Interesting Questions, Facts and Information
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Interesting Questions, Facts, and Information
|What is the French term meaning 'Dance for Two' that is used to describe partner dances in various ballets (spelling counts)?||Ballet Basics
|The basic step in which a leg is extended straight behind the body at a right angle is called?||Ballet Basics
Arabesque. The various forms of arabesque are infinite. An attitude is similar to an arabesque with a curved leg, and penche is a term used to describe an arabesque inclined forward.
|In 'The Nutcracker', what item is associated with the Russian dance?||Ballet Basics
Trepak. In the second act, four of the dances are Spanish Chocolate, Chinese Tea, Arabian Coffee, and Russian Trepak.
devant. Derriere is in back, and en dehors and en dedans refer to the direction while turning.
|In which ballet position do the feet NOT touch each other?||Ballet Basics
|And finally, which Petipa ballet is traditionally danced at every graduation performance of the Vaganova Choreogaphic Institute?||Russian Ballets
Paquita. It's a crowd favorite and it's SOOO Petipa.
|Who was the first ballerina to play Juliet in "Romeo and Juliet"?||Russian Ballets
Ulanova. She's my favorite ballerina of all time. She's so small and cute, plus she has brilliant technique and she can act up a storm.
|Which danseur was the first to play The Slave in "Scheherezade"?||Russian Ballets
Nijinsky. One of the things critics who saw Nijinsky perform always remarked on was his ability to change the appearance and movement of his body. Petroushka is limp and scrawny, the Rose is thin and lithe, and the Faun is young but sculpted. In this case, the Slave is supposed to be voluptuous, almost to the point of being a bit plump. Such was the genius of one of the greatest danseurs of all time. It is such a pity none of us could see him, or that there was never a recording made of him dancing. I'm sure you've all seen the black-and-white clip of Baryshnikov dancing the other Slave from "La Corsaire" when he was 18 or something...:)
Igor. The legend, "The Song of Igor's Campaign" is a very famous poem, again by Pushkin and again about those pesky Tartars. I guess Igor tried to rebel against the Tartars who kept invading Russia, but they killed him anyway. I bought the book at a flea market but I haven't had a chance to read it yet. Oh--Yarouslavna was his wife, and the ballet is named after her for some reason. It was created in Soviet times and is rarely performed. The music is by Shostakovitch.
|In "The Sleeping Beauty," is Carabosse played by a male or female?||Russian Ballets
male. Yeah...see here's the story...I saw "TSB" performed by the Kirov when I was about 3. It may have been the first ballet I ever saw, and unfortunately, that image was forever fixed in my mind as to what a ballet should look like. But anyway, Carabosse appeared in "her" chariot and I was really scared because of the music, and the familiars, and "her" appearance. I swear to God I thought it was a really ugly woman. And you know, my mother never told me that it was a man, and I never watched for the name on the credits. SOOOO...one day when I was maybe 13, there was a show on called "Dancing for Dollars" (which seems to be on twice a year) and they were behind the scenes of the Kirov, and they showed many clips of rehearsals, "TSB" among them. I recognized the music albeit the out-of-tune piano and saw this guy named Sergei or something prancing around with a cane making these hideous faces, and realized that he must be playing Carabosse, and therefore that the part was always played by a guy in drag. It was quite a revelation. I asked my mother about it and she just said I was young and she didn't think I'd have understood if she'd tried to explain, which is probably true, but still...
|Does the Russian version of "The Nutcracker" have a snow queen?||Russian Ballets
No. Nah, lots of versions don't.
Khachaturian. I personally thought at first that this ballet was a bit "novel" for a Soviet work, but come to think of it, it is about the slaves revolting against the Roman patricians. Nonetheless, it doesn't have a happy ending, so I'm puzzled as to what kind of message that sends to the proletariat.
|Is the horse in "The Little Humpbacked Horse" played by a male or a female in the production from the 1960s?||Russian Ballets
female. I have only seen a short clip of this ballet; it is the scene where Ivan plays his flute for the princess and she falls asleep. I believe she was danced by Maya Pliesetskaya and Ivan by Yuri Grigorovitch. Unfortunately I've forgotten who danced the horse but there was a lot of pantomime and running around on pointe. Looked like something I could do.
