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Guest Danseuse

Danse des Mirlitons

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What does it mean? It is one of the divertissments in the seconda act of the Nutcracker.

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Actually, have just been doing some research and I think i can answere this myself! Does it mean 'dance of the reed pipes'?

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Actually, it means "dance of the KAZOOS"! Check the definition of "mirliton" out in a good dictionary! It makes sense, too; even the noisemakers at the Christmas party in Act I have a part in Act II. Ever wonder about that buzzing underscore in the bass lines during the second period of that music?

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You're a genius, Mel! How on earth did you know that?

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I just looked it up in my handy-dandy Grove's Encyclopedia of Music and confirmed it in a nice unabridged dictionary. Books, you know....

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I looked it up in six French dictionaries. Next you'll be telling me it isn't french after all...

Actually if you type dance of the reed pipes into google, it comes up with the tune to danse des mirlitons.

[This message has been edited by Danseuse (edited September 20, 2000).]

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Ah, but it is French, just a specialized usage of a perfectly ordinary word, that probably started as a word for a kind of small bean. Musical terms are not always covered in dictionaries, unless they're unabridged.

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Oh, a small bean...I should've guessed. It is like when they call people 'gherkin'.

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For those who understand French, there's an online dictionary at:

http://www.francophonie.hachette-livre.fr/

For "mirliton", it says: "mirliton n. m.

Instrument de musique formé d'un tube percé de deux trous, bouché aux deux extrémités par une membrane."- you're right Major Mel...

Actually I didn't know the meaning of that word before: I only know the expression "vers de mirliton" (mirliton verses), which just means awful poetry (and so thought that a mirliton was something like an awful poet... wink.gif )

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I'm sorry, I didn't mean to offend anyone by refering to the French as 'they'!

I actually understood that defenition, which is nothing short of a miracle!

[This message has been edited by Danseuse (edited September 21, 2000).]

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Remember, we dancing-type people are "them" to the non-dancing world, no matter what the language they speak with their mouths.... smile.gif

[This message has been edited by Mel Johnson (edited September 21, 2000).]

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I was a Mirliton last year in the Nutcracker. In our Nutcracker there is a lead soloist from the company and then four teenage girls with her; we "play" gold reed flutes and wear blue sheppardess costumes that are gorgeous.

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If anybody feels like it, they can go to the Main Pages of Ballet Alert, click on Great Ballets, Ivanov, and Nutcracker, and there's a lot of material I put up for you.

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I read all of them when you told me about the Sleeping Beauty. They were very imformative - thanks Mel!

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