Must Odile do fouettees?
Posted 05 July 2001 - 02:37 PM
Posted 06 July 2001 - 03:46 PM
[ 07-06-2001: Message edited by: Roma ]
Posted 10 July 2001 - 02:04 AM
The fouettes are an iconic part of the role so, ideally, they should be there -- but if an otherwise fine ballerina needs to cut them, it makes sense to let her do so. Maria Kowroski replaced them with Pique turns at NYCB, but just the line of her arabesque, shooting straight behind her in Act III, was enough to make her an exciting Odile.
Re. Aurora's balances -- they are a necessary part of the choreography, but even in this case, ballerinas with very differing abilities at balancing approach the choreography in quite different ways. I saw Assylmuratova some years ago at Kennedy Center, and at that performance she barely released her hand more than a few inches from her cavaliers, and rarely had to balance more than a nano-second, very different from other ballerinas who make a show of the balancing or at least raise their arm over their head on each balance. She did not, though, looked rushed or frazzled -- on the contrary, she looked utterly poised and lovely...and I thought it was a good decision on her part. So, even with Aurora, and with the choreography more or less intact, one sees variations...
Posted 10 July 2001 - 10:16 AM
I remember one ABT principal (not a ballerina, in my book) lurching through Don Q some years ago and I swear, she fouetteed right into the wings and (perhaps) pushed off against the wall and fouetteed out again.
Posted 10 July 2001 - 04:05 PM
As far as the students are concerned, two factors are important here, one being pointe classes, and the other being that they are doing them in an isolated situation, i.e. just the fouettés, not doing them immediately following a very difficult grand pas de deux when there is no strength left in the legs.
With professionals, not only do they not have pointe classes to practice them, but they must do them in the third act of a difficult ballet at the end of a very hard pas! Another thing is that most of them seem to do them to the right, which means the left leg is doing all the relevés. Petipa pas de deux are almost all primarily left leg centered, meaning most of the promenades and balances and pirouettes are on that leg. It gets shot before they ever get to the coda!
Another factor, I think, is that most of the time the ballets which require this "trick", especially in terms of 32 of them, are not regularly in the rep, and the dancers do not get to do them on stage frequently enough to build up the strength and the confidence to suddenly handle it when they get to Swan Lake or Don Q. Doing them in class and doing them on the stage are really VERY different things. When a company is going to be presenting a ballet where several ballerinas must do this, then they need to work on it, IN CONTEXT and ON STAGE, for a long time, not a couple of weeks of rehearsal in the studio and then one tech/dress rehearsal. Sometimes the alternate casts don't even get a full stage rehearsal, much less the chance to work the whole ballet on stage many times before performing it.
Alexandra asked, in her post above, WHY we are not seeing really solid fouettés delivered on stage, from a technical standpoint. I feel strongly that one of the main reasons for the loss of control and center in these turns is the strange port de bras being used these days. The port de bras is not motivated from the back, and therefore those muscles, and sometimes those of the abdomen as well, are not working to keep the dancer centered and the torso strong. Almost all the dancers I see are using a port de bras where the arms open to a flat, palms down second position, and then moving the lower arms in and out from the elbows. ("karate chop" arms, mentioned above.) This kind of movement does not involve the back muscles the way that rounded arms in second and a circular port de bras in the turns do. While a dancer should be strong enough to do fouettés with the arms almost anywhere, including on the hips for some of them, working without the back muscles and the abdominals does not help them gain the strength and control that they need.
Another missing element is the lack of rotation in à la seconde. Besides just the look of the leg turned in, it affects the line of the foot and then the position of the leg on the turn itself. If one is going to do the turns with the use of à la seconde, then that position needs to be turned out!
[ 07-13-2001: Message edited by: Victoria Leigh ]
Posted 13 July 2001 - 12:08 AM
In any case, I think that if Dancer A is a PRINCIPAL dancer in a company, then Dancer A shouldn't be really struggling with fouettes, which IMO are supposed to be (sometimes) the least problematic technical combination in a pdd/ballet.
I tend to think that dancers with the most "gorgeous" and LOOONG legs with beautiful feet sometimes have problems technically when it comes to pirouettes. Of course, Herrera and Guillem are exceptions (I'm sure there are others I've forgotten as well.)
Posted 13 July 2001 - 08:02 AM
P.S. Alonso was also memorable in her solo, executing by my count 2 5-revolution -- that's right, 5 revolution -- pirouettes one right after the other. Incredible!
[ 07-13-2001: Message edited by: Melissa ]
Posted 13 July 2001 - 01:11 PM
P.S.--I do not know anything about her partner--his name is Plisetsky--all I know is that he was not quite up to the part.
Posted 13 July 2001 - 04:09 PM
Posted 14 July 2001 - 08:11 AM
Posted 14 July 2001 - 10:41 AM
"...Yoko Ichino's innovation: four fouettes, then a swoop into a low arabesque penchee and two slow revolutions holding that pose"
Sounds, er, interesting...
Posted 14 July 2001 - 01:01 PM
Posted 15 July 2001 - 12:13 AM
[ 07-15-2001: Message edited by: Roma ]
Posted 15 July 2001 - 07:53 AM
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