CriticalDance Forum

Height and elevation
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Author:  Cassandra [ Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:38 am ]
Post subject:  Height and elevation

A curious piece in today's Independent by their critic Zoe Anderson, ostensibly about the RB dancer Sergei Polunin but coupled with Ms Anderson's musings on the height of male dancers and their elevation ... 07711.html

Of course it depends on how you evaluate height as everyone is taller since the days of Nijinsky through better nutrition. I would say roughly that 5 foot 6" and under is short and six feet and over is tall, putting both Nureyev and Polunin in the medium bracket. How Ms Anderson comes by the notion that a male dancer must be short to be good jumper I've no idea though. The Bolshoi's Andrei Uvarov has a huge jump and must be around 6 foot 3 or 4. A tall dancer of the past was Yuri Vladimirov who had a massive jump and I think he was over 6 foot also.

Nureyev used to say that a dancer with a high extension would never have a high jump, something I've assumed to be true as currently it isn't just the girls that aim to get their toes pointing heavenwards and really high elevation is a rarity today.

Also a rarity it seems are good action photos of the ballet as the picture of Polunin does him no favours at all and certainly does not illustrate her claim that "Polunin surges upwards, but he also holds his pose in the air, clear and bold."

For me line matters every bit as much as good elevation.

Author:  LMCtech [ Fri Feb 13, 2009 3:20 pm ]
Post subject: 

That is an interesting piece. I've also wandered about this topic myself. I have theories, none of them scientific.

In defense of the photography. With the low lighting in a theater it is extremely difficult to get good "action shots".

Author:  Sho [ Mon Feb 16, 2009 2:30 pm ]
Post subject:  vertical jump height

There has been quite a bit of research done eg relating to vertical jump height (VJH) in the dance medicine and science arena. Some presentations given at the annual meeting of the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science (IADMS) last year are relevant:-

For example one presentation was concerned with - initiating jumping from the spine and another considered the affects of warm up stretch on VJH. Another found that hamstring flexibility is negatively related to VJH suggesting that there needs to be a balance between flexibility and power.

There has been other research but I don't have it to hand.

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