THE PAQUITA FILES: Notes on Variation 2-ish

The Paquita Files: Notes on Variation 2ish
The Paquita Files are dedicated to the variations in, around and associated with Paquita. This wonderful ballet is full of information and discovery and we wanted to start helping coach you through these variations.

Balletomanes and ballet historians will argue the ballet Paquita, from now until the end of eternity. The ballet as whole has a long history of revivals, revisions, surrounded by the legends and stories of prima donnas of the times. Paquita today is probably most affiliated with competition and European companies, because the ballet contains tons of principal female variations that show off very different elements of the ballet vocabulary and the range of dynamics within the ballet technique.

One of my favorite variations to coach is the the Paquita Variation from Ondine. This waltz variation is often overlooked because it is short and dancers often think that it doesn’t show off enough at ballet competition. WRONG. Totally wrong. All Wrong.

If you are going off of the Spassov CD via iTunes and Spotify, you might refer to this as variation 2 by Pouni, and argued spelling and actual credit to the variation and choreography aside, this variation is one of my favorite variations to coach, watch, and stage.

Originally this variation is from The Naiad and the Fisherman also known as Ondine. Ondine is a romantic ballet in three acts and five scenes with music by Cesare Pugni and Libretto by Jules Perrot. It premiered June 22, 1843 with Fanny Cerrito as the lead. Only part of the choreography comes from this original ballet, the rest has been modified to accommodate the style of Paquita.

The opening can include a daringly long balance in the a la seconde, followed by these beautiful sauté pas de bourrés the other direction. If you have the ability to edit the track, lengthen the silence for as long as you can hold the balance. If you are not good at balancing the a la seconde, but you have leg up…. Speed it up!

In the next section, no matter how many beats you do, make sure you extend the leg fully from the coup-de-pied derriere position. It always bothers me when the leg doesn’t fully straighten when stepping behind yourself. Another tip is to over cross the attitude front so that your legs look the longest possible, and your waist look synched up.

Then, the variation’s show stopper is the ending as dancers will decide between sissone penche to passé on pointe, Italian fouettés, or fouetté turns. Whichever one you decide, BE CLEAN!!!! 

Here are some of the world’s most talented ballerinas dancing this variation!

Do you need help with this variation? Schedule a virtual private coaching session with us! Click here to schedule.