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saying "good luck"

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Thank you Ms Leigh. Usually I just write something like "I hope you enjoy dancing tonight" in a card, then the dancer know I mean good luck even if I haven't said it. But I wasn't sure if it really was a bad thing to say it straight out. Tradition is a funny thing! smile.gif

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Guest Enterprisecdr

At my performing arts high school, the girls who have not had that much experience in dance always say "Break a leg, just not literally!" I find that kind of interesting and funny at the same time!

Just adding my two cents...

-Kat smile.gif

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Henrik, when people say "Break a leg", it's because of a kind of old superstition that saying "good luck" would actually bring bad luck, and on the opposite saying something negative like "break a leg" would bring good luck... Saying "merde" (which is a bad word in French- perhaps that's why they didn't use it in "The red shoes") comes from the same kind of superstition. smile.gif

(By the way, "merde" for your audition! wink.gif )

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What one hears backstage before opera performances is "In bocca al lupo" (Into the mouth of the wolf) to which the proper response is "crepi lupo", which has come to mean in this context "may the wolf drop dead".

There are a number of explanations for this term. One is that the auditorium of Italian opera houses, viewed from the stage, looks like a giant mouth--and perhaps a wolfish one. It also wonderfully describes the moment of truth performers face when the curtain rises.

Tito Gobbi, an Italian baritone of some note, said it came from rural Italy many years ago. When men would leave a tavern late at night it was customary for their friends to caution each other to 'beware of the mouth of the wolf' on their journey home, to which they boldly replied: 'crepi lupo' or simply "crepi'."

Another explanation was that it began in Parma, Italy, where anyone appearing onstage was like being in the mouth of the wolf. The audiences in Parma are known for being extremely knowledgeable, unforgiving of any mistake and very loud.

It is used in opera houses all over the world and by singers (and their friends) of all nationalities.

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I like that one, Ed. Thank you.

The last time this came up, someone told a story about "break a leg" that I hadn't heard -- and I'm sure I'm not remembering it correctly -- but that it was related to the reverence, the extended leg? And you "broke" (not the bone) but the position? Does anyone remember that? Is the original poster of that tale still around?

I thought it was on the Merde thread in the Archives, but it's not.

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I never saw anyone spitting, but in norway (and denmark as ms Leigh says) u say "poy poy poy" or poi poi poi in norwegian and poj poj poj in danish..

it doesnt mean anything litteraly

(atleast not anything I have ever heard)

Estelle: thank you! I knew it was`nt meant litteraly, but I didnt knew that it was an opposite form of good luck... smile.gif

[ March 08, 2002, 01:35 PM: Message edited by: Henrik ]

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In a television documentary about the Royal Opera House a few years ago, the children from the Royal Ballet School who were in a performance of Nutcracker said "Good Luck" to each other, and, if I remember rightly, were encouraged to by their teacher Christine Bickley, an ex-soloist of the Royal Ballet - so it seems to be acceptable here.

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The "toi toi toi" used in German theatres is supposed to be the sound of spitting, which is why they also simultaneously spit (over the left shoulder) when saying it.

It is, as are most superstitions, meant to pretend to wish for the worst, in the hopes that in so doing the worst won't happen.

Another thing which is sometimes said, though I have not heard it in a professional setting here, is "Hals und Bein-bruch", which means "Break (your) neck and leg". :rolleyes: :o Seems a bit extreme, eh? :):wink:


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