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Pronunciation of Ballet Names


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#76 carbro

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Posted 07 June 2005 - 03:02 PM

Gee, HF, thanks! How on earth did you find that??? (reply optional :helpsmilie:)

SHO-mo-shi, SHO-mo-shi . . . .

#77 artist

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 06:41 PM

Yuan Yuan Tan?
And as for Sylvie Guillem, is it Sylvee or Sylvia?

#78 vrsfanatic

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 07:02 PM

Gomes: Neither. GO-mesh; it's Portuguese.



Thank you carbo for this correct pronunciation. :wink: At school we always said Go-mez. I always wondered about the correctness of this pronunciation.

#79 carbro

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 07:42 PM

Not long ago, I heard Kevin McKenzie refer to him as "GO-mez," so apparently Marcelo isn't fighting the tide.

The person who clued me in to GO-mesh, btw, was BT member Zveiglar, so if I'm wrong, you know whom to blame. :wink:

#80 Azulynn

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 12:14 AM

And as for Sylvie Guillem, is it Sylvee or Sylvia?


It's Sylvee in French. :wink:

#81 vrsfanatic

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 03:46 AM

Mr. Gomes introduces himself "Go-mez", however that may be from hearing Americans mispronounce it for 3 years at school in the US. We go back to school tomorrow, where there are still a few Brazilians, I will ask them! :wink:

#82 vrsfanatic

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 04:45 PM

I was able to ask our Brazilian students today...in some parts of Brazil, they say Gom-ez and in other parts of Brazil and Portugal they say Gom-esh. As with most languages...regional differences are ample. :clapping:

#83 carbro

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 05:16 PM

...in some parts of Brazil, they say Gom-ez and in other parts of Brazil and Portugal they say Gom-esh

Sheeesh! :clapping:

Thanks for researching, vrs!

#84 4mrdncr

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Posted 11 April 2007 - 12:21 PM

Angel and Carmen are Ko-RAY-yah.  (In Spanish, a double "L" makes the sound of a "Y", as in "yes.")


This is true for Latin America. In much of Spain there's a hint of the "L" -- along with the "y" -- in the pronunciation of the LL.

However, in contemporary Spain, as in Britain, it's increasingly okay to utilize pronunciations based on region, class, age, and attitude.



Of course my favorite is when listening to a Spanish (as opposed to Latin/S.American) accent and hearing the Hap/bsburg lisp come down through 500+ years of history. Amazing.

#85 rg

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Posted 11 April 2007 - 12:47 PM

when MARCELO GOMEZ first arrived at ABT i was told by member of the staff that his name was pronounced:
marSELLo GOmess
all of which was meant to prevent my saying: marCHELo GOmezz
but i haven't asked again and haven't heard differently.

#86 bart

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Posted 11 April 2007 - 01:45 PM

I think Mar-SELL-o is right.

Of course my favorite is when listening to a Spanish (as opposed to Latin/S.American) accent and hearing the Hap/bsburg lisp come down through 500+ years of history. Amazing.

I'm an old fogey on this one. I like the lisp. Por thee-EHR-to. Hoewver, the lisp never applies to dancers from outside Spain -- or, more narrowly, from the center of Spain where "Castilian" is spoken.

Thus one of the Madrid theaters which feature dance, Teatro Albeniz, is pronounced Tay-AH-tro Al-BAY-nith. But a theater like the Gran Liceu in might be prounounced Lee-SEH--oo, Lee-SAY-oo, or Lee-THAY-oo, depending on whether you're speaking Catalan, Castilian, or non-Castilian Spanish.

I have no idea how Spaniards themselves determine how whether or not to lisp. For instance, Lucia Lacarra, was born on the north coast in the Basque country, that is, outside Castlia. But her name is not Basque, and she studied in Madrid, the world capital of the lisp. Would that make her "Loo-SEE-a" or "Loo-THEE-a"?

And what about all the other wonderful Spanish-born dancers with "ci", "ce" or "z" in their names? Maybe one of our posters from Spain can help us on this.

and let's not forget artist's question re Yuan Yuan Tan. We have 6 pages of pronunciations over the years (mostly Russian and Spanish), but this seems to be the first inquiry about a Chinese name. There are many Chinese dancers in American and European companies, as we know. Can anyone give us a pronunciation list of the names of Chinese dancers to bring this STICKY into the 21st Century?

