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Does that stuff of 32 fouettes really exixt???

47 posts in this topic

Just got around to looking at the Ananiashvili video in Post #2. . Thank you so much, Margo, for posting it. I especially love the way she ends the sequence in a pose that tells us a great deal about Odile when the social pretense is been dropped -- steely, commanding, triumphant, glamourously evil. . It is only when she smiles to acknowledge the applause that she breaks character.

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Thank you so much, Margo, for posting it.

I too loved that video (I even saved it....which I rarely do).

It impacted me because I surprised myself that I so much liked the "simple" use of 32 straight fouettes instead of the complicating doubles etc. The extra pyrotecnnics are fun, but there is something so pure, clean, and....what the heck, I'll just say it....artistic about doing it so straight and so powerfully.

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i saw martine van hamel's first odette/odile with ballet theatre; halfway through the fouettes she was traveling quite a bit and in the middle switched to en dedans fouettes

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i saw martine van hamel's first odette/odile with ballet theatre; halfway through the fouettes she was traveling quite a bit and in the middle switched to en dedans fouettes

Wow--I don't think I've ever seen that; maybe the lead in Ballo Della Regina does a few?

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It impacted me because I surprised myself that I so much liked the "simple" use of 32 straight fouettes instead of the complicating doubles etc. The extra pyrotecnnics are fun, but there is something so pure, clean, and....what the heck, I'll just say it....artistic about doing it so straight and so powerfully.

Absolutely! 32 singles brilliantly done make a stunning impression--in my experience much more exciting than anything I have ever seen replace it. (Semenyaka in Act III Swan Lake and Kirkland in Act III of Don Quixote are particularly charged memories)

The doubles, triples and other tricks usually look slower and more mechanical to me (and I speak of doubles and triples done well without the uncontrolled travelling and grimacing they sometimes engender).

Worse yet, doubles and triples are occasionally done with an air of seeming improvisation, as if the ballerina is not entirely in control of her effects--that is, a double alternates with a single steadily for the first 16 or so and then a triple is 'thrown in' etc. here and there, seemingly arbitrarily, or suddenly one gets two singles in a row as if the double did not come off etc. etc.

Of course, it's fun gala fare to see the doubles/triples, but I have actually come to feel slightly frustrated that "top" virtuoso ballerinas now seem to disdain Legnani's specialty. What I would not give to see someone like Osipova just "whip off" 32 single fouettes at top speed. Too easy? I should like to see today's ballerinas show us just how easy it is to challenge the likes of Semenyaka and Kirkland for power, speed, and brilliance in fouettes. (I write as a passionate fan of today's ballerinas, including an exciting virtuoso--even, arguably, a bit of a showboater--like Osipova.)

As far as flubbed fouettes goes: I thought the 'standard' fall back position for a ballerina unable to complete them was a series of piqué turns, which I think has also been a fall back for ballerinas who can't do the fouttes at all...Cinnamonswirl mentioned this above...

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It seems to me that the whole point of the fouettés in Swan Lake is to provide a final, mesmerizing, exclamation point to the seduction of the Prince. After those spiraling spins, he should be completely hypnotized in order to truly believe that Odile is his beloved Odette.

That is why I also think that 32 straightforward single fouettés is the way to go. You just can't cast a spell if you keep interrupting the rhythm of the turns! The doubles and triples and other tricks should be reserved for Don Q where they are appropriate.

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Cinnamonswirl's post #20 mentions the fouette music in Don Q. I've just had a look at a couple of clips on youtube and to my untrained ear that also has short groupings that a conductior could break out of if the ballerina wanted to finish early.

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some unusual fouettes from Jennifer Gelfand:

Cool. In this case I like the dramatic effect of the various ways she departs from single fouettes. I guess for me it depends on the story situation and on the "feel " of the music.

Quite spectacular isn't she!

