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Paul Parish

Sleeping Beauty: Florine, part 2

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Sylvy started an EXCELLENT thread about bird-like arms in Florine's variation -- to wit, the ballerina uses her back, arms, and wrists as if she were flying, in the oldest versions of Florine's variation -- i.e., the Royal Ballet's, based on Sergeyev's notations -- which are left out in the current Russian versions.

There's another difference in the variations, though -- in the Sergeyev version, she hops on pointe while folding the working leg through from croise devant to efface arabesque. In the Russian version, she enveloppes the working leg to retire, then steps onto that foot and lifts the OTHER leg into croise derierre .

Who is responsible for the Russian choreography? Others may disagree, but personally I find it fussy: rhythmically and pictorially much less lovely.

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A lot depends on which Russian version you see. The present Maryinsky version is Konstantin Sergeyev's, while the Bolshoi makes use of some things tipped in by Gorsky. A very old version of this pas de deux was taught by Nijinska, and she had the Princess do ballonné sur la pointe to croisé devant, then passing back to one done to effacé derriere. Still had the fluttery hands, though. I have a feeling we're seeing the same kind of thing on a smaller scale that happened to the end of Swan Lake. Rothbart doesn't die because his magic is destroyed, he dies because Siegfried tears his wing off. Florine doesn't flutter because that would be too much like Politically Incorrect magic.

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Even though the Sergeyev is not what Petipa did--I believe Doug mentioned that the Royal Ballet's version is closer to the notation--I like it, I suppose because it's what I'm used to.

Just thinking aloud, perhaps the confusion that Florine is a bird started because of the hand-fluttering?

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My first exposure to Bluebird was via RB, so I prefer that way of doing it.

I think that you're correct about the confounding of human and avian characteristic, Hans.

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Another very strange thing about this pdd:

I noticed that Kirov version (as danced by Pankova; Asylmulatova is Aurora), Pankova does not do any hand fluterring; only listens, BUT she wears a feather on her head!! Why should she wear a feather if she is not a bird at all, but a princess with no "avian characteristics" (as Mr. Mel so funnily expresses)???

:D

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I wish I knew which version Alicia Alonso danced those many years ago at Ballet Theatre. (I suspect Dolin had a hand in it). Alonso was a regal ballerina--a Princess--and there was none of that hand fluttering, which makes me shudder everytime it is overdone. She had the manner of an Aurora.

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Why should she wear a feather if she is not a bird at all, but a princess with no "avian characteristics" (as Mr. Mel so funnily expresses)???

Most of the ladies in a 19th-century audience would have been wearing feather headdresses, etc. -- so ... why not?

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