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Odile Variation Hops on Pointe


aurora

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I can't remember if the 2 young dancers who danced Zulma (or Sulma.....the program used an "S") on different days did a penchee or an arabesque at the end, but they definitely brought the leg completely around, and that is probably because there were Cuban teachers during the summer intensive.

I have seen some dancers lift their leg so high behind them instead that there is no way to bring it all the way around behind them. So it is flashy at the beginning (height of leg) but not all the way through. So I guess it is a trick to impress with leg height, but circling the leg all the way is more impressive in the long run.

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The nice thing on a renversee is to see this beautiful circling properly done with the twisted body to it.

Yes, it is nice and more fluid than just lifting the leg as high as you can and putting it back down on the floor once it is behind you. I agree!

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On 8/26/2012 at 3:30 PM, Birdsall said:

We still don't have an answer to the original question. Even if Alicia Alonso learned this version of the coda at ABT during her time with ABT, who taught it that way? Where did it originate? No one seems to know. It had to be an addition at some point, since people say pointe shoes used to make hops on pointe much harder. But I wonder who originated it and when. It looks so hard that it is no wonder that it was thrown out, but let's hope some ballerinas will see these old videos and copy this little bit of choreography from time to time! It is quite exciting. I would love to see it done this way in the theatre and not just on video!!!

Dusting off this thread, here's another example I just found that makes me believe this sautees vogages in arabesque/penchee were known and done around the 50's in NYC-(Alonso claims to have learned the step while at BT). Actually the whole coda looks EXACTLY as it is done in Havana today. Fouettes/sautees on pointe/piques/run-jump-fish dive.

Sonia Arova and Erick Bruhn.

And here's Lupe Serrano, ALTHOUGH... obviously easing her way through...😑

 

Edited by cubanmiamiboy
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On 8/26/2012 at 3:13 PM, cubanmiamiboy said:

Oh, that's WAY intentional. Getting into a penchee on pointe from those sautees in arabesque while doing all that AFTER the fouettes must prove quite exhausting-(and then the ever present nightmare of falling on your face!).

Thanks so much for reviving this thread, Cristian, as I'd missed it before. I just watched the Alonso video you posted back in 2012, and what she does with her upper body while hopping back on pointe (which you describe above) is stunning, gorgeous, and super impressive (even if, admittedly, a bit stiff looking as well — but c'mon, can't blame her)! Wow.

Also, what Lupe Serrano does in the video you just posted may not be quite as challenging as the continuous hops on pointe, but I quite like the effect.

Edited by nanushka
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11 minutes ago, nanushka said:

Thanks so much for reviving this thread, Cristian, as I'd missed it before. I just watched the Alonso video you posted back in 2012, and what she does with her upper body while hopping back on pointe (which you describe above) is stunning, gorgeous, and super impressive (even if, admittedly, a bit stiff looking as well — but c'mon, can't blame her)! Wow.

Also, what Lupe Serrano does in the video you just posted may not be quite as challenging as the continuous hops on pointe, but I quite like the effect.

what Lupe Serrano does is, as you indicate, distinctly not the same.

In fact it is much what ABT does currently, though it is done at a slightly different place in the music.

I wonder if the change to doing them on pointe was an alteration to that sequence by Alicia Alonso to showcase her amazing strength and technique?

I admit I had a hard time tearing myself away from watching D'Ambroise pirouette on a foot with no relevee... 😧

Edited by aurora
added video!
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14 minutes ago, aurora said:

what Lupe Serrano does is, as you indicate, distinctly not the same.

In fact it is much what ABT does currently, though it is done at a slightly different place in the music.

Closer, yes, though I much prefer Serrano's relevé to pointe with every hop.

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31 minutes ago, aurora said:

I admit I had a hard time tearing myself away from watching D'Ambroise pirouette on a foot with no relevee... 😧

Yes! Reminds me of those killer pirouettes in the lead ballerina's opening candenza in Ballet Imperial, with her heel barely off the ground and the other foot tracing circles around her.

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Thank you for this video of Jacques D’Amboise. I had forgotten how amazingly he danced. His height enhances his line, and despite his height he seems lighter than air. Then I watched the video right below of Angel Corella—as good as he is in this role, to me D’Amboise surpasses him in a jaw-dropping way. If I run into D’Amboise at the ballet (as I did about a year ago) I’ll tell him I saw this clip. Thanks again.

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1 hour ago, nanushka said:

Closer, yes, though I much prefer Serrano's relevé to pointe with every hop.

I like both variants to be honest. Aesthetically I see them as roughly equal, but I see the ABT version as hypnotic, and the culmination of the character.

With Siegfried in front of her she's luring him towards her and then, with the relevee, indicating he should stop....It really is the last part of the seduction of that character.

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22 minutes ago, aurora said:

With Siegfried in front of her she's luring him towards her and then, with the relevee, indicating he should stop....It really is the last part of the seduction of that character.

Right, I see what you mean. I hadn’t considered it dramatically, more just abstractly.

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Arova quite nail the hops the right way, IMO,  and covers a good part of the stage, which is another exciting element of the sequence.

Also...the very climax of the whole thing as I remember, was for the ballerina to go into penchee while traveling and to finish with an attitude derriere cambre. Not all of them did them, but Rosario Suarez never failed to show her capability. 

