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Ballet Talk for Dancers

"Tours" for pirouettes?


shulie

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Hi,

 

I took some classes in a local recreational ballet school. The teacher kept calling the pirouettes "tours". I know the term "tour" but in my eyes that is a totally different kind of movement.

Is "tour" a common/correct name for pirouette and if yes, where does it come from? (most of my teachers have been trained Russian and NONE of them called a pirouette a "tour")

 

edit: posted in the wrong category, please move to Adult Ballet Students...

 

 

shulie

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"Tour", of course, just means "turn", and it's generally used to describe a turn from a closed position to a closed position, so a series of pirouettes from 5th to 5th - tours finis - is found occasionally. Tours en l'air go from a 5th to a 5th usually, so fit the bill. So do tours soutenous. Indiscriminately naming a pirouette a tour is just sloppy nomenclature.

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Many, many teachers over here call things such as a pirouette in attitude or whatever a "tour attitude".

 

I had also not heard it very often before; but now - a lot. :)

 

-d-

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Tour is a term used in Vaganova schooling for a turn where the working leg is in sur le cou de pied at mid calf. Eventually the position is raised to retire' but the dynamics of the turn changes with the lift of the leg. The best I can explain it is that a tour is a spiral and pirouette is a sharper turn.

 

Maybe the simple way to describe the difference between tours in big poses and pirouettes is that tours do not spot whereas pirouettes do.

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The word "tour" in French is definitely un faux amis. You have le Tour de France, Le Tour Eifel.

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Claude_Catastrophique

I remember that in the German translation of Agrippina Vaganova's book all kind of turns are called "tour" and she says somewhere that they are also called pirouette but the term is used in the whole book. I have not got it here at the moment but maybe someone who has it in German can check. The teacher might have it from there.

 

Correct me if I remember it wrong.

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I have the latest Vaganova text currently recommended in Russia as a textbook for ballet schools. The forward says that it is based on the 5th edition of the Vaganova text, and includes Vaganova own's notes to the 3rd edition (I therefore assume that means that 4th and 5th were published after her death).

 

What's puzzling for me here is that the whole chapter on turns (Chapter X) is called TOURS, and in the beginning of this chapter Vaganova says (my translation from Russian):

 

"Tour" is an old name, most frequently used in the choreographical literature to denote the turn of the body on one leg; "pirouette" in the context of the female dance can be considered outdated. Dancers still keep this name and use it to denote a sequence of many turns on one leg without change of place, for eg, "grande pirouette" on the 2nd position on 90 degrees.

 

So, we will talk about "tours".

 

The rest of the chapter uses "tours".

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Are you looking at an edition in English or in Russian? I do not know of a textbook recommended in Vaganova Academy. It must be quite new. Please give the date of publication, place of publication and who the author and translator is. I would love to purchase it in whichever language! :shrug:

 

As I stated, the term tour is used for a specific turn however it is also used to describe any movement that turns. There are tours on two feet, tours on one leg, tours in the air, tour fouette from pose to pose etc. I believe the original question was about the usage of the word tour in place of pirouette. At least that is what I had understood the question to be.

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Are you looking at an edition in English or in Russian? I do not know of a textbook recommended in Vaganova Academy. It must be quite new. Please give the date of publication, place of publication and who the author and translator is. I would love to purchase it in whichever language! :shrug:

 

In Russian, of course, published and sold in Russia. It's not a new textbook, it's the old Vaganova text in its 5th edition.

 

You can find details and buy it online here:

 

http://www.ozon.ru/context/detail/id/85180/

Edited by olgahk
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Thank you. I'm home now. Have looked, I have it. :shrug:

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