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Entrance of the Shades


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#16 Cygnet

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Posted 14 July 2005 - 01:17 PM

[ ". . . watching the Kirov entrance always places me in a state of trance."] I agree with you Mohnurka! :P When the corps has unanimity of impulse, it's an awesome thing to behold. They're mirror images of each other. My favorite part is when the last corps member completes her penchee, and they all close ranks and step into 5th to begin the centerwork. IMHO an excellent corps makes Act 3 fool proof. Act 3 would be 'boring' if the principals are ill-matched, or especially if the Nikiya is miscast. I think A. Croce said it best: "I know Nikiya is supposed to be dead; but blind?!"

#17 Farrell Fan

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Posted 14 July 2005 - 02:26 PM

I feel so strongly about this that I will not resist piling on. Whoever is bored by the entrance of the shades is bored by ballet.

#18 Old Fashioned

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Posted 14 July 2005 - 05:47 PM

I <3 Shades. :P

I've never seen Bayadere performed live, but watching the Nureyev production for POB on video was a life altering experience. Haha, not really, but like everyone else has said, I also find the entrance hypnotic and mesmerizing. Watching the POB corps girls coming down the ramp one by one with their lovely hyperextended knees and high insteps creating those beautiful lines was enough to convince me this must be one of the most brilliant moments ever created in ballet, regardless of the repetition.

#19 Kate B

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 12:28 AM

I do always feel sorry for the shades in front who have to do so many of those little arabesques...

#20 MinkusPugni

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 03:19 AM

I am glad to hear your responses but you obviously didn't read what I wrote. I wouldn't be taking out the penchee entrance (by the way, only originally were they not penchees - now every company (except ones who suck) do penchees) I would merely be adjusting it to make it shorter. I am surprised that all of you are so against the idea. To me, all that is attractive about the entrance of the shades is the beautiful music which I think should be expressed through more than just penchees but through mournful dance.

#21 GWTW

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 04:15 AM

I wouldn't be taking out the penchee entrance (by the way, only originally were they not penchees - now every company (except ones who suck) do penchees) I would merely be adjusting it to make it shorter.


I don't want to flog a dead horse, so I'll leave the aesthetics out of it, but the Shades scene isn't just a bunch of pretty girls dancing. If you make the entrance shorter, you lose the hypnotic-hallucinatory quality which establishes the fact that this is Solor's pipe dream.

#22 Hans

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 04:28 AM

Exactly GWTW. Having the dancers come down two ramps would ruin the simplicity too.

As for what the step actually is, the British would call it first arabesque fondue. In Vaganova technique, when performing this movement it is appropriate to lean the body forward slightly and raise the leg. This is not a penché, and I've never seen it performed as a penché (which would look terrible).

#23 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 05:04 AM

isn't it sort of an allongee?

Exactly GWTW.  Having the dancers come down two ramps would ruin the simplicity too. 

As for what the step actually is, the British would call it first arabesque fondue.  In Vaganova technique, when performing this movement it is appropriate to lean the body forward slightly and raise the leg.  This is not a penché, and I've never seen it performed as a penché (which would look terrible).

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



#24 bart

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 05:35 AM

When the corps has unanimity of impulse, it's an awesome thing to behold.  They're mirror images of each other.  My favorite part is when the last corps member completes her penchee, and they all close ranks and step into 5th to begin the centerwork.

1) I like that word "impulse," cygnet -- their IS a sort of "pulse" to the movement when well done. And maybe that's what makes it hypnotic in effect. Like slow-motion film of pulsing ina line through a tiny capillary. It becomes something beyond -- and emotionally much larger than -- the individual choices, efforts and even technique of the dancers.

2) I really agree with your "favorite part" -- the entree is a preparation for the lovely corps work that follows, and is too often discussed in isolation. Imagine how strange it would look if the corps merely arabesqued their way across the stage and exited on the other side. An entry without something to enter FOR is incomplete.

#25 Kate B

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 05:44 AM

I'm now getting shivers down my spine just reading this thread.

And how fantastic that I will see the Kirov's Bayadere on the 30th!

(Sorry if this is showing off. :wub: :wink: )

#26 atm711

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 05:45 AM

I could never get enough of that entrance---so much so, that I made my own tape of four different company's performances---one after the other and I play it when I am looking for some serenity.....

#27 Hans

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 06:02 AM

Mme. Hermine it is sometimes performed as first arabesque allongé (that is, with the front arm raised higher than usual) but it depends on the company. I don't have any videos with me at the moment, but when I get home I can compare the Royal Ballet, Kirov, and Bolshoi.

#28 Dr. Coppelius

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 06:40 AM

It would be interesting to see how the entrance of the shades would look like if Matthew Bourne would renew it.
Would male dancers make it more amusing to watch?

#29 Hans

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 06:46 AM

Dr. Coppelius, I definitely think "amusing" would be the word for it! :wink:

#30 rg

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 09:16 AM

i have seen many a company perform the SHADES scene in the past 30+ years but i have never seen any execute the sequence to include true penche-move arabesques. i find the 'penche' term applied to the shades' choreography a common misnomer in ballet lore.
similarly, the heroine in COTILLON was long said to climax the ballet w/ a series of fouette turns - t.toumanova was the role's originator. from the reconstruction staging i saw the concluding choreography includes a series grandes piroutte, but no fouette turns.


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