Birdsall

Least Favorite Variation

25 posts in this topic

Does anyone have a least favorite variation? I have to say mine is the "Le Petit Corsaire" variation that Medora dances with the megaphone in Le Corsaire. I have seen it in the Bolshoi's reconstruction, and I just think it is so silly and most of the time she is just skipping around. To me it comes off as such a filler piece. I read it was popular and one of the first ballet pieces ever filmed. So what am I missing? Luckily for me I don't think many companies include it, or am I wrong?

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I love that variation :lol: After I saw Maria Alexandrova do it, I wanted to join the pirates!

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To me it seems like all she's doing is running around and not doing much. LOL

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It's not a variation but a duet -- the Puss 'n' Boots from Act III of Sleeping Beauty. Even when it's cast with a favorite dancer (or two!), I can't wait until it's over.

I think this is a great topic, Bart B., and I'm surprised no one's posed the question yet. I'm sure I'll enjoy reading some of the responses, and I'm equally sure I'll be confounded, even angered, by others.

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I don't like Jester variations in "Swan Lake". I dislike almost all of Nureyev's male variations, finding them fussy and overdone. I'm not a fan of Ali in "Le Corsaire" and prefer the variations to be done by Conrad. I never liked the Sugar Plum Fairy variation in the version of "The Nutcracker" that was filmed with Gelsey Kirkland.

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The Princess Florine variation from The Sleeping Beauty. That music really gets on my nerves :(

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From long overexposure, I have a real, visceral aversion to Russian (Candycane), Chinese (Tea), and Arabian (Coffee) in Nutcracker. And Mother Ginger? Don't get me started. And while they're fun to dance, the Mazurka in Swan Lake Act III is always "close your eyes and listen to the music"-worthy

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From long overexposure, I have a real, visceral aversion to Russian (Candycane), Chinese (Tea), and Arabian (Coffee) in Nutcracker. And Mother Ginger? Don't get me started. And while they're fun to dance, the Mazurka in Swan Lake Act III is always "close your eyes and listen to the music"-worthy

LOL I laughed out loud about Mother Ginger. I sort of think that is a cheap trick to get the audience going, "Ahhhhh" when the kids come out.

I love the Russian Candy canes in the Royal Ballet's version but not a big fan of the Balanchine version. The Balanchine candy canes are fun to see ONCE but after that not so much.

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Coffee from Arabia and its usual display of contorsionists...

Coffee does seem to go on and on forever.

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I've got to the stage where I try not to watch any variation set to the music of the arabian dance from the Nutcracker.

I read somewhere that Diaghilev included this variation in his "Sleeping Princess". Is this really true?

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I'm not very keen on Prayer from Coppelia.

Could I ask what you mean by Russian Candycane? I would have assumed Candycane was the dance of the Mirlitons and that Russian was what I would know as the Trepak

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Candycane is Balanchine's version of Russian (aka Trepack). Others might be able to speak to the provenance of that name (i.e., was it something the Mariinsky did during B's lifetime, etc.).

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There were two things that Balanchine brought directly from the "Nutcracker" he danced when he was at the Imperial Ballet School: the nephew/Prince's mime in Act II and Candycanes.

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Balanchine's "Candy Canes" (to Tschaikovsky's "Buffons" dance - a Trepak) amounts to an Americanized name for the Aleksandr Shiryaev-choreographed "Buffons" divertissement that was part of NUTCRACKER since its 1892 premiere; Balanchivadze was familiar with this dance in his youth in Petrograd. Costume sketches for the original dance indicate a hoop and jingle-bells which also characterize Balanchine's version of the dance in Karinska's costuming. In the recollections of Aleksandra Danilova, when Georgi B. danced this number in Russia, he would "take down the house." It's only with recent research that the choreography has been credited to Shiryaev, who, formerly, was simply known as the dancer who first danced the number in the Petipa/Ivanov staging.

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Balanchine's "Candy Canes" (to Tschaikovsky's "Buffons" dance - a Trepak) amounts to an Americanized name for the Aleksandr Shiryaev-choreographed "Buffons" divertissement that was part of NUTCRACKER since its 1892 premiere; Balanchivadze was familiar with this dance in his youth in Petrograd. Costume sketches for the original dance indicate a hoop and jingle-bells which also characterize Balanchine's version of the dance in Karinska's costuming. In the recollections of Aleksandra Danilova, when Georgi B. danced this number in Russia, he would "take down the house." It's only with recent research that the choreography has been credited to Shiryaev, who, formerly, was simply known as the dancer who first danced the number in the Petipa/Ivanov staging.

...Nijinska being responsible for the interpolation of the excerpt reveamped as a Trepak danced by the "Three Ivans" in Diaguilev's 1921 "Sleeping Princess" .

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Dont know if this will count as a variation, but as it is four dancers all doing the same thing - rather like a revue line up - I think it might qualify.

I just cant stand the pas de quatre of the little swans. Jumpy music, dismal choreography, everything is awful. Probably a lot of people think it is kinda cute, but I close both ears and eyes.

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I absolutely hated to dance and to watch the Diamond fairy variation in the last act of Sleeping Beauty. Too many passe releves- maybe I just did not care for that particular piece of music.

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Speaking of Sleeping Beauty (and the Three Ivans, ugggggggo), not only the cats and the Ivans but Aurora's variation in the wedding scene--

pure tedium after the Act I variation, the Rose Adagio, and the Vision scene.

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I like Aurora's variation in act III. But you reminded me that I do hate Désiré's variation.

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Coffee from Arabia and its usual display of contorsionists...

Veeery close runner up: Odile's variation. Maybe part because I somehow identify with the Soviet trend to name ballets first by the composers, and knowing that Tchaikovsky wasn't even alive when the piece was interpolated, I feel somehow uneasy with it. Then, its choreography is so mathematically technical...it almost looks like a series of class exercises. "OK, now I will demonstrate how do do bourrees", "and now here's how we do sissonnes", and "look carefully how do I do renversees and pirouettes a la seconde"...and so on. In general I can't get over the fact that Petipa got rid of the beautiful Sobeshchanskaya's PDD-(aka TPDD)-with its superior, dazzling Odile variation to interpolate the foreigner L'Espiègle.

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Dont know if this will count as a variation, but as it is four dancers all doing the same thing - rather like a revue line up - I think it might qualify.

I just cant stand the pas de quatre of the little swans. Jumpy music, dismal choreography, everything is awful.

pinch.gif Me, too, although I appreciate it when it is done well, i.e., with unison and as much lyricism as the choreography and music allow (not much).

Veeery close runner up: Odile's variation. ... Then, its choreography is so mathematically technical...it almost looks like a series of class exercises.
Really? Interesting. I've only rarely seen it that way, and then from dancers who are generally mechanical and academic. Also, I find it hard to dislike any variation with renverses. :)

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Also, I find it hard to dislike any variation with renverses. smile.png

I know..! happy.png , specially when the ballerina go way risky and twists her body all the way so she's already looking toward the audience almost upside down, head very close to the floor, working leg beautifully curved, body completely off center. Sometimes it gets so daring you would think it is impossible for her to keep her balance on pointe and she will fall off...!!

Oops, sorry..I got carried away...blushing.gif so back to the "least liked variation" ...

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