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Step of the week 1.pirouette


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39 replies to this topic

#31 Ari

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Posted 01 October 2003 - 10:28 AM

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.

The danseur's solo in Theme & Variations calls for pirouettes to be done alternately to the left and right. In my viewing experience, Helgi Tomasson used to do them, but I can't think of a subsequent dancer who did.

#32 Hans

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Posted 01 October 2003 - 02:30 PM

Carbro, you're right about pirouettes done done with a relevé on one leg, and a prime example is pirouettes en dedans from fourth position croisé: the working leg performs a dégagé à la seconde with the supporting leg in plié, then as one does the relevé, the working leg comes to retiré. Not everyone teaches every en dedans pirouette that way, of course, but it's good to know in case one has to dance Diana and Actaeon :)

#33 Paul Parish

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Posted 01 October 2003 - 04:41 PM

Carbro, dear, you're not being picky -- we do en dedans pirouettes like that in sally's class, but she acknowledges that it's "with a fouette"--

My next question was going to be "is it still a sissonne if you spring from two feet to one foot from an open position (i.e., a lunge)?"

We also sometimes -- very rarely -- do tours de fini in sur le cou de pied -- actually in the position we call coupe, which is at the ankle , heel forward, but not wrapped -- sous-sus, then 7 consecutively to hte right, close back, soussus, 7 to the left, without putting hte foot down.... We do tours de fini at the end of almost EVERY class, from fifth, arms center. When they're done in "coupe," we do arms in second and flex our wrists just for fun.... they are fun.

so that kind of shoots my little theory, because that's certainly not a fouette....

#34 Mel Johnson

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Posted 01 October 2003 - 06:31 PM

Paul, the sissonnes from an open position to cou de pied are sometimes referred to as "sissonnes passées".

I saw a Kitri once who did her Fandango solo in the first act with the diagonal of pirouettes repeated without coming down to fifth every time. With the swirling skirt, the effect was even more dramatic than the fouettés she did in the last act.

#35 Nora

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Posted 02 October 2003 - 01:16 PM

Mel, do you think that sometime in the future you could discuss and contrast similar steps? For instance, as a non-dancer, I can't seem to see the difference between pirouettes and fouettes. Thanks so much!

#36 Mel Johnson

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Posted 02 October 2003 - 04:01 PM

Sure, Nora; you're not alone. It used to be shorthand to call the fouettés "fouetté pirouettes", which is somewhat logical, and easier to say than "fouetté rond de jambe en tournant". With the fouettés, the movement starts with a pirouette en dehors and moves continuously through a series of extensions to the front (Italian school) or to the side (Russian school) and then carried around to the side and whipped in to the knee (It), or just brought back into the knee from seconde (Ru) and a turn ensues.

Fouetté means "whipped" and can come in lots of different varieties.

A pirouette en dedans can be done with a fouetté movement or not. A pirouette en dehors is never done with a fouetté movement without becoming something else.

#37 Nora

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Posted 02 October 2003 - 04:26 PM

Mel, does this whipping motion make the fouette intentionally faster?

#38 Mel Johnson

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Posted 02 October 2003 - 04:28 PM

Yes, it provides impetus for the turn which follows it.

#39 Rachel

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Posted 18 December 2003 - 04:18 PM

An even better example of supported arms in pirouettes would be those of Jose Manuel Carreno. He also has some of the most beautiful pirouettes that I've ever seen. I can't help but notice Corella's tendancy to arch back in his pirouettes. Its quite noticable and prevents his turns from looking completely centered and effortless. By the way, I was watching a short clip of Alicia Alonso in the Black Swan Pas de Deux from the 60's or 70's. Her 6 pirouettes seemed to rival those of Sofianne Sylvie.

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#40 carbro

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Posted 18 December 2003 - 05:17 PM

An even better example of supported arms in pirouettes would be those of Jose Manuel Carreno. He also has some of the most beautiful pirouettes that I've ever seen.

And by going --->here, you can see just how very beautiful they are! :wink:


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