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Tall vs. short ballerinas


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#16 oberon

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Posted 03 February 2005 - 04:38 AM

Then there are dancers like Jennie Somogyi who look tall onstage but when you see her in the street, she looks petite. I guess it's her dancing that is "big"...

#17 32tendu

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Posted 03 February 2005 - 06:22 AM

Part of the beauty of ballet in my humble opinion, is it's diversity and depth. Everyone has different strengths and body shapes. Some have extention, some can turn or jump. The sign of a good artistic director is one who can apply the strengths of each dancer. Personally, I like watching what the individual brings to the piece. The corps looks best when it's all together on the music. Tall or short. Men probably have more partnering ops when they are a bit taller. Then again, what do I know!

Peace,
32tendu

#18 Ballet lovers

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Posted 06 February 2005 - 11:18 AM

Thank you very much "Cambelto" for your post ( unfortunately we have read it only now).We appreciated it very much because we also like more the "petite ballerinas" even if we think that we can't judge the ballerina's talent with her height.
In any case, the mini-ballerinas are more tender, soft and light and of course more "confortable" for their partners. In fact now, the most of the men-partners, are victims of many injuries caused by an excessive and impossible lifting of tall ballerinas even if they are tall and sturdy also.
The today's aesthetics of course, is very different of many years ago but we have to admit that the most of the "talls", has also many problems with their technique even if we have many exemples of beautiful tall dancers like Sylvie Guillem, Svetlana Zacharova, Darcey Bussel,Yulia Makhalina or Uliana Lopatkina that have "amalgamated" technique,beauty and interpretation.
In the previous generations, the "prima ballerina" was absolutly " little " and this was so beautiful!.We remember with big nostalgia the wonderful Carla Fracci, Natalia Makarova, Ekaterina Maximova, Alla Sizova, Gelsey Kirkland, Svetlana Efremova that have touched so much our hearts with their technique and charisma. Besides they were more suitable for " Nutcracker"," Giselle"," La Sylphide","Sleeping Beauty", " Cinderella' or " Romeo and Juliet".
Of course it is terrible when a little ballerina has big disproportions but if we have splendid exemples even now like Alina Cojocaru, Svetlana Lunkina, Irina Badaeva or Aurelie Dupont, why we must to think obstinately that an " Odette" or "Nikia" has to be necessarily a Giant ?
We have seen for exemple Cojocaru and Badaeva in "Swan Lake", and they were beautiful !

#19 Marga

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Posted 06 February 2005 - 01:36 PM

Of course it is terrible when a little ballerina has big disproportions but if we have splendid exemples even now like Alina Cojocaru, Svetlana Lunkina, Irina Badaeva or Aurelie Dupont, why we must to think obstinately that an " Odette" or "Nikia" has to be necessarily a Giant ?

I enjoyed your post to this thread, Ballet lovers, but want to address your choice of Svetlana Lunkina as a "little ballerina". Sveta is svelte, but not short. She is about 5'6" tall.

#20 Hans

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Posted 06 February 2005 - 04:49 PM

Canbelto, I'm pretty sure Asylmuratova is quite tall. Maybe you aren't as prejudiced as you think :excl:

#21 Dale

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Posted 06 February 2005 - 06:41 PM

In the previous generations, the "prima ballerina" was absolutly " little " and this was so beautiful!.We remember with big nostalgia the wonderful Carla Fracci, Natalia Makarova, Ekaterina Maximova, Alla Sizova, Gelsey Kirkland, Svetlana Efremova that have touched so much our hearts with their technique and charisma.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Over that time we've also had Svetlana Beriosova, Suzanne Farrell, Martine Van Hamel, Cynthia Gregory, Diana Adams, Tanaquil LeClercq, and two of the best technicians I've ever seen: Merill Ashley and Kyra Nichols.

Personally, I generally like tall over short - more to see as Balanchine said. A taller dancer really registers for me. Not all, of course. And I have really like many smaller dancers over time, but I do look out for the taller ones. An example: Ashley in Ballo. I've seen smaller dancers really tear through this (Bouder was exceptional) but the key to Ashley was seeing this big body dance faster than anybody.

