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Subject: "The Fred Step" Archived thread - Read only
 
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #1872
Reading Topic #1872
Trog Woolley

14-07-01, 11:52 AM (GMT)
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"The Fred Step"
 
   n the July issue of "Dance Expression", there is an article on
arabesques. To quote from said article :-
'All who are familiar with Sir Frederick Ashton's choreography
know about the "Fred Step". It appears in most if not all of his
works, although it takes various forms in different ballets. It
usually starts with a pose in arabesque. This "lucky step" is
but one example of how important arabesques are
to choreographers...'

Pardon my ignorance, but what is the "Fred Step"?


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: The Fred Step Pete 14-07-01 1
     RE: The Fred Step lara 14-07-01 2
         RE: The Fred Step Pete 15-07-01 3
             RE: The Fred Step Bruce Madmin 15-07-01 4
                 RE: The Fred Step Brendan McCarthymoderator 15-07-01 5
                 RE: The Fred Step lara 15-07-01 7
             RE: The Fred Step lara 15-07-01 6
                 RE: The Fred Step Michael LL 16-07-01 8

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Pete

14-07-01, 11:07 PM (GMT)
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1. "RE: The Fred Step"
In response to message #0
 
   Trog

Apparently, the 'Fred Step' is borrowed from the Pavlova duet Gavotte Pavlova (Pavlova had an incredible influence on the young Ashton) and was included in most of his ballets
-pose en arabesque, coupe dessous, develope a la seconde, pas de bourree dessous, pas de chat.
It became a 'lucky signature' in his ballets. Hope this helps!


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lara

14-07-01, 11:48 PM (GMT)
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2. "RE: The Fred Step"
In response to message #1
 
  
>Apparently, the 'Fred Step' is borrowed
>from the Pavlova duet Gavotte
>Pavlova
(Pavlova had an incredible
>influence on the young Ashton)
>and was included in most
>of his ballets
>-pose en arabesque, coupe dessous, develope
>a la seconde, pas de
>bourree dessous, pas de chat.

Gee Pete, Could you post a small video demostrating this please?

lara


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Pete

15-07-01, 00:37 AM (GMT)
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3. "RE: The Fred Step"
In response to message #2
 
   Lara

I'm never one to shy away from a challenge.... right, ribbons sewn on....tights....bit of rosin..there ya go...and....hup!


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Bruce Madmin

15-07-01, 06:17 AM (GMT)
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4. "RE: The Fred Step"
In response to message #3
 
   Ah - the 80's at White Lodge - those were the days!


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Brendan McCarthymoderator

15-07-01, 01:11 PM (GMT)
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5. "RE: The Fred Step"
In response to message #4
 
   (First posted on balletalert)

One of the essays in "Following Sir Fred's Steps", the published papers from the Ashton Conference at Roehampton College in 1994, discusses the Fred Step in some detail. According to the author, Adrian Grater, a choreologist and former member of the Royal Ballet, Ashton adopted it as a 'lucky step' after first seeing it performed by Pavlova in her Gavotte. The sequence typically goes: pose en arabesque,coupe dessous, small develope a la seconde, pas de bourree desous, pas de chat. This was the form performed by Ashton himself as one of the Ugly Sisters in Cinderella, and as Mrs Tiggy Winkle in Tales of Beatrix Potter.

David Vaughan first notices the Fred Step in Les Masques (1933). Grater finds it in A Wedding Bouquet (1937) performed by de Valois dancing the part of Webster, the housemaid. It occurs several times in Daphnis and Chloe (1951) and in The Dream (1964). One of Lise's friends dances an abbreviated version in La Fille Mal Gardee (The Flute Dance), before her friends join in. The step occurs in the version of Illuminations rechoreographed for the Royal Ballet in 1981 (not the original for NYCB). Here it is danced by eight girls as a variety of characters, such as a chimney sweep, postman, baker, each one carrying an appropriate prop.

A further instance comes from Les Deux Pigeons, when it is performed by the girl's friends as they are greeting Lady Bountiful. Grater also instances "that wonderful exit from Month in the Country".

Finally, Ashton used it when escorting Fonteyn from the stage at the end of Salut d'amour (1984)

I doubt that this collection of papers is still available in print. "In Sir Fred's Steps" is edited by Stephanie Jordan and Andree Grau, the publisher is Dance Books. The ISBN number is 1 85273 047 1.


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lara

15-07-01, 05:36 PM (GMT)
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7. "RE: The Fred Step"
In response to message #4
 
   >Ah - the 80's at White
>Lodge - those were the
>days!


LOL!!!


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lara

15-07-01, 05:33 PM (GMT)
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6. "RE: The Fred Step"
In response to message #3
 
   Gosh Pete, you don't look quite like I imagined you would. Must be the pointe shoes.


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Michael LL

16-07-01, 00:17 AM (GMT)
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8. "RE: The Fred Step"
In response to message #6
 
   A very clear example can be seen in Month in the Country, in the little poignant scene between Natalya and Rakitin; as they move towards the window, they do the step together, backs to us, just before Rakitin exits, leaving Natalya alone deep in thought.


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