Posted 01 November 2003 - 04:44 PM
Posted 01 November 2003 - 05:39 PM
Posted 01 November 2003 - 06:45 PM
Perhaps another more versed than I will add to this?
Posted 01 November 2003 - 06:48 PM
Posted 01 November 2003 - 07:44 PM
Posted 01 November 2003 - 07:54 PM
Posted 01 November 2003 - 07:59 PM
Nora, I should have put up an explanation on the Dancer of the Month thread -- so thank you for your comment, because it made me realize I hadn't been clear. We didn't mean this as an award, but we want to spotlight dancers and give a bit of information about them. Pavlenko seemed a good choice, since she had a recent success in Calilfornia and London.
Posted 02 November 2003 - 03:37 AM
"plasticité" which would be "plasticity" , which means either the caracteristics of something very malleable or the sculptural quality of a work of art
"plastique" which is either a noun or an adjective
as an adjective , it means either malleable or aiming to give an esthetic expression of something (ex : the plastique beauty of a setting)
as a noun , it is of course first a material , and second can be either the art of sculpture (the Greek plastique) or a type of beauty (the beautiful plastique of a dancer )
when we speak of plastique , we often mean someone's physical appearance, his shape
end of lesson....
Posted 02 November 2003 - 03:46 AM
Posted 02 November 2003 - 04:57 AM
Posted 02 November 2003 - 06:26 AM
Posted 02 November 2003 - 10:44 AM
Posted 02 November 2003 - 05:40 PM
The root of the word is the same as plasma and plaster...
But what it means, I think, in ballet terms, since ballet is an idealistic art, has to do with sculpting, molding an ideally beautiful shape. Technically, you might say it's more about posing than moving -- except that really beautiful movement goes through really beautiful positions, and the pirouettes we remember for hte rest of our lives always express ideally beautiful positions. Some dancers have more sculptural possibilities in them than others. And in some cases, the DIFFERENCE between what they look like in one position from what they do in another is really striking -- Baryshnikov in particular, with his squatty little body, had EXTRAORDINARY plastique, given how miraculously the line came into being, almost out of nowhere: here he is in mid-air in effacee devant beating the world's most beautiful cabriole, leaning back like he's in a lawn chair-- there were many elements to this beauty, elevation being one of them -- but the plastique was JUST as glorious. Indeed, lots of people can jump high but don't look relaxed, or if they DO look relaxed they look ungainly somehow. TO jump high, look relaxed, beat your legs effortlessly twice in a double cabriole, AND pull your lines so they go out the roof -- well, the last of these is I think what they mean by plastique.
A great test of plastique is attitude effacee -- the Rose adagio attitude -- which is based on a little bronze statue of Mercury by the Renaissance sculptor Giambologna (it's famous again as the FTD logo). The thing that made his statue so famous in its time is that it composes from three angles -- so if yu turn it in your hand, there are three different angles from which it is spectacularly beautiful. So the idea of turning that figure around was already around centuries before Petipa featured promenades in attitude. (Carlo Blasis had a lot to say about attitudes and arabesques, really worth reading..... his drawing s are wondeful. Check out "The Code of Terpsichore" old-fashioned, but he could do multiple pirouettes in penchee arabesque.)
Some remarkable dacners have more plastique than movement talent -- Stephanie Saland comes to mind as a dancer with a tremendous plastique imagination that exceeded her technical abilities to put things always into effect -- but there were times when she was truly glorious -- at the end of Serenade, when she was elevated and carried off into the light, her position became so glorious, her sternum rose, her back arched so, it was sacramental, the outward sign of an inhabiting grace, it was like she was entering into Paradise.
(Sorry, I just re-read this and it sounds SO high-flown and professorial -- but i don't see how I can change it. I don't wear my learning lightly -- but I do apologize. On the other hand, I DO think it's all true, so I'm leaving it up.)
Posted 03 November 2003 - 03:07 PM
And Mel, I love you, sometimes you make me hoot with laughter!
Well, to come back to the subject in hand, I have been thinking. Many years ago, in say the forties-fifties here in Sweden, "plastique" was popular here and was widely taught. I have never done any myself.
Firstly, and this was a wise thing, it was taught to young children, say kiddies under the age of ten.
Secondly, it was a kind of graceful exercise for young girls of good families, who might tire with such violent exercise as ballet. Yes, this is actually true!!! Heard it said myself by some society ladies.
Then I also remember the plastique shoe, it was in soft leather with a full sole, no heel and a T-strap.
Now it is something completely unheard of, but yes, it did exist alright. :grinning:
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