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good variations


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Sizova performs all the usual Russian choreography, which is restrained, not technically dramatic. By the way, the cambré back is not a big one--just in the upper back, with the head inclined. It's not obvious; it's just a fuller use of the back than you would see with for example a British or Balanchine dancer. There is also a young Natalia Makarova dancing the bluebird pas de deux with Valery Panov on the same tape.

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Alexandra, sorry, I do not the meaning of "pudgy" (English is not my first language!!)

Hans, I see what you are referring to: it is the use of the upper back which is so unique to the Russians, and which is linked to the "epaulement": they sort of detach their upper back from their lower back, and make movements flow from there, and giving them an "airy" look. I think that is the reason why their "swans" look so good.

silvy

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I agree with you a thousand per cent about the cambre -- ESPECIALLY in the first variation (THE ONE PRECEDING HTE rOSE ADAGIO) -- what makes those sauts de chats SO beautiful is hte cambre a the crest of hte leap - if it weren't Aurora, you'd think it was Kitri -- except that there's nothing peasant about it -- it is so elegant it looks natural(!!!) to see the head reach back like that at the top of the jump....

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She is a teacher at the Universal Ballet Academy in Washington, DC. She is the most turned-out person I have ever seen, and I have some fun stories about her--like the time she was giving the girls a grand allegro combination and accidentally did a double assemblé en tournant (she's sixty-something years old) and then told her students (about 15-16 years old) not to try it because it was too difficult! She wasn't trying to be rude; she just meant they weren't yet advanced enough.

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Hans

Thanks for your news - how lucky Sizova's students are!!!

How I wish I could see her in person, teaching class (or taking class with her - even better)

Speaking about "ballet backs", I also find Makhalina's another wonder in the ballet world!!!

silvy

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I have another query.

I normally dance variations that demand balance on pointe, artistry, expressiveness as opposed to pyrotechnics (I am no virtuoso - sadly). For instance, I am currently dancing Corsaire (Medora's or Queen of Dryads), Don Q's second soloist (the one with the rond de jambes sur pointe), or Raymonda (first and third act), or Paquita's "harp", "Prelude" from "Les Sylphides".

It is years since I did a jumping variation (last time was the Mazurca from "Sylphides", since I have been experiencing trouble with my tendons. Now I feel better, and would like to try doing a big-jump variation (such as Gamzatti, or Don Q's first soloist). I wonder if in order to do a variation such as that you need a really HIGH jump (I am no Terekova, either, though I do jump, and I am "quick" as I am short).

thanks for feedback!!!

silvy

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I don't think you need a really incredible jump to perform those variations, but if you are planning on performing them onstage, it would be preferable to have strong grand allegro. However, if you need to work on grand allegro, those variations would probably be good studio practice. Being good at pirouettes helps, too. Lots of consecutive doubles in those variations.

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i have found this thread rather overwhelming - probably because not all of these variations are known to me.

i think it seems to be full of good ideas, and personal experiences and recommendations. i couldn't help wondering if there is a way to sort them out a bit - a way to make the information in here a bit more accessible, to students (or teachers), who might want this information, in future?

i had thought to go through these posts and 'sort' them, somehow...but i'm not sure how, and i really don't have the time. maybe someone else has a bright idea how to do it, and maybe even the urge to follow-thru...?

for example, if i were a student wanting to choose a variation, but not having seen many of them, where would i start to even think about them? i think it might help, to perhaps divide the many posts here into the comments about:

- variations for the adagio, long-legged, lyrical dancer

- variations for the shorter/ jumpy-type/faster dancer

- variations for the good-turner

- any other ideas of how to do it?

of course, some variations might be on several lists...

i realise that many such variations combine diverse skills, but i DO think (speaking as a teacher, anyway) that it IS possible to categorise many of them, according to the MAIN skills needed...has anyone got any thoughts about this, and/or an urge to try to do it? ;)

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I think it would probably require a moderator. What s/he could probably do, I think, would be to take comments relating to a particular type of variation as grace suggested above and place them in a new thread specifically for discussing that type of variation. Perhaps that would be more organized?

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Referring to what both Grace and Hans are saying, I wud say that I'll second Hans's suggestion for a moderator to sort this out. Maybe to have a special category made for this, as a reference to students, teachers and dancers.

Also what Grace implies that some variations might "overlap" somehow. I remember that a teacher of mine (an ex dancer with the Marquis de Cuevas, and a prima ballerina in Uruguay) once said that tall dancers could not do quick variations, while short dancers could tackle both slow and quick variations. I, personally, am very short, but I love slow variations (maybe because I would like to look like Yulia Makhalina, but I am the opposite!!!)

silvy

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