#87 vrsfanatic

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Posted 11 April 2007 - 02:45 PM

In school ,we called Mr. Gomes (G-O-M-E-Z) M-A-R-S-E-L-L-O. Difficult for me, with my Italian background. He never corrected me then and he has never corrected me since. He pronounces his name...
M-A-R-S-E-L-L-O.

#88 carbro

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Posted 11 April 2007 - 03:25 PM

. . . all of which was meant to prevent my saying: marCHELo . . .

Which would have been fine had he been Italian, but if he were he'd have another "L".

He never corrected me then and he has never corrected me since.

Sometimes correcting is just such a nuisance, but then it gets to a point where it's gone on too long to correct someone without embarrassing them. For over 30 years, my neighbor in the next apartment called me "Carla." Only when the neighbors started an e-mail circle and he saw it written did he realize I have an "EY" instead of an "A".:off topic:

#89 4mrdncr

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 11:49 AM

I think Mar-SELL-o is right.


Of course my favorite is when listening to a Spanish (as opposed to Latin/S.American) accent and hearing the Hap/bsburg lisp come down through 500+ years of history. Amazing.

I'm an old fogey on this one. I like the lisp. Por thee-EHR-to. Hoewver, the lisp never applies to dancers from outside Spain -- or, more narrowly, from the center of Spain where "Castilian" is spoken.

Thus one of the Madrid theaters which feature dance, Teatro Albeniz, is pronounced Tay-AH-tro Al-BAY-nith. But a theater like the Gran Liceu in might be prounounced Lee-SHAY-oo, Lee-SAY-oo, or Lee-THAY-oo, depending on whether you're speaking Catalan, Castilian, or non-Castilian Spanish.

I have no idea how Spaniards themselves determine how whether or not to lisp. For instance, Lucia Lacarra, was born on the north coast in the Basque country, that is, outside Castlia. But her name is not Basque, and she studied in Madrid, the world capital of the lisp. Would that make her "Loo-SEE-a" or "Loo-THEE-a"?

And what about all the other wonderful Spanish-born dancers with "ci", "ce" or "z" in their names? Maybe one of our posters from Spain can help us on this.

and let's not forget artist's question re Yuan Yuan Tan. We have 6 pages of pronunciations over the years (mostly Russian and Spanish), but this seems to be the first inquiry about a Chinese name. There are many Chinese dancers in American and European companies, as we know. Can anyone give us a pronunciation list of the names of Chinese dancers to bring this STICKY into the 21st Century?


Which was why I was so amazed when I heard that Spanish accent, and realized how it had been derived--500+ years ago! I LOVE how an accent (regional or otherwise) can still remain intact through all those generations and intervening tumultuous events and migrations. And until I visited NYC, I actually had never heard a Spanish (from Spain) accent as opposed to a Latin/South American accent. So it was a double treat--to try and revive my very rusty understanding (I learned Spanish at age 4, and didn't get too much practice after I switched to French and Japanese) while determining the accent variations.

BTW: Thank you SO much for differentiating between regional variations for me & BT. It's been most informative. Another question: Is a grammatical accent on Liceu missing? I tend to think of it as more French: Lee-SIEUX (syure) or is it shure? or thure? That is, not three separate syllables but two.

The only thing I do know about chinese is that Wang is usually pronounced WONG. So maybe the same applies to Tan? Yuan would depend how it is 'slurred together' so it's not exactly 1 or exactly 2 syllables, but a combination. And of course in Chinese, if you say it wrong you could mean something TOTALLY different. Or how about differences in Mandarin vs. Cantonese vs.?

#90 CarolinaM

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 04:20 AM

I’m afraid that this is a very difficult matter as bart is right and it depends on whether you are talking in Spanish (Castellano) or Catalan or other regional languages of Spain.

What I can tell you is that for instance the “ll” in Corella doesn’t correspond to the “y” of yes, no matter if you pronounce it in Spanish or Catalan, but I do not know how to show you how it sounds, I’m afraid it doesn’t have a correspondent in English.

Gomez should be said Gome”th” as Lucía is “Lu”th”ia, this “th” applies for “ce”, “ci” and “ze” “zi”

As far as Liceu is concerned if you speak Catalan it is “Lee-SEH—oo” and if you speak Spanish it is “Lee-THEH-oo”

But do not worry about regional Languages. Spanish should be ok everywhere in Spain.

I have tried to help a bit on this but maybe PsFs could help much more here than me.


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