cubanmiamiboy

Act I. Spessivtzeva's solo. Coda's diagonal.

20 posts in this topic

While increasing my Giselle video collection with my latest adquisition-(Natasha/Misha)-I started to notice how common is the substitution of the final diagonal of pirouettes by the pique turns sequence at the coda during Spessivtzeva's solo. Then I started to review all my videos and clips and realized that the diagonal is almost nowhere to be found anymore. Besides the Cuban company, only Fracci appears performing it on a clip. This are fragments from a dialogue from a fellow Youtube poster on the topic.

CMB: "Everything is fine, but WHY DO THEY KEEP IGNORING Spessivtzeva's diagonal...?! (given the fact that pique turns sequences are just in every other Petipa variation, from Dulcinea's solo to Odile's)"

QD: "What is interesting is that the Russians themselves never adopted the tradition of the famous Spessivtzeva diagonal. It took 2 great non-Russian Alicias to honor the great Olga!!!Markova,and Alonso.

CMB: "I wonder if the diagonal is still performed at the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma."

QD: "From what i know, at Scala they do the piques. Alessandra never did the Spessivtseva diagonal, even in CUBA when she danced Giselle there".

So, I have some questions. :

1-Does anybody remember how was this coda performed back in the days?-(In America or anywhere else)

2-Is the diagonal still performed in any other Company, aside from Alonso's ?

3-Is it still performed at Fracci's Company?

Thanks in advance! :bow:

Share this post


Link to post
1-Does anybody remember how was this coda performed back in the days?-(In America or anywhere else)

It isn't lost.

shows how :) The Original performed it. :bow:

Share this post


Link to post
1-Does anybody remember how was this coda performed back in the days?-(In America or anywhere else)

It isn't lost.

shows how :) The Original performed it. :bow:

Oh, I know it is VERY alive. This is precisely the starting point in my thoughts about the coda. I never saw the pique-turns substitution until I came to US-(by ABT). Among all the videos and live performances that I've seen of S'Solo, just Markova, Alonso-(along with all her ballerinas until present day)-and Fracci seem to have followed the diagonal. I just wanted to find out when and where the substitution started.

Share this post


Link to post

Miss Sevillano had learned the role from Gelsey Kirkland, while at the London Festival Ballet-(and Kirkland did the pique-turns, as one can see from her clip),but later on she went to dance the role in Havana, where she was coached and tought the diagonal.

Share this post


Link to post

One beautiful rendition of the Pas Seul. Ah, Hayna...if only things would had been different and you would had stayed in MCB and dance for us here...crying.gif

Share this post


Link to post

Maybe some ballerinas will learn it and decide to substitute this version into their performances one day. Sometimes it just takes one person to do something and others will follow, but currently from what you say hardly anyone does it. Maybe no teachers are teaching this version of the variation.

Share this post


Link to post

Maybe some ballerinas will learn it and decide to substitute this version into their performances one day. Sometimes it just takes one person to do something and others will follow, but currently from what you say hardly anyone does it. Maybe no teachers are teaching this version of the variation.

It is, sadly, quite "lost" already...

Share this post


Link to post

Thank you, Christian, for posting haina -- beautiful in every way. the sharp precipite, the arabesques so pure and so light, perched like a bird on a bough -- everything about it, lovely generosity in performance.

This diagonal is taught by Frederick Frankilin when he sets Giselle. oakland Ballet does it. I haven't see n Dance Theater of Harlem's in some time, but I believe they did it. It's the Ballets Russes version.

Share this post


Link to post

This diagonal is taught by Frederick Frankilin when he sets Giselle. oakland Ballet does it. I haven't see n Dance Theater of Harlem's in some time, but I believe they did it. It's the Ballets Russes version.

Oh, Paul...how WONDERFUL! I wonder if I could ever see that company.. I would be very interesting to compare both versions. One thing i notice from Fracci to Johnson to all the Cubans is that they, unlike the Russians and Americans, don't get the initial arabesques into penchees. It still kind of shocks me a bit to see the amplitude of the Russians in this step in Giselle.

