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Question #6: Entrechats or Brises?


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#16 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 23 April 2001 - 01:07 AM

Oh dear, this is 16 years ago! As I recall it (which could be wrong) he did a few brise voles front, back, front. . . drat! I had to get up and do the step in my apartment to figure it out! My guess is Medhi threw in a jete battu after a brise to switch directions.

#17 Mel Johnson

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Posted 23 April 2001 - 05:56 AM

Now that makes sense, too! :cool:

#18 felursus

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Posted 23 April 2001 - 07:35 PM

Maybe someone can help me out here: the first person I recall having personally seen doing the entrechats was Eric Bruhn. But I'd also hate to hazard a guess at the year! I remember being bowled over at the sight. He seemed to be enchanted - almost as though Myrtha was making him do more and more in the hope his heart would break. :cool:

#19 Drew

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Posted 23 April 2001 - 09:28 PM

Helena -- I LOVE the story about Nadia Nerina. Actually, I found it so hilarious I couldn't help wondering if it was the ballet equivalent of an urban legend. Very much hoping it's true though!

#20 Alexandra

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Posted 23 April 2001 - 11:00 PM

felursus, I don't know whether Bruhn or Nureyev did them first -- I thought Nureyev, but they may both have gotten them from someone else (What did Youskevitch do? Bruhn said that he was very influenced by Youskevitch.)

Like Drew, I love the Nerina story. I thought it was a true; I think it made it into at least one of the Nureyev biographies. Of course, this was at a time when people CARED when they changed what was considered a standard text :cool:

#21 Helena

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Posted 24 April 2001 - 03:52 AM

I'm sure the Nerina story is true. I wasn't at the performance, but I did live in London at the time and I think I heard about it first hand. It's mentioned in Diane Solway's book, and also in John Percival's much earlier (1976) biography. Percival was the respected and reliable critic of the Times. He wouldn't have invented stories.

#22 angelica

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 06:12 PM

I cast my vote for brises. I find the entrechat sixes really boring, I don't care how much faster or higher they go. Brise is a GORGEOUS step when the line is perfect and you're doing it desperately at the command of a Veronika or Stella. Ballet is most of all about "line."

#23 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 11:46 PM

Entrechats for me, and if they are divine a la Soloviev, then...

#24 bart

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 11:46 AM

Alastair Macaulay's comparison of three Giselles danced last week by American Ballet Theater (Vishneva/Gomes; Osipova/Hallberg; Cojocaru/Corella), says the following.

The lucidity with which Mr. Hallberg criss-crosses his feet in the entrechat-six jumps of Act II (he does a series of 24 of these) is unparalleled.

[ ... ]

When [Gomes] does that series of entrechat-six jumps, he shows with the gradual ascent of his arms the strange exaltation of spirit Albrecht attains as he nears the love-death end for which he hopes.

[ ... ]

Neither [Cojocaru nor Corella] won any Giselle competition in terms of technical display; yet everything seemed about the beating of their brimful hearts. In his biggest Act II solo, Mr. Corella chooses to perform the two more overtly passionate diagonals of brises -- traveling jumps in which the legs aim forward while rapidly crisscrossing -- instead of the more sensational entrechat-six.


http://www.nytimes.c...?_r=1&ref=dance

#25 Stage Right

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 04:52 PM

I think it is the element of traveling through space that gives the brises the edge, IMO. The entrechat-six stays in one place (except vertically, of course), and therefore has more potential for "repetitive stress" in the viewer, whereas the sense of flying (fleeing?) through space engages the viewer on another level besides technique.

#26 Paul Parish

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 06:03 PM

I find the entrechats more haunting, the brisees more desperate. I've seen both done as tricks, which broke hte mood completely -- but I've seen both done poetically, and in each case they belonged to a large and subtle interpretation of the role.

Let me praise San Francisco Ballet's Tiit Helimets in this role -- and at the moment in question. He's entrancing in this passage --his feet are almost as beautiful as Hallberg's, and his lyrical way of performing the sixes makes something astoundingly prayerful out of the series of them, like a mantra, or the Rosary, where the repetitions bring the intention to hypnotic focus -- it's paradoxical,since it staysthe same but fluctuates (like hte Willis trembling bourrees) --you're seeing eternal sous-sus, as if through tears.

#27 carbro

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 10:25 PM

The only reason I can imagine for the entrechats is if Albrecht's brises are so poor he's dropped the step from his vocabulary Posted Image. The passage is not about Albrecht's gorgeous arches or the precise articulation of his batterie.

Here see a contest of wills here between Myrtha and Albrecht. I can almost feel the tension between them, pull-release, pull-release, like a rubber band.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jFhKiS38gc&feature=relmfu

#28 JMcN

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 08:22 AM

Let me praise San Francisco Ballet's Tiit Helimets in this role -- and at the moment in question. He's entrancing in this passage --his feet are almost as beautiful as Hallberg's, and his lyrical way of performing the sixes makes something astoundingly prayerful out of the series of them, like a mantra, or the Rosary, where the repetitions bring the intention to hypnotic focus -- it's paradoxical,since it staysthe same but fluctuates (like hte Willis trembling bourrees) --you're seeing eternal sous-sus, as if through tears.


Thank's for reminding me about Tiit Helimet's wonderful Albrecht. I was very lucky to see him perform this role with Birmingham Royal Ballet. In the same series of performances Chi Cao also performed the role so beautifully that I was reduced to tears in every performance I saw. Chi also did entechats. His feet were breath-takingly beautiful but at the same time he was able to portray anguish and despair.


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