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Cool. In this case I like the dramatic effect of the various ways she departs from single fouettes. I guess for me it depends on the story situation and on the "feel " of the music.

That sounds like the right approach though I would add explicitly (what you were probably assuming)--it also depends on the quality (better strong singles than sloppy doubles)...but I have come to miss brilliant, whipping, fast singles...

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.....it also depends on the quality (better strong singles than sloppy doubles)

For sure.

Even beyond that......even if the 2 performances are strong, one dancer might add a flair, or a characterization, that makes one strong performance work where the other doesn't.

Performing arts are a funny thing, aren't they? In the final analysis, the only thing that really counts is your reaction to it. If you like it, you like it; if you don't, you don't. Many times, there is no more to it than that.....in spite of the all the words we bandy about. I will say there is one glaring pitfall to the philosophy I just espoused; namely, that we, the audience, may miss something in the performance, or in the creator's intent, that if we knew more and understood more, we might like (or even more than like) the piece. I can think of many, many situations where I didn't particularly like something, but then seeing it again, even the next night, or perhaps years later after I've come to appreciate that style, the piece comes together for me and I then love it.

I know what I attempt to do as much as possible, and that is to approach anything I don't particularly like (unless it is obviously amateurish) as my problem, not the problem of the piece. I can count on one hand the times that did not turn out to be the case wink.gif. As an aside, just read movie reviews by the viewing public.......if I read one more that says; "What a boring movie, no plot whatsoever" about a non-shoot-em-up movie that has deep characterization, I will scream.

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but I have come to miss brilliant, whipping, fast singles...

Me too. Is it possible that audiences nowadays see singles as a kind of cheating? An admission that one can't do more?

I'm not sure of the narrataive context for the Gelfand fouettes but ... isn't Esmeralda a street dancer? -- i.e. a popular entertainer. Given that particular "story situation,: to use Sandy's term, it makes sense to be a little flashy.

But, she seems to require a rather slow tempo to get through them. She shifts to pique pirouettes before the end of the music, which may defeat her earlier bravura intentions.

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not really, bart; i think the idea was to get faster and faster gradually; jennifer was easily capable of very fast turns as well; she comes out of four pirouettes into a short run of fast chaines and where the film cuts off, she runs upstage to join her partner, so she wasnt meant to do any more fouettes than she did.

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One of the reasons I dislike the trick in the first place is how rarely fouettes are done well and properly. Most of the time, especially with singles, the place the leg whips migrate to the front and the working leg gets sloppy. At least with doubles it's more likely that the dancer does the full rotation in passe and has a chance to reset for the next "whip."

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What I notice a lot, included in this last clip, is a tendency to not extend the working leg all the way a la seconde, but to keep it bent at the knee. It is really rare to find nowadays a ballerina extending her fouette to a perfect 90 degree angle, as it Miss Suarez does here next...

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You know, everyone has some part of a step that they're better at than others, or at least very good at. It's easier to pull it apart into itsy bitsy components with a film than real life, because in real life you only get to see it once (even if you have a film; how many times I've seen a film of a show I saw and not had it quite seem the same, and I was there!). And sometimes a position that's achieved for only a split second appears to not be there at all, and yet if you had the ability to be that precise with stopping a film you could see it was achieved, just barely, or for a tiny nanosecond.

I suppose at some point we will find a dancer who does one fouette and 32 pirouettes someday! FIREdevil.gif

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Someone will build a tiny turntable counterpart to the contraption that allows the Sugar Plum Fairy glide in the Balanchine Nutcracker.laugh.png

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Around 2:50 of this four-part documentary about Swan Lake on YouTube ("The Magic of Swan Lake") featuring Darcey Bussell and Ulyana Lopatkina they talk about the history of the 32 fouettes. Let's see if I can embed it properly!

http://www.youtube.c...bed/YQLGNOPBJrw

Edited by carbro

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Thank you, ashenpashen, and welcome to BalletAlert!

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