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The Kitri variations


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Poll: The Kitri variations (11 member(s) have cast votes)

Which version of Kitri's Act III variation do you prefer?

  1. The one with jetés (9 votes [81.82%])

    Percentage of vote: 81.82%

  2. The one with passés (2 votes [18.18%])

    Percentage of vote: 18.18%

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#1 scherzo

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 11:33 PM

This is about Kitri's Act III Grand Pas variation. I know there are probably several versions, but they broadly fall into two categories: the version which contains grand jetés, attitude turns and pas de chevals, and the version which contains many bourrées and rélevé passés.*

This is a question about the choreography: I know that some ballerinas sparkle in both, but go for the version which you generally prefer to watch. And of course post why you went for either one!

*I think those are the correct terms - my knowledge of ballet vocabulary is decidedly limited. :off topic:

#2 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 06:26 AM

the version which contains many bourrées and rélevé passés.*

the one with the diagonal of spring points and the little pas de cheval in between...?

#3 Paul Parish

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 09:24 AM

Excellent questoin, scherzo!!!

I have strong feelings on this, since the one with the little hops and pas de chevals looks like a folk dance set on point and I adore it, and the other one, wiht the gazillion passes is rhythmically banal and a terrible disappointment, IMHO. The Bolshoi always seems to dance the latter, so my HUNCH is that it's by Gsovsky or somebody. The former version is in the Kirov's rep, and I'd like to think it's by Petipa (since he liked folk dance steps) -- there's an OLD video of Toumanova (or is it Tallchief?), Kirkland also is on tape looking real skinny, not at her best, in that one... San Francisco Ballet's version uses this version also -- not sure, Christian, does the Cuban version use this one? It would be I THINK, in Alonzo's Ballets Russes tradition -- but in Havana, the Bolshoi connection may have prevailed.

Actually, I'm not nearly as certain about this as I sound, that's just the way I've pieced these together -- i would love to know the truth....

RG, Doug?

#4 Hans

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 04:15 PM

I didn't vote because my favorite is not on here: the one danced by Terekhova on the video of the Kirov's Don Quixote. I remember hearing that it is the original variation; it is in 3/4 time, and it is much more fun to watch (and probably to perform) IMO than the harp variation.

#5 carbro

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 05:35 PM

I didn't vote because my favorite is not on here: the one danced by Terekhova on the video of the Kirov's Don Quixote. I remember hearing that it is the original variation; it is in 3/4 time, and it is much more fun to watch (and probably to perform) IMO than the harp variation.


Not having seen that video in eons, is that the variation that starts with the back double cabriole? I like that one, too.

#6 Hans

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 06:15 PM

Yes, I think so, she does a developpé devant croisé, glissade, cabriole derrière in 1st arabesque.

#7 aurora

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 06:46 PM

I didn't vote because my favorite is not on here: the one danced by Terekhova on the video of the Kirov's Don Quixote. I remember hearing that it is the original variation; it is in 3/4 time, and it is much more fun to watch (and probably to perform) IMO than the harp variation.


Not having seen that video in eons, is that the variation that starts with the back double cabriole? I like that one, too.


its on youtube. as is a video of Osipova doing a variation to that music (put in Osipova, look under most recent, its her in a white dress listed as 1st variation from the grand pas).


what i don't get is there is another video of Osipova doing the passe passe version--and both seem to be indicating they are bolshoi, not guesting elsewhere....so what gives?

#8 scherzo

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 11:15 PM

I think that the video of Osipova shows her performing the 1st bridesmaid variation which is to the same music. It certainly suits her very well (those jumps!).

I must say I had forgotten about the Terekhova version...sorry! I should have put 'other' in the options, shouldn't I... :angel_not:

#9 Amy Reusch

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 09:24 PM

I know discussion of how the history of these two versions is somewhere on this board... I almost remember a discussion on one becoming de rigeur on one side of the iron curtain and the other remaining on the other side.. .but alas I don't remember.

