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Balanchine's "Sylvia" pas de deux

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Hello :D

I was watching my "ABT at the Met" video the other day, and I was wondering, at the end of the "Sylvia" pas de deux, Martine Van Hamel does these turns where she keeps her front leg in what looks like attitude, and then she just keeps turning on her other leg - What are these called? They look like fouettes, except instead of whipping her leg out to the side and back, it just stays in the front.

Edited by soubrette_fan
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or in the franglaise sort of terminology my ballet teacher used to coin:

releve turns in attitude/front.

or, the moment might even fall under the category of answers mr. b. was known to give to similar queries: 'is not school; is choreography.'

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Sylvia is rather difficult to classify. Its original production values are formed from the Neo-Roman (not Graeco-Roman, she is the nymph of Diana, not Artemis) Revivalism that accompanied the Beaux-Arts period of French art. It has a rough parallel in the paintings of Pierre-Auguste Cot, as "The Storm" and other revivalist works. It was the popular thing to do in the 1950s and 60s to brand that whole aesthetic as mawkish and sentimental, yet art scholars today go to the above-named painting as a way to understand painterly virtue in the ways of using the brush, much as Ingres was and is admired. If it were architecture, it might be one of the "pleasure domes with a temple on top" of McKim, Mead, and White, with Corinthian order de rigeur, and acanthus leaves hanging off of everything. Yet, now, Beaux-Arts is good business in historic preservation. They used to knock Tchaikovsky for "just being loud", but now the argument has progressed far beyond the "Tortured Artistic Genius? or was he just an Old Pouf who Wrote Tunes?" stage. The time for seeing Sylvia in a new light may finally have come, except that in the original libretto, there's not a lot of dedicated work for men. Still, a skilled and sensitive choreographer could do a lot with the score. Ashton certainly did; perhaps now is a better time for viewing it than when his version was premiered.

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