Birdsall

Skorik

477 posts in this topic

If we're talking canonical moves, I'd say this is more important than the fouettes, since Petipa DID choreograph it [which he did not do with the fouettes -- other brilliant moves for 32 counts will do to that music, as Plisetskaya proved with her pique turns].

This issue remains a mistery to me,as the 32 fouettes are indeed notated in Stepanov, although this fact doesn't mean necessarily that Petipa was the originator, but the ballerina herself.

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Back to the Odile Variation's fondu/double-frappe 'grace note' step. Checking my 'sources' I see that the following all did it correctly (although seldom as clearly and cleanly as Marianella Nunez in above clip:

Complete

Kirov-Mariinsky version by K. Sergeyev Dudinskaya (1953 film), Evteyeva (1960s film), Chenchikova ('86 Wolf Trap), and '04 Vostrotina (she alone, among 3 debutantes that summer - Bolshakova and Somova the others -- did the steps, fully & beautifully). Terioshkina did one passage in her debut, only after the very first series of pirouettes...but she did one. So much for the 'grace note' not being a part of recent Mariinsky traditions!

POB-Nureyev version seems to have the move, as both Guillem and Letestu (in commercial DVD) did it.

NYCB-Martins-after-Petipa version - Miranda Weese did it for PBS telecast!

Royal Ballet/1985 'Harvard Notes' version: in addition to Nunez, Bussell did it (and partial Sarah Lamb, as per below)...but another Royal lady, Cojocaru, did not do it in the Romanian TV telecast of Swan Lake...but maybe that's because she was in Romania?

Partial (just the first one...performed easier tendu into developpe a la second in all other sequences): Kirov-M's Terioshkina in her debut and, at RB, Sarah Lamb.

Done with a twist:

Frankfurt/Neumeier version: Eliz. Loscavio - a single frappe (not double)

Berlin/Malakhov version: Stephie Scherzer - does the 'easier' developpe a la 2nde...but throws in a rond-de-jambe as the leg is going up!

The gal who did it all, in all variations:

POB's Pontois is the fanciest of all (in early 80s gala with Dupond): like Scherzer, the double ronds de jambe during developpe, preceded by the double-frappe! All of this preceded by incredible pirouette sequence of a double-pirouette into triple-pirouette in attitude. (Whew!) Not as smooth as Nunez but still quite impressive.

I stopped checking half-way though collection; that was enough of an unscientific sampling. There may be others.

Note: All Bolshoi ladies in the past 50+ years perform the Grigorovich Odile variation, with altogether different choreography and even music. The same 'Grigorovich music' is heard in the Bourmeister version of the Odile solo, as we can see in films of the Stanislavsky, La Scala and the pre-Nureyev POB version (which is still performed occasionally).

Edited to add Dudinskaya and Pontois.

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in 1990, when sergeyev and dudinskaya came to boston to stage what was known as the 'glasnost' swan lake first cast o/o was nina a. in those 1990 performances she did the non-bolshoi version of the variation and included the little rond de jambe then.

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It is amazing that Fateyev slandered his own dancers. Very strange.

mauvais gout.

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in 1990, when sergeyev and dudinskaya came to boston to stage what was known as the 'glasnost' swan lake first cast o/o was nina a. in those 1990 performances she did the non-bolshoi version of the variation and included the little rond de jambe then.

Ah, interesting. In the two films I have of her in this (from full ballet in Perm and the pdd as part of a gala), she does the Grig.

Edited to add: I checked the film of Dudinskaya's own Odile in the 1953 'Masters of Soviet Ballet' and indeed she did the double-frappe grace note (!). So this totally debunks any theory that the Soviet-Kirov tradition does not include it...Dudinskaya, Evteyeva, Chenchikova, and Vostrotina in the last 10 yrs (and a partial Terioshkina).

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at the time in 1990 one assumption was that it was so unusual for the bolshoi dancers to work with sergeyev and dudinskaya that they would do what they were asked out of respect. indeed in 1992 when it was done again she went back to the version you refer to; by that time he had passed away.

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Interesting side by side comparison of Lopatkina in this variation: she does the step in 2006 but not in 1995:

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Thank you all for your thoughts on these matters. Especially Natalia, for that splendid collection of links, but really all of y'all, even those not sympathetic to my view, since it's such a stimulating conversation, and you all know so much.

Birdsall, you raise a point about why the men's variations -- I have not heard that argument, but I remember hearing it was common knowledge that Petipa did not choreograph the men's variations, but let the men choreograph their own most effective solos.

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in the film with anthony dowell, makarova does not do it.

Right. And she doesn't teach it to Ayupova when she coaches her in one of those late-80s docum films. Thanks for the Fonteyn link. Fonteyn comes closest to the 'fancy melange' of the Pontois version, except that Pontois does the 3ple attitude piroettes before the 'grace note.' Interesting that Fonteyn does little hops onto pointe in her supporting leg. I wonder if the little added features by Fonteyn reflect her coaching sessions in Paris with the famous Petipa-era ballerinas durng the 1940s and 50s? (Preo, Kchessinskaya, Egorova)

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Birdsall, you raise a point about why the men's variations -- I have not heard that argument, but I remember hearing it was common knowledge that Petipa did not choreograph the men's variations, but let the men choreograph their own most effective solos.

