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Least Favorite Variation


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#1 Birdsall

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 05:25 PM

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?

#2 Helene

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 05:52 PM

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

#3 Birdsall

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 07:30 PM

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

#4 carbro

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 08:07 PM

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.

#5 Helene

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 09:46 PM

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.

#6 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 10:21 PM

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

#7 Kerry1968

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 10:39 PM

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

#8 Ray

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 04:08 AM

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

#9 Birdsall

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 04:54 AM

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.

#10 Birdsall

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 04:55 AM

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


Coffee does seem to go on and on forever.

#11 CM

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 05:44 AM

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?

#12 JMcN

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 06:46 AM

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

#13 Ray

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 08:01 AM

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.).

#14 Helene

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 08:21 AM

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.

#15 rg

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 08:49 AM

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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