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Tall vs. short ballerinas


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#46 leonid17

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 12:40 AM

Osipova ..... is in my opinion, shorter than 5'5" inches tall and on stage appears to be much shorter than Cojocaru.


http://entertainment...icle2027206.ece

Here is a quote from the above article (from 3 years ago):

At 5ft 5in, she is the same height as Maya Plisetskaya, the 81-year-old Bolshoi phenomenon still dancing (more or less) last year. In her heyday, Plisetskaya was considered a giantess. These days, Osipova is one of the shortest ballerinas.


Having seen both Maya Plisetskaya and Natalia Osipova a number of times on stage and off, I am as certain as I can be, that Miss Osipova is not the same height as Madame Plisetskaya. There is something quite ridiculous in the suggestion that she is. After all it is only a statement in a newspaper article.

#47 lmspear

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 09:35 AM

At 3:21 in this clip from the Dancers Over 40 tribute to Agnes De Mille, (Agnes De Mille Clip 3) Christine Sarry tells how she was hired because ABT needed a dancer shorter than Lupe Serrano.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yavruy7VY4U

There are many treats in the Dancers Over 40 videos. :clapping:

#48 LightFantastique

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 07:36 AM

I find this discussion interesting because I am close to a number of tall dancers who face a lot of the same problems of trying to find a career as a shorter dancer would, so I think some of the responses are pretty illuminating. It seems to me, though, that a lot of people are trying to attribute height with certain qualities, so I suppose the best way to get to a rawly useful "perfect height" would be to try to strip height from things that [may or may not] be cursorily related to it but not necessarily perfected correlated.

For example, people seem to suggest that shorter dancers tend to have a 'lighter' quality about them and more fluid movement. While this may be true, suppose this isn't the case. Let's say we compose a perfect "Frankenballerina" here. She can have all the grace, weightlessness, and effortlessness of any ballerina that's ever lived. Then, given such, how tall do we make her? Assuming she retains the weightlessness quality of movement, do we simply extend her height indefinitely until we run into the problem of not being able to find suitable partners? Or is there another 'catchpoint' in preventing ballerinas from going taller?

I suppose what I'm trying to say is, how tall would the ideal ballerina be assuming that her height has no bearing upon her style of dance? Because, should we find an 'ideal height', then I suppose it is theoretically possible for someone at that height to dance with the qualities of both a much shorter and a much taller ballerina, no?

#49 ellabelladances

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Posted 04 May 2016 - 03:12 PM

Who cares how tall a dancer is?! It doesn't matter what they look like... what matters is their technique and behavior. If one is rude don't hire them. If one doesn't provide the technique you're looking for, tell them work on it, and to come back in the future. NO ONE should judge a dancer by how they look (height,weight, hair color, skin color, etc.)

#50 JMcN

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Posted 04 May 2016 - 11:42 PM

In my experience as a ballet-watcher, the height of a dancer can make the choreography look completely different.  I think it is good to see dancers of all heights!  Vive la difference!



#51 ballet101

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 04:54 AM

Excellent article on the subject of body diversity in Dance Magazine

 

http://dancemagazine...ct_a_manifesto/



#52 pherank

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 01:22 PM

Having seen both Maya Plisetskaya and Natalia Osipova a number of times on stage and off, I am as certain as I can be, that Miss Osipova is not the same height as Madame Plisetskaya. There is something quite ridiculous in the suggestion that she is. After all it is only a statement in a newspaper article.

 

The best dancers tend to have that unusual ability to make one forget all about their size, and 'eat space'.

 

Recently, SFB's Jahna Frantziskonis, proudly posted a shot of the costume tag for the costume she was wearing in Cranko's Onegin - formerly worn by Natalia Osipova, Isabella Boylston, and Elena Lobsanova. So that tells us something about their heights.  ;)  Jahna seems quite small to me, and in this photo with Wanting Zhao, Wanting is at least 2 or 3 inches taller than Jahna (I would never have thought of Wanting as being particularly tall). Jahna is, I believe, still taller than Kochetkova.



#53 naomikage

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 06:45 AM

This article indicates Jahna Frantziskonis is  5′ 3″ 

 

http://dancemagazine..._frantziskonis/

 

It was nice to see those tags on the Olga costume.



#54 pherank

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Posted 09 May 2016 - 01:19 PM

This article indicates Jahna Frantziskonis is  5′ 3″ 

 

Coincidentally, here's a bit of height humor posted by Frantziskonis with her brother:

https://www.instagra...en-by=jahnagram

 

"Happy end of the season! I think we all grew a lot this year... Some more than others"



#55 angelica

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Posted 09 May 2016 - 04:52 PM

Today in the dress rehearsal for Sylvia I saw Blaine Hoven (tall) dancing with Maria Kochetkova (tiny). They were a sight, so poorly matched for height.

 

I prefer the long-legged dancers in ballets that show off the legs, e.g., Swan Lake, because there is more beautiful leg to look at. On the other hand, there is plenty of room for well-matched shorter dancers. But the ill-matching of Hoven and Kochetkova can only be a casting of desperation.



#56 Helene

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Posted 09 May 2016 - 08:32 PM

 NO ONE should judge a dancer by how they look (height,weight, hair color, skin color, etc.)

 

To some, attributes like height and weight make a difference to how they see the role, and ballet has a long tradition of emploi.  While I'm personally on the side of diversity, mine is not a universal view.

 

We're a discussion board, not a fan board, and blanket statements are often challenged here.  However, one of our board rules is that discussing the discussion is verboten.  



#57 zobeide

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Posted 12 May 2016 - 09:30 PM

Does anyone have a definite preference for tall vs. petite ballerinas? For me, I have this insurmountable (it seems) prejudice against tall ballerinas. Pace Mr. B. For me, they arent able to create the illusion of weightlessness and "floating" nearly as well as the tiny ballerinas, like Natalia Makarova or Gelsey Kirkland or, today, Alina Cojocaru and Alessandra Ferri. Having such long arms and legs also makes it harder for me to focus on the face, and I think the face of the ballerina is the most important thing. I stare endlessly at Maya Plisetskaya's flashing, glamorous red hair, Irina Dvorovenko's mishevious flirty smirk, Altynai Asylmuratova's shy smile and Oriental eyes, etc etc. These ladies are all short or medium height. But with the tall ballerinas, I'm so busy looking at their legs or arms and being short myself I can sometimes barely see their heads in performances.
I recently just realized this. Why I could admire Svetlana Zakharova, Darcey Bussell, Michele Wiles, Olga Chenchikova, Maria Kowrowski, and all the other very tall ballerinas, but I couldnt love them. I want to be blown away by their incredible extensions, their majesty, but I can't.

How about Uliana Lopatkina? She's tall but fantastic in the right roles (she very selective about them and for instance never danced Aurora because she thought she was too tall. But she still my favorite O/O.


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