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 Post subject: Re: Weight and the Aesthetics of the Ballet - Lewis Segal of
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2001 7:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 18
Location: Lenexa, Kansas, USA
Hm... I don't know about anyone else, but personally, I think that thin ballerinas look very beautiful on stage. They (generally) have more graceful lines and appear lighter on their feet. If that's what a "ballet body" is supposed to be like nowadays, then I don't want the image to change too much. If people think that you have to be super skinny to be a dancer, then that should change. Heavier dancers can be very beautiful, but it takes a lot more effort, and spectators must get used to the altered lines and images of a larger dancer. Modern ballet technique is basically designed for somewhat lithe dancers, and ballet, if done correctly, will shape the body into the kind of figure commonly seen among dancers of a healthy weight. Basically, I think that if MY image of a ballet body is accurate, then it shouldn't have to change. To me, ballet is perfect just the way it is... that's why I love it so much! <BR>-Sarah-


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 Post subject: Re: Weight and the Aesthetics of the Ballet - Lewis Segal of
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2001 6:43 pm 
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Posts: 774
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Will someone explain "lines" to me? It's a term constantly dragged out in discussions such as this, and it's a vein of argument which does nothing to illuminate my understanding of an individual's viewpoint, because it means nothing to me in this context. To me, lines are things I stand in, draw, hope to avoid, wake up with on my face, and try to stay between on the road.<P>Does "lines" indicate some precise ancient science of mathematical perfections reflected in the human body? If so, what are the formulae? I guess what I'm asking you defenders of line is - what do you mean?<P>


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 Post subject: Re: Weight and the Aesthetics of the Ballet - Lewis Segal of
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2001 7:02 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Well, let's see Priscilla ....I can only speak from my knowledge of the ballet -not any other of the dance forms.<P>If you look at some of the textbooks on ballet you will often see the human figure in a ballet pose - like an arabesque. And through that pose can be diagramed several geometric figures - circles, arcs, triangles. It is these lines/shapes - both of the body itself and the spaces between parts of the body, that creates the shape. <P>If a ballet dancer is in an arbesque, with one arm forward and the other to her side, you can draw a vertical line almost with a ruler from her spine to the front of her standing thigh - if she is correctly placed.<P>Then you can draw a line from the length of her lifted arabesque leg through her torso and out to the tip of her forward arm. You can also draw a line across her shoulders which are on a horizontal, parallel to the ground. The lift - the line - of her chin should match the line of her foward arm. They should be parallel.<P>Ballet is very geometrical. Other forms of dance - like modern - certainly can be too - but in the ballet it is a basic structure. <P>It is felt that the eye automatically interprets these lines (at least ballet people think so) as "beautiful". What is geometrical is also viewed as symetrical.<P>I have a picture of Prima Ballerina Margot Fonteyn, in which I can (and have for my students) taken a ruler and marked off all the triangles she created in a arabesque pose. If these lines were extended beyond her body into the infinity of space - they would be almost perfect triangles. And within those triangles she also makes arcs and circles.<P>Some people feel that the leaner the body is the more "visible" these lines are. To an extent this might be true...but then it is probably just what we are used to seeing as beauty. Beauty is usually defined by each epoch for itself.<P>(see my next post on April 28th)<P><p>[This message has been edited by Basheva (edited April 28, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Weight and the Aesthetics of the Ballet - Lewis Segal of
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2001 7:15 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Here is an example - from the book "The Classic Ballet" by Muriel Stuart and Carlus Dyer:<P><BR> Image


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 Post subject: Re: Weight and the Aesthetics of the Ballet - Lewis Segal of
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2001 12:54 pm 
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Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Thanks Basheva.


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 Post subject: Re: Weight and the Aesthetics of the Ballet - Lewis Segal of
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2001 2:22 pm 
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You are very welcome, Priscilla. <P> <BR>I typed out the verbal explanation in the post of April 27th - and then the next day I found the picture above - which says it a lot better.


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 Post subject: Re: Weight and the Aesthetics of the Ballet - Lewis Segal of
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2001 6:24 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Another art form - another view....<P>From the Chicago Sun Times:<P><B>16th minute: Fat acts </B><P><BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Isn't it just screamingly funny when skinny people pretend to be fat?<P><BR>We don't think so, either. In fact, we're rather bored with fat humor and, most particularly with one of the movie industry's favorite props: the fat suit. Why pick on the humble fat suit? It nearly ruined the film careers of Robin Williams, Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence and Tim Allen. And if that's not reason enough to ban fat suits, the latest trend has pushed them into 16th Minute territory.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><BR><A HREF="http://www.suntimes.com/output/show/srl-magazine-dt_16th429.html" TARGET=_blank><B>MORE...</B></A><P><BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Weight and the Aesthetics of the Ballet - Lewis Segal of
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2001 11:43 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 15, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 90
Location: Salt Lake City
Basheva,<BR>That is a great article.<BR>It is funny but has a really pointed edge to it.<BR>Renee Z. did gain something like 20 lbs or more for her role in her latest movie.<BR>"Diary"....I don't know how easy it was for her to loss it again to become the waif or "lolly pop" actress again.<BR>There have been a lot of people with critical points of view on how actresses now need to be a size 0-2.......it used to be a FAT size 6.<BR>Can we all imagine how horrid that must be for them.<BR>It is as bad, if not worse, than the dancer eating thing.<BR>It is a whole industry that is showing our kids, and ourselves how we must look.<BR>A head on a stick.<P>Sure ballet has very specific goals for body type, and some of the directors are letting the dancers look partly human again.<BR>(esp. with all the estrogen studies).<BR>But, now Hollywood has joined this horrid scene. <BR>Wasn't it bad enough when it was just dancers and models.<BR>Now we have pre adolesent bodies on our actressed......who have NO problem getting liposuction, breast implants etc, to look like a stick with two bumps and a head.<BR>All done via the magic of eating disorders and surgery.<P>I just hope this doens't begin a new more skinny trend with dance companies.<BR>The directors can surely just point to hollywood and say.....Look, there is the body type I want.<P>Please G-d help us if that happens, and we go back to the early 60's- 80's.<BR>It is bad now, but the kids don't know how bad it was in the "golden age" of ballet.<BR>With Balanchine wanting his girls to be boys.<P>Sorry for the Vitrol......<BR>this is a major touchy subject with me.<P>Thin is ok, skinny and bones popping is stupid.<P>------------------<BR>bek<BR>CCA CREATIONS<BR>Website:<BR>http://members.tripod.com/~Casalino<P>