@ 4:45

 

Edited by cubanmiamiboy
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Suarez is just fabulously fun to watch in the final sequence.

(She was one of my favorites when the National Ballet of Cuba first came to Kennedy Center way back when....)

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22 minutes ago, Drew said:

Suarez is just fabulously fun to watch in the final sequence.

(She was one of my favorites when the National Ballet of Cuba first came to Kennedy Center way back when....)

She was quite the black sheep of Alonso's company. Always relegated...never allowed to tour..her defection and very vocal criticism of Alonso's tyranny were epic. I often see her at ballet performances down here. She's a faculty member somewhere.

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41 minutes ago, cubanmiamiboy said:

She was quite the black sheep of Alonso's company. Always relegated...never allowed to tour..her defection and very vocal criticism of Alonso's tyranny were epic. I often see her at ballet performances down here. She's a faculty member somewhere.

I definitely remember seeing and loving a Rosario Suarez, but if she was never allowed to tour must I be thinking of someone else? Or was she once or twice allowed to tour and that’s what I remember? 

In any case, I enjoyed the video you posted...

Edited by Drew
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12 hours ago, Drew said:

I definitely remember seeing and loving a Rosario Suarez, but if she was never allowed to tour must I be thinking of someone else? Or was she once or twice allowed to tour and that’s what I remember? 

In any case, I enjoyed the video you posted...

It was definitely her. It was probably the first time Alonso was back in US since she left in 1960, so definitely needed to show her most talented dancers. But aside from that, little she toured, and was made Principal at almost 40, which was a horrible thing for Alonso to do 

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Wow, Suarez is spectacular!  I can’t believe she wasn’t a principal until nearly 40.  She deserved *all* of the audience adultation. 

What were her specific criticisms of Alonso?  

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3 hours ago, Jayne said:

Wow, Suarez is spectacular!  I can’t believe she wasn’t a principal until nearly 40.  She deserved *all* of the audience adultation. 

What were her specific criticisms of Alonso?  

There's a whole documentary. "Queen of Thursdays"-(she was baptized as such by her fans due to the perennial post for Thursdays performances Alicia seemed to be so fond of to give to her)

 

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7 hours ago, CharlieH said:

Three words in that trailer sum it up:  Abuse of Power. 

 

Yeah. Suarez getting in the eye of Alonso stories were famous. I think Alicia knew there was finally someone on the Cuban ballet radar that, given the chance of having an international career, could had outshine her, technically wise. A friend of mine told me that Alonso, who used to go to every single performance of Suarez, even blind...to carefully assess the situation, used to get very nervous when audiences started to roar during any of Suarez circus-like stunt-(she was also called "la cirquera"😂), and would angrily say to her companions arund her..."Y ahora que c... esta haciendo "esa"....?!?"..."So what the hell is she doing now...?!?"

It was envy.

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Suarez is extraordinary! I'm so happy to see these clips of her.  She is even able to make fouettes beautiful, and has such a  vividly beautiful, expressive face.  Thank you, Cristian, for posting all the clips.  

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15 minutes ago, Josette said:

Suarez is extraordinary! I'm so happy to see these clips of her.  She is even able to make fouettes beautiful, and has such a  vividly beautiful, expressive face.  Thank you, Cristian, for posting all the clips.  

My pleasure.🙂

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It's so interesting to see what is regarded as "circus" depending on the time.   I find Suarez quite measured, despite her technique, and she doesn't distort.  

Viengsay Valdes is an Alonso protege, and she performs more pyrotechnics than I've ever seen in a Suarez video.  That said I didn't even find Valdes circusy when she held perfect balance and switched from forward to back (or maybe the opposite) arabesque in the last act Don Q PDD without a single balance check or missing a beat of the music, but context is everything, and part of context is the time.

 

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15 minutes ago, Josette said:

Suarez ....is even able to make fouettes beautiful, and has such a  vividly beautiful, expressive face...

YES! This is exactly how critics of the early-20th C described Vera Trefilova (contemporary of Pavlova, Kchessinskaya, Preobrazhenskaya)...the most beautiful fouettés imaginable. I’m in the midst of researching Trefilova and the words of Haskell’s small monograph on the Tsarist ballerina ring true here:

p. 16 - “...her [Trefilova’s] charm lies as with Ingres in line rather than color...the charm of aristocracy in movement...”

p. 32 - “...the quality of [Trefilova’s] 32 fouettés, each perfect.” “Classical technique and temperament combined.”

p. 38 - “The fouettés of Trefilova are a complete joy...in no sense a trick.”

Haskell, Arnold. Vera Trefilova: A Study In Classicism, London, 1928.

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2 hours ago, cubanmiamiboy said:

Yeah. Suarez getting in the eye of Alonso stories were famous. I think Alicia knew there was finally someone on the Cuban ballet radar that, given the chance of having an international career, could had outshine her, technically wise. A friend of mine told me that Alonso, who used to go to every single performance of Suarez, even blind...to carefully assess the situation, used to get very nervous when audiences started to roar during any of Suarez circus-like stunt-(she was also called "la cirquera"😂), and would angrily say to her companions arund her..."Y ahora que c... esta haciendo "esa"....?!?"..."So what the hell is she doing now...?!?"

It was envy.

Absolutely. ENVY. 😉 

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