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 Post subject: Re: Does Body Type Matter?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2002 7:56 am 
THANK YOU JEFF!!!<BR>These women are absolutely stunning!<BR>I PRAY that they are a great sucess.They're inspirational!


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 Post subject: Re: Does Body Type Matter?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2002 8:32 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Thanks from me too Jeff. I wish I could say that this comes as a surprise, but of course it doesn't. <P>About a year ago there was an excellent article in the UK teen mag. 'Marie Claire', which looked at the cases of a couple of girls who realised that if they stayed in ballet they would face serious health problems. They shifted to contemporary dance where their fuller body shape was far more acceptable.<P>I remember the Director of a prominent UK School saying that ballet companies didn't want thin, they wanted 'Skinny, skinny, skinny.' Let's all make a pledge to give ourselves a rap over the knuckles when we say that a ballerina was a bit 'chunky' or similar. <p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited April 04, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: Does Body Type Matter?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2004 10:38 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2004 12:01 am
Posts: 30
Location: Canada
Why is it that ballet has clung to the Balanchine look over the past several decades? Yes,Balanchine was a very important choreographer and the founder and director of the NYCB but he was only one person in the whole entire world and I don't understand why people were as heavily influenced by his preferance for super long legged skinny girls.
Does being long limbed make you a better dancer?

In my opinion, no it does not.

Look at Margot Fonteyn, although a small petite person,she was short and not disgustingly thin and I wouldn't say that she had long legs.Despite all of this she had a very nice clean technique and a beautiful arabesque line.When she was onstage,nobody could tear their eyes away from her.She danced until she was 60 years old!

Companies should be looking for dancers, not models.How you look physically should matter, but not to the extent that it does in companies today.There have been too many sick dancers out there who die because they are struggling to fit into the mold.
There are too many potential Margot Fonteyns being turned down for both schools and companies because they don't have "the look".

When dancers are in the corps de ballet, they should be trying to all dance togeather in unison,because no two people even if they have the perfect Balanchine ballerina look unless they are twins, look exactly the same.It is time for more diverse body types in ballet,afterall, variety is the spice of life.


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 Post subject: Re: Does Body Type Matter?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2004 5:38 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 1876
Location: New England
The simple answer is becaus Balanchine was a major force in establishing ballet in America. To millions of Americans, George Balanchine's vision of ballet IS what ballet is.


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 Post subject: Re: Does Body Type Matter?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2004 6:54 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2003 12:01 am
Posts: 146
Location: bakersfield,ca
Balanchine dancers back in the day were not tiny,except for the ones that have a book about a grave or some other disorder. Look at old tapes if you need to remember, but the women where good size, strong and had real technique with his style put on top of it (you know square hips and pointed feet). I was all around this entire country with my carreer and there are very "normal" looking girls/women in all companies. Stop looking at the person in the front (from another country that doesnt eat like an american) and look at the corp behind her. If you also look at most principle males they are tiny people, especially now no one wants to put the time into good teaching now so people that are 6 feet and taller (that take longer to develop because of length) are being passed up constantly. And as for Women having all the pressure and the ones being shaped and changed, if that was true there wouldnt be steroids, creatine, viagra, and "it" can grow pills to buy everywhere. Ballet has many different looks all over the world and that is what makes it beutiful. People do not have to be "skinny" they have to be IN SHAPE! That is what counts.


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 Post subject: Re: Does Body Type Matter?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2004 9:02 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 12:01 am
Posts: 81
Location: San Ramon High School
AC, I heartily agree. I have seen anorexically skinny ballerinas on stage who I cannot watch without fearing they will shatter and/or break. This does not allow me to enter a world of poetic idealism and fantasy, rather it makes me nervous and uncomfortable. My favorite ballerinas are those from whom a beautiful spirit emanates from a healthy physique. Ballerinas whose spirits are starved in a an emaciated body depress me.


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 Post subject: Re: Does Body Type Matter?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2004 12:34 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 75
Location: glendora,ca,U.S.A
I would like to know What the Bolshoi ballet looks for?!


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 Post subject: Re: Does Body Type Matter?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2004 4:54 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2003 12:01 am
Posts: 146
Location: bakersfield,ca
It depends on the role they are wanting to fill. Soloists are still alittle stocky and shorter and principles are taller and have longer lines. They all have in common though, very soft feet and they know how to use them too. This goes for the men. As for the Women from what I have seen principles have long long legs are are very thin, these girls often look like beutiful "women" that are dancers. They are very thin but they have the right curves.


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 Post subject: Re: Does Body Type Matter?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2004 5:20 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 3000
Location: San Francisco
My impression of the Bolshoi women is that they are just as thin as the women in other ballet companies are. I think the Bolshoi and Kirov are less likely than some other major companies to have dancers who don't fit the ideal of short torsos and long, slender limbs.


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 Post subject: Re: Does Body Type Matter?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2004 3:13 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2002 11:01 pm
Posts: 602
Location: Seattle, WA,USA
Like it or not, I would say that most companies look for very slender ballerinas, at least at the soloist level and above. I will go out ona lmb, but I wuld say you have to look pretty hard to find a top female dancer in a major compnay over 125 lbs, and at some companies, I would say the weight the dancers are shooting for looks to be more like 105 lbs. I am not quite as conviced that this is solely due to the evil Aritstic Directors looking for the stereotypical body type, although I am sure that is a factor. Other factors may be that a 5' 6" woman dancers set point is 105 lbs if she is working out 6 hours per day. Another, more controversial explaination may be that,to a point, the thinner you are the better dancer you are. This isn't such a radical idea, and I would point out the the grave girl ;) Gelsey Kirkland - despite her struggle with anorexia, was a very strong dancer physically and could lay a legitimate claim to being one of the best dancers ever.
That being said, I personally prefer dancers with that healthy and strong look( PNBs principles come to mind ), vs several much more thin international dancers (Savez-vous? ;) ).


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 Post subject: Re: Does Body Type Matter?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2004 8:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 2708
Location: Seattle, WA USA
In my experience over the past 30 odd years of looking at ballet, I've noticed the following. The dancers in Balanchine's' heyday of 1970-s and 80's were quite thin. Bones sticking out. I think today it varies company to company. There was a Russian company rehearsing within the last year here in Seattle (I saw them rehearsing at PNB)where the women were unbelivably thin. I can't remember the name of the company, not a major one. When I realized that they would all go out for a cigarette break, I thought that they probably smoked instead of eating most of the time!! I'm hopoing that folks are more educated these days about anorexia, and just good health in general.

<small>[ 27 March 2004, 09:18 PM: Message edited by: trina ]</small>


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