Poland. This "choreographic poem" (haha) is based on a poem by Alexander Pushkin, who based it on a real event. The Tartars invade Poland and capture a princess named Maria, who plays the harp. The harp comes with her. The Tartar king, Khan Girey, falls in love with her and kills her husband and takes her with him. His mistress, Zarema, hates Maria because Girey is more interested in her. So Zarema stabs Maria in the back and she dies. Khan Girey orders Zarema to be killed, which she is, and then, overcome with grief, has the Fountain of Tears built because after all, he really did love Maria. Sad.
|With a slight plie, the dancer springs into the air from the fifth position and then lands on one foot with a demi-plie and the other leg extended to the back, front, or side. The foot of the extended leg is then closed to the supporting foot. What is this step called?||Basic Ballet Terms
sissone. A rond de jamb a terre is an exercise performed at the barre to loosen the hip joint. Penche refers to an arabesque position, and in a battement en cloche, the dancer swings the leg as high as possible to the back and front - again to loosen the hip joint. It's another warm-up exercise
"Le Spectre de la Rose". Scarves seem to show up a lot in ballets for some reason.
|In Act II of "Giselle," Giselle has a very famous part where she does a series of entrechat-retires followed by entrechats very, very fast. Who also does them in a later, classical ballet?||Famous Ballet Solos and Pas de Deux
Odette. I just sort of noticed it. They say Dame Alicia Markova used to do this part in "Giselle" faster than the orchestra could play. I saw this in a TV program about Giselle and she does indeed go very fast.
Black Swan ("Swan Lake"). Weird, huh?
No. No, silly, Coppelia barely even moves. She's basically a walk-on. Swanilda is the female lead. She's actually one of the very few leads in Classic and Romantic ballets who is a normal, mortal girl for the whole ballet.
No. Nope, just the one in Act III.
Diamond Fairy. I have a recording of this played by the Russian National Orchestra at positively lightning, break-neck speed. The Silver Fairy also tends to be fast, but I think this one's faster.
Giselle. Ah ha! Hops en pointe *were* impossible in 1841; the solo was actually added by Olga Spessitseva around the turn of the century. It was her solo; it wasn't in the original choreography, however it's now always done and Giselle always does it.
Bluebird ("Sleeping Beauty"). Only in Russia could a bluebird and a princess be lovers...I guess...
|Which solo has a marked break in the music near the end (before the final menage of piques and fouettes) which generally causes audience members unfamiliar with the solo to start applauding before the solo is over?||Famous Ballet Solos and Pas de Deux
Sugar Plum Fairy ("The Nutcracker"). It's so annoying isn't it? The poor girl stands there probably thinking "I'm not done--there are still a lot more turns to go..."
|The coda in which ballet features the lead female doing 32 fouettes (or to be exact, to 32 *counts* of fouettes, which usually turns out to be about 28 and a pull-in)? ||Famous Ballet Solos and Pas de Deux
"Swan Lake". "Don Q" has a million fouettes as well, although most ballerinas nowadays shudder when they hear the ominously familiar "dadun-dadun-dadun-dadadadadadun-dadadadadadun..."
54. He also revived seventeen old productions and provided the dances for many operas.
The back row of the Corps de Ballet. The term was derived from the typical backcloth of the era, which often had a fountain in the middle.
Theophile Gautier. Besides being a critic, Gautier was also instumental in bringing about the production of "Giselle", for which he co-wrote the libretto (with St. George), and he also wrote the librettos for a number of other ballets (among them "La Peri"), most featuring Carlotta Grisi, with whom he was madly in love and whose sister he married.
|Due to an illness, Petipa was not able to choreograph all four acts of "Swan Lake", and Lev Ivanov was given two acts to choreograph. Which two acts were choreographed by Ivanov?||Ballet in the Nineteenth Century
II and IV. Anyone seeing "Swan Lake" for the first time will immediately notice the huge difference in style between Petipa's acts and Ivanov's.
|From 1851 until 1858 Jules Perrot was the "Maitre De Ballet" for the Marynski theatre in St. Petersburg. What event prompted his decision to return to France?||Ballet in the Nineteenth Century
A mirror in his drawing room broke one evening while he was in the room with his family, and he considered this an ill omen.. While in Russia, Perrot married Capitoline Samovskaya, a pupil of his, and the couple had two children.
|The Vienna Congress had many nicknames, and one of them was given to it because of a new style of dance that was becoming popular at the time, and which was very popular at the Congress. What was this nickname? ||Ballet in the Nineteenth Century
The Waltzing Congress. The Waltz began as a peasants' dance, and gradually caught on in ballrooms as the sucsessor to the Minuet.