Baronova: I remember when Tamara [Toumanova] and I first joined the [Ballet Russe] company single fouettes weren’t enough, we wanted to do doubles and triples. Boris Kochno had a wonderful overall perspective about what made a ballet succeed. He explained to show where it was okay and where it was completely out of place. I never forgot that.
But when we first came to New York, at Radio City Music Hall, there was a girl named Patricia Bowman who had little rollers on the tip of her toes, and she could turn-turn-turn forever. So that got us. We were all madly standing, whenever we had a free moment, everyone turning. Of course we didn’t have rollers, so we developed a trick that when you felt the momentum diminishing, one made an almost unnoticeable little jump on your toe that was turning, and squashed your elbows – that gave you another five or six pirouettes. And you could do that indefinitely and turn-turn turn- turn and almost achieve the same number as Patricia Bowman. But without the rollers.
Much later, in our Australian tour the classes were given by Ana Roje. She was sort of a favorite pupil of Legat…and she could balance forever. I think she was born balancing already… Well, that’s circus tricks. It’s already unnecessary. Fouettes actually have very little to do with the technique of ballet. I can still do my thirty-two.
BR: Without moving?
Baronova: Yes. It’s easy, you just make sure your heel comes down each time.
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