Thanks so much for the clue on the Harlem company! I will rent the DVD.

Share this post


Link to post

This diagonal is taught by Frederick Frankilin when he sets Giselle. oakland Ballet does it. I haven't see n Dance Theater of Harlem's in some time, but I believe they did it. It's the Ballets Russes version.

Oh, Paul...how WONDERFUL! I wonder if I could ever see that company.. I would be very interesting to compare both versions. One thing i notice from Fracci to Johnson to all the Cubans is that they, unlike the Russians and Americans, don't get the initial arabesques into penchees. It still kind of shocks me a bit to see the amplitude of the Russians in this step in Giselle.

Thanks so much for the clue on the Harlem company! I will rent the DVD.

The funny thing is, just as for you, it has to be the diagonal, for me, it should be a penchee.

The difference is, I can appreciate the variation done well either way.

Share this post


Link to post

The difference is, I can appreciate the variation done well either way.

You're right. I can't. My bad. flowers.gif

Share this post


Link to post

I love love LOVE the way Spesssivtsiva opens her arms on the pique arabesque - -from high fifth the upper body blooms as he arabesque endures -- her arms are so soft and "natural," Blasis-esque in every pique, the finger-tips are so alive. I don't think I've ever seen this quality in any other GIselle, not in this solo -- they usually "hold" the arms-- "drier," as Fonteyn would say.

This is all so radiantly simple -- she looks like Snow White, if I may say that without prejudice.

Thank you Mme Hermine.

Share this post


Link to post

CNB Primera bailarina Barbara Garcia dancing the variation in her early 40's.

Share this post


Link to post

Ashley Bouder did it:

Thanks for the clip, canbelto. Wasn't this a performance that Bouder did somewhere in Europe a while ago, along with some ofther ballerinas guesting in the same role in a course of several days...? I remember a read about it, and saw a pic of all of them standing next to each other. Did that take place in Italy...? If so, maybe Fracci had something to do with the staging...? I have never seen a clip of the ballet of la Opera di Roma, but la Scalla does the Russian-pique turns version. I wonder if Fracci kept the version she danced in the video with Bruhn. She also seemed to be close to Dolin, from what we saw in the documentary.

Share this post


Link to post

Also, Natalia Osipova talked about not being "allowed" to do the Spessivtseva diagonal by her coaches at the Bolshoi in an interview with ballet.co.uk. I can't locate the interview right now but I found that a weird statement.

Share this post


Link to post

Also, Natalia Osipova talked about not being "allowed" to do the Spessivtseva diagonal by her coaches at the Bolshoi in an interview with ballet.co.uk. I can't locate the interview right now but I found that a weird statement.

Wow...although I wouldn't doubt it. Russians seem to have kept their Giselle untouchable for a long time, and Olga's were latter additions, so I guess they are considered non traditional...? Also, they took place and developed out of Russia, so I guess they have never been performed there...? If you think of it, they neither do Sppessivtzeva's iconic three fish dives of Beauty-(aren't Russians probably the ONLY ones who don't perform them, actually...?)

Share this post


Link to post

Also, Natalia Osipova talked about not being "allowed" to do the Spessivtseva diagonal by her coaches at the Bolshoi in an interview with ballet.co.uk. I can't locate the interview right now but I found that a weird statement.

Wow...although I wouldn't doubt it. Russians seem to have kept their Giselle untouchable for a long time, and Olga's were latter additions, so I guess they are considered non traditional...? Also, they took place and developed out of Russia, so I guess they have never been performed there...? If you think of it, they neither do Sppessivtzeva's iconic three fish dives of Beauty-(aren't Russians probably the ONLY ones who don't perform them, actually...?)

From the Osipova's Giselle at the Royal thread...

"I really like Spessivtseva’s diagonal, more than our traditional turns. But I wasn’t allowed to do it, not yet. If I dance this ballet often and it really becomes part of my repertoire, I will dance the diagonal. My coach thinks that it is an acceptable version, and quite possibly it will be a better and more effective one for me. For the moment, though, it’s better not to do it; there is lots of talk as it is."

Share this post


Link to post