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Carbro's reference to "defacto demisoloists" here


caught my eye, in part because I'd just see the term "demisoloist" in a Pacific Northwest Ballet press release, referring to several members of the corps de ballet who frequently perform roles 'above their rank.' I know that some companies (mostly older European ones) actually have the demisoloist rank in their hierarchy, but I can't think of too many American companies that do. Here in Seattle I think it's being used primarily as an honorary title ("we can't afford to promote you to soloist because there's no room in the budget, but we know that you perform those kinds of roles") -- does anyone else see that term used in their own community, and if so, how is it applied?

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Hi sandik - actually PNB used the term with regard to, I believe, THEME AND VARIATIONS, because we refer to the 4 solo couples as "demis." So the term isn't referring to a rank of dancer, simply a role in this particular ballet.

And hi Doug!

I know that's how the roles are described in T and V, but it was seeing the term in a couple of different places within a day of each 'sighting' that made me wonder about the position and how it fits in contemporary companies.

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Sometimes the two coryphées who "lead" the corps de ballet in "Les Sylphides" are referred to as demi-soloists, although just as often they are called "the miseries". (Wonder why? Just think of standing stock still through the entire prelude with your arms in first arabesque! Thank heaven Fokine didn't really care what you do with your feet there. They're buried under all the tulle from the kneeling girls all around you.)

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