j1yuan

What's the name for this move (Don Quixote DVD cover)?

27 posts in this topic

I think it's commonly called the Plisetskaya, named after Maya Plisetskaya (although I've heard people call it simply the "Kitri jump"). If you search YouTube, you can find some clips. Here's one:

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Merrill Ashley referred to it that way in her book. Balanchine wanted something big and unexpected in "Ballo della Regina" and she remembered this jump Plisetskaya did.

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Sorry, I didn't mean the Kitri entry jump! I meant the jumps she made before she made the spins. If you start at the 18" mark on this Youtube video (

), you'll see it.

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The jumps at 21, 25, 29 are the Plisetskaya's. In the B&W clip I posted, you do see it in the entrance sequence, although not as clearly as in the Osipova clip.

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The jumps at 21, 25, 29 are the Plisetskaya's. In the B&W clip I posted, you do see it in the entrance sequence, although not as clearly as in the Osipova clip.

The Kitri entry jump peaks when the legs are both horizontal and upper body is vertical and it doesn't arch toward either leg. The jump that I asked peaks when the legs are at about 45 degree angle (one forward, one backward), and the upper body arches back toward the back leg. So, I don't think they should be called by the same name. But, I may be wrong.

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The still photo in the DVD cover that started this really does seem to be a Plisetskaya, although the shot isn't quite as impressive as the Kirkland Time magazine cover of many years ago. In the first two jumps in the B&W, she does not have both legs horizontal (a "split jump"?), so perhaps that's what rg is referring to? She seems at the beginning and later to be arching back, with the front leg pointing down, so I'm not sure what to call it at this point!

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In an earlier discussion under another thread, it someone proposed that the jump was a hugh sissone with an arched back.

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There was a topic discussion on whether the Chinese invented this or not and the people who discussed it had an interesting name for it, but I can't remember and don't know how to find that topic now. It was maybe a few months ago when the discussion was here on Ballet Alert. I think in the discussion someone found that the kick to the head was found in The Fountain of Bakchisarai which pre-dated the Chinese ballet that included it. But for the life of me I can not remember the name of it.

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I've always had it refered as an assemble sissone ferme.

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I've heard it being (unceremoniously) called a "ring leap".

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There was a topic discussion on whether the Chinese invented this or not and the people who discussed it had an interesting name for it, but I can't remember and don't know how to find that topic now. It was maybe a few months ago when the discussion was here on Ballet Alert. I think in the discussion someone found that the kick to the head was found in The Fountain of Bakchisarai which pre-dated the Chinese ballet that included it. But for the life of me I can not remember the name of it.

I think the Chinese name "倒踢紫金冠" is very similar, as in this Youtube video -->

Unfortunately, the dancer didn't jump. She just made a back kick with her upper body arched back. So, it may not be called by the same ballet name.

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Who knew this much-loved jump had so many names!! I wondered what Gelsey Kirkland called it, as she is so associated with it, thanks to Don Q with Baryshnikov and that Time magazine cover. Not much help! This is all I could find:

Maya had a special leap that seemed to capture for all time the joyous elevation of Kitri's spirit. This was an awesome jump, a kick-jete in which she soared so high and arched back so far that her head actually touched her back leg, like a beautiful curved explosion in the air.

-Dancing on my Grave, p. 191

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I read that Lydia Ivanova was the first dancer to do this kind of jump.

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I read that Lydia Ivanova was the first dancer to do this kind of jump.

Do you have a source for this? I am looking at Elizabeth Kendall's wonderful book about her, Balanchine & the Lost Muse. It does discuss her amazing jumps (see especially p. 196), but nothing sounds specifically like what I've called the Plisetskaya. In any event, this would be almost a half century before Plisetskaya, so this would be significant. If others have the book, could they take a look at that page and see what they think?

I remember hearing a talk by a dance historian on Don Q (I'll be vague here about time and place, as I don't want to embarrass anybody). She showed a clip of what I've been calling the Plisetskaya and told the audience to watch for it in Act I. She called it "the Kitri jump." During the Q&A, I said I had heard it called the Plisetskaya, named after the first dancer who performed it. She was adamant that the jump appeared in Petipa's original choreography in the 19th century. I nodded my head and didn't say anything more, but that just didn't sound right to me. First, how do we know exactly what was in the original choreography, with no video, vague notations, and an oral tradition that didn't always transmit the exact same steps? Second, why would so many people call it Plisetskaya, if the move had always been there, almost a century before?

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Here's Lepeshinskaya's earlier rendition of the part in question. As we can see, @ 1:06 she opens her variation with a sissone, pretty much a smaller scale version of "The Plisetskaya". Now, at the very moment where Plisetskaya does the first of the two, Lepeshinskaya dances a completely different series of steps-(@ 1:18).

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In figure skating, there are moves, like the Biellmann and Natasha spins, that were performed by skaters years before they were revived and named for famous practitioners.