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bek<BR>CCA CREATIONS<BR>Website:<BR>http://members.tripod.com/~Casalino<P><BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Weight and the Aesthetics of the Ballet - Lewis Segal of
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2001 4:38 am 
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Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
If anyone would like to join a discussion on "lines" in the Studio - here is the link:

TEACHING THE WHOLE PICTURE - LINES

<small>[ 08-10-2002, 17:53: Message edited by: salzberg ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Weight and the Aesthetics of the Ballet - Lewis Segal of
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2001 12:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 8612
Location: El Granada, CA, USA
I'm glad someone broght up the actresses. I have worked with all kinds of performing artists. The musicians were the most anti-social, the dancers and opera singers had the ooposite body image issues, but it was the ACTORS who had the most unhealthy relationships to food. Being a ballet dancer will naturally keep your weight down because you are using your body all day. But actors (male & female) are expected to have equally beautiful bodies and they don't get much exercise from their jobs. They have to find it elsewhere. Or they stop their caloric intake. I knew an actress who ate nothing but dried fruit and rice. I knew an actor who ate nothing but turkey breast. Most of the dancers I worked with had worked with a nutritionist at some point and had developed a nutrition plan. Actors are never referred to nutritionists and are left to fend for themselves. I think we should be much more worried about Hollywood creating eating disorders than Balanchine.


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 Post subject: Re: Weight and the Aesthetics of the Ballet - Lewis Segal of
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2001 1:14 pm 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
I guess we can assume then that the days when Marilyn Monroe, Gina Lollabrigida (sp?), Sophia Loren were considered ideal are gone? <P>Sophia Loren, in my opinion. is a stunningly beautiful woman at any age. <P>The aesthetic certainly has changed hasn't it? I do think that dance had something to do with that change - not entirely - but part of it.


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 Post subject: Re: Weight and the Aesthetics of the Ballet - Lewis Segal of
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2001 3:50 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 1
Location: Melb Vic Australia
I know this is an old topic but am just wanting to speak openly about this topic.<BR>I studied RDA Ballet from the ages of 2 to 15, I was considered good enough to try out for The Australian ballet, and I had always wanted ot become a dancer. Unfortunatle I had to take a year of due to taking up final subjects and having to many exams, since in that year I was not dancing and traing as hard my body went through puberty and I had to wake up to myslef that I am a naturally 'hippy' tall girl. I went from 160cm t6o 172cm I went from a size 6 to a size 14 I knew then that I could never dance again. All that training all that love I put in, it hurts me now even to watch.<BR>I had to turn of a part of me that loved to dance all just for the fact that my body 'grew up'. As you can see I don't agree with this excessive thinness and this great need to have 18yr old girls play grown up women who convey passion lust and despair with the body of a 12 yr old. When I was dancing the hard work and long hours was nothing compared to the constant strict diet I was always on.


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 Post subject: Re: Weight and the Aesthetics of the Ballet - Lewis Segal of
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2001 10:47 pm 
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Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Welcome, Aurelie, and thank you for your observations.


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 Post subject: Re: Weight and the Aesthetics of the Ballet - Lewis Segal of
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2001 7:20 am 
Welcome Aurelie--AND I PRAY THAT YOU DO DANCE AGAIN.<BR> I'm glad actresses were mentioned too;cause theres this absolutely beautiful and talented actress named JENNIFER CONNELLY--she(WAS AT LEAST) a throwback of those 1950's actresses in face and form.Alot of the movies she was in were not commercial except for the ROCKETEERS(she was female lead).I remember reading that she thought shed have to loose weight but she didnt get it;she had(I suppose still does) quite a male following(she has a web page).<BR> UNFORNTUNATELY she must have been finally convinced to loose her curves.She was in a VERY short lived show called WALL STREET on Fox;when I saw her I said MY G-- WHAT HAPPENNED TO HER??? I figured like many actresses who want to be commercial,she was pressured into loosing weight;but in the process,like many actresses have you loose your wonderful individuality;and for a show that didnt even last long.<BR> I was hoping the she would become commercial as she was,and become a role model for us with"extra lovin' so to say.I pray she doesnt compromise herself any further and returns to her wonderful individuality.


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 Post subject: Re: Weight and the Aesthetics of the Ballet - Lewis Segal of
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2001 7:28 am 
Check out her sites:<BR> <A HREF="http://search.yahoo.com/bin/search?p=jennifer+connelly" TARGET=_blank>http://search.yahoo.com/bin/search?p=jennifer+connelly</A>


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