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good variations


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#16 Hans

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Posted 23 February 2003 - 08:04 PM

Two good choices for petite allegro are the first Shade from La Bayadere and the first Odalisque from Le Corsaire. Also, Cupid's variation from Don Quixote.

For adagio, there is a slow variation in Paquita, as well as the third shade in La Bayadere.

#17 silvy

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Posted 25 February 2003 - 09:55 AM

to lil-dega:

Cud you tell me the choreography of the Sugar Plum and Coppelia you were dancing? Because I have many versions on video, and I am quite confused - I am perpetually studying variations, that's why I wud like to know.

thanks!!!!

:mad:

silvy

#18 silvy

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Posted 25 February 2003 - 10:50 AM

to Mr Mel:

Of course - I did not count on Les Sylphides - I have danced the 3 of them, and I can tell you that you need to be on top form to tackle the Mazurka and the Waltz, since the combination of jumps with pointe work (or turning combinations) is really hard. But they are beautiful, provided the ballerina has a romantic quality about her.

silvy

#19 Rachel

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 06:28 PM

One of my favorite variations is the Lilac Fairy (Kirov w/ Kolpakova as Aurora.) If you are a legato dancer with good balance and a nice arabesque line, this solo provides a great canvas for artistic interpretation: adding nuances and playing with musicality.

The second Odalisque is a good variation for the dancer with a strong technique but who lacks an obvious strong point. There are turns, attitudes and arabesques, and petite allegro.

I also love Aurora's variation from the Wedding Pas de Deux. The port de bras is so fluid and delicate, and it's a great opportunity for displaying good feet.

Esmerelda is an overall fun, lively, and bravura variation. Each section of the variation ends in a pirouette, and the music definitely allows for multiples. It also requires some lengthy balances. The tambourine and seductive gypsy movements really allow some character to come through.

Rachel

#20 silvy

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Posted 05 March 2003 - 06:44 AM

Speaking about variations, would you say that a slow variations are only for tall dancers? I ask this because i am very short, have strong pointes, but also have very good balance on pointe and a nice arabesque line (as Rachel points out above), and a good "a la seconde" positions. I also love "stretching" the movements to the music, exploring the nuances the music allows.

would you say that I shud limit myself to allegro because of my height?

Hear comments / feedback!!!

silvy

#21 Paul Parish

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Posted 05 March 2003 - 09:01 AM

Nobody is mentioning variations that show your musicality, so I'll mention a couple-- since it's such a pleasure to see someone with good technique who can actually DANCE.....

A) If your sissonnes are good, Bournonville's Sylphide's variation from act 2 is an enchanting dance -- floating, lyrical, playful -- with a lot of interesting lines to it. It's very airy, not super-hard technically, but the LINE has to be continuous, and the rhythm and the flow of movement timing, and style are all-important....It's supposed to be a petite dancer's role, but I've seen Muriel Maffre succeed in it, and she's 5' 10", inches tall.....

B) If you've got some sass and brass in your soul, there's a fantastic variation from Macmillan's Elite Syncopations that is all about rhythm, insinuation, line... and "attitude" in the club-dancing sense -- it's kind of a British music-hall version of Chicago, to a Scott Joplin rag-- a sure-fire variation, one of hte best-constructed little dances I've ever seen.

C) Also dancey-- either of the two variations from Ashton's Swan Lake pas de quatre, one based on hte twist, the other on the cha-cha -- full of surprises, , equiring neat footwork, very good entrechat-quatres -- they give you the opportuiity to make standard steps look unfamiliar becauses of the timing.... Very classical, but really refreshing

#22 silvy

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Posted 05 March 2003 - 10:25 AM

Dear Paul:

Oh, thank you for your feedback!!

In fact, people who have seen me say that the solo I look best in is the "Prelude" from Fokine's "Les Sylphides" (I got first prize once with that in a ballet competition - it was my ONLY first prize ever)

I have learnt the "Sylphide" variation you mention, but I feel it cannot be danced in a concert presentation without a partner, because the Sylphide's dances are followed by James's dances, and then she again, etc. Nevertheless, I love it, and it suits my style very well.

I have seen Ashton's Swan Lake, but I cannot help but to find the pas de quatre variations quite odd. The seme I think of the fairies in Ashton's Cinderella, I am afraid.

Never seen Elite Syncopations- do you know if there is any version on video?

thanks!!!!

:)

silvy

#23 SwanQueen

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Posted 05 March 2003 - 12:43 PM

I agree with Paul that perfect technique is NOT everything. You have to pick a variation that you really enjoy dancing and that will show off not only your technique, but also your heart.

I chose Raymonda Act II and Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux for my variations. I especially love Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux because of the music and I think it really suits my style. Raymonda is nice too.

Also, quick question: Is it okay to reverse part of a variation if you're only doing it for a very small local scholarship audition? I need to change the first part of Raymonda to be to the left instead of the right. Is that acceptable?? Thanks!

#24 silvy

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Posted 05 March 2003 - 12:59 PM

to Swan Queen:

Good of you to show such versatility!!! It speaks well of you as a dancer. I say so because Raymonda Act II and Tchaik. pas are so different.

