Jane Simpson

Must Odile do fouettees?

85 posts in this topic

I agree with some other members. The 32 fouette is a staple. Granted, half of the dancers in North America can barely do 16, but still. It is so well known, that I actually disagree with choreographers/directors who change the turns into something else because their dancer can't pull them off. If they can't do them.. why are they doing the role?

This past season, I saw ABT do Swan Lake in the new Miami Performing Arts Center, and pretty much flatlined when Paloma did her fouettes for Odile. I was outraged. She got around okay, but who honestly wants to look at some just THROWING (and I mean throwing) her arms around?! Her entire torso was crooked, her passe in more of a jazz pirouette position, etc. It was a travesty.

now, someone like Ashely Bouder can REALLY do fouettes; and with integrity.

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. . . [W]ho honestly wants to look at some just THROWING (and I mean throwing) her arms around?!
Not you, not me, but I'll bet she finished to rousing cheers.
now, someone like Ashely Bouder can REALLY do fouettes. . .
"Someone like Ashley Bouder?" Name one! I dare you! :clapping:

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. . . [W]ho honestly wants to look at some just THROWING (and I mean throwing) her arms around?!
Not you, not me, but I'll bet she finished to rousing cheers.
now, someone like Ashely Bouder can REALLY do fouettes. . .
"Someone like Ashley Bouder?" Name one! I dare you! :clapping:

Haha! Cheers to that!

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. . . [W]ho honestly wants to look at some just THROWING (and I mean throwing) her arms around?!
Not you, not me, but I'll bet she finished to rousing cheers.
now, someone like Ashely Bouder can REALLY do fouettes. . .
"Someone like Ashley Bouder?" Name one! I dare you! :clapping:

I've seen S. Sylvie do beautiful fouettes and of course there is G. Murphy. I love, love, love Bouder but other people can do fouettes.

Or am I missing the point.

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. . . [W]ho honestly wants to look at some just THROWING (and I mean throwing) her arms around?!
Not you, not me, but I'll bet she finished to rousing cheers.
now, someone like Ashely Bouder can REALLY do fouettes. . .
"Someone like Ashley Bouder?" Name one! I dare you! :clapping:

I've seen S. Sylvie do beautiful fouettes and of course there is G. Murphy. I love, love, love Bouder but other people can do fouettes.

Or am I missing the point.

probably ;) (i assume its that there is no one like Bouder!) but I'll pipe up and add Nina Ananiashvilli! Not tons of triples and quadruples but clean, gorgeous, FAST fouettes! And the ones in Don Q with hands on hips (see youtube) are just beautiful.

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I love, love, love Bouder but other people can do fouettes.

Or am I missing the point.

I was teasing Figurante on her phrase "someone like Bouder," because while Murphy can probably out-fouette her, as a total dancer Bouder is, I suspect, peerless these days.

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... as a total dancer Bouder is, I suspect, peerless these days.

I would not require 32 or even any fouettees for an Odile. To do so would have deprived Muscovites of about 900 Swan Lakes with Maya Plisetskaya (well some New Yorkers too, including me). And if NYCB's beloved little Imp announced before her next Swan Lake that she would spin sitting on a swivel chair instead, I'd be first in line to buy a ticket (well, more precisely second, as I'm sure I'd find carbro already there before me)!

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I never used to count, but after seeing the ENB disaster, I've started doing it as a sort of nervous tick.

I do like the fouettes, but as others said above, Maya Plisetskaya didn't do them in "Swan Lake" (on principle, I think) and she's my favourite Odette/Odile of all time. Then again, Plisetskaya is just in a class of her own.

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I never used to count, but after seeing the ENB disaster, I've started doing it as a sort of nervous tick.

I do like the fouettes, but as others said above, Maya Plisetskaya didn't do them in "Swan Lake" (on principle, I think) and she's my favourite Odette/Odile of all time. Then again, Plisetskaya is just in a class of her own.

I count them too, and really enjoy them most of the time. Maya did them the first few times, but once she owned the role she dumped them. Her reason was that she'd been too lazy (during WWII!) to take the train to Leningrad, where the best teacher for fouettees was, so never learned to do them properly. (from her autobigraphy)

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As much as I love fouettés (they are my ballet guilty pleasure) I never count them. As long as they work with the music, it is fine with me.

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As much as I love fouettés (they are my ballet guilty pleasure) I never count them. As long as they work with the music, it is fine with me.

