Swan Songs: Dance Magazine Went to Some of the Ballerinas Who Are Known for Their Portrayals of Odette/Odile. We Gathered Their Experiences and Advice for Young Dancers Just Starting to Learn the Part-And for Those Who Dream of Performing It Someday

By Kunikova, Elena; Perron, Wendy | Dance Magazine, February 2006 | Go to article overview

Swan Songs: Dance Magazine Went to Some of the Ballerinas Who Are Known for Their Portrayals of Odette/Odile. We Gathered Their Experiences and Advice for Young Dancers Just Starting to Learn the Part-And for Those Who Dream of Performing It Someday


Kunikova, Elena, Perron, Wendy, Dance Magazine


YUAN YUAN TAN

SAN FRANCISCO BALLET

Before the performance, I just calm down, get quiet, and visualize my bird. I try not to think too much because it will mess me up. Onstage it just happens, because of the muscle memory. But you have to think of the details--the swan-like neck, your fingertips as the tips of the wings. The entrance is always the hardest moment. After all the dry ice disappears, you have to do glissade, pique arabesque, and then hopefully I can stay on that arabesque. I need to rehearse more and more for that. If I can do the step well I can open up to the role.

When the ballet is over, my left leg is killing me. The pas de deux is on left leg, and the variation in second act, the long pas de deux and long variation and fouettees are on the left side. And so many bourrees--my toes hurt, too.

Some guys think about technique too much, and in the pas de deux you know they are saving energy for their variation. I can't stand that.

Advice: Study a lot of videos. Every famous ballerina does it differently; they are doing what suits their body. You can study them and try out what works for you. And gets lots lots lots of rehearsal.

IRINA DVOROVENKO

AMERICAN BALLET THKATRE

In one act you are vulnerable and delicate, sensual and fragile. You don't need to do too much eyes or too much emotion; your body will tell more.

In another act you are spontaneous, hot, and sexy. You magnetize the prince and make him fall in love. You can look at him with evil eye and do it in a way that he won't see.

In the dressing room as I change costume, hairpiece, and makeup, I look at myself differently in the mirror. Red lipstick on Black Swan changes the character in one second. As I am walking onstage in a circle, I can feel everybody's eyes on my back, from audience to stage and wings, wondering who I am. It gives me energy.

In the last act, I have little tearball in my throat. For love she decides to leave this world. You want to cry but are holding back.

Advice: If you know the steps it doesn't mean you know the role. It takes years to learn what you want to say with each attitude, each bourree. If you're just counting, you will be lost. Each movement has a meaning.

ULIANA LOPATKINA

KIROV BALLET

My first Swan Lake I danced with fear and trepidation, trying to be up to the mark of the Maryinsky Theatre. Now I'm trying to make the image more complex, to embody the musical intonations as if in speech. Odette is all love and hope; she is very cautious and uncertain of her Prince. She is waiting [to be released from the spell] in the state of endless despair. Odette is a pure ideal; she is a question without an answer. I sympathize and admire her. Odile's character on the other hand is foreign to me. She is elegant and fascinating, but beguiling like a society lioness. She knows how to "sell" herself. Some people say that my Odile lacks eroticism, temptation, black magic. But that wouldn't be me. Evil is more dangerous when concealed. We often get entrapped by hidden evil.

Advice: Spend time scrupulously working out the details. It should not become just a showcase of one's facilities and abilities, but a beautiful song.

SVETLANA ZAKHAROVA

BOLSHOI BALLET

When you are young it is hard to master both the technique and the drama, to make arms to be wings, to combine the emotional expressiveness of the upper body with strong legwork. I am still searching for ever more beautiful poses as Odette, for new emotional nuances, and I'm working on making technical difficulties invisible. It feels as if I start from scratch every time.

In St. Petersburg I was taught to show Odile as a bright, beautiful seductress. But in the Bolshoi's version, Odile is more mysterious, more secretive and deceiving. It's easier for me to transform into Odile. The bright lights, chic black costume, and crown all help to create the right mood. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Swan Songs: Dance Magazine Went to Some of the Ballerinas Who Are Known for Their Portrayals of Odette/Odile. We Gathered Their Experiences and Advice for Young Dancers Just Starting to Learn the Part-And for Those Who Dream of Performing It Someday
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.