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Know Your Moves: Pirouettes

By Julye Huggins
Swan Lake - 30 turns on point shoes

The May 2010 issue of The Dance Current print magazine includes a Know Your Moves piece about pirouettes.”This French term comes from ballet but is often used in contemporary and other dance forms to describe turns of various kinds.” The Dance Current: Print, May 2010. The fouetté turn became a crowning feat at the turn of the 20th century when Russian ballerina Mathilde Kschessinska performed the first series of thirty-two fouettés “sur place” in the coda of the Grand Pas in Cinderella, a record at the time. She performed them again in the coda of the Black Swan Pas de Deux in Swan Lake. While many ballerinas have proven their virtuosic skill well beyond this mark, many ballets continue to incorporate the thirty some-odd whirls in their codas. Here we see the famous Canadian ballerina Evelyn Hart performing such a series as Odile in Swan Lake. See if you can also spot the other pirouette variations: piqués and chainés.

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