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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Ballets: La Fille Mal Gardee

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I am confused here about the female variation from the grand pas de deux in La Fille Mal Gardee. I know that I studied it as a good little RAD student; however, now I am old and cannot properly remember.


Specifically, my question is: Which part of the ballet is actually considered to be the female variation from the Grand Pdd? Lise dances towards the beginning of the pdd I was taught to a moderate tempo and does "glissade precipite, step, grand jete en croise twice then goes into renverse" She has a different and much qucker varition that begins with quick little pdb across the stage. I feel so silly, but I am not sure which one is considered to be from the grand pdd, as I am not as familiar with the faster variation and do not remember if it is part of another pdd. I was asked to teach the variation from the grand pdd and am not certain which one is meant.


Any help would be so appreciated.

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Mel Johnson

You're suffering from version confusion.


The woman's variation in the Ashton version is in the "Pas de Ruban" in act I, scene 1, and is a little waltz (moderato) with lots of pauses for balances. As with all the music in the "Pas de Ruban", its music is drawn from Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore.


The pas de deux in the Ivanov-Gorski version, which is what's frequently seen in competitions, has music by Hertel and it appears in Act 1, Scene 2, although some productions put it in Act II. Lise also has a free-standing variation in Scene 1.

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Thank you, Mr. Johnson. You are a wealth of helpful information :) And apparently I am some kind of confused. I am sure now that the Hertel composed music is the variation for which they are asking. Too bad, because it's all wrong for this girl, and the 3/4 tempo variation is perfect for her. Not to mention the fact that I only vaguely know that faster one, so somebody else really should be teaching it.


You have definitely cleared this up for me, so know I can make a well informed decision! (As in..."Let me recommend another variation for this young dancer.")

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