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Daniil

Tall vs. short ballerinos

18 posts in this topic

Hi!

Well, I just wanted to start this topic about male dancers. (Just the same as the other topic about ballerinas).

Which do you prefer? Tall, huge dancers like Roberto Bolle and Igor Zelensky or smaller ones like Mikhail Baryshnikov and Manuel Legris?

Personally I think taller dancers have less difficulties finding a right partner while they sometimes lack of technique. Being a short dancers myself I love watching small dancers doing tricks the tall dancers can not do :speechless-smiley-003:

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They can be any height, as long as they have good proportions, an easy arabesque and if they're partnering the woman is the right height for them (about 4 inches shorter on flat). And the rest of the ballet is cast proportionally.

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Cool site, Daniil -- congratulations on your win at Varna.

the photos are fantastic -- basilio show a lot of style, and your legs look great in that entrechat-6.

You look SO young. How old are you in those pictures?

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Good heavens.

Looks like our Daniil is one of those boys who looks like he stays the same age forever! That can come in very handy sometimes! Especially when there's a strong liking in that dancer for demi-caractère roles, like the Bluebird, Basilio, and Ali! :speechless-smiley-003:

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Cool site, Daniil -- congratulations on your win at Varna.

the photos are fantastic -- basilio show a lot of style, and your legs look great in that entrechat-6.

You look SO young. How old are you in those pictures?

Thank you all for the compliments. :)

In those pictures I'm 16 years old and now I'm 17.

Soon I think I'm gonna put a video on my site, so you're gonna see me :)

Well, but can we get back to topic? :D

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The dancer of below-average stature (me, for example) ends up with a bag of tricks to use when the partner's height doesn't quite measure up. These usually include how and where to hold them, standing back from them, so that the height differential is lessened or to create a new attractive line in a grouping.

It's not a matter of preferring - tall dancers can be just as enjoyable to watch as short dancers. And both can have "stage smarts" to make their performances more enjoyable. Tall men have to be careful not to loom over their shorter partners like a cloud of death or something. And then some ballets have "short jokes" written into them by their choreographers. Balanchine had this in his Midsummer Night's Dream, "Bourrée Fantasque" and "Harlequinade".

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I don't know that I have an overall preference for short or tall. I do know that I am awed by the VERY tall Fabrice Calmels, who is so very graceful despite his stature.

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I like dancers of different heights, depending on the role and the ballet. Some of my favorite dancers have been tall (Ted Kivitt, Peter Martins, Edwaard Liang) but lately I have been enjoying Joaquin de Luz quite a bit. It is always good for a dancer of any height to have a suitable partner; just as it doesn't look good if the girl is taller than the boy, I also don't like to see a tall man with a girl who is too short for him.

It seems to me that the taller & bigger ballerinas of today are having difficulty finding even taller & bigger men to partner them, but there is also a new set of shorter girls coming along (Bouder, Fairchild, Scheller) who will be needing partners only slightly taller than themselves.

I do agree with you that tall dancers (of both sexes) tend to be technically a bit less dazzling than their shorter colleagues. For example, some (not all) long-legged ballerinas can't seem to get a good set of fouettes going. Could this have something to do with their center of gravity?

Good luck to you, Daniil...your website's great!

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I think again, dancers that are too tall (Erik Bruhn, Peter Martins, Jonathan Cope) can give the impression of stiffness, while medium height dancers are better able, just like medium height ballerinas, to convey the illusion of elevation and suspension in the air. Think Angel Corella, Rudolf Nureyev, Carlos Acosta, Yuri Soloviev, Nijinsky obviously. But there are of course exceptions -- Marcelo Gomes for instance is tall but also has the feline grace and elevation in his jumps.

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canbelto, I haven't seen Gomes yet, but I think the same could apply to the Bolshoi's Andrei Uvarov.

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[D]ancers that are too tall (Erik Bruhn, Peter Martins, Jonathan Cope)  [versus]medium height dancers . . . [such as] Angel Corella, Rudolf Nureyev, Carlos Acosta, Yuri Soloviev, Nijinsky . . .

All right, canbelto, I apologize for hyperediting your post for the quote box, but the classification in one paragraph of Bruhn as tall and Acosta as medium struck me. It may me optical illusion due to Acosta's very long legs, but to my eye Acosta is taller than Bruhn was by at least a good couple of inches. Of course, I doubt they were ever in the same room together for back-to-back comparison . . .

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Carbro, thanks for the info. Carlos Acosta doesnt SEEM that tall, but this might be illusion: his boyish demeanor, his long, muscular legs, and his super elevation.

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Erik Bruhn wasn't "tall"...he was medium height! Another dancer who appeared much taller than he is...Fernando Bujones! I was always amazed at how great he looked with Cynthia Gregory (who is fairly tall).

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Height seems less important IMO than leanness, good proportions, and a quality of ranginess -- the ability to reach out into space with arms and legs. Also depends on the part. Danili's reference to Roberto Bolle made me think of a video of Giselle (La Scala, Ferri) where Massimo Massu as Albrecht and Bolle in the peasant pas de deux (no peasant, he) made a stunning impression. A recent viewing of Sonnambula, with a rather bulky and short Poet, didn't work at all, though the dancer in question is excellent.

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Hi!

Well, I just wanted to start this topic about male dancers. (Just the same as the other topic about ballerinas).

Which do you prefer? Tall, huge dancers like Roberto Bolle and Igor Zelensky or smaller ones like Mikhail Baryshnikov and Manuel Legris?

Personally I think taller dancers have less difficulties finding a right partner while they sometimes lack of technique. Being a short dancers myself I love watching small dancers doing tricks the tall dancers can not do  :thanks:

or even shorter, like Tetsuya Kumakawa and Vadim Pisarev? i tend to like the shorter ones b/c i just love seeing that explosive virtuoso dancing (although some would say perhaps too pyrotechnical). I do think that a taller, more statuesque dancer fits roles of Prince (generally) better.

-goro-

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I do agree with you that tall dancers (of both sexes) tend to be technically a bit less dazzling than their shorter colleagues.

i think the one exception that really sticks out in my mind is Nicholas Le Riche. He seems quite tall (and big all the way around) and leaps like a tiddlywink! And how tall is Desmond Richardson? he also seems of above-average height.

-goro-

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An interview with Fabrice Calmels in which he discusses his height.

Yet as demanding as his career is, it's also been very worthwhile. "When I look back, I really appreciate that I'm the tallest ballet dancer in the world," he continued. "I'm 6'6" and a half. When everybody thought I wouldn't have a career, I kind of broke those boundaries. I proved that it was possible that a person my height could do ballet. I've danced big ballets such as Othello [and] Apollo from Balanchine. That's a huge achievement."

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Calvin Royal III of the ABT corps is tall, and he just gets better and better all the time. I see a bright future for him.

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