What brought me here though is the pas de chevals in the "western" version... I ran across an old Toumanova film on youtube and notice for her they aren't pas de chevals at all... but much more flamenco-like:

Compare Tamara Toumanova @ 0:39


to Paloma Herrera @ 1:04




Paloma's are very pretty but Tamara's look like a Spanish girl's...

#10 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 12:21 AM

re: the harp variation.

Christian, does the Cuban version use this one? It would be I THINK, in Alonso's Ballets Russes tradition -- but in Havana, the Bolshoi connection may have prevailed.


Paul...the Cuban version uses the western choreography with the echapes and pas de cheval in the diagonal. Actually-(and I think I've said this before here)-I saw an old adagio in the NYPL danced by Mme. and Franklin from the BR years that not even Freddie himself was able to recall when I mentioned it to him! . "Oh dear..really...? Well, I danced with so many ballerinas, you know..!...where can I see that...?" :flowers:



#11 richard53dog

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 06:59 AM

I know discussion of how the history of these two versions is somewhere on this board... I almost remember a discussion on one becoming de rigeur on one side of the iron curtain and the other remaining on the other side.. .but alas I don't remember.

What brought me here though is the pas de chevals in the "western" version... I ran across an old Toumanova film on youtube and notice for her they aren't pas de chevals at all... but much more flamenco-like:

Compare Tamara Toumanova @ 0:39


to Paloma Herrera @ 1:04




Paloma's are very pretty but Tamara's look like a Spanish girl's...



I do like the version with the jetes more and enjoy both of these versions.

Toumanova's have a wonderful energy and crispness and she's very sensuous. Herrera was a very young dancer when this was taped and she does appear as a teenager rather than a spitfire but she's is very charming as Kitri and she makes some very lovely effects with her feet. I've actually always liked this version(with Corella) on the ABT gala program recorded about a ten or so years ago.

#12 Amy Reusch

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 08:30 AM

Why doesn't Toumanova do pas de cheval in the western variation? (Or maybe my question is... why does everyone else do pas de cheval in the western variation?) Toumanova's step really reminds me of the earlier section variation in front of the toreador capes.

#13 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 10:23 AM

And then there's that wonderful footage of Slavenska from the BRdMC documentary-(not available on Youtube)-doing those beautiful back traveling sautes/arabesque on pointe while fanning herself...! :clapping: -(same as the Cuban Black Swan coda, so I wonder if this was a popular step done back then...). She throws her fan to the floor at the end of the variation... :clapping: . But for me, the most BEAUTIFUL Kitri's variation recorded is Struchkova's. I wish someone would have the goats to go vintage and go back to the old timer crazy tempo.



#14 Brioche

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 12:39 AM

Off topic (a bit) yes Kirkland looks "real skinny" and I'm not sure when she didn't..anywho..there is much to love about her in that Wolf Trap video in Don Q AND the Coppelia 3rd act variation is quite something. :-)

Excellent questoin, scherzo!!!

I have strong feelings on this, since the one with the little hops and pas de chevals looks like a folk dance set on point and I adore it, and the other one, wiht the gazillion passes is rhythmically banal and a terrible disappointment, IMHO. The Bolshoi always seems to dance the latter, so my HUNCH is that it's by Gsovsky or somebody. The former version is in the Kirov's rep, and I'd like to think it's by Petipa (since he liked folk dance steps) -- there's an OLD video of Toumanova (or is it Tallchief?), Kirkland also is on tape looking real skinny, not at her best, in that one... San Francisco Ballet's version uses this version also -- not sure, Christian, does the Cuban version use this one? It would be I THINK, in Alonzo's Ballets Russes tradition -- but in Havana, the Bolshoi connection may have prevailed.

Actually, I'm not nearly as certain about this as I sound, that's just the way I've pieced these together -- i would love to know the truth....

RG, Doug?




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