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Supported Pirouettes :/

Guest Lukayev

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Guest Lukayev

The school at which I study is having a Spring Show in exactly a week, but there's still mucho things that need to be patched up, or re-choreographed b/c of music inavailability.


Among the things that need work is this one pirouette that I must do in the Act III Finale of Coppelia. Seeing as it would be kind of lame for a just-married couple to have to dance around each other but never with their soulmate, the boy dancing Franz and I decided we should do something 'cool' for the final bar of music.


And so, we decided on a supported pirouette, hopefully one that'll go on past the commonplace two revolutions. Now, it's not the bourrée-fourth-pirouette type; this one starts off looking like one of those finger pirouttes, except the girl's arms whoosh into a tight first(?) position and the boy's hands zip to the waist. The push-off with the left-hand one, you know? With a slight rond de jambe-looking thing to retiré. Anyway.


I was wondering if Miss Leigh and Mr. Mel could share some of their expertise with a young 'un like mahself, seeing as they are seasoned professionals who have doubtlessly had to perform like 5 billion of these pirouettes themselves. Hohoho. :) I believe it would only be beneficial, and it would aid both me and my Franz-man as we'd get both turner and turnee viewpoints. :)


Au revoir!

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"Turner" viewpoint....it's just a fouetté, like pushing off from the barre ;) Your job is to get a good push off from the left hand and then just keep yourself totally aligned and spot. Easy, no? NO! However, very possible to do multiple pirouettes from this preparation if you are strong, have a good spot, and a good partner! :) And I will leave it there and let Mr. Johnson speak to what your Franz must do. (If he is good and you are centered, you will not need a massive amount of force. You do need a good push off, but be careful of throwing yourself off center with too much power. Attack it positively, but don't throw yourself into it!)

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"Supporter" viewpoint - This turn is actually easier on you than a finger turn, but you have to be standing firm on balance whether on one foot or both, and because it's not a finger turn, you can hold your partner by the wrists or the back of her hand. When she starts the rond de jambe, just hold fast so she has some form of resistance to turn from, then when the leg whips in to retiré, quickly move your hands from the wrist(s) to her waist and support as for an ordinary pirouette. This turn is often used when there is a big mismatch between the tallness of the Swanilda, and the shortness of the Franz. ;)

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Guest Lukayev

Heehee, Mr. Mel, there is indeed a difference in height between me and my Franz. :rolleyes: And though I think otherwise, the Franz boy seems to think he is hovering near 6 feet. Pshaw! I'm only 5'6" when standing like a good little human being. :)


Thank you to both Miss Leigh and Mr. Mel for your advice! Unfortunately my Franz did not show up for rehearsal today so I didn't get to put the words into practice, but never fear, Monday is near!

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Now, I recall performing in Coppélia as Franz a couple of times, although I was much more often Dr. Coppélius, character dancer that I am. In the productions I did, there was an unusual sort of lift at the very end of the pas de deux, which entailed the boy taking a moderate lunge in fourth position ouverte, while the girl did a piqué arabesque in a croisé (fourth arabesque Vaganova) and the boy "scoops" her in his upstage arm as she takes a pas de poisson position and ends up arching around him and showing her head and shoulders to the audience in some decorous position I could never see, as she was so behind me. This pose has a great "huh?" value for the audience.

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