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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Variations from ballet


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This may seem obvious :wacko: but I am very new to dance and recently have started watching all the variations on youtube. My favorites are the Esmerelda and Kitri variations. But, I noticed they all were performed with the same moves.....Are these steps written down somewhere or is it just memorized from watching it? I was wondering how everyone performed the same steps.

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Cambria, the variations that are from the older classical works, especially those like Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Coppelia, Nutcracker, etc., are passed down through the years from the dancers who danced them. Yes, today they can be learned from video tape, DVD, and even youtube, but in the past the classics were kept in the repertoire of the major companies, and the students and professionals learned them, and then eventually they taught them. Many of us still do that, although I have to resort to tape sometimes for some details that might be forgotten.


Some of the ballets were notated in various fashion, and there are people who are specialists in notating and in reading the notation to stage a classical work. But that is far less used these days because of the availability of tape.

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Thanks so much for the reply Miss Leigh! Its neat that the variations are passed down from dancer to dancer.

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