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A Modest Proposal by Manhattnik (the Tag Team Giselle)


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#1 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 05 February 2003 - 11:30 AM

Avant-propos: Your friendly board host had a great time chuckling over this modest proposal from Manhattnik, suggested on the thread on the "Born to be Wild" documentary. I think it's cruel for a good joke to lie buried, so I gave it a thread of its very own. I implore BalletAlertniks to consider the use of tag teams in all aspects of ballet, and to give equal time to both sexes. Of course, Balanchine did create a wonderful tag team finale, that of Symphony in C. Have fun!

Or how about a tag-team Giselle?

We could have Malakhov's Albrecht about to expire before Myrtha and the Wilis, using his last gasp of energy to crawl (perhaps with Giselle's assitance) toward the cross -- where he tags Corella's Albrecht, who bounces in, fresh as a daisy, to take Malakhov's place. Suddenly Myrtha and the Wilis realize that they've go to do the dancing-to-death thing ALL OVER AGAIN from the beginning, with even flashier solos and brise volees by this Albrecht. By the time we get to Steifel, the Wilis have run out of steam and ectoplasm, and as the bell rings to signal the end of the match, they melt away in defeat, leaving the Four Albrechts free to search for new horizons to cross, or new milkmaids to ravish.  

Oh, now I'm envisioning a La Sylphide with James played by Rowdy Roddy Piper. I need to take (several) sedatives and get some sleep.  

See what this show made me do? It's all PBS's fault.



#2 Alexandra

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Posted 05 February 2003 - 11:39 AM

Nearly everyone who choreographs to baroque music seems to see it as an opportunity for tag teaming; they get caught up in the rounds and never let them go.

#3 Estelle

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Posted 05 February 2003 - 11:50 AM

Could someone explain what "tag team" is, for non native speakers like me? (I think I understand but am not sure).

#4 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 05 February 2003 - 01:24 PM

It comes from wrestling (and relay races?) Estelle. Single people are in competition, but in succesion.

#5 dirac

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Posted 05 February 2003 - 02:24 PM

That really is an idea for the history books, Manhattnik.


Strictly speaking, this isn't a tag team concept, since there's no opportunity to tag, but I suggest this, for companies with fouette-challenged ballerinas: During the Black Swan coda, have several principals waiting in the wings as Odile goes into her 32 big ones. At the first sign of wobbling/traveling/slipping, send out a relief pitcher, who will tactfully bump her colleague to the side with a fast pop of the hip and assume her place, and so forth.

#6 Alexandra

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Posted 05 February 2003 - 02:28 PM

Another cousin to this idea is one I've long had for Etudes -- during the fouette conttest they just keep going until there's only one left standing, er turning, and she gets to be the ballerina and finish the ballet.

#7 JaneD

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 01:15 AM

Just two words.

Rose Adage.

#8 Mary J

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 06:58 AM

The traveling arabesques in the second act of Giselle - I always picture the members of the corps going into the wings, running around behind the backdrop and going to the back of the line to do it again.

#9 kfw

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 07:23 AM

I love it, dirac. Perhaps companies could send out a cavalier (of sorts) too, to stand on the other side of the hapless wobbler, catch her when she's bumped, and unceremoniously drag her off.

#10 Hans

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 10:09 AM

I have a tape of a Kirov gala that uses this idea. Yulia Makhalina comes out and dances the adagio and variation from Le Jardin Anime. Then comes the Odalisque pas de trois, and then we have yet another Medora in the form of Altynai Asylmuratova performing the pas de deux from Act II with Ali. They do the adagio, variations, and coda, and then Medora I comes out again with Gulnare to perform the Jardin Anime coda, at the end of which Medora II and Ali pose center stage, flanked by Medora I, Gulnare, the corps, and the odalisques. All they needed was another Gulnare so that she could dance the Pas d'Esclave from Act I, and they could bill it as "Highlights of Le Corsaire!" And how about that Nutcracker in which Maximova and Vasiliev perform Act I and another couple performs Act II?

JaneD, I think they should have performed the Rose Adagio on the Born to be Wild documentary. Maybe they could have had four (or even eight!) Auroras :(.

Not to even mention all those entrechats-quatres in Giselle...or Pas de Quatre.

#11 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 01:19 PM

but but but.............the shades!!!!!!!!!!!! think of it, one girl comes out and does it, second girl comes in, tags her and does it, 32 TIMES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#12 dancermom2

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 02:00 PM

The dance of the cygnets in Swan Lake!

#13 Mel Johnson

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Posted 06 February 2003 - 05:23 PM

Hey, no fair on the Maximova/Vasiliev Nutcracker! That was an injury-caused substitution.


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