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Pronunciation of Ballet Names


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141 replies to this topic

#91 Paul Parish

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 08:36 AM

Re the glamorous Yuan Yuan Tan;
Most of us in SF say "wan wan" -- as in why so pale and wan, fond lover."

But my friends who actually speak Chinese say something that sounds more like "uEN uEN," with the u being that umlauted "dude" sound but very brief, like hte vermouth in a vodka, it's just a bit of color at the VERY beginning. it starts off quite constricted between the molars, cheeks sucked in, back of the tongue rising toward the soft palate, and then the back of the tongue drops, the "eh" gets thrown against the hard palate, and the middle of the tongue pushes up and stops it. It all kinda happens 'in hte nose" and it's fun to say

#92 bart

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 11:31 AM

Thanks, Carolina and Paul.

What I can tell you is that for instance the ll in Corella doesnt 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, Im afraid it doesnt have a correspondent in English.

You hear "Cor -- EY -- ya" a lot in the U.S. The "ll" as a "y" seems to come from Latin America.

In Spain, I've always thought of it as an "EL-yay" sound. There's a hint of the first "l," often combined with a little bit of a "j" (very very subtle), and then the "y". So Corella becomes "Cor -- EL -- ya" But it won't sound Castilian without that "j" or whatever it is that separates the true madrileno/a from the rest of us who just learned it in school.

Paul, I've been experimenting with those contortions of tooth, cheek, tongue (3 positions !!!) and palate. And it DOES sound rather Chinese. to me, anyway. :) Many thanks.

Ballet Florida has a lovely young dancer, Yuan Xi (Harid conservatory graduate). Now that I know how to pronounce "Yuan," can anyone help with the "Xi"?

#93 artist

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 07:35 PM

Kyra Nichols: KEER-a NIK-ols (like nickels - the currency)

Tatiana Riabouchinska: Taht-YAHN-ah Ree-boo-SHIN-ska

Tamara Toumanova: Tam-AHR-a Too-MAHN-ova

Irina Baranova: eer-EEN-a Bare-AHN-ova

Tamara Karsavina: Tam-AHR-a Kar-SAV-ina

Olga Preobrajenska: OL-ga Pray-o-bra-JEN-ska

Rene Blum: Rah-NAY Bloom

Alexandra Danilova: Dan-EEL-ova

Alessandra Ferri: FAYR-ee

Alicia Markova: ah-LEE-sha mar-KOHV-a

Natalia Makarova: na-TAHL-yah ma-KAHR-ova

Mikhail Fokine: Michael Fo-KEEN

De Basil: De Ba-ZEEL (Vassily ?)

Alla Sizova: SEE-so-va (is it eye-a ?)

----
Olga Spessivtzeva: Spess-EEV-sev-ah ?

Ninel Kurgapkina: Ni-NEL Ker-GAHP-kin-a ??

Galina Ulanova: youll-AHN-ova ?

Leonide Massine: MAA-seen or Ma-SEEN ?

Anna Pavlova: PAV-lo-va or pav-LOW-va ? (in America it's just AN-ah, but is it AHN-a ?)

Nina Ananiashvili ?

Ninette De Valois ?

#94 Marga

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 11:04 AM

Alla Sizova: SEE-so-va (is it eye-a ?)

Ulanova: youll-AHN-ova ?

Leonide Massine: MAA-seen or Ma-SEEN ?

Anna Pavlova: (in America it's just AN-ah, but is it AHN-a ?)

Nina Ananiashvili ?

Ninette De Valois ?

In Russian the double "L" is pronounced as in English, not as in French.
"Alla" is said "AH-la"

"Ulanova", contrary to popular opinion, is pronounced "oo-LAHN-nova" (no "y" sound for the "u")

MA-SEEN

"Anna", to say it the Russian way, would rhyme with "wanna", so the second pronunciation you offered is correct

"ah-nahn-ee-AASH-vili" the "ash" rhymes with "gosh"

nee-NET de val-WAH (the name she was born with is a little easier: Edris Stannus)

#95 Marga

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 11:18 AM

Now that I know how to pronounce "Yuan," can anyone help with the "Xi"?

I believe it's "Jee" (like the first syllable in the ill-received movie "Gigli")

#96 Mel Johnson

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 12:39 PM

And to make matters more confusing, sometimes the man himself would say, "ma-SEEN", and sometimes, "mya-SEEN".

#97 richard53dog

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 03:46 PM

[quote name='artist' date='May 29 2007, 03:35 AM' post='204719']

Alessandra Ferri: FAYR-ee

"FAYR-" creates a dipthong that is too long a sound.
Italian vowels tend to be very short and soft.

And both "r"s need to be pronounced, in most of Italy they would be flipped but in a few regions, such as Rome, they would be rolled.

So I would say it's more like this:

FEHR-ree where that first syllable is very soft and short

#98 artist

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 08:43 PM

Thanks :mad: Didn't know how to make the sound in writing and, as we can see, every letter and syllable makes a huge difference.

and thanks to you, too, Marga.

off topic but I'm curious: How does everyone have such a plethora of knowledge about languages? Did you study it in school or was it from traveling and learning or just on your own? How long did it take to acquire such skill?

