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ABT 4/12-quick notes

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#16 Paul W

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Posted 14 April 2001 - 08:12 AM

Thanks for some very interesting discussion about young dancers promoted to "star" status. While I agree 100% with the view that competitions are not what should define a dancer's potential or actual artistic talent, I think a lot of the statements about how dancers reacte to competition are broad generalizations and cannot be considered applicable to most if even a relative minority of competitors.

With respect to winning them,

...compete in them as if winning a medal can change their whole life..  

there certainly is ample evidence that this indeed is the case and certainly what many competitors want to result from their participation in the competition. It doesn't seem fair to me to blame competitions for what companies and company directors expect of a dancer they hire based on competitions. I think Victoria's point,

if they are given the principal work right away, so much is expected from them that they fold under the pressure. Principal dancers need to have some degree of maturity and steady experience in a company, a chance to grow up, and to be a dancer before they are suddenly a "star"  

expresses this exactly. Young dancers need to be nurtured no matter how they arrive on the company's doorstep.

[ 04-14-2001: Message edited by: Paul W ]

#17 leibling


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Posted 14 April 2001 - 09:28 PM

It happens with people who don't enter competitions, too- the extremely talented young dancer joins a big company, then suddenly doesn't know how to function. It is a big transition- not only are these young dancers starting their first jobs, but many are moving away from home for the first time- I've seen a couple of very talented dancers got through tremendous difficulties because of this. One needs to be very self motivated when joining a company, and many young dancers are so used to constant attention and nurturing from their own teachers they may have been with for years that they don't know what to do when they arrive at a company and don't get any attention at all.

#18 Mel Johnson

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Posted 14 April 2001 - 11:18 PM

Andrei - re: temps de poisson -

I've also seen it called "sissone soubresaut" and "temps collÚ" - all the same thing, different nomenclature systems.

#19 Michael


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Posted 15 April 2001 - 09:06 AM

Andrei, Mel and CD: what is a "Brise Volee" and does it relate to or ressemble the "Temps de Poisson?" Those jumps in the Bluebird variation have a beautiful angle in the line at the waist, do they not? Alexandra, don't you have a lovely picture of Kronstam showing just such a line in a variation from Ashton's Romeo?

Regarding Paloma -- As a good friend said, "She's not fifteen years old any more."

#20 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 15 April 2001 - 10:23 AM

Michael -

Re: the Kronstam picture, do you mean the one from the from the Ashton Act III variation of Sleeping Beauty? If so, then I'm pretty certain that the step he's portrayed in wasn't a brisÚ volÚ; the angle of it is wrong (the hips would be facing to a corner rather than directly to us.) I think he is probably doing a sisonne similar to those in the male variation of Theme and Variations. It is a very beautiful picture!

[ 04-15-2001: Message edited by: Leigh Witchel ]

#21 Alexandra


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Posted 15 April 2001 - 11:17 AM

Not that any of this will make sense to people who haven't seen the picture (it's in "Dancers You Should Know," a book published about 10 years ago) but I think it's a cabriole -- at least, that's what he said it was.

I'd always heard the Bluebird step called "pas de poisson" and thought it was part of the menagerie: pas de chat, pas de cheval, etc. No relation to "fish dives!" But the body is curved in the air, perhaps resembling a leaping fish, if you have a good imagination. I was thinking of this watching Giselle last night -- the step that I've always heard called a soubresaut is certainly similar, although the sequence of jumps is much quicker and the arms are in a different position. One of the many things that mystifies me about ballet terminology is that there are some steps that have different names even though there's only a tiny variation from one to the next, and others (like an arabesque) have the same name whether the leg is at 25, 45, 55, or 180 degrees.

#22 Andrei


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Posted 15 April 2001 - 02:34 PM

Brise vole - flying jump, in translation, include both brise ferme (in Albert's coda in "Giselle") and brise dessus-dessous ( coda of Blue Bird in S.B.).
Arabesque is the position of the leg - pointed to the back with straighten knee. The foot can be even on the floor. Different arms give different names to the same arabesque position.

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