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Question: Fouettees a la couronne, which ballerinas do?


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Dear ballet-lovers (can one say co-ballet-lovers, or is that nonsense?).

Ballet is my passion, too.


Recently I found a series of videos on YouTube with about 10-12(-15?) ballerinas who did fouettes - a few of them did the solo from Swan Lake, some did other solos not nearly that well known - but with their arms a la couronne - ! Not all the time, but intermittently and well planned.


One of them, the first in the series (maybe what's called a playlist), made the audience go "Whoooooo" (as in "Whooo-peeee"), which singles it out and could make it easier to find... I haven't succeeeded, though.


Having seen a lot of ballet I've never seen that type of arm movement in combination with fouettees before. I was impressed.


Does anyone here recognise the description?

Perhaps give me a link?


Or at least know what I'm going on about, and maybe know the names of (some of) the ballerinas doing that particular "trick"?


I've searched high and low on YouTube to no avail, and not stumbled upon it either (thought that was bound to happen some time.. Not as yet).

Thank you ever so much!


:) MiSi, Cph., DK

Edited by MiSi
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Hello MiSi and welcome to the Forum.


I have moved your post to "Doing Dance" which I think may be more appropriate but I have also left a link in the original forum.  I am sure some of our other Members will be able to chip in.


Are you based in Copenhagen by any chance?  It's one of my favourite cities and I love the RDB!

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Oh thank you so much, I looked at the fora and were in doubt.


Yes, I live in Copenhagen, home town (if not by birth) of Hans Christian Andersen and his good friend August Bournonville, of whom I am an ardent admirer and - dare I say it - scholar. Anything you want to know about the city, especially the arts, just ask. If I don' know, I know someone who does :)


May I thank you for your help and interest by linking to the most perfect, the most true to the Bournonville style, that is, version of the pas de deux (nothing else is left of the ballet, alas) from "The Flower Festival in Genzano":



The Ballerina's name is Henriette Muus - not Muss - it is a very old Danish name, dating back to renaissance or even medieval times here, and she does it credit.


I studied with her mom, Jette Muus, not at her almost legendary school, we both studied at the Cph University (ballet history and more). She was great fun and very nice, though I've heard that she was a strict teacher.


Thank you again :)

Edited by MiSi
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Thank you, but this is beginning to become another thread in itself. I'd be happy to make one, but perhaps one of those interested would like to?


I'm looking for info on ballerinas doing fouettes a la couronne ("whip" turns with arms over the head) in some turns, not all.


Thank you :)

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That was lovely,MiSi! Thank you for sharing it. It looked like hard work! Johan must have been very young them - about 18 or so?


I can't help myself, so maybe this should be moved to a new thread on FFG (BFG) too. I have to answer:


Sorry, but it shouldn't look like hard work. One of Bournonvilles first principles was that dancing should always look natural, easy, even relaxed, and expressive - smiling whenever no other feelings should be expressed. It's probably due to this that you look younger when dancing Bournonville (if you're doing it right. Talk about positive motivation).


I think that both Johan and Henriette bring this off very well. Just look at their soft port de bras - all right, it could be even softer, but by comparison to all later versions found on YouTube, it's a gem, and wasn't there until recently. So no one could see what B-style should be like.


I saw Johan on stage (DKB aka RDB) when he was only just 17. In the PDD shown he's about 10 years older, if not more. My guess is that this is from hte time when Peter Schaufuss was our ballet master, since Johann's alternate was Victor Alvarez, who was nearly as perfect. His grasp on Bournonville was fine!


But I'll look into it :)


Sorry if I sound lecturing or even hectoring, Bournonville's just my main passion in ballet.

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Welcome to the forum, MiSi. So am I correct in thinking that fouettés a la couronne are fouettés with the arms in 5th? Interesting!


You're absolutely right, that's what I mean. Not in all the turns, but a few at a time.


I was amazed and nearly went "Whooooooo" myself ;)

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Yes yes yes!

That's exactly what I mean :D


Thank you, you're a gem!


That's the first bit of the collection - that of Viktoria Tereshkina doing the fouettees in the Esmeralda PDD.

Imagine at least ten other splendid ballerinas in as many solo parts and incorporating a number of fouettees with their arms a la couronne or fifth pos. ......


I searched for "Esmeralda"-solo videos, but apparently she's about the only one who does this version.