#99 Marga

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 10:21 PM

:mad: continued

artist,
You are the same age as my youngest child (6th of 6, and once a dancer) and I think you are off to a great start in acquiring your own plethora of knowledge! I have always admired your posts for their maturity in -- forgive me -- one so young, and have marveled at your already vast knowledge of balletica, far larger than my own when I was your age 43 years ago and a dance student myself. So, I'd say, yes, "all of the above" (school, travel, lifelong learning, self-teaching) and about languages, specifically, "how long" depends on how interested one is in discovering the secrets of other languages.

I speak two languages fluently, English and Estonian (which is the language we usually converse in at home), and while studying Russian for 3 years in high school (and practicing speaking it with my Russian grandfather), acquired a keen interest in it (as I did in French which I studied for 7 years while in school). Estonian and Russian have some similarities in word origins and pronunciation, so that just sticks with me. Also, my daughter the dancer studied with a Russian teacher, so we've been around spoken Russian (ballet teachers, parents, many of her ballet friends) since she was 8 years old (she's now 21).

Lastly, for me, my husband is a French teacher and a fanatic when it comes to the study of linguistics (he almost majored in it). Our conversations often turn to the etymology of words, comparative linguistics, and phonetics. We also talk about current pronunciations, spelling, and grammatical usages of English that have become prevalent in popular culture, despite being incorrect, which are changing the way our English language is being used and passed on.

I'd say we might seem like boring people to some reading this, but then, we also sing, dance and make merry!

Since this is a sticky, I feel uncomfortable going off topic. If the above part of my post must be removed, I understand. (I just hope artist sees it first). Let me add a name to the list:

Gelsey Kirkland. Gelsey, hard "G", like Gordon, not Jelsey. I'll bet I'm not the only one who wondered about this for years! :(

#100 volcanohunter

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 04:08 PM

And to make matters more confusing, sometimes the man himself would say, "ma-SEEN", and sometimes, "mya-SEEN".

In Russian the stress would fall on the first syllable: something like MYA-seen (Мясин). (It's not really a YA sound. It's actually a palatalized M, as in m'as'in.)
http://www.bolshoi.r...amp;dynid26=480
Putting the stress on the second syllable was probably the influence of French. The same goes for Fokine, which should be pronounced FO-keen.

I was under the impression that in Georgian, -shvili surnames were stressed on the penultimate syllable: ah-nah-nyash-VEE-lee.

#101 Marga

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 05:06 PM

I was under the impression that in Georgian, -shvili surnames were stressed on the penultimate syllable: ah-nah-nyash-VEE-lee.

I was thinking about that when I went to bed last night, after indicating that the stress was on the ASH. Georgian names danced through my head, including the "-vilis" that end the names of some parents I am acquainted with. You are right, I believe, and I have succumbed to the common pronunciation accepted by transplanted Georgians who go with the flow instead of insisting on the right emphasis. :mad:

#102 carbro

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 05:23 PM

Quite a few years ago, a Russian-born cab driver asked me what I was going to see when I was rushin' up to Lincoln Center from downtown. "Ballet," of course. He proceeded to inform me that Nina Ananiashvili was the greatest ballerina in the world. "Say that again?" I asked. "The greatest ballerina in the world!" "No," I corrected, "her name."

"ahn-AHN-yash-VI-li." Two accented syllables, big stress on the latter. He wasn't (or didn't claim to be) Georgian, but I took him as authoritative.

#103 artist

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 06:23 PM

Thank you very much Marga. Funny how just today a teacher of mine jokingly said what a cerebral freak I am because of these things I'm interested in and the wealth of knowledge I've attained from subjects of the higher intellect. And how I'm a 'wierdo' for listening to classical music in HS and having my favorite ride at DisneyLand be Small World and not indulging myself in the 'normal' teen life. He said I should be a foreign exchange student in an uncommon place like Estonia...

Anyways, back on track:

Reviewing jorgen's post on the 1st page, it seem Sizova has the 2nd syllable stressed - not the first. I have always heard it as the latter from world traveling dancers and others but perhaps they're wrong as jorgen's info is from the dictionary.

Paloma Herrera - do you pronounce the 'h'; in spanish you don't, but she is from Argentina...

Damian Woetzel

Lourdes Lopez

Suki Schorer

Jacques d'Amboise

Alina Cojacaru

Nathalie Nordquist

Marie Lindqvist

Tanaquil LeClerq

Alla Shelest

Mathilde Kschessinska

Daniel Ulbrecht

Darci Kistler: DAR-see KISS-ler

Sterling Hyltin: Ster'ling hill-TEEN

I'm leaving most of these without my input just so that I can double check with you guys as I'm sure you'll probably be more accurate.

Is there a thread for ballet pronunciations? I know I could surely use one.

#104 Mel Johnson

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 06:42 PM

[quote name='artist' date='May 30 2007, 10:23 PM' post='204819']
Lourdes Lopez (LOOR-dess LO-pez)

Suki Schorer (SOO-kee SHOR-er)

Jacques d'Ambois(e) (ZHOCK dam-BWAHZ) (but if you're really fussy: JACK A-HERN.)But you have to be from Dedham, Mass.)

#105 artist

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 08:09 PM

or JO-sef.


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