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Fouette style

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I have read in a magasine that someone wrote that they were taught to do 32 fouettes one after the other in a very fast way, and that this is how she is used to see them done by the Kirov, but that in Don Quichotte at the Paris Opera Ballet and the Nureyev Gala at La Scala, they were done slowerand not in series of four times eight but series of "three times eight, even if th third is double". She then asks if this is due to the choreography or if it is a change in style, because, from what I understand, Svetlana Zacharova does the same. Then Lorna Feijoo says what she thinks about it, and says that in some ballets where they try to make it as diffiucult as possible technically, they do them "by quarters (of a turn)" and then explains: "which means each finished at more than 90°: facing the audience, to the right, back to the audience, to the left ". I don't really understand what it's meant to mean for a fouette! Anyway, what do you think about it? I rather thought it depended on the dancer's technique how many they did, if they did doubles, or even triples as I have seen Laetitia Pujol do in Paquita...(neither mentionned the fact that the supporting leg should theoretically not move) and never really thought of it as a style, since as I have seen some who don't seem to be regular with any sort of "three times eight" or "four times eight" or whatever.


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The "changing-fronts" fouettés have been around for years. Miss Feijoo needs a little more mathematical exactitude in her description of the practice. What she is saying is that each fouetté doesn't make just 360º of rotation, it makes 450º. That's 90º more than a full rotation and ends up perpendicular to the previous front. Now as to what is meant by "three sets of eight, with the third being a double" also sounds like some kind of miscounting. It's not a change in style, it's actually making a sort of circus turn out of something that's already a kind of trick. It sort of goes with Giselles who like to scratch their ears with their kneecaps, and Odettes who like to make entrechat-sixes out of entrechat-quatres, and so on ad nauseam. More, more MORE! Later for that, say I.

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It's true that sometimes (and more and more, especially with the newer dancers coming out which seem to be more and more technicians and forgetting to be artists as well, I mean, from one dancer to the next one can't really see the difference maybe, but if we go back even only 30 years ago, it wasn't the same at all) it becomes a bit much. I mean, how far can technical progress go, without damaging the art? I suppose it could be acceptable with roles which aren't very deep emotionally or with who we identify less because they haven't been given the same humanity (like Gamzatii who doesn't dance much, only one variation), but in others, especially the more narrative ballets and the more moving characters, it becomes unnecessary and more of a disturbance, even though you sometimes think it's impressive. Or I suppose it has to become so easy that the dancer can achieve it without thinking about it and still be completely focused on the interpretation and give a meaning to each movement, but I've never seen that.

Anyway, thank you for the explanation, I was a bit confused at how one could do a 90° rotation with so much speed and then start again without the rhythm being broken.


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