Looking and searching again now, hoping that more of you'll beat me to it :)



PS Found another one thanks to Mummycool's information: Maria Alexandrova does them in Swan Lake, see No. 3 in this video


She does them en attitude en avant, but you get the idea :)


I recognise quite a few of the ballerinas, their costumes and the part, but Iøm not sure of anything any more having seen a lot of fouettee videos when searching.....

Edited by MiSi
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I suspect it is only done en courronne a few time because the other arm position adds more stability as the dancer turns.



I didn't think, I just enjoyed it with amazement ("Whooooooo"....)


BTW, I'm sorry that i overlooked your mentioning Maria Alexandrova - I was just sooo eager and rushed to see your link om YouTube :)

Edited by MiSi
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LinMM, thank you, Now we have the names of three ballerinas and one prince ;) doing different types of arm positions while doing turns.


I'm sure all ten can be found, more ballet fans must have seen them.


I think that the turns w. arms in fifth may have been without the whipping leg movement in fouettees, but I'm not sure.


One of the dancers could have been Gillian Murphy in white - the one who received impressed cheers - but I'm not sure after watching so many fouettee videos.


Sarahw, GPC was used every time a Swedish selection competition for the Prix de Lausanne competition, sometimes several girls would dance it. The swedish speaker'll always explain that the title means "Stort  Klassiskt   Steg  " (Big Classic Step), and repeat it when every girl dancing it enters the stage. Be it ballet, figure skating, or dressage, they go on and on, you never get a moment just to listen to the music and enjoy the artist's work.


To me it was a relief watching the grown-up ballerinas do the GPC - with all the ease, e.g. in the en cloche turns and expressiveness that is possible with this dance. It is a dance, not a step, as the Swedes seem to think. It's beautiful and looks deceptively easy. Together with the music the special spirit transcends it's calm to us. Ballet can give us peace of mind.

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You might enjoy the fouettes (though not a la couronne) of NYCB principal Tiler Peck from Corsaire (here seen with a BcoF favourite of many, former RB principal, Sergei Polunin) in the clip below (pull through to 0.51 to see).  It is, I think, notable that the current crop of NYCB female principals are - in large measure - much more comfortable with such being the first generation to have [in NYCB] danced full length Sleeping Beauties, Swan Lakes (as well as the one act Balanchine), Romeo and Juliets in addition to the long standing Balanchine productions of Nutcracker, Coppelia and Midsummer Night's Dream on a not infrequent basis.  This season they also get La Sylphide ... all of course in addition to the vast Balanchine and Robbins rep ... as well as seasonally originating several works by the likes of Wheeldon, Scarlett, Peck (no relation to Tiler) and Ratmansky, etc. 



If you have time, the sequence of Peck and the adorable Lill Buck is glorious I think ... and uses traditional Jewish folk dances as its lift off point ... and Ms. Peck performs such STILL wearing pointe shoes. 

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I suspect it is only done en courronne a few time because the other arm position adds more stability as the dancer turns.


Incidentally I read a few years ago ( in a credible and serious Danish mag or paper) that when small children do something like turns when they're playing, they put both their arms up over the head in a (sort of) a la couronne (5th pos.), simply because it is easier to turn when all body weight is centered around one axis - on one point, so to speak.

The need for the usual fouettée arm position has more to do with gaining speed, I think.


I have found another for you! I thought I'd seen most 'party tricks' but the last section is truly impressive.


Thank you *mwah* :D

Sofiane Sylve was in several of the many (many, many) videos I watched when searching, but this one takes the cake  :P  :lol:


Let me thank you with this - not just an idol, but a god! With a few turns a la c, or nearly.



Well allright, perhaps just a demi-god. Makes me think of C3PO ;)

Sefton Clarke does a splendid version too, but to me Roman is more gold than bronze :wub:

Edited by MiSi
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Ohhh :(

Looking through the Notepad with the "Roman & Sefton"-links I found out why we can't find it on YouTube


http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=MtJ2R_i6Too


Hoping that it can be found via other video sites. Maybe someone out there recognises the description and knows other sites than I do.


Sorry for the YouTube wild goose chase :(


So much seems to be taken away from YouTube "for copyright reasons". Who goes to at shop (or online - not me) to buy a copy of e.g. "Blonde Venus" (Marlene Dietrich) anyway. Or "Morocco". Etc.


Just to make up for it (and something I only found on Vimeo) this short, funny western dance and song act - not ballet:

https://twitter.com/_AngelaLan sbury/status/52935943604197785 7

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