Step of the week 1.pirouette
Posted 28 September 2003 - 03:47 AM
Pirouette is the general term for a turn done on one foot and in place (sur place) and can be done to the inside (en dedans) or outside (en dehors). When the left foot is the supporting foot, the turn goes to the right for en dehors, and left for en dedans. So, you see, the turn is made an outside or inside turn by when it turns away from the supporting leg (en dehors) and turns toward the supporting leg (en dedans). Pirouettes can be done in any position with one leg off the floor. They may also be done in long series by a number of little hops on the supporting foot (grande pirouette), particularly with the leg extended above the floor. In French, "pirouette" is feminine, so the adjectives applied to it have to agree in gender - grande, piquée, and so on.
Pirouettes generally differ from "tours" in that a tour is done with both feet, or NO feet (tour en l'air) on the floor, and/or traveling. Nomenclature is an insidious thing, and what may be called pirouette in one school may be called a tour or a movement "en tournant" (turning) in another.
Here's a video from ABT's fine Ballet Dictionary, showing a multiple pirouette done by Angel Corella. Once you've seen him do it forward for en dehors, run it backward for an idea of en dedans. SPOT QUIZ: Corella is an excellent dancer, but can you pick out the technical flaw just before he starts turning?
Posted 28 September 2003 - 08:28 AM
Uuhhh, is the answer to your question he's using his arms to "wind" himself up for the turn?
Posted 28 September 2003 - 08:40 AM
Posted 28 September 2003 - 11:55 AM
Nomenclature is an insidious thing, and what may be called pirouette in one school may be called a tour or a movement "en tournant" (turning) in another.
Definitely! I don't know what the current usage is at the Vaganova Academy, but in "Basic Principles," Vaganova refers to pirouettes as "tours." So if you run into any old-fashioned Russians...
I would also like to highlight Corella's lovely rounded first position of the arms.
Posted 28 September 2003 - 04:11 PM
Posted 28 September 2003 - 04:29 PM
Just wondering, what do you call a turn that is done on one leg but ends in a pratfall because your fellow students decided to use both water AND rosin on a wood floor, and forgot to tell you to bring your figure skates instead of your ballet slippers?
Posted 28 September 2003 - 05:06 PM
Which is not to be confused with pirouette boompsa-daisy, which is done by doing a pirouette and bumping somebody else's backside with YOUR backside.
Posted 28 September 2003 - 05:57 PM
Your timing is incredible. Just yesterday my daughter was showing me the difference between turning to the inside vs. turning to the outside. I just did not get the concept. Your explanation makes great sense, and makes it clear.
I was trying and trying to draw some analogy to something I knew - but really could not. Turning away from the supporting leg - or to the supporting leg I can live with.
Posted 28 September 2003 - 06:05 PM
Posted 28 September 2003 - 06:52 PM
very nice arms on Corella, too.
Baryshnikov used to use arms like that -- beautiful
Posted 28 September 2003 - 08:09 PM
or perhaps it's a zut chute?
:shrug: :green: :party:
Posted 29 September 2003 - 03:36 AM
Posted 29 September 2003 - 05:42 AM
In truth, I too am glad to know the distinction between en déhors and en dedans. This is going to be a really useful topic.
Is there some way we can submit candidates for future elucidation? Should we PM you? The kinds of questions I'm thinking of are not "what's a _____________", but on the order of "what's that step I've seen Calvin Kitten of the Joffrey do, where he kind of leaps and kicks out his back leg, with one arm over his head and the other rounded"?
Posted 29 September 2003 - 01:54 PM
Posted 29 September 2003 - 03:01 PM
There's a picture of it gracing a billboard on the Kennedy Expressway -- it's been there ever since last season!
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