul 9 2003, 11:02 AM, said:
Posted 09 July 2003 - 07:30 AM
As you can see, Lee, there are no simple answers to anything in ballet But if you say PET ee pah in America (or, actually, pet' ee pah, only a slight accent on the first syllable) you'll fit in. Go to France, try Estelle's way
Posted 09 July 2003 - 10:55 AM
Another commonly mispronounced name is Julia Makhalina. It's "YOO-lee-ah Ma-KHA-lina."
Now, say "Asylmuratova" five times fast !
Posted 09 July 2003 - 02:54 PM
as alexandra says, the other may be more accurate, but would be regarded as pretentious.
great questions, Big Lee - as alexandra says, there are so many of these potential traps...
PAVLOVA: within my lifetime, accepted pronunciation has changed from pav-LOW-vu to PAHv-luv-u - and in australia where the meringue desert was named after her, we wouldn't dare call the desert PAHV-luv-u, even if we HAVE learned to pronounce the dancer's name that way!
it's a minefield! but thankfully, only your ego can be blown away - not your legs.
Posted 09 July 2003 - 08:03 PM
Ballet Lover: Whose that great Kazakhastani Kirov ballerina?
Big Lee: Julie Kent.
Ballet Lover: Really?
Big Lee: Yes, Julie Kent is definitely Kazakhastani.
By the way, if Julie Kent is reading this, I love you and your easy to pronounce name.
I guess I would pronounce Asylmuratova as az-ill-moor-AHT-ova, though before this thread I probably would have said az-ill-moor-a-TOE-va.
Posted 09 July 2003 - 08:15 PM
I'll add, post a pronunciation guide to the top 25 ballet name, on my To Do list and make it a sticky. I know every time a new Russian ballerina comes along I have to ask how to pronounce the name, and I'm sure I'm not the only one! (Although I have learned the second syllable rule )
Posted 10 July 2003 - 11:36 AM
I think I need a crib sheet to keep handy during ballet performances... Perhaps we could make one up with the Ballet Alert! logo and have them made gratis by someone in the plastics world...you know, sort of like those little "tips" guides?
Posted 10 July 2003 - 12:25 PM
At the presentation, official described the artistic accomplishments of Natalia ma-ka-RO-va, to the snickering of those assembled. :shrug:
Posted 10 July 2003 - 12:33 PM
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