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Favourite Variations


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20 replies to this topic

#1 MinkusPugni

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 10:47 PM

Sorry, I didn't know where else to put this but what are your favourite variations in classical ballets? Mine would have to be:

1. The Sapphire Fairy from Act III of the Sleeping Beauty
2. Male Black Swan variation from Act III of Swan Lake (English Version)
3. Second Last Variation from the Pas de Six of Act III of Swan Lake
4. Raymonda's Scarf Variation Act I
5. Kitri's Variation from Act I of Don Quixote (Barishnikov's Version)

What are yours?!

#2 Hans

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 04:28 AM

Mine are, in no particular order:

1. James's variation from Act II of La Sylphide
2. Désiré's variation from Act III of The Sleeping Beauty
3. Kitri's variation from the Dream Sequence in Don Quixote
4. 1st Shade variation from La Bayadère
5. Both variations from the Flower Festival in Genzano pas de deux

#3 lisinka1

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 06:21 AM

In no particular order...

1. Raymonda - scarf variation and the one in the last act where she claps her hands. Ahhh...just gorgeous.

2. Kitri's variations from Don Quixote Pas De Deux and the variation in act I where she jumps with her leg almost touching the back of her head (is this a form of sissone?). Amour's variations in Don Quixote as well.

3. All three muses in Apollo.

4. Aurora's variation from the final pas de deux.

5. Female variation in the peasant pas de deux of Giselle.

Edited by lisinka1, 12 August 2005 - 09:21 AM.


#4 bart

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 06:57 AM

Dumb question: how does is a "variation" distinguished from an ordinary "solo"?

I was thinking of some solos in Balanchine, but suspect they are not variations. (On the other hand, the music in some of the dances listed above is not what I'm used to think of as "variation" music in the sense of "variation and fugue," for instance.

Help!

#5 drb

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 07:11 AM

1. Preghiera, Mozartiana, Suzanne Farrell
2. Odette's "I'm a swan again" exit, Act 2 Swan Lake, Natalia Makarova
3. Aurora, the Vision Scene from Sleeping Beauty, Ashley Bouder
4. Entrance to the Ball, Ashton's Cendrillon, Alina Cojocaru
5. Giselle's Act 2, as performed as one continuous variation by Amanda McKerrow

edited to reflect Hans's point that a variation is a solo

Edited by drb, 12 August 2005 - 10:27 AM.


#6 Hans

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 08:30 AM

bart, a ballet "variation" has nothing to do with the musical term; it essentially means a solo dance (there may be more to that than I know). Could you give an example of the Balanchine solos? I would consider, for example, the muses in Apollo to each have a variation.

#7 bart

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 11:16 AM

Thanks, Hans. I was thinking first of all of The Four Temperaments. Melancholic, Sanguinic, etc., are described as "First Variation," "Second Variation," etc., though I would have considered them extended solos. Sanguinic as one of my all-time favorites -- especially since it is the only one I can visualize quite clearly in memory.

I was just looking at the Merrill Ashley Ballo della Regina (to compare with a DanceView review of the Miami City performance. Her "solo" (especially as Ashley dances it) has always been a very big favorite of mine. There are also smaller parts for 4 women, where the dancing of each flows into the dancing of the next. I guess these are "variations." I like the total effect very much, though the individual parts aren't much outside the larger pattern of four, each dancer's movements flowing into the movements of the dancer who replaces her.

I was also thinking of several of the variations involving Raymonda's 2 female friends -- and, the 2 lead spirits in Act I, scene ii -- and how each variation relates to the next. Each time they appear, one dances adagio and the other alegro or alegretto. They complement each other.

And how about the two Wilis who are Myrthe's seconds-in-command. Sometimes given names, sometimes not. Wonderful dancing -- and they provide a transition in scale and individuality between the dominatrix Myrthe on one side, and the anonymous corps of Wilis on the other. I've always liked the steps they do and where they are moved about the stage in relation to the others. Only once, however, in a long-ago performance by a company I can no longer recall, did I think that they were differentiated (touchingly so) as to personality as well as steps.

Great topic, and one which will make me look more closely and thoughtfully at the soloist and demi-soloist dancers who appear briefly (but often to mavellous effect) while the principals are taking a breather off-stage.

#8 Hans

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 12:14 PM

I haven't heard the music for 4T's in a while, but I wonder if perhaps Hindemith called the different sections "variations" in the musical sense and then Balanchine kept that? :nixweiss:

My initial thought is to say that a variation is a separate dance with its own music, but Bournonville variations flow in and out of the rest of his choreography. Maybe one could say there's a difference between what is generally thought of as a "classical variation" (the type that often occurs during a pas de deux) and a "solo"? I'm not sure there's really a clear-cut answer.

