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dnznqueen

Pas de Quatre

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Hello, all....I have been asked to help set Pas de Quatre for a school. I vaguely remember learning one of the variations years ago, but was never told who or what it was. I know the names of everybody, but I want to know what each was known for, i.e., why certain arms for one and not the other, etc. Also, things like why does Taglioni have a necklace and bracelet and not the others. The internet has not yielded much info regarding things like this....and for reference, all I have is the Classic Kirov tape, the one with Komleva, etc. (BTW-who is who on the tape? I know I should know this, but alas, I do not), and I have the Nina Ananiashvilli version with herself, Terekhova, Kistler and Gad. Even looking at the two I notice major differences- if anyone can explain the whats and the whys, it would be very much appreciated!!! I want my students not to learn just steps, but the history behind what they are doing as well. Thank you so very much!!!!

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The dancers look the way they do because that's the way they're portrayed in the famous Chalon lithograph of the ballet. If you'll notice, there are subtle differences among all the costumes, although they are all the same general type. Taglioni's hair is upswept into the famous hairstyle called the "Taglioni Turban" whether worn with an actual turban or not.

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There are also two other versions of the Dolin choreography available on tape or DVD: one is on Nina Ananiashvili & International Stars, Vol. 2, with Nina Ananiashvili, Darci Kistler, Rose Gad, and Tatyana Terekhova, and the other is on Alicia Alonso: Prima Ballerina Assoluta, with Alicia Alonso, Melissa Hayden, Nora Kaye, and Mia Slavenska. (On the same DVD, there's also a version choreographed by Alonso, with Alonso, Mirta Plá, Loipa Araújo, and Aurora Bosch.)

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dnznqueen, there was a really interesting, informative discussion of PdQ on hte "Glory of the Kirov" thread -- it told me a lot I didn't know about the choreographer and the traditions he had to work with in "recreating' the ballet. You might get something from there.

Thanks for bringing the question up - -I love this ballet.

Which of the versions do you like best so far, in your "uneducated" state? You can always change your mind later -- that's what I do as I find out more -- but the impressions you have now are really valuable in themselves. I'd LOVE to see the Ananiashvili/Kistler/et al version. Is Kistler still good at that? She was FANTASTIC in her youth in steps of that kind, which is documented on the NYCB Bournonville DIvertissements which she was coached in great detail by Stanley Williams) -- her little rond de jambe sautes are among the most beautiful the world has ever seen, and her quatres and sixes are unbelievable, and pique attitude turns like THISTLEdown.

But she was flying -- the cool thing about the Kirov version is how exquisite it all was while being done so close to the ground.

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it has been said that Taglioni wore her pearl necklace and bracelets because she had what were thought of an inordinately long arms and neck, and the circlets of pearls were meant to "break" or artfully interrupt the line of her arms and neck.

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