#22 canbelto

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Posted 06 February 2005 - 07:58 PM

Canbelto, I'm pretty sure Asylmuratova is quite tall.  Maybe you aren't as prejudiced as you think :excl:

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I dont think she is -- at least in the documentaries Makarova made during her return to the Kirov Asylmuratova seemed just average height.
Not much taller than Natasha.

#23 Ballet lovers

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Posted 07 February 2005 - 02:22 AM

We have seen Svetlana Lunkina and it seemed to us that she was not so tall.She is very proportional so she looks tall.She is " medium".
:excl:

#24 Marga

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Posted 07 February 2005 - 10:10 AM

We have seen Svetlana Lunkina and it seemed to us that she was not so tall.She is very proportional so she looks tall.She is " medium".
:speechless-smiley-003:

I can only guage her against my own height (5'4") and she is definitely taller than I am! I have visited with her as she lounged in street clothes, stood next to her while she was in costume in slippers, me in heels, and watched her in rehearsal many times. Next time I see her I will ask her her height. If 5'6" is the new medium, then she is medium!

#25 Marga

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Posted 07 February 2005 - 10:16 AM

Canbelto, I'm pretty sure Asylmuratova is quite tall.  Maybe you aren't as prejudiced as you think :speechless-smiley-003:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I dont think she is -- at least in the documentaries Makarova made during her return to the Kirov Asylmuratova seemed just average height.
Not much taller than Natasha.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

You are right, canbelto. Altynai would be considered a short dancer today. I used to think she was tall too, Hans, from her photos in the halls of the former Kirov Academy. That was many years ago, before I began to meet many Kirov and Bolshoi dancers, thanks to my daughter's ballet school being the seat of operations for Stars of the 21st Century ballet galas.

#26 Hans

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Posted 10 February 2005 - 12:54 AM

That's interesting--Asylmuratova has such long limbs and danced so often with her husband, Konstantin Zaklinsky, who seems extremely tall (maybe he isn't really?) that I suppose she just seemed taller than she really is.

#27 Marenetha

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Posted 14 February 2005 - 11:15 PM

I adore watching taller dancers. Short ballerinas can be absolutely lovely, but sometimes if they are too short I find it utterly distracting - take for example, Leticia Oliveira of Houston Ballet. She's probably 5'1" or so - she's a wonderful technician, but it is *so distracting* because she is so short! I mean, I really don't think that I could see her as a leading dancer in much of classical repertoire, simply because she is so tiny! It wouldn't really seem like an adult was dancing, but rather, that a child was. Does that make sense?

#28 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 03:04 AM

Not necessarily, I think it would depend on whether or not her partner was proportionate to her, it can work very well.

#29 Brioche

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Posted 15 February 2005 - 09:24 PM

Good point Mme. Hermine. Elizabeth Loscavio is barely over 5'1" and she had a rather large repertoire - classics and contemporary.

#30 Marga

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Posted 18 February 2005 - 08:03 PM

I adore watching taller dancers. Short ballerinas can be absolutely lovely, but sometimes if they are too short I find it utterly distracting - take for example, Leticia Oliveira of Houston Ballet. She's probably 5'1" or so - she's a wonderful technician, but it is *so distracting* because she is so short! I mean, I really don't think that I could see her as a leading dancer in much of classical repertoire, simply because she is so tiny! It wouldn't really seem like an adult was dancing, but rather, that a child was. Does that make sense?

I saw Leticia Oliveira dance back in September (just over 5 months ago). I was not distracted at all -- didn't even think about her height -- rather, I was enchanted by her strong, lyrical performance. Of course I can be partial to shorter dancers, since my own daughter, who is a lovely dancer, is not quite 5'2", but I do acquire feelings for each dancer I view based on her merit as an artist, not on her physical stature. I have yet to be utterly distracted by a dancer because of her height, short or tall. There have been qualities in some dancers that have distracted me no end, but never their height, which is merely relative, after all.


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