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Dance Terms: Fouette Yourself

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What are the "dance people" talking about, anyway?

 

Questions, explanations, instructional videos, etc., all welcome here.

 

Also welcome are suggestions for a better thread title.

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Thanks, @Mak1908 .

 

One thing I noticed was that the ballerina pulled her arms in during the turn, much like figure skaters do during a jump. I gather that's standard?

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In the ballet dance for meet the top 20 the girls also did Italian Fouettes.  Here is a video:


While you see fouettes a lot in the contemporary dances, you rarely see these off pointe.

 

Fouette just means "to whip", so it is the turns where they whip their leg. 

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Fouetté.

 

Perfected and performed differently dependent on the method studied.

 

The penultimate sequence of 32 fouettés performed in the Black Swan, is something that dancers aspire to but rarely expect to attain.  In slippers is one thing, en pointe quite another.  Throwing out assumptions regarding levels of ability based on numbers of fouettés en pointe is flawed.

 

I challenge those that think that 15 is such an easy marking line in accomplishment to try to train to accomplish in order to justify such throw-away

remarks.

 

@Bella the arms are taught in a standard way, again depending on the method, but for choreography variations are used.

 

 

Edited by NextIteration
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I notice that sometimes one rotation is done, and sometimes two. Does a double rotation count as a fouette as well?

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I notice that sometimes one rotation is done, and sometimes two. Does a double rotation count as a fouette as well?

What makes it a fouette is when you whip your leg out.  You can do single, double, or even triple turns during the fouette sequence.  It is MUCH harder to keep the turn centered and rotating when doing more than just a single turn between them!

 

Another turn, which is often mistaken for a fouette (which is not a fouette, because no whip) is the ala seconde turn.  Dancers will often alternate a few of these with fouettes. Here the leg is held in second position, which is really difficult to do well. (This video he is doing a whole series of turns, moving the leg position- but Simkin is one of the best turners, so I liked his video over others I've found.)

Edited by Skittl1321
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*whispers* I love Daniil!

 

I love that this new thread is devoted to fouettes so far.

 

One thing I noticed was that the ballerina pulled her arms in during the turn, much like figure skaters do during a jump. I gather that's standard?

One difference is that figure skaters pull their arms very close to their chests to cut down on wind resistance. Doing a figure skating jump with the arms extended is more difficult (some of the skaters hold one hand over the head which I think gives them extra difficulty points). Most of their power to rotate an ice skater's turning jumps are in the take off and the legs. Notice that they bend their supporting leg very deeply and extend their other leg just before a turning jump. Another difference is that figure skaters don't spot when they do turning jumps.

 

In fouettes, though, some of the power that rotates the turn (aside from the leg whipping around) is the head spotting and opening and closing the arms (to a lesser degree). While you can hold your arms in different positions while doing fouettes, the basic/beginner way that is taught is with the arms opening and closing. That's not to say that opening and closing your arms means you are doing beginner fouettes, just that no ballet instructor would teach beginners to do fouettes with the arms held over the head.

 

A la seconde turns are usually learned after fouettes because holding the leg in that position creates drag and you also don't get the power of the leg whipping to help rotate the turn.

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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One thing I noticed was that the ballerina pulled her arms in during the turn, much like figure skaters do during a jump. I gather that's standard?
One difference is that figure skaters pull their arms very close to their chests to cut down on wind resistance.

 

It's a basic law of physics that you'll turn faster if you're more compact along the axis.  And the faster you go, the easier it is to balance (or, in the case of figure skaters, make three to four complete rotations before smashing into the ground).  As ElectricBoogaloo notes, some of the momentum in a pirouette can be derived from the arm movements.

 

Side note: Skittl1321, one of the "suggested videos" after your posted clip is Baryshnikov doing 11 pirouettes in a scene from White Knights, a movie I've never heard of that apparently stars Baryshnikov and Gregory Hines.  Now that I know it exists, it's taking all my self-control not to spend the next however long watching every YouTube clip of it available.  Side-side note: I love that spellcheck recognizes Baryshnikov.

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Also welcome are suggestions for a better thread title.

 

I don't think it's better, but how about a play on the line from "Where did We go Right" in The Producers: "If anyone jetéd we jetéd them out the door"?

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I didn't know how to pronounce this, so looked it up on the internet machine. In case anyone else is as ignorant as I was:

Fouetté
[fweh-TAY]

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I didn't know how to pronounce this, so looked it up on the internet machine. In case anyone else is as ignorant as I was:

Fouetté

[fweh-TAY]

 

I know the Merriam-Webster dictionary pronounce it like that (rhymes with "ashtray" according to their web page), but I'm pretty sure it's pronounced /fwɛteɪ/ [fweh-TEI] in French. Alexander Kølpin pronounces it that way at least ;)

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I have always heard it pronounced foo-et- tay. Unilingual Canadians tend to pronounce french words in a slightly anglicized french way - so where the French usually put their stress on a second syllable, English Canadians don't always. This word is stress-unstress-stress to my ear.

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Well, in French it's not a diphthong at all, so it's neither AY nor EI. It's just a stressed E.

You're right. Five years of French and I still get my phonetics-to-letters wrong. I'll just stay with the phonetic /fwɛteɪ/ and pretend I know what I'm saying ;)

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Thanks, GinevradiBenci.  I am intrigued but I have difficulty watching people embarrass themselves on film so the 80s are a difficult period for me, if you know what I mean. :)

 

(Ohmygod, just looked at IMDb -- Helen Mirren plays Baryshnikov's jilted Russian love interest!!!  And Isabella Rossellini is Hines' wife!!  OHMYGOD!!!)

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(Ohmygod, just looked at IMDb -- Helen Mirren plays Baryshnikov's jilted Russian love interest!!!  And Isabella Rossellini is Hines' wife!!  OHMYGOD!!!)

 

Do yourself a favor and watch this one!  The Turning Point with Baryshnikov from the 70s is worth a watch as well, Anne Bancroft and Shirley MacLaine.   

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I FLOVE The Turning Point.  Recommend it highly.  Even more highly than White Nights (which I love slightly less).

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I may be a completely crappy dancer, but I do enjoy language, and while I have a working knowledge of French pronunciation, it helps to have a bit more to go on sometimes. At any rate, I have far more of a chance to get my mouth into the right shape to make a word sound right than I do to ever get all the muscles in my body to cooperate enough to ever make me look graceful, so it's been fun feeling the difference in the taste of a word based on the descriptions here.

 

Oh, and by the way, add me to the list of those who love The Turning Point. I think I was still in high school when that came out in the movies. And it was great fun to introduce my daughter to it some 25 years later (and that was probably a good 12 years ago...God, am I that old?) ...even though neither of us managed to inherit the merest hint of actual dance ability from anywhere, we do both thrill to see it done well.

 

And I love that after having lived some distance away from her due to her college days & marriage, and my still moving around with my husband in the Navy, we are finally able to watch SYTYCD again together in the same general vicinity this season!

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On TwoP there was a whole thing on what a sickled foot is, with diagrams and pictures i think. (I saw it somewhere anyway)  Can anyone explain the difference with easy illustrations for the ignorant? 

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On TwoP there was a whole thing on what a sickled foot is, with diagrams and pictures i think. (I saw it somewhere anyway)  Can anyone explain the difference with easy illustrations for the ignorant? 

I remember replying to this in TwoP and this is the link that I gave.  This article gives a great explanation and has pictures too.

 

http://askmssonya.wordpress.com/2011/07/10/point-your-feet/

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