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Italian Fouettes


Jan McNulty
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Janet it`s me again.Yes, just type in the name Italian Fouettes on YT, and lots of different videos come up. I actually thought they were something different, as the ones shown don`t look anywhere near as difficult as "normal" Fouettes.

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Thanks!  It is what I thought.  Apparently the ladies of ABT have been having some difficulties with this step.  I can think of any number of dancers with British companies that I have seen over the years who have achieved them beautifully!

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We always called these grand flic flac en tournant.  They can be see in the Le Corsair grand pas de deux.

 

 

But, Gail Grant in "Technical Manual and Dictionary of Ballet" calls them: "Grand Fouetté en tournant en dedans (Cecchetti method).

 

For me the Italian Fouetté is the "regular" fouettés we are used to seeing (a la Swan Lake Act III) with the whipping leg starting the action from the front - en avant - and then going to second before pulling in.  The Russians do this with the leg going directly to second rather than making the rond from front to second.

 

Gail Grant lists 19 different descriptions of various fouettés.

 

I can't imagine the the ladies of ABT having difficulty - I had no problem doing them and loved to do them.  If I could do it - why would the dancers at ABT have any problem at all?

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Just realised from watching video what they are!! Maybe next year for me then!! Or even next lifetime the way I feel this morning after my mini London trip. (I guess hunking a big bag up and down the Kings Road yesterday pm didnt help). But I do prefer those then to the "swan lake" fouetté s as they look a bit more stylish. I think these are in that Pas Classique piece too and there is a Russian dancer somewhere in my YouTube favourites who is very good at them I'm sure from Pas Classique.

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If you have the most recent Royal Ballet "Sleeping Beauty" DVD (Alina Cojocaru as Aurora), you can see Marianela Nunez do these as Lilac Fairy in her Prologue variation.

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  • 1 year later...

Hi, this step is currently being discussed in the Performances forum under RB Don Quixote 2014.

 

Can anyone tell me if this step (or similar) would be part of a vocational grade syllabus or would it be a non syllabus type thing?

 

Thanks

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At my daughters vocational school they do learn Italian fouettés and the girls really enjoy having a go and trying to perfect then. We were recently privileged to see a showcase of all the school years, year 7 to 6.3 in upper school where each year group gave a short class display. One of the ladies classes did demonstrate Italian fouettes I think they were an upper school class and they were splendid. They do learn to do them at a younger age though in this vocational school.

 

Edited for typos as usual

Edited by Nana Lily
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Well if dancers are expected to perform them in Ballets I'm really glad someone is teaching them!!

 

Swanprincess don't know whether you've been following Don Q thread but at one point have been looking at different ways this step seems to be performed .......as the queen of Dryads has to perform them in the vision scene from this ballet. Anyway I did search on YouTube but couldn't find a tuition tape for these Fouettes ......plenty for ordinary Fouettes though.

 

I had been wondering too whether RAD had a place for teaching them in their syllabus somewhere round about Advanced one or two but disappointingly obviously not!

 

They may be on the Russian syllabus somewhere maybe.

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Trying to remember from many years ago, but I seem to think in the RAD these were called grand fouetté And were certainly in the old inter/advanced now advanced 1 and 2. I believe on point in advanced. I can't imagine they have been removed completely as such a lovely step. Older teachers will know if I have the name correctly, I will have to ask my mum next time I speak to her.

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No I hadn't seen that thread, but will have a look at it! I think that although Italian fouettes aren't included in the RAD syllabi, a student studying adv1 or adv2 level should be able to do them (which enhances the importance of non syllabus work); although the RAD syllabi cover most areas of classical technique, every step can't necessarily be included! For example (to my relief!) ballonè battu isn't in the new adv1 allegros, however it is still an important step.

 

Perhaps this should be a new topic, because I sense that I am going off on a slight tangent here, but... I consider there to be a slight flaw in the RAD system, in that if a student exclusively studies the RAD method, they risk not reaching their full potential with regards to developing artistry and their own style (for example, the RAD attitude derrière is taught as a refined position with the knee higher than the foot, which, whilst it emphasises turnout and can look lovely, does tend to appear less dynamic than the stylised attitude preferred by some other schools that allows the foot to be above the knee, allowing for far higher extensions) In my opinion, the RAD does epitomise the refined British style- but sometimes a bit of dramatic Russian flair, for example, could make a student stand out. To me, artistry is shown when a student combines aspects of different styles as opposed to adhering strictly to the RAD style- I personally prefer the arm in seconde to be the lower, rounded Cecchetti style as opposed to the shoulder-height arm that is taught in the RAD classes.

 

Lin, in response to your comment about Italian fouettes being more of a Russian step; I have seen YouTube videos of Vaganova students doing Italian fouettes in their exams, but haven't seen any British students doing them- having said that, the YouTube footage of Vaganova students seems to be in far more plentiful supply than footage of British students.

 

Are Italian fouettes considered harder than 'normal' fouettes? That could perhaps be why Italian fouettes aren't taught until upper school (I'm assuming that based upon what I have read here); a friend in 1st year at vocational upper school mentioned that she has to do Italian fouettes at the barre, but had to do 16 fouettes en pointe for a recent assessment, which perhaps implies that Italian fouettes are considered more advanced?

That article you provided a link to describing Italian fouettes was very interesting Lin, thank you :)

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This made me smile! One of my old teachers used to love sticking these into festival dances! I remember a particularly talented 12 year old being 'thrown into' a part containing these after only about 6 months on pointe! She coped very well, by our other teacher spent a fair while in pointe work classes breaking the movements down (a bit like on the webpage that LinMM posted) so that they were technically secure as well as 'showy'!

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I remember learning Grand Fouette releve en tournant at school, but I don't seem to remember them being in any of the exams and I got up to Solo Seal.  They are listed in the RAD Dictionary of Classical Ballet Terminology, so perhaps they are one of the exercises that you are supposed to know on pointe and could be included in the free enchainement?

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I spoke to my DD about these and she said she learned Italian fouettes before she went to vocational school at 16.  She referred to the fouettes in the RAD advanced 1 and 2 as French style and more technically demanding than Italian.  She said her teachers class fouettes as French, Russian or Italian and they regularly do all three.  She did explain about leg movements for the differences between but I am really none the wiser.

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Dd's yr9 vocational school class had a pre Christmas fouetté competition with the winner and runner up being invited to wear tutus for the rest of the class! Dd was delighted with this but the lad who came second gave up his privilege to the young lady who came third!!

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Swanprincess mentioned above about its being important not to get too stuck in one system of training and I do agree with her.  At a certain point it is vital to expose students to different styles, but I think it needs to be when they are able to cope with the differences.  Our students get a third weekly ballet class with a guest teacher, when they have passed their Inter Foundation.  At the moment the teacher is a Russian male, former soloist (lucky them).  He teaches very carefully and methodically, but his demands are still rather different from mine and the names of the exercises are different too.  I always explain to them that it is fine - good correct technique is the same whatever - but if he asks for a step to be performed differently from me, that's also okay.  I explain how important it is to be versatile, whilst making sure that they don't do ronde de jambe en l'air as high as he wants it for their RAD exam!

 

Talking about going back to the basics when starting vocational school, reminded me of my first class at RBS.  Of course, when I started I thought I knew how to dance, so I was rather taken aback when the teacher corrected my stance in a balance and I promptly fell flat on my face!  The frustrating thing is that there is always more to learn and correct, we can always be better dancers. I can't imagine that pupils at vocational school are complacent about it - I would imagine that they are simply overjoyed to have been accepted in the first place.

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