Depending on the ballet, there can be a wide range of notations, descriptions, score notations,and ballet master notes and notebooks that tell, or purport to tell, what Petipa choreographed. (The latter two used heavily and with great effect in PNB's "Giselle." ) There's a lot we know through the treasures of the notations and their expert interpreters, as well as descriptions from the time and other source materials. The question is whether there were any early source materials for this jump in particular.

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Has anyone tried to reconstruct the original Don Q? I don't recall hearing anything, although plenty of people offer their own versions (Ratmansky, Acosta, Nureyev, Baryshnikov). I also have no sense of what documentation exists of the original. I believe this was Petipa's first major work in Russia, so perhaps they weren't geared up for recording his work in some form.

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Has anyone tried to reconstruct the original Don Q? I don't recall hearing anything, although plenty of people offer their own versions (Ratmansky, Acosta, Nureyev, Baryshnikov). I also have no sense of what documentation exists of the original. I believe this was Petipa's first major work in Russia, so perhaps they weren't geared up for recording his work in some form.

I'll bet that Doug would know...

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I seem to recall from Danilova's biography that she had been promised the role at the Mariinsky when a revival was going to take place. I think Lepeshinskaya is the earlier interpreter we know of so far post revolution..?

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Has anyone tried to reconstruct the original Don Q? I don't recall hearing anything, although plenty of people offer their own versions (Ratmansky, Acosta, Nureyev, Baryshnikov). I also have no sense of what documentation exists of the original. I believe this was Petipa's first major work in Russia, so perhaps they weren't geared up for recording his work in some form.

I sent this query to Doug Fullington, and this is what he had to say

There is nothing except one variation in the Stepanov notations, but Burlaka and Ratmansky did lots of recon work with the Bolshoi archives (and likely the Bakhrushin Museum holdings) for Ratmansky’s Dutch National production. I think there are some vids on the Dutch National site in which Ratmansky explains.

Well, actually he doesn’t discuss that in these:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPGzt_UWQG0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42_VNlQ1-w8

I know they looked at the Moscow production and sought to reinstate elements that were eliminated or changed when Petipa staged it in St. P. This resulted in expanded roles for the Don and Sancho P. and a different set of characters out in the country (I think actors and puppeteers rather than gypsies?). It also resulted in a revised and re-edited musical score. When I have a minute, I’ll dig out the Het Nationale program book, where everything is documented.

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Why do we not credit Gorsky more for this ballet? It seems an odd way to pay respect to Petipa, to credit him with choreography that angered him with its changes... However disrespectful it was to Petipa to make the changes, the ballet has been very successful and entered the canon... perhaps Gorsky deserves some respect for the longevity of the current choreography? The wikipedia entry on him is interesting: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Alexeyevich_Gorsky

I would have thought, given Don Quixote, that bravura technique was a hallmark of his style... but perhaps this is a misunderstanding?

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Well, the author of that Wikipedia page certainly things that Gorsky should get more credit!

He does get far less recognition in the west, I think in part because he was the one that stayed home. Fokine came to the west along with the Ballet Russe, and although he himself went back and forth, his works became identified as the 'revolutionary' ones -- the reaction to Petipa's formalism. Gorsky's changes to the corps are most obvious in Don Q -- they really are a more dynamic, expressive and naturalistic element in the work, but you're right that we tend to give Petipa the credit for the whole, including those changes.

In general, we think of authorship, even in dance, as a singular phenomenon -- one person gets the credit when things go well, and the blame when they go badly. There are plenty of examples of works that were created in a partnership at the beginning (not to mention the more piecemeal additions/emendations/recisions that fill dance stages everywhere) but we like to think of the "text" as the product of a solo effort.

Gorsky, as I understand his work, didn't turn his back on traditional virtuosity in quite the same way that Fokine did -- if you look at Don Q, most of the bravura elements are still there, but they are interspersed within some major level hubbub in the corps. I don't have any evidence to back this thought up, but to me, this kind of stage action seems very like the early films of Cecil deMille, with their active crowd scenes intercut with more specific dramatic action.

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There was a topic discussion on whether the Chinese invented this or not and the people who discussed it had an interesting name for it, but I can't remember and don't know how to find that topic now. It was maybe a few months ago when the discussion was here on Ballet Alert. I think in the discussion someone found that the kick to the head was found in The Fountain of Bakchisarai which pre-dated the Chinese ballet that included it. But for the life of me I can not remember the name of it.

Yes, here it is:

The Plisetskaya Head-Kick

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There was a topic discussion on whether the Chinese invented this or not and the people who discussed it had an interesting name for it, but I can't remember and don't know how to find that topic now. It was maybe a few months ago when the discussion was here on Ballet Alert. I think in the discussion someone found that the kick to the head was found in The Fountain of Bakchisarai which pre-dated the Chinese ballet that included it. But for the life of me I can not remember the name of it.

Yes, here it is:

The Plisetskaya Head-Kick

Cool!!!!! Yudi found it! I remembered reading that but could not remember what main heading it would be under!

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