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 Post subject: titles
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2001 3:31 am 
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What does one call the male counter part to a ballerina? My children have asked this, and I do not know the answer.<P>Thanks,<P>Donna @cooncrane@msn.com


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 Post subject: Re: titles
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2001 4:28 am 
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"Ballerino".<P>Really.<P>Unless he doesn't get into his light, in which case he is called something you wouldn't want to share with your children.<BR><P>------------------<BR>Jeffrey E. Salzberg, Lighting Designer<P>Online portfolio: <A HREF="http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg" TARGET=_blank>http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg</A> <BR>This Day in Arts History: <A HREF="http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg/arthist.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg/arthist.htm</A><P><BR>

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 Post subject: Re: titles
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2001 4:42 am 
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Basheva told this in another thread:<P>danseur = ballerina<BR>premier danseur = prima ballerina<BR>danseur noble = prima ballerina assoluta<P><p>[This message has been edited by Anastasia (edited March 27, 2001).]

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 Post subject: Re: titles
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2001 6:07 am 
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Hi Donna and thanks for the question.<P>I'm moving this to 'Ballet' as we tend to use this forum for things related to the website, welcomes etc.


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 Post subject: Re: titles
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2001 6:40 am 
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Donna - welcome to our board - it's great to have you join us.<P>As you can see above, Anastasia, has repeated the answer I gave several days ago. There was an attempt at one time to use the word "ballerino" - but it has never gained acceptance. I have searched through three ballet dictionaries for it - and it does not appear. You probably will not see it on any program for a ballet company. In all my years of study and attending performances (since 1962) I have never seen it used.<P>The aceceptable terms are:<P>Danseur<BR>Premier Danseur <BR>Danseur Noble<P>


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 Post subject: Re: titles
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2001 4:17 am 
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I'm always wary of definitions as it is an area of dance where little is cut and dried with changes with time, geography and sometimes people's agendas. In the past I've been engaged in 'lively' debate elsewhere about someone's definition of ballet that excluded large chunks of the most interesting work performed today by ballet companies.<P>As a starting point Donna it depends which definition of ballerina you are using. There are two camps, those who use it to refer to any female ballet dancer and those, probably the majority view supported by the new 'Oxford Dictionary of Dance'(ODC), who use it only to refer to a Principal dancer. <P>The terms where there is most unanimity are probably 'prima ballerina' - 'the female dancer who occupies the top position amongst dancers in a company' (ODC), and 'prima ballerina assoluta' - the highest accolade '...which is very rarely given.' (ODC). However, I'm not aware of any Company which uses either term now and the last use of 'assoluta' was for Margot Fonteyn in 1979 and i don't expect that the RB will use it again for a long time. Rojo or Cojocaru in 30 years if they carry on developing? <P>With the terms for the boys it all gets more difficult. I have seen the term 'ballerino' and I suspect that many ballet fans would recognise it, but it is rarely used. The term 'danseur' does appear in the dictionaries, but is also '...no longer in popular English-speaking usage'(ODC). The ODC and 'A Dictionary of Ballet Terms' by Kersley and Sinclair (DBT) use it as an equivalent to 'danseuse' ie a dancer perhaps in the corps, rather than ballerina in the Principal sense. 'Premier danseur' is also very little used in my experience, but is an equivalent of the term 'prima ballerina'.<P>The real trouble starts with 'danseur noble'. As far as I can see this corresponds with a type of role, rather than a quality title. The ODC uses it as 'a dancer who performs princely classical roles' and this is supported by 'a tall dancer of fine appearance and good manners towards his partners' (DBT). I can think of some RB dancers who fit this description and do a solid job, but who might only just qualify as the eqivalent of a ballerina. Whereas someone like Teddy Kumakawa, an outstanding dancer, would be too short for a 'danseur noble'. Where have you seen it as an equivalent of 'assoluta' Basheva?<P>To go back to your original point Donna, there isn't a commonly used term. 'Danseur' seems the best of the bunch, but it remains an uncommon usage. You will often hear these mature, highly skilled artists referred to as 'boys' as in 'Company X is short of boys at the moment.' For all it's drawbacks it's probably the most common term used in speech and by repititeurs. At a lecture/demonstration I heard the Rambert rehearsal director say 'Well done boys.' And then you have the widely used but rather prosaic 'male dancer'. <P><BR> <P><BR> <BR> <P> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <P><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited March 28, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: titles
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2001 6:59 am 
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The only male dancer to whom I have seen the title "danseur noble" applied with no argument is Erik Bruhn.<P>I have seen it applied to others - but always with argument.


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 Post subject: Re: titles
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2001 7:37 am 
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The Oxford Dictionary of Dance (Craine and Mackrell) says of Jonathan Cope, '...he is naturally suited to the danseur noble roles...'.<P>There is little doubt that Eric Bruhn was a superb danseur noble, but that's a different point I think. Do any of your dictionaries define the term Basheva?


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 Post subject: Re: titles
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2001 10:57 am 
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In G.B.L. Wilson's "A Dictionary of Ballet" - it is defined thus:<P>"A dancer with a noble classical style."<P>In Gail Grant's "Technical Manual and Dictionary of Classical Ballet" thus:<P>"A primier danseur excelling in the classical style."<P>In Gretchen Ward Warren's "Classical Ballet Technique - it is a description on page 64, that deals not only with the necessary classical style/manner but also the physical attributes - height being one of them.<P>As for the possibilities - in my opinion - had he lived longer there existed the possiblity of Patrick Bissell being a danseur noble. Certainly from what I saw of him, on the stage, and in the classroom, he did have that potential.<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: titles
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2001 11:02 am 
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Thinking further along this line.....the name of Igor Youskevitch occurred to me - so I looked him up and sure enough in G.B.L. Wilson's book it says...."he was a great danseur noble". So that's another.<P>As for other assolutas - I do believe that Alicia Alonso was declared one after Fonteyn, if I remember correctly. I certainly wouldn't argue against her right to be so named.


