What is fouetté?

A pause from our ordinary Saturday Mrs Abstract and I saw Don Quixote by the San Francisco Ballet in San Francisco.I was culturally introduced to ballet 101 and fouetté. The ballet was astonishingly beautiful.

Total running time: 2 hours 34 minutes, two intermissions

The program notes: The classic favorite returns! Helgi Tomasson and Yuri Possokhov’s thrilling and visually resplendent Don Quixote features some of the most virtuosic dancing in the classical repertory and a dazzling array of costumes by the late Tony Award winner Martin Pakledinaz.

2 thoughts on “What is fouetté?

    • You are correct Heather. Here is what Milwaukee ballet blog says:
      “Whether you know the technical term “fouetté” (to whip, in French) or not – you have most likely seen these impressive, one legged turns. A ballerina whips herself around on the same standing leg, using the force of her other leg to propel her around as the leg passes through the passé position (her toe pointing to her knee) then extending out to á la seconde and repeating, all executed as she turns on relevé, or in a risen position on her tip toes. At the end of the Black Swan pas de deux in Swan Lake, a dancer will do 32 fouettés and as the audience becomes entranced, counting each turn, you’ll hear the applause start (sometimes around turn 8 but as I mentioned above, I’ve heard it’s more proper to wait until 12) as she keeps turning and turning. Fouettés feel as synonymous with ballet as tutus and pointe shoes themselves.

      So why are we focusing on fouettés? They’re essential to any ballerina’s dancing vocabulary; they take strength, stamina and dedication.”

      note: The excerpts are from Milwaukee ballet.org, link:
      http://www.milwaukeeballet.org/about-us/artistic-director/blog-archive/whip-it-history-fouette-and-our-32-fouettes-project

      The SF Ballet performance was impressive.

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