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Bravo, Brava, Bravi


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#16 BW

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Posted 16 April 2002 - 06:31 PM

Aubri, does this mean that brave is pronounced bravé and that "bravo" means the same thing in both French and Italian? In French if one were cheering a single person that was male, would it be "bravo" – and for a woman "brava"? Just trying to get this clear so I am sure to say the right thing. :P

#17 BW

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Posted 02 May 2002 - 09:45 AM

Hate to show my ignorance but since we are on this particular forum, I'll plunge ahead:) Who is Gerald Arpino? And what did Keith Young choreograph that got panned in NY and when? Do I take it that you who've written about these two have been sitting near them as members of the same audience?

Thanks!

#18 BW

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Posted 02 May 2002 - 05:08 PM

Many thanks for telling me who everyone is! I applaud Mr. Arpino for his enthusiasm! :P I think it's too bad that Mr. Kirstein held back so....at least, I hope he was holding back!

#19 BW

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Posted 03 May 2002 - 12:03 PM

Oh, Rick, you should do whatever you want! Somehow, I think you already knew that.:(

The worst thing in the world, to me, would be to have someone feel stifled by cultural norms. ;)

As for what form of appreciation is typically American, I'm sure there will be others who will respond later... I, too, have be known to whistle at performances...but only those in which my offspring is dancing. :P

I also do stand up and clap very loudly with a big smile on my face if I really love something - I wonder if the "standing ovation" is considered universal?

#20 aubri

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Posted 16 April 2002 - 04:32 PM

And when you want to cheer a corps of girls let's shout BRAVE

#21 aubri

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Posted 16 April 2002 - 04:38 PM

well that too, but really because the plural feminine for Brava is Brave

#22 aubri

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Posted 17 April 2002 - 05:47 PM

nothing impressive about that, it's my first language:)

#23 Farrell Fan

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Posted 11 April 2002 - 10:03 AM

Related to the problem of applause is the question of Bravo. Long ago, I used to shout Bravo (never before the final curtain) at Edward Villella, say, or the conductor Robert Irving. When Suzanne Farrell took a solo curtain call, I would shout Brava. When she took one with Jacques d'Amboise or Peter Martins, I would shout Bravi. I was brought up speaking Italian as well as English, so I was doing what came naturally -- Bravo for a man, Brava for a woman, and Bravi for two or more people.

I came to realize that audience members without knowledge of Italian grammar might have thought I was acting superior. On one of my subscriptions there was a guy who, every time I yelled "Bravi!" would shout "Bravisssimo!" apparently under the impression I was using a superlative and going me one better. I recall a reference by Clive Barnes once, to a Bravo, Brava, Bravi shouter (not me), whom he considered, at best, quaint.

These days I don't do much shouting, limiting my expressions of approval to either polite or vigorous clapping. But I feel uncomfortable when a Darci Kistler or Kyra Nichols is greeted with enthusiastic cries of Bravo rather than Brava. Of course, with younger members of the audience, whoops and hollers have largely replaced Bravos. I have mixed feelings about that, but at least they are gender-neutral.

#24 Farrell Fan

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Posted 17 April 2002 - 06:28 AM

Aubri's knowledge of Italian grammar is impressive, and in print brave would certainly be the way to cheer for a group of women or girls, whichever you prefer. But Michael said something a while back about the sound of the o in bravo providing a more satisfying bellow than ah or ee in brava and bravi. In the case of brave, unlike the other three, shouted in an audience it wouldn't sound like an exclamation of approval at all: bravOH! bravAH! bravEE! BravEH?

#25 Farrell Fan

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Posted 02 May 2002 - 12:06 PM

Back before the Joffrey moved to Chicago, I used to see Gerald Arpino bravoing and applauding enthusiastically for his company at City Center in New York. I remember always marveling at the sight, because I was used to the New York City Ballet at the New York State Theater, where my wife and I had subscription seats across the aisle from Lincoln Kirstein, co-founder of that company. Mr. Kirstein never bravoed and seldom smiled. To the best of my recollection I saw him applaud only once, for a matter of seconds. I wish I could remember the occasion -- I think it must have been for a guest artist.

#26 Treefrog

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Posted 30 April 2002 - 09:50 AM

I've also noticed that Mr. Arpino claps (or, indeed, shouts "Bravo" or, I hope, its proper form -- I haven't noticed). Although I often agree with him, I also have the impression that he is cheerleading -- stirring up the audience to respond. It works admirably. The volume rises noticeably. Who can fault him? But it seems kind of ...deceptive?

I was fortunate to learn my bravo/brava/bravi from my daughters' violin teacher. When one of them would finish a piece she would clap and exclaim, "Brava! Brava!" One day when I got roped into playing a piano accompaniment, she changed to "Bravi! Bravi tutti!" (Knowing what I now know, I suppose it should have been "Brave! Brave tutte!")

#27 Treefrog

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Posted 02 May 2002 - 10:17 AM

Gerald Arpino is the founder and artistic director of The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago. He was Robert Joffrey's partner in founding the original Joffrey Ballet, of which he was the associate director. According to the Joffrey website, he has choreographed about a third of the company's repertoire.

Nope, I don't sit near him -- but I do have a very clear view of him. He has his own box seat, I'm up in the balcony.

#28 Treefrog

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Posted 03 May 2002 - 03:11 PM

...not to mention a certain optimism ....

#29 Doris R

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Posted 16 April 2002 - 03:49 PM

Several years ago I was in a hand-crafted card shop looking for an appropriate gift for my daughter -- they had a delightful card with "bravo!" printed on it. I asked if they had anything with "Brava!" and was told by the owner that there was no such thing -- just bravo. I didn't argue -- but I didn't buy his card either. (By the way, I just clap loudly and smile broadly.)

#30 ShesnoFonteynsMom

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Posted 02 May 2002 - 06:39 AM

Ditto the bravo for Keith Young. He was always wonderful when he danced with the Twyla troup. Too bad he got panned by the critics for his first big choreographic attempt in NYC.


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