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Stravinky's Firebird lifts


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Has anyone out there performed Firebird recently? I have a partnering question about a lift 3/4 of the way through the pas. We've been examining two DVD's to get a handle on the mechanics.


I start with the women's left hand in my left hand and my right hand is on her left side just above the hip and slightly to the back. Our bodies are approxiately perpendicular with my back upstage and and the women facing stage right.


At the apex of the lift the women is in sort of a grand jete except the leading leg points up, nearly vertical, and I'm adding to her elevation by pushing up. At least that's what I see in the DVD.


This is nothing I've done before so I'm hoping for some insight, even a name for the lift. I want to say that the mechanics for the women is something along the lines of a hip sit because when we say grand jete my partner jumps away from me and I feel no load whatsoever in my right hand and she gets no extra elevation.




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Danny, I moved this topic here, as I think you may get a better response from the guys here :wink:


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How does she actually enter the lift? Does she jump straight up? Is there a sort of fouetté sauté movement involved? What? :)

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How the lift initiates and what the women does is part of our problem. She starts facing stage right but the jump/lift moves toward the stage-right, up-stage corner.


We get close to the right look if she simply does a grand jetes towards the stage-right, up-stage corner and I simply fake any assisstance (I maintain contact to support an arabesque hold just before doing the lift in question again). However her leading leg does not get the elevation as seen in the video.


Another approach we took that showed some promise involves my partner leaning into me while doing a developee a la seconde and just as she's fully extended I push her up and away from me. I basically get into a deep lunge to get beneath her.


I'm sorry for the vagueness. Part of the problem is that the guy blocks from view what the women is doing just before the lift.

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That's a tough situation to be in. You're talking about a ballet where many choreographers have tried their hands, and there are very few productions of the Fokine done. I don't recall any lifts like that in that production, so I can't help you much. Which production is it?

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Well, it's not that dire. We're just a small studio preparing for the Spring Recital. I don't think anyone will be outraged that we weren't true to Fokine.


We've been watching the Royal Ballet version and the Bolshoi version. The latter, called the Return of the Firebird was not a taping of a performance so the speed and camera angles were very different from the usual DVD's put out by Kultur or ABT. These are the only two Firebirds available as far as I know. Thanks Mel, I'm sure we can make it fly.

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