I dont see why you cannot reverse the order (or change the side - I do not have it clear what you are enquirying, but, whatever, both are ok as far as I know). I have seen that done by professional companies - in fact, I have never seen one variation danced identically from one version to the other. For instance, you can do fouettes to the left if that suits you better, of lift the other leg if that works better for you. Of course, it would be better if you get reassurance from some of the experts of this board (I am not one at all!!!)

good luck

silvy

#25 Paul Parish

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Posted 05 March 2003 - 08:34 PM

Hey Silvy,

Congratulations on your first in hte PRelude to Les Sylphides -- that is a beautiful, poetic,and difficult dance, and if you can make that one sing, I'd say that must mean you can DANCE... that argues some wonderful qualities.....

The breadcrumb fairy from SLeeping Beauty might be a good one for you, especially at a flowing andante; Shannon Lily used to dance it SO beautifully in San Francisco, the flow was wonderful...

Sorry you don't like the Ashton pas de quatre -- that dance has a secret, and done wrong, it CAN look strange, so before you dismiss it altogether, let me recommend you see if you can find the London Festival Ballet version (which Makarova staged), with Leanne Benjamin and another marvellous dancer as the 2 girls.... their TIMING is what makes it so thrilling... BUt maybe it's just not to your taste....

Princess Florine's dance with the pique fouettes to arabesque is a wonderful birdlike dance -- the best i've ever seen it done is Antoinette Sibley's performance on the old Royal Ballet Aurora's Wedding -- everybody should see it, the liquid shimmer of her arms begins in hte back, and you can't MISS seeing how totally involved her whole body is in hte dance.... again, hte timing is so musical....

Re Elite Syncopations -- I think there IS a video, I'v never seen it -- San Francisco Ballet just danced it here, and the whole town just went crazy over it.....

#26 Hans

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Posted 05 March 2003 - 08:44 PM

There's nothing wrong with reversing a section as long as you don't mess with the variation's choreographic integrity. If reversing a section would mean the variation was danced mostly on one side of the stage, for example, or if you had to do some convoluted changes of the feet to make it work, I wouldn't recommend it. But if it's an easy change to make and preserves the feeling of the variation, I think it's fine.

#27 Mel Johnson

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Posted 06 March 2003 - 04:54 AM

I agree with Hans. I once saw a Swan Queen who started the sissone section of her variation in Act II from the "wrong" side, and when I asked her why she'd reversed it, she said she wanted the later version of the audience's picture of her in that phrase to be on her stronger side! It just required a little manipulation to get her to the up left corner to start her next-to-last diagonal of turns (the lame ducks before the manège of piqués) on the correct track.

#28 silvy

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Posted 06 March 2003 - 05:45 AM

Hey Silvy,
to: paul Parish

Thanks for your congrats!!! I agree with you in that the Prelude is one of the most difficult dances - not to show the tension anywhere, not to exaggerate the feeling - especially when performance nerves make you tense, and interfere with the sense of calmness you have to convey...

I did dance the bradcrumb (it is the one with all hops on pointe, right? - I enjoyed it, because I have strong feet)

The only version I have seen of Ashton's pas de quatre is the 1982 video of Royal Ballet (starring Makarova and Dowell)- I do not know the name of the dancers of the pas de quatre. I cannot help but to find it odd danced in short tutus -maybe I would have dressed the dancers in long dresses. But that is very personal. -by the way, the same it happens to me with some Balanchine danced in short tutus - I cannot help but to find it odd in that dress....

I agree with you in that Antoinette Sibley is unsurpassed as Princess Florine (in the "quick" version - the slow one as danced by the Russians, for me, is another matter altogether)

Oh, how privileged you are to be able to see San Francisco Ballet, and all.....


thanks for everything!!!

:)
silvy

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#29 Paul Parish

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Posted 06 March 2003 - 07:30 PM

FYI, you all --

and especially Silvy --

the video of Festival Ballet's Swan Lake stars Peter Schaufuss and Evelyn Hart, both of whom are worth seeing; the porduction as a whole is, I agree with Robert Greskovic, rather a hodgepodge -- but hte pas de quatre is extremely vivid, beautifully danced, and full of surprises.....

On ht other hand, given hte roles you are attracted to, Silvy, these 2 don't offer that much..... they aren't ballerina roles, they are very much court-ornament solos..... But they ARE real dances, unlike, say, the the variation from Grand Pas Classique

There's a FABULOUS variation, very short, great for a tomboy, all jumps, from Bournonville's William Tell (music is Rossini) -- tons of little beats alternating with floating grand ecartes, with a diagonal of brises, cabrioles, and pas-de-chat turns.....

The greatest ballerina variation ever danced, though, may be the one you can see young SUzanne farrell dance from Balanchine's DOn QUixote on that Suzanne Farrell TV bio.... She's like smoke, or a genie come out of a bottle, it's like looking at an emotion....

#30 Alexandra

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Posted 06 March 2003 - 07:43 PM

So many variations, so little time.... I just wanted to put a quick word in for the Ashton pas de quatre. I thought the same thing, Paul. The pas de quatre Makarova/Dowell version looks stilted to me, and very quirky; dead Ashton. The dancers on the Festival Ballet video are DANCING it. You can tell they're rooted in ballroom dancing. I would imagine they'd be very hard to dance, though, if that was one's first brush with Ashton. I also loved your description of Farrell's dancing of the Don Q solo. My thoughts were less poetic, but similar. I thought she was dancing what was in Balanchine's brain, that there was nothing between thought and action.

Silvy, you seem to have good instincts of what suits you!


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