Paul, I have no clue and don't know anything! LOL

I simply watched the wonderful video by PNB "After Petipa" that Aurora posted above. In it Doug Fullington (dance historian) tells a story about how a ballerina did not want to dance a certain variation, and to get her to do it (my interpretation), Petipa told her that if she doesn't dance it then people will think she can't dance it. And then Fullington goes on to give that as a possible theory as to why the women's variations are often the same now as they are in the original notations in contrast to the male variations which have changed wildly. But he basically implied this was his theory. But obviously some things do change over time (at least in some companies) as we have seen in this topic. This is all very fascinating!!!

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By the way, Paul, which performances did you attend in California? Which one had Ivanova switch her role as the Little Swan? A friend of mine wants to figure out the casting. I tried to private message you, but it says you can't get private messages.

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This whole variations issue is always very diffuse. It is well known that ballerinas could interpolate their own stuff in given ballets, many times from other works, and also that Petipa indeed allowed many of them to use their own ideas. In any case, here's Alonso rendition of the solo, in the very early 60's...still fresh from what she was dancing in NYC at the time...

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Thanks, cubanmiamiboy. Alonso's is one of the clips that I checked last Saturday. She, like several others not listed, did not do the 'double-frappe, fondu grace note moves' in between the pirouette....but, oh my, what pirouettes! A number of ladies seem to emphasize the pirouettes portion and use the measures in-between almost as a rest. Alonso is the only one with the releve-arabesques before and after. Believe me, I watch 50+ variations this past weekend. Thank goodness they are DVDs and not tapes!

By the way, don't the words 'double-frappe, fondu' make you want to run to Starbucks?

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Here's Dudinskaya doing the variation "as notated." She substitutes some tricky pirouette sequences in the second half of the variation but she does start with the notated steps. I kind of think this is the kind of variation where a ballerina should have some leeway to show off her particular talents. If she has a particularly beautiful developpe a la seconde, then I can see why she'd choose to skip straight to that move. If she is a human gyroscope (a la Alicia Alonso) then show off the multiple pirouettes. It seems as if the dancers who did the notated steps are/were known as great terre a terre technicians who would excel at petit allegro steps.

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Doug Fullington IS an authority on questions like these-- I would love to know his opinion on this issue -- or rather, ALL these issues, which are starting to look like a can of worms.

Mercy, wonder who choreographed Alonso's version, which -- though it's IMMACULATELY danced -- rarely touches down on the usual steps. I've never seen another dancer bourree upstage with her back to us in this variation before.

Thanks again for the wealth of information everybody.

Birdsall, sorry, my inbox is full. It was opening night, Wednesday, that my friend identified Ivanova as the first Swan out.

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Mercy, wonder who choreographed Alonso's version, which -- though it's IMMACULATELY danced -- rarely touches down on the usual steps. I've never seen another dancer bourree upstage with her back to us in this variation before.

Oh, Paul...believe me..If I could ever had the opportunity to ask her, I would ask her about LOTS of variations and where did she get them from. If anything, all I know is that she has historically denied ANY changes to what she brought from her years in BT and her studies with Fedorova, Zanfretta and Leon Fokine. She also seems to have had input also from Lucia Chase and Toumanova. I suspect the bourrees giving her back is merely a camera trick, in which they decided to show her like that.

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Thanks, cubanmiamiboy. Alonso's is one of the clips that I checked last Saturday. She, like several others not listed, did not do the 'double-frappe, fondu grace note moves' in between the pirouette....but, oh my, what pirouettes!

however a quick check with my source informs me it is neither rond de jambe nor frappe but a battu..happy.png .

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....

however a quick check with my source informs me it is neither rond de jambe nor frappe but a battu..happy.png .

Can I get that in Tall, Grande and Vente sizes?

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....

however a quick check with my source informs me it is neither rond de jambe nor frappe but a battu..happy.png .

Can I get that in Tall, Grande and Vente sizes?

happy.png

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This petite battement battus are so beautiful...I do think this petitte allegro work requires indeed a special muscle control-(always so beautifully shown in Bournonville works), although I agree also that the absence at times of a given step-(excluding fouettes, for which I stand on my basis)-could be a choreography matters. Alonso is one of those who don't do the step in 1964-(at the age of 44), and then she does an extensive series of them in 1981, in the Nutcracker PDD adagio at the age of 61. I have noticed in the past that this segment sometimes is avoided alltogether or cut off shorter and complemented by an extended, slow supported arabesque penchee.

From 5:25 to 5:40, with no interruption.

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Somewhere I have a copy of PNB's 15th anniversary book, and Kent Stowell describes Gelsey Kirkland guesting at PNB in Swan Lake. On opening night she slipped on the 32 fouettes, landing on her rump, and letting out a loud expletive for all to hear. It happens to the best of them.

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Somewhere I have a copy of PNB's 15th anniversary book, and Kent Stowell describes Gelsey Kirkland guesting at PNB in Swan Lake. On opening night she slipped on the 32 fouettes, landing on her rump, and letting out a loud expletive for all to hear. It happens to the best of them.

Falls do happen to even the best dancers! I've seen Tereshkina slip. But it is a problem when someone falls or stumbles or makes a mistake every single time you see the dancer perform. That starts to become a little shocking.

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I've seen great performers fall flat onstage, but that's one thing, and then there's the perennial sense of insecurity, a la Skorik.

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