Hans. I totally agree! Perhaps because I could never do them well, I enjoy them immensely.

I find if I try to count them, I'm not truly WATCHING them.

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I find if I try to count them, I'm not truly WATCHING them.

That's a really good point. When I'm counting, I watch the dancer's head. And then you miss what's going on with the rest of her body.

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I seem to develop a mild case of ADD whenever I attempt to count fouettes, so I don't do it anymore. I either lose count, lose interest, or I'm unsure how to count them (do I count the doubles, triples, or quads as individual fouettes or the number of revolutions?). I'm more focused on the execution technique.

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As much as I love fouettés (they are my ballet guilty pleasure) I never count them. As long as they work with the music, it is fine with me.

Hans. I totally agree! Perhaps because I could never do them well, I enjoy them immensely.

I find if I try to count them, I'm not truly WATCHING them.

Agreed - I never count. If there is no big struggle, they look nice and end musically I am happy. If course it is fun to see the things G. Murphy can do, but even in that case I don't count, I just enjoy.

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I'm weighing in as a no counter. I can't count and fully enjoy at the same time.

Also, just in general, I personally find a little less attention to the technique (suspending disbelief--unless it's an egregious lapse--), and a healthier dose of the naiveté and wonderment that first reeled me into being a fan of ballet, always serve me well in live performances. My feeling: it's a performance, after all, not class. I guess that means I'll never be a critic, but I'll still be a happy camper.

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This question has to be taken literally.

1- First of all, how can a ballerina be considered "outstandingly good" in ANY role (what about also Don Q. ?) if she "CAN'T RELIABLY DO 32 FOUETEES". Furthermore, how can she even be given the role of a premier dancer like Odette/Odile if she hasn't learn how to do a standard step properly (with the right quality AND AMOUNT for a required role), so.."should a ballerina...?" NO, SHE SHOULD NOT BE GIVEN THE ROLE.

2- If a ballerina HAS PROVED that she CAN'T do the step, SHE SOULDN'T BE ALLOWED TO GO ONSTAGE TO STRUGGLE. THAT'S EMBARRASING TO HER AND DISRESPECTFUL TO THE PUBLIC.

3- About a substitution, that's another matters. Should she "be allowed to do something else instead?" Only if the ballerina is a recognized and respected superstar WHO HAS PROVED THROUGH THE YEARS HER CAPABILITY and decide to change a certain step for the thrill. I've never seen a recorded proof of Maya doing the fouetees, but hey...i don't really need to see it to figure that she could do them. This is Mme. Plisetskaya we're talking here. But if a ballerina has proved that she CAN'T do the step, NO, SHE SOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO CHANGE IT.

I hope i wasn't to harsh with my opinion. :unsure:

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YESSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

UNCONDITIONALLY AND NO EXCUSES....

THE ANSWER IS "YES" AND THERE SHOULD NOT HAVE TO BE ANY EXPLANATION FOR IT!!!!

Thank you =)

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This question has to be taken literally.

1- First of all, how can a ballerina be considered "outstandingly good" in ANY role (what about also Don Q. ?) if she "CAN'T RELIABLY DO 32 FOUETEES". Furthermore, how can she even be given the role of a premier dancer like Odette/Odile if she hasn't learn how to do a standard step properly (with the right quality AND AMOUNT for a required role), so.."should a ballerina...?" NO, SHE SHOULD NOT BE GIVEN THE ROLE.

2- If a ballerina HAS PROVED that she CAN'T do the step, SHE SOULDN'T BE PUT IN THAT STAGE TO STRUGGLE. THAT'S EMBARRASING.

3- About a substitution, that's another matters. Should she "be allowed to do something else instead?". If you are Tamara Toumanova, Maya Plisetskaya or Alicia Alonso, you are allowed, if you want, just to stand motionless on stage for us to go to the theatre to see you and pay our profound respect while the coda music is going on. I've never seen a recorded proof of Maya doing the fouetees, but hey...i don't really need it to know. Yes, she could do them. But if a ballerina has proved that she CAN'T do the step, NO, SHE SOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO CHANGE IT.

