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Souvenirs of Marie Taglioni (in French)

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Katharine Kanter

Inscrit le: 19 Jan 2004
Messages: 1034
Localisation: Paris

MessagePosté le: Lun Juil 17, 2017 11:34 am    Sujet du message: Souvenirs of Marie Taglioni (in French) Répondre en citant

I can't find the "Books" thread on this Website, so here goes.

I've just been up more or less all night reading Marie Taglioni's "Souvenirs", published by Gremese about a fortnight ago.

In a nutshell, her souvenirs had disappeared. There were bits and pieces floating about in various other publications, but no-one had quite figured out where the actual notebooks, in her own hand, had got to.

An Italian PhD candidate, Bruno Ligore, tracked the notebooks back to the Musée des Arts décoratifs, where they have been lurking in a box. And he has also reconstructed the notebooks' peregrinations, notably during WWII.

The three pages on her studies with her father - who was 100% "Italian" school - are priceless.

Contrary to common belief, the six-hour-a-day regimen was for but six months, between the time she left her studies at Paris and her Vienna début.

The first two hours of the day were exercices for articulating the feet (and of course, legs). She says that she continued to do these until the end of her career.

The second two hours was ENTIRELY DEVOTED TO ADAGIO WORK.

Gang, are you listening? No?


This adagio work sounds very similar to Audrey de Vos' classes, as the exercices had also to be done, rigorously, on the 1/2 pointe ("la pointe" in that day's parlance).

Taglioni calls it Travail d'aplomb. and "study after Antiquity" (d'après l'Antique), Plastique to the Russians.

The movements had to be held in all directions, with grand fouetté, in promenade, and on the 1/2 pointe.

None of us, and I do mean none of us, could get through these two hours today. (No, it does not give "thick legs", unless one shift the weight onto the forefoot!!!)

The final two hours was jumping, starting with what sounds like Viktor Gsovsky's "sauter sans sauter" - barely leaving the floor, and then moving on upwards. She stresses 1/ NO use of the arms to help jump 2/ the only force has to come from the coup de talon.

These two pages should be carefully studied by us all.

Shortly before Nikita Dolgushin's unfortunate and untimely death, he was teaching at Paris at the instigation of Jean-Guillaume Bart. He said in conversation that in the 1970s he had suffered an extremely serious leg injury, and that he had gone to the Petersburg library, taken out Marie Taglioni's class-notes, and rebuilt his body 100% on the basis of those notes. And that he had then taught them to one of the theatre's ballerinas, who had also been injured (was it Eveteva?)- with the same amazing results.

We need to track down those class-notes. Does anyone know where they might be in Sant Petersburg?

Anyway, hats' off to Bruno Ligore.

The book deserves to become a best-seller.

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