Step of the week 1.pirouette
Posted 29 September 2003 - 05:55 PM
(PS. Just checked with a friend in a position to know - it is.)
Posted 29 September 2003 - 07:19 PM
In Bournonville, a signature step is a pirouette done in a wrapped sur le cou de pied position. The preparation (R foot in front in fifth) is a standard tendu à la seconde with a rond de jambe to OPEN fourth position (i.e. opposite first instead of fifth) with the R arm brought to the bras bas position and the L arm left in second. Demi-plié in open fourth and rise to sur le cou de pied (with the foot on the ankle and the heel to the front and the toes wrapped around the back) on relevé, simultaneously turning, and bringing both arms to bras bas. End in fifth position R foot back. Try these, dancers, and if you can do more than a double cleanly, you'll be about the first. Bournonville intentionally taught these turns so that his dancers wouldn't "stunt" by doing more than double pirouettes. If the pirouettes are singles, they're done on pointe by women, and if double, on demi-pointe - another period touch. You'll see it in Bournonville choreography and in some stagings of the "Vivandiére" pas de six.
Posted 30 September 2003 - 05:42 AM
Posted 30 September 2003 - 08:05 AM
Pas de ciseaux. Scissors step. A term of the Russian school. Pas de ciseaux is similar to a cabriole devant, except that the legs do not beat but pass over each other. Fourth position croisé derrière, R foot back, pointe tendue. Demi-plié on the L leg, thrusting the R leg forward in effacé with a grand battement, bending the torso back. Spring off the L, throwing it forward so that it passes the R in the air. The L leg, well extended, is immediately thrown backward through the first position into first arabesque, as the R leg descends in demi-plié.
Posted 30 September 2003 - 02:44 PM
Posted 30 September 2003 - 03:40 PM
Posted 30 September 2003 - 03:43 PM
By the way, tangential thinking on Step of the Week is to be encouraged. We'll discuss a lot more steps than 52 by the end of a year that way! B)
Posted 30 September 2003 - 04:28 PM
Posted 30 September 2003 - 04:41 PM
Posted 30 September 2003 - 04:58 PM
Posted 30 September 2003 - 07:45 PM
"En manege" means "in a circle". Another term for the same thing is "autour de la salle" which looks like "driving to college", but actually just means "around the room".
Posted 30 September 2003 - 09:13 PM
Posted 30 September 2003 - 11:29 PM
in fact, it seems that "pirouette" is always applied to a turn that starts by springing from two feet to one foot onto point (or demi-pointe) which leads me to wonder, if all pirouettes are versions of sissonnes-to-pointe that turn......
Posted 01 October 2003 - 03:30 AM
Paul, I think that distinction is generally sound, except that there are schools which call the ordinary piqué turn a pirouette piquée. It's just a nomenclature thing.
Posted 01 October 2003 - 10:07 AM
So it's not just me who often finds this disconcerting. Thank you, Mel! I may not be remembering perfectly well, but I don't think I ever saw pirouettes to the left in Balanchine's work at NYCB until after his death. Now they're done fairly often.
There is something jarring when a dancer does a turn of any sort to favor his/her turning side when it breaks the progression of the dance and moves in a contrary way to the leadup steps.
Paul, aren't pirouettes sometimes (albeit rarely) done with a releve from one foot, when the working leg is already en l'air? Hate to be picky, picky, picky, but . . .
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