I hope i wasn't to harsh with my opinion. :sweatingbullets:

I saw Plisetskaya dance Swan Lake on several occasions and each time she did a very fast series of 'sprung' pique turns that were effectively petit jetes en pointe and were thrilling. I have mentioned before elsewhere that I saw Nadia Nerina execute 32 entrechat six perfectly instead of fouettes as a satirical sideswipe at Rudolf Nureyev's entrechat in Act 2 Giselle earler in the week at Covent Garden. If they are not performed sur la place I would rather not see them at all as after all, that is the historic point of the choreography from Legnani onwards.

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I saw Plisetskaya dance Swan Lake on several occasions and each time she did a very fast series of 'sprung' pique turns that were effectively petit jetes en pointe and were thrilling. I have mentioned before elsewhere that I saw Nadia Nerina execute 32 entrechat six perfectly instead of fouettes as a satirical sideswipe at Rudolf Nureyev's entrechat in Act 2 Giselle earler in the week at Covent Garden. If they are not performed sur la place I would rather not see them at all as after all, that is the historic point of the choreography from Legnani onwards.

Hi, leonid :) , and thank you for your explanation about Mme. Plisetskaya. In her documentary she says that she did the substitution because she wouldn't want to take the train each time to go to the Vaganova Academy to learn the step properly, so she decided to to the pique turns, which i've seen also by Mme.Natalia Dudinskaya :bow: and love them, by the way. Like i said before, i would understand that a ballerina would decide to change some steps,(like Mme. Alonso :bow: doing sautees sur le point en arabesque penchee after the fouettees instead of the classic plie plie plie releve en pointe and so on), but in those cases, the public KNOWS who are they dealing with: STARS WHO HAVE PROVED THROUGH THEIR WHOLE CAREERS THAT THEY ARE PERFECTLY PREPARED TO DO ALL THE REQUIRED BALLET STEPS IN A SPECIFIC ROLE ( 32 fouetees included), so they feel free to change this or that here and there.

:)

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There's a DVD of Don Q with Nadezhda Pavlova and her then husband Gordeyev.At the end as a bonus there are scenes performed by Maya Plisetskaya and Maris Liepa sometime in the 60-s. During PDD Plisetskaya does perform fouettes. They are not all time great,but quite respectable.

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There's a DVD of Don Q with Nadezhda Pavlova and her then husband Gordeyev.At the end as a bonus there are scenes performed by Maya Plisetskaya and Maris Liepa sometime in the 60-s. During PDD Plisetskaya does perform fouettes.

:thanks:

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As roma suggested earlier on in the discussion, it's not that Plisetskaya couldn't do fouettees -- just that she could do other things so much better.

Actually, I remember reading in Plisetskaya's autobiography "I, Maya Plisetskaya" that she always had a lot of trouble with fouettes, especially in Swan Lake, and that's why she replaced them with the circle of pique turns. She was an incredible Odile though, no one better in that role IMO.

There's a 1973 video with Valery Kavtun in which she does the pique turns just as leonid describes them. In the coda, onlyi a minute or so later. A good thing bears repeating, I guess.

There are emotional differences between the arc of piques and the fixedness of fouettes. Plisetskaya's Odile does piques (every 4th a double) that take over the entire stage. It's a mini-lesson in territoriality.

This, by the way, is one of the few Soviet-era videos in which -- thanks to the large and spare studio set, with minimal decoration and a minimum of (very effective) cross-cutting -- you can actually see the dancing.

It's a fascinating performance which loses nothing because she dumps the fouettes, IMO.

As for another famous Swan Queen -- in the Vienna video of the Fonteyn/Nureyev performance (early 60s), Fonteyn does about 25 simple fouettes or so before a very quick cut to Nureyev who does even more (the male version) twice as fast. It's a particularly blatant piece of upstaging, and one that shows Nureyev in a rather ungentlemanly light.

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i would also add that i don't mind changes on specific steps, including 32 fouetees, for the reason of being technically difficult DUE TO THE ADVANCED AGE OF A SUPER BALLERINA that still can give us a 5 stars performance...In THAT case, i would be pleased just to have the opportunity to see the PERFORMER herself, (specially if she's a ballet icon) , rather than the step...Oh, that would also appliy to a male dancer, BTW...

:)

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If the dancer cannot do 32 fouetees, they should perform something they can do. I wouldn't want to see a dancer fall out of that step so I wouldn't mind a choreography change.

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If the dancer cannot do 32 fouetees, they should perform something they can do. I wouldn't want to see a dancer fall out of that step so I wouldn't mind a choreography change.

Would that be allowed on everybody...How about Somova announcing a "change of 32 fouettes due to inability..."?

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