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Question #6: Entrechats or Brises?


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#1 Alexandra

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Posted 17 April 2001 - 10:36 PM

Or nothing at all. Around the 1960s (if anyone knows of it earlier, please post) Albrechts began to insert a solo. Nureyev performed 36 entrechat sixes; Baryshnikov crossed the stage twice, on the diagonal, with a series of brises.

Which do you like? Or should Albrecht just be (mysteriously) off in the wings. (The question of, if Albrecht can fly off with Giselle into the wings, why doesn't he just get the heck out of there, could perhaps be a different topic.)

#2 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 18 April 2001 - 01:17 AM

Alexandra, the solo was introduced by Lifar in the 1930s (when he danced it at the Paris Opera with Spessivtseva). He performed the apparently endless series of entrechats.

I don't really prefer any of the two, as long as the result is the same: exhaustion (and not like Baryshnikov who continues to look like an athlete...).

It's also quite important that there is an interplay between Albrecht and Myrtha at this point. She commands him to dance.

In the recent Giselles from the Kirov I saw there was none. Most of the Albrechts performed their diagonals of "brisés" like madmen, without ever waiting for Myrtha's signal to continue. It looked downright silly to see Myrtha raise her arm when Albrecht was already gone.

#3 Françoise

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Posted 18 April 2001 - 03:11 AM

At POB, in old time they make brisés diagonale now they make entrechats more and more higher to seem to be attracted by dance power imposed by Myrtha. They stop it, go to see Myrtha which obliges them to continue to dance. They make a manege at this moment of famous Nijinsky'sauts - I dont know exactly the name, but one of his photography is token, in this position - and they catch Giselle who issued from the backstage. Sometimes old etoile make brisés, when they make the both. Charles Jude began with brisés diagonale and continued by Entrechats to finish by the manege to recuperate Giselle.

[ 04-18-2001: Message edited by: Françoise ]

#4 CygneDanois

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Posted 18 April 2001 - 09:28 AM

Françoise, I think that manège is made up of "temps (saut) de papillon."

I prefer entrechats six to brisés (probably because I'm better at them myself), but I also saw a combination of double sauts de basque to the knee, facing Myrtha. Each time he lands, she tells him to get up and dance some more.

And Albrecht can't just run away once he is in the wings because he's following Giselle, who must return to Myrtha and her grave.

#5 Alexandra

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Posted 18 April 2001 - 09:30 AM

I wonder if anyone in Russia did them before Lifar? There were huge changes in all the ballets there, too, in the 1930s.

One of my best Nureyev memories is of his entrechats in the National Ballet of Canada's production (I think it was Bruhn's). As he continued, his chest and shoulders sagged, yet the legs seemed to beat even faster, conveying quite clearly that his body was enchanted.

(I definitely agree about the tendency of some to turn this into a trick and forget about Myrtha.)

#6 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 18 April 2001 - 09:49 AM

Actually, the most effective thing I saw was a series of brise voles switching direction but staying in place. That Albrecht was able to use a slow, beseeching port de bras directed at Myrtha contrasted with the seemingly involuntary rapid movement of his legs to make it clear she was forcing him to do this.

#7 Guest_Balarina_*

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Posted 18 April 2001 - 03:23 PM

When I saw ABT perform Giselle a long time ago. I think that Albrecht did brises, and by the end he was exausted, not acting, which made the entire scene more belivable, because you could tell that he was veeeeery tired. So I would have to say brises.
Luv,
Heather

#8 Andrei

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Posted 21 April 2001 - 02:02 PM

Leigh, do you mean brise dessus-dessous?

#9 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 22 April 2001 - 12:46 AM

I'm not sure, Andrei! We always called them brise voles when I studied. It's the same step as in the Bluebird variation, but in the version I saw, they were made more interesting because Albrecht also changed his direction to face the downstage left corner, then the right.

#10 Helena

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Posted 22 April 2001 - 06:25 AM

When Nureyev introduced the entrechats to the Royal Ballet production in 1962, many of the establishment were very shocked, There is a well-known story that Nadia Nerina, when she came to perform the 32 fouettes in Act 3 of Swan Lake not long afterwards, grinned wickedly at the audience and proceeded to perform 32 entrechats instead - if he could mess about with RB tradition, so could she! Nureyev, who was in the audience, was reportedly furious.

#11 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 22 April 2001 - 08:07 AM

but they wouldn't be brisees volees because they all go in one direction, right? so it would be dessus or dessous (i guess dessus because that is over and "sous" is under?) and as they travel, it seems they're being done through fourth position and not fifth more or less, which i suspect would make them easier (though not less spectacular)...going back into the box now
:cool:

[ 04-22-2001: Message edited by: Mme. Hermine ]

#12 Mel Johnson

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Posted 22 April 2001 - 11:56 AM

But if you put a coupé between each pair...after all, that's what coupé is for - to change feet! :cool:

#13 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 22 April 2001 - 01:03 PM

No coupe as I recall - the dancer just switched his hips as he brought the leg out for jete so his body was facing an opposite direction. David Howard used to give stuff like this in combinations all the time.

#14 Mel Johnson

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Posted 22 April 2001 - 02:53 PM

Ah, so then it moved between a croisé and an effacé/ouvert line? Have to be the right dancer for that to work right - a lot of people don't look as good in the latter as the former positions. Obviously, the one you saw must have been; the image has stuck with you! :cool:

#15 Andrei

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Posted 22 April 2001 - 08:02 PM

Leigh, it's mean that he finisfed every brise with cou-de-pied in front, right? Did he travel forward a little bit? It sounds very demanding!


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