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Penchee ending to the adagio

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Nowadays, in nearly every Swan Lake production, the adagio ends with a penchee. Sometimes 6:00, sometimes 5:45, but the point is, the basic position is the same. But I wonder where this position started, because it certainly wasn't the accepted ending pose in the 1950's or even 1960's! The first ballerina I saw (on video) to do it was Natalia Makarova but she couldn't have been the first -- it must have been something done at the Kirov before she started dancing. In documentaries like Backstage at the Kirov and Children of Theatre Street, it's clear that all the ballerinas are taught the penchee ending, as we see Olga Moiseva specifically coaching Altynai Asylmuratova on the penchee pose, and Galina Mezentseva also ending the adagio with a penchee. So ... does anyone know how the penchee started? Where it started? By the way, I think it looks beautiful, if done correctly.

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It has to be a relatively recent feature, as the old way was to do the finger-turns into promenades en battements serrés, then piqué into the arabesque penché, then a soutenou and a fall into a cambré back, caught by the danseur. Maybe they were trying to compensate for the lack of a third body in the final pose, by cutting at the more dynamic one. Another example of choreography being a lot like a used car. You have to know who had it before you, and what they did to it.

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The penchee ending of the adagio dates back to Sergeyev, at least. This can be seen in the 1968 Kirov movie (it was originally shown in theaters), attributed to Sergeyev, but with some slight alterations (not, I think, in the adagio) in order to show off certain modern effects possible with film. In the early '80's it was released by Kultur as a video cassette ($60, isn't progress wonderful?), but somewhat cropped for format. It still is a very pleasing, nicely filmed version (you see the whole adagio, no stupid reaction or audience shots).

Makarova was to have danced O/O, but a late change gave the role to Yelena Yevteyeva. Siegfried and the Jester were, respectively, Markovsky and Panov.

Yevteyeva's Odette looks very much like the version Markarova danced in the 70's and 80's with ABT. The complete and quite beautiful Act II has been on google's video site for three years, but I don't know if I can give the link here. If one of the moderators wishes to PM, I will send her/him the link and the moderator can decide (one might suspect that google would be "legal" about this, but I know that I don't know).

From the for-ballet-lovers-only site one learns that Yevteyeva, then just 21, later taught Pavlenko and Zakharova, and was coach for Sologub, Makhalina, and the greatest Odette of them all, Veronika Part.


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