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January 04, 2010


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Did you see the doco BALLETS RUSSES? Tamara Tschinarova says something at one point (sorry for pun), which may explain this issue, at least partly.

In describing the technical demands of Nijinska's ballets, she explained that they required strong batterie (the actual quote is "beaten steps" which she accompanied with a little illustrative clap of the hands). She claimed that batterie is (are?) now neglected with with the latter-day obsession being big jumps and multiple turns. She said you can't "smudge" this kind of technique. She clearly implied that a lot of dancers nowadays are incapable of doing this.

I don't think she was being a disdainful old bag - I think she has a point, and that her point may relate to what you are bemoaning with respect to pointe shoe technique.

Hi Diana.

"Smudging" batterie is common in today's dancers, especially the women. They "tap" their beats instead of crossing them and rarely does one observe the articulation through the foot as it brushes out for a jete – possibly because of the clunky pointe shoes.

Watching Herman Cornejo work his feet and legs during batterie in La Sylphide last year just made it so clear what we are missing from nearly all other dancers. He was phenomenal!

- Haglund

I saw Cornejo's Albrecht (to Xiomara Reyes' Giselle) a few years back. Marvelous dancer.


"....she later danced in Symphony in C she did entrechat dix, a step rare even among virtuosi and virtually unheard of from a woman."

Imagine someone doing entrechat dix!! I don't see how that's possible.

Thanks for the link, Diana. It's certainly hard to imagine entrechat dix. It's even hard to mark with the hands!


ballet is by the rich -- for the rich. and they make sure bc no one else can afford the 3-4 weekly pairs necessary to advance.

Assuming that you are talking about pointe shoes when you refer to 3 or 4 pairs per week - if one is just a student and is wearing out 3 or 4 pairs per week, something is very wrong either academically or physically. There are professional dancers in U.S. companies who are not allotted more than 1 or 2 pairs per rehearsal week with which they might be dancing 7 hours per day.

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