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 Post subject: Re: titles
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2001 12:55 pm 
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On 'Assoluta' The Dance Encyclopedia (Chujoy) points out that the Maryinski/Kirov awarded the title twice in 200 years, to Legnani and Kchessinska. The Oxford says that Alonso was the Prima Ballerina at the National Ballet of Cuba, but makes no mention of the 'Assoluta' title. Thus this is an exceedingly rare accolade, which may never be used again.<P>Your definitions of 'danseur noble' are interesting, Basheva:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>In G.B.L. Wilson's "A Dictionary of Ballet" - it is defined thus:<P>"A dancer with a noble classical style."<P>**********************<P>In Gretchen Ward Warren's "Classical Ballet Technique - it is a description on page 64,<BR>that deals not only with the necessary classical style/manner but also the physical<BR>attributes - height being one of them.<BR><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>These seem to accord rather well with the Oxford definition and i think both could be applied to the tall, elegant Jonathan Cope, as the Oxford does. But he is one of at least a dozen or more dancers currently performing around the world who have the style, technique and physical build to perform the Siegfrieds etc to a high level.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>In Gail Grant's "Technical Manual and Dictionary of Classical Ballet" thus:<P>"A primier danseur excelling in the classical style."<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>It depends what Grant means by primeur danseur. If he means Principal or even leading Principal then that again fits in <BR>with the Oxford definition. Thus Kumakawa is a Principal but not a danseur noble. <P>In terms of what happens in practice, I have spoken with a ex-professional male ballet dancer, an ex-ballerina from a major Company and a senior Administrator/scholar, who all agree with the Oxford definition. That is a style of dancing, Siegfried, Solor, Florimund etc performed by a Principal or to be used to describe a Principal with the build and style suitable for these roles. None of them have felt it to be equivalent to 'prima ballerina assoluta'.<P><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited March 28, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: titles
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2001 1:45 pm 
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I would certianly not equate "premier danseur" (I did a typo in above post) with assoluta. I would equate that title with prima ballerina.<P>I would equate premier danseur danseur noble with prima ballerina assoluta. <P>As for Alonso - that declaration was fairly recent and the books consulted just might be printed before that fact.<P>According to G.B.L. Wilson "A Dictionary of Ballet" - the award of "Assoluta" has been made thrice:<P>Pierina Legnani <BR>Mathilde Kschessinskaya <BR>Maya Plisetskaya <P>So that is interesting, isn't it? I am surprised that Ulanova was not included. <P>It would be interesting to discuss how these acclamations are made - wouldn't it?<P><BR>(oh shoot, this has been so interesting I just burned the rice for supper !! LOL)<p>[This message has been edited by Basheva (edited March 28, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: titles
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2001 2:31 pm 
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Neither of the 1990s reference books I have or Britannica describe Plisetskaya as an 'assoluta'. As you point out Ulanova was not given this status which certainly suggests that it is a term that has not been used in the Russian companies for over 50 years. <P>It would be interesting if Alonzo had been given this status, presumably by her own Company, but it must have been very recent as the Oxford Dictionary came out in the 2nd half of 2000.<P>Fundamentally prima ballerina, prima ballerina assoluta and premier danseur are ranking terms which are not used by companies today as far as i am aware. They are sometimes used by journalists in an informal way. Companies use use Principal or Etoile in the case of POB. Danseur noble is used from time to time, not as a status, but to describe a particular style of Principal or role. <P>However, Kersley and Sinclair do say that Eric Bruhn was '..the personification of the danseur noble'. I can well believe that he is the best of his breed. You quote, 'G.B.L. Wilson's book....says...."he [Igor Youskevitch] was a great danseur noble". That does seem to imply that there a number of danseur nobles around of which he was an outstanding example. It would be a tautology to describe a dancer as a 'great prima ballerina assoluta'.<P><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited March 28, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: titles
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2001 2:47 pm 
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Here is something I found about Alonso - it is in Spanish - but I am sure you can read enough of it - even if you don't know Spanish - to make out what is being said:<P><BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Yupi Internet, diciembre 21, 2000<P>Castro condecora a la bailarina cubana Alicia Alonso <P>La Habana, 21 Dic (NTX).- El presidente de Cuba, Fidel Castro, condecoró con la Orden José Marti a la "prima ballerina assoluta" Alicia Alonso, por su larga y fecunda trayectoria artística.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.cubanet.org/CNews/y00/dec00/21o3.htm" TARGET=_blank><B>More...</B></A><P>(actually a search on Google gives dozens of examples of giving this title to Alonso)<BR><p>[This message has been edited by Basheva (edited March 28, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: titles
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2001 2:54 pm 
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Apparently Dance Magazine had this to say about Alexandra Danilova:<P><BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Deemed by democratic consensus America's prima ballerina assoluta from the 1930s to the 1950s, and a reigning ballet teacher and coach after that, Alexandra Danilova earned the admiration of the public, the critics and her students.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> <P><BR><A HREF="http://www.findarticles.com/cf_0/m1083/10_74/65862869/p1/article.jhtml" TARGET=_blank><B>MORE...</B></A><BR>


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