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Thread: Top Five Ballet Movements

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    Senior Member Pyotr's Avatar
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    Default Top Five Ballet Movements

    What are your five favorite ballet movements?

    We had this discussion a while ago. I believe it was in the CM forum before the Ballet forum existed.

    1.Wilis Grand Pas - Giselle
    2.Garland Dance - The Sleeping Beauty
    3.Waltz of the Princesses - Swan Lake
    4.Capture of the Firebird by Prince Ivan - The Firebird
    5.The Kingdom of Shades scene - The Temple Dancer

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    Is this meant to be just for the music or the combination of music and choreography?

    N.

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    Senior Member Pyotr's Avatar
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    Hey Conte,

    Welcome to Talk Classical. As you mentioned, Ballet is a combination of choreography and music. Whether one prefers one over the other, is a personal thing. For me it’s 25% the former; and 75% the latter. So whatever floats your boat, that’s OK.

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    Senior Member Orfeo's Avatar
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    1. Hymne et Coda (Act II of Raymonda)
    2. Dance of Narcissus (Narcisse et Echo)
    3. Marche et cortège de Bacchus (Act III of Sylvia)
    4. Asyat's Dreams and Contemplation (Act I, Scene II of Gorianka)
    5. Third Dance "Dance of the Waves" (The Wooden Prince)
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    6. Joyful Dance, Anxiety, & Little Lemon's Entrance (Act I, Scene II of Cipollino)
    7. Spartacus' Appeal for Rebellion (Act I, Scene IV of Spartacus)
    8. Overture (The Truth About the Russian Dancers)
    David A. Hollingsworth (dholling)

    ~All good art is about something deeper than it admits.
    Roger Ebert

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    Senior Member Avey's Avatar
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    Fun. I appreciate the specificity. Though, I must say, one's choices (mine) may differ from other's, since ballet music can be recorded, heard, appreciated in Suite or Complete form. Of course, learned listeners like all of us here should be able to note the distinctions -- that is, we should all be able to comprehend what movement we refer to.

    OK, to my preferences!

    Cinderella's Dance / Midnight - Cinderella (Prokofiev) -- Not the same movement, sure, but they cohere, and I am hard-pressed to find more dramatic, intense music -- ballet or otherwise. This is the Finale. This is Coda, here and now. How shall we End?

    Lever du jour - Daphne and Chloe (Ravel) -- OK, I found something similarly intense, but this is poignant and impressing, rather than anxious. This is a revelation. Something beautiful and profound rising. Promising music.

    Variation D'Apollon / Apotheose - Apollon Musagete (Stravinsky) -- The Apollo chord (in some form) starts the ballet, but this movement defines it. The God of Music, influencing his muses, ultimately awakens. The ultimate sound? Serious material to consider. Do so.

    Prince Makes His Order / Introduction, Act 3 - Romeo & Juliet (Prokofiev) -- Obviously, dozens of movements to pick from. Go with the dartboard method? Or, as I did, go with the (barely) most passionate sound, the innate, robust pathos in the narrative. I face struggle = I hear that chord, ever so slowly moving toward resolution.

    (Does Appalachian Spring count? Yes? OK, well that sits here. No? Well...)

    Dance of the Wet Nurses (or, Coachmen [option B])- Petroushka (Stravinsky) -- Admittedly, that name surprised me. I knew the music and the sound. I knew this was going to be in my list. But that name. Entertaining. Seriously, though, why is Stravinsky a rhythmic, melodic genius? Exhibit 1. A. Prime!

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    Senior Member Marsilius's Avatar
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    While, as a Minkus fan, my first and second choices below are pretty fixed, the remaining three are subject to change on an almost daily basis...

    1. Appearance of the shades (La Bayadère) - as choreographed by Petipa, the most sheerly beautiful 10 minutes in ballet
    2. Final pas de deux (Don Quixote) - the most exciting
    3. Danse des coupes (Swan Lake) - among the most exhilarating
    4. Finale (Josephslegende) - among the most moving
    5. Apotheosis (Excelsior) - the campest and daftest, although I guess that that description could probably be applied to the whole ballet

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