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 Post subject: Female vs. Male
PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2001 6:25 pm 
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Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
I was reading that thread on the differences in female and male dancers in class, etc., and it made me wonder. I know that when youer port-de-bras and go over foward, my teachers stresses that you shouldn't let your hips and legs go back. I also know that the female center of gravity is different, and that it is very hard not the have to lean back at least. Do guys not have that problem with their center of gravity? or can you do that with enough work, cuz I'v never looked at a dancer (female) who didn't have to lean a little (but I guess, of course, the teacher know that, and just doesn't want us to lean ridiculously out of place). Image


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 Post subject: Re: Female vs. Male
PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2001 6:43 pm 
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Bebounce - what a wonderful question. I have to tell you I never thought about it that way. But that certainly would affect that forward lean wouldn't it?<P>I think that your second supposition is the correct one....if the teacher says "you can lean a little bit" ...then most of us would take that as a green light to lean a lot - I probably would...LOL<P>However, I just asked my engineer husband, who has had way more physics classics than I ever had.....and he says that he thinks that males with a higher center of gravity might have to push back even further. But BUT - men are stronger and they might be able to control it better.<P>BUT AGAIN BUT....females tend to be more flexible and so maybe they can bend more - ha ha. It seems there are several variables here.<P>Maybe Stuart or Azlan who are "math types" can help out here.....


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 Post subject: Re: Female vs. Male
PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2001 4:22 am 
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It is often true that male and female center of gravity is different. Basheva's husband is right, the male's is higher. However, center of gravity can change with the body's relation to gravity.<P>As far as as the pushing back in forward bend, that is more a matter of strength and using muscles correctly. Think of this also. One doesn't push the hips forward to do cambre to the back. Of course you can, but in ballet it is not correct. I have certainly seen many dancers, professional and otherwise pull their hips back in forward bend, but in theory, it is incorrect.


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 Post subject: Re: Female vs. Male
PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2001 12:29 pm 
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Location: Winthrop, Maine
This thread made me remember a TV episode from "All in the Family" many years ago. I believe the set up was some sort of competition between men and the women characters regarding which sex was superior. As a demonstration of one of the many things women could do which men could not, each character stood a couple of feet from a wall and bent from the waist with a straight back. They then placed the top of their heads against the wall so the angle of the hips was 90 degrees, the legs and back were straight, and the head was against the wall with the eyes looking at the floor. Each person was to pick up a light chair that had been placed directly below their torso. Then, when the chair was lifted, stand up straight without taking a step or otherwise moving the feet. The women could all do it, because their center of gravity was lower- in the hips- and it counteracted the additional weight of the chair. None of the men could, because the weight of the chair combined with their higher center of gravity made it impossible to stand up without compensating for the weight change by moving their feet. We tried this at home after watching, and sure enough, living proof that the difference in the center of gravity between men and women makes a big difference when bending from the waist!


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 Post subject: Re: Female vs. Male
PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2001 12:33 pm 
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Elise - I remember that episode!! And I had such fun with it. Finally, there was something physical I could do that my husband and son could not. <P>My son is 6'3" and goes to the gym everyday - he is built like a rock - and finally!!! I could do something physical he could not do. <P>Of course, later that day I had to ask him to open a jar for me.....but...I can pick up chairs while bending over at 90 degrees - what talent!!<p>[This message has been edited by Basheva (edited May 28, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Female vs. Male
PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2001 12:44 pm 
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And I'm sure it has been of great use to you Basheva LOL!


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 Post subject: Re: Female vs. Male
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2001 6:46 am 
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It occurs to me that there are several steps that are much easier for men than women because of this difference in the center of gravity.<P>Barrel turns would be one, I would think. Those wonderful traveling turns around the perimeter of the stage - the only French term I have ever heard applied to them was tour de force entournant. <P>There is another one, less seen in ballet - but used in some other dance genres -where the man extends one leg in front and then jumps over it with the other leg.<P>I am trying to think of some where the female center of gravity would be an aid.....anyone else?


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 Post subject: Re: Female vs. Male
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2001 7:06 am 
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Isn't that jump called rivoltade?

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 Post subject: Re: Female vs. Male
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2001 7:14 am 
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Anastasia - TERRIFIC!!! I just looked it up - and you are RIGHT! - that's for the jump where a man extends his foot in front and then jumps over it.<P>But does anyone know the correct name of the barrel turns?<P>Or can anyone think of something in which the female center of gravity would be an aid?


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 Post subject: Re: Female vs. Male
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2001 7:23 am 
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Basheva, could you please describe the jump you are talking about? Maybe i do know that one, but with another name Image<P>Another 'male vs. female' difference, although it has nothing to do with the center of gravity I think: in grand jeté men usually jump higher, while women tend to have a fuller split...

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 Post subject: Re: Female vs. Male
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2001 10:05 am 
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You are right again, Anastasia...generally speaking men are stronger and women more flexible....as a general rule.<P>It is going to be difficult to describe this jumping turn that the men do. I have never done it personally, and I have never taught it. It is generally done by a male, as part of a solo variation as a real tour de force. I can't ever remember seeing it done by several men at once...usually as a solo. It is done traveling around the perimeter of the stage.<P>It is not at all an unusual step. If you have the tape of Fonteyn and Nureyev doing the Le Corsaire pas de deux, Nureyev can be seen doing them. The body appears to be on a slant. The dancer throws one leg out in a jeté, makes a revolution in the air with the other leg in a back attitude. It is done as a series, in a large circle.


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 Post subject: Re: Female vs. Male
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2001 10:31 am 
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I am guessing that something like a penche would be easier for women. As the torso goes down and the leg goes up, the center is still in the pelvis making balance easier for women. Of course, I can't remember ever seeing a man do a penche now that I think about it. Am I having a brain cramp, or is that move mostly for female dancers?


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 Post subject: Re: Female vs. Male
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2001 10:55 am 
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Basheva, I think the jump you call "tour de force en tournant" is also made in a serie by the Prince - or the "movie star" - in Nureyev's <I>Cinderella</I>, act two, isn't it ? I remember Charles Jude doing it on the POB videotape of this ballet. It was particularly impressive because he was doing half a dozen of those jumps in a row, without any intermediate step in between. I also remember Nicolas LeRiche practising them (seen in a televised documentary) for <I>Suite en Blanc</I> I think... but this time there were some steps between each jump.


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 Post subject: Re: Female vs. Male
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2001 11:46 am 
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AlinWond - I don't have Nureyev's version of Cinderella - so I can't look at it.<P>But, you are correct, sometimes it is done with a step in between, and sometimes not. It's a real applause step - the audience always breaks out into applause. The body takes on a real slanted angle - looks as if the body is almost parallel to the floor with the legs rotating up, over and around. spinning like a ferris wheel. The common name is "barrel turns". It is not a grand jeté entournant.<P>Elise - I can't think of a place where a man does a penché either. An arabesque allongé in fondu, but not a penché, that I can remember.


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