#9 Giselle05

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 02:17 PM

Women:
1. Turning girl in Who Cares? ("My One and Only")
2. Black Swan variation
3. Apollo- Terpischore
4. "finger" fairy variation from Sleeping Beauty (eek! anyone know what I'm referring to?)
5. Variation from Don Quixote, Grand Pas de Deux
6. A few from Raymonda, don't know how to describe
7. Mercedes' variation from Act One, Don Quixote

Men:
1. Variation from Don Quixote, Grand Pas de Deux
2. Slave from Act Two, Le Corsaire
3. Male variation from Theme and Variations

#10 Helene

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 02:31 PM

The lead male variations in Chaconne and Mozartiana.

Oberon's Scherzo in Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

The female soloist in the Grand Pas Classique and the two female soloists in the Dream Sequence in Raymonda. (I've only seen the Bolshoi/Grigorovich production, and I'm not sure whose choreography they are.)

Aurora's variation in the Vision scene.

The piano solo variation from Harlequinade.

The Four Seasons variations in Kent Stowell's Cinderella.

The "jumping" variation from Ballo.

One from Divertimento, but I'm not sure if it is Adams' or LeClerq's.

All of them from Balanchine's La Source.

Edited by Helene, 12 August 2005 - 03:23 PM.


#11 drb

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 02:59 PM

One ballet is common to every (enumerated) list so far, "Sleeping Beauty." And only a couple of times is it the same variation! Maybe it is not such a bad ballet after all!

#12 GeorgeB fan

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 04:27 PM

MEN
Conrad's in Le Corsaire
Albrecht's second act in Giselle
Male Solo in Balanchine's Square Dance
The Melancholic section in Balanchine's The Four Temperaments
Basil's solo in the Grand Pas de Deux from Don Quixote
Apollo's variation after the Muses
The Blue Blue solo in Sleeping Beauty


WOMEN
The Violette Verdy's solo in Emeralds
Suzanne Farrell's solo in Tzigane
Fascinating Rhythm solo from Balanchine's Who Cares?
Odette's second act solo in Swan Lake
Odile's solo from the Black Swan Pas de Deux
Polyhymnia's solo in Apollo
All of Kiti's variations in Don Quixote
Giselle's mad scene (not sure if that could be called a variation, but she is dancing by herself)
The Mazurka variation in Les Sylphides
The Prelude variation in Les Sylphides

#13 Marga

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Posted 13 August 2005 - 08:00 AM

Cupid (Amor) -- Don Q (same variation in Paquita, done without the "hushing" finger)
Dulcinea -- Don Q
First shade -- La Bayadère
Third shade -- La Bayadère
Peasant, version with attitude pliés -- Giselle
Canary fairy -- Sleeping Beauty
Kitri w/fan , part of Grand Pas de Deux-- Don Q
Lise -- La Fille Mal Gardée
Third Odalisque -- Le Corsaire
Aurora, First Act, ending with backward diagonal w/pirouettes -- Sleeping Beauty
Most variations -- Paquita

#14 MinkusPugni

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Posted 13 August 2005 - 03:03 PM

Dumb question:  how does is a "variation" distinguished from an ordinary "solo"?

I was thinking of some solos in Balanchine, but suspect they are not variations.  (On the other hand, the music in some of the dances listed above is not what I'm used to think of as "variation" music in the sense of "variation and fugue," for instance. 

Help!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Bart, a variation comes after a "Pas de..." or a "Grand Pas...." or something similar where there are a certain number of people who all perform variations after the main dance (sometimes including an introduction) and then perform a coda at the end of the variations which finishes the pas. (eg. a "Pas de Deux" / "Pas de Trois" / "Pas de Quatre" etc, "Grand Pas" / "Grand Pas Classique", etc) A "Pas Seul" or solo is a solo that comes for the entertainment of people or another reason that isn't linked to any other dances. For example, "Dawn" and "Prayer" from Coppelia or Giselle's act I Pas Seul.

#15 MinkusPugni

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Posted 13 August 2005 - 03:05 PM

Cupid (Amor) -- Don Q (same variation in Paquita, done without the "hushing" finger)
Dulcinea -- Don Q
First shade -- La Bayadère
Third shade -- La Bayadère
Peasant, version with attitude pliés -- Giselle
Canary fairy -- Sleeping Beauty
Kitri w/fan , part of Grand Pas de Deux-- Don Q
Lise -- La Fille Mal Gardée
Third Odalisque -- Le Corsaire
Aurora, First Act, ending with backward diagonal w/pirouettes -- Sleeping Beauty
Most variations -- Paquita

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I love all the Sleeping Beauty Fairies! And I also love all the Odalisque variations! You have some great choices there.


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