I was going to add this to the general responses to SA, but since it also involves Campbell's I thought, "Heck, why not start a new thread." Besides, it's an issue of earth-shattering importance
In Sandra Loosemore's review of Campbell's she described movement sequences in both AP and Sasha's "Swan Lakes" as "abc, flap-flap, def, flap-flap, etc." The "flap-flap" description has been used by some posters as well--not necessarily on GS, BTW--some who have noted Loosemore's review, some who haven't and perhaps never saw or heard of Loosemore's review. I reviewed my tapes from Campbell's and SA specifically looking for flap-flap violations, that is, possible overdone flap-flap arm movements in AP's "Swan Lake" ("APSL") at Campbell's and Sasha's "Swan Lake" ("SSL") at Campbell's and SA.
As to my credentials as a flap evaluator, I've seen countless "Swan Lake" ballets both live and on tape, film, or TV; many films of Maya Plisetskaya's "The Dying Swan" ballet as well as several other dancers doing their versions of it; one live and numerous taped performances of Oksana Baiul's figure skating version of Plisetskaya's "The Dying Swan"; and also saw Alexei Urmanov's "Swan Lake" LP a few times. This is not to mention the memorable times I saw "Les Ballets Trocadero de Monte Carlo's" when they did their versions of "Swan Lake" and "The Dying Swan." The all male dancers of the "Trocks," as they are affectionately known, do dead-on satires of well-known ballets in full drag, including size 12 pointe shoes. Talk about great flaps! Anyway, I think this qualifies me as a flap expert, at least for the purposes of this thread.
I watched my tapes of both Campbell's, which I also saw live, and SA, and I beg to differ with the assertion that at least "SSL" is full of flaps. And while "APSL" did have a number of full-blown flaps, even there I'm not sure if it's the number and kind of flaps themselves or rather the general weakness of the choreography and the fact that it was not AP's best performance that made the flaps stand out.
Before I begin my formal, highly scientific analysis, let's define the various levels of flap:
Full Flap: Waving both arms with undulation in hands, wrists, and elbows to the side from all the way down to all the way up.
One-arm Full Flap: Same as above but with only one arm.
Half Flap: Waving both arms as above but only from waist level to above head.
One-Arm Half Flap: Same as Half Flap but with only one arm.
Full Baby Flap: Undulating both arms without moving them up and down.
Suggested Baby Flap: Undulating one or both arms without the amplitude of the Full Baby Flap.
Balletic Undulation: Moving one or both arms through elbow, wrist, hand that is standard in any classic ballet and not necessarily suggestive of birds or flight. Similar to Suggested Baby Flap.
General Balletic Arm Movement: Soft, sort of rippling and/or undulating arm movement that would be typical of any classic ballet.
General Lyrical Arm Movement: Any lyrical arm movement used in skating or dance.
Let me analyze "APSL's" flap content first:
Four Full Flaps at beginning.
One Full Flap after 2A and before 3L.
One Half Flap during movement after 3L and before fall on 3to.
Half Flap before 3sal.
One-arm Full Flap after layback.
One and a half Full Flaps after Russian split jump.
Two Baby Flaps during footwork (done at same point).
6-1/2 Full Flaps
2 Half Flaps
1 One-arm Flap
2 Baby Flaps
You could say that adds up to 11-1/2 flaps of some kind in 4-1/2 minutes, which comes out to 2.56 total flaps per minute and 1.44 Full Flaps per minute. As I said before, I don't think the flapping itself is excessive but rather that between the weak choreography and subpar performance for AP (it was, after all, a very early season event), it was easy to focus on the flapping and in Loosemore's case, make fun of it.
Now to flaps and "SSL":
I watched tapes of both Campbell's and SA a couple of times and I didn't see Sasha do a single Flap as defined above. For the opening Sasha lifted both arms overhead, crossed the wrists, and brought them down to just below shoulder level, which I suppose some could call a Half Flap, but to me the arm movement didn't have nearly the speed or quality necessary to qualify it as a flap. Rather I'd put it in the category of General Lyrical Arm Movement.
Including the beginning, there were five places in both the Campbell's and SA "SSL" where Sasha did a couple of arm movements that could be defined as somewhere between Suggested Baby Flap and Generic Lyrical Arm Movement. I’ll call them as I saw them:
One General Lyrical Arm Movement at beginning.
One Balletic Undulation w/ both arms during fan spiral; some might call this a Suggested Baby Flap.
One Balletic Undulation w/ one arm during camel spin before fwd inside scratch spin.
One General Balletic Arm Movement w/ both arms during fwd straight line attitude (SA only; at Campbell’s she did fwd SL Biellmann so both hands were holding ankle).
Balletic Undulations w/ both arms, asymmetrical, before spread eagle.
1 General Lyrical Arm Movement
1 General Balletic Arm Movement
3 Balletic Undulations, 1 w/ one arm, 2 w/ both arms, one of which wasasymmetrical; one of these could be a Suggested Baby Flap.
So the most I could come with was one possible Suggested Baby Flap. In fact it looked to me as if Tarasova choreographed the program deliberately to avoid flaps, though of course I don't know what she was thinking. However Loosemore described sections of "SSL" emphasizing the "flap-flap" content. Could it be that Loosemore has started an urban legend about "SSL" being a "flap-flap" program?
All flap analyses, expert and/or otherwise welcome and invited.
Rgirl, MFA (Master of Flap Analysis)