Jump to content


Naked or not?Nudity in ballet and other dance forms


  • Please log in to reply
131 replies to this topic

#76 papeetepatrick

papeetepatrick

    Sapphire Circle

  • Inactive Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,486 posts

Posted 10 January 2008 - 09:11 PM

I don't know if Eiko and Koma are still dancing in the nude, but when I saw them 20 years ago it wasn't about sexuality, which is presumably what anyone would object to.


When I saw them, they weren't nude, but were rolling and/or lolling about in the sand. I didn't care for them at all, although they did make me think of various diseases (not STD's, more leukemia, for some reason.)

And yet still, to answer dirac's question which begun this thread (have you seen any, and how did you react?), it was distracting.


I'm glad I didn't have to see them nude, although not because I was worried about being distracted.

A beautiful face is distracting enough.


I never find that to be true, and think it always enhances anything.

Genitals can't dance.


Of course they can, but not in any of these venues we're concentrating on here.

#77 benvolio90

benvolio90

    New Member

  • New Member
  • Pip
  • 5 posts

Posted 11 January 2008 - 01:27 AM

This seems quite exaggerated to me. I don't know any company that requires dancers to sign such a contract. I think we are talking of nudity and mean that genitals and female breasts are covered at least.


Actually no, from the examples which were mentioned in this thread (including the one by volcanohunter just above your message...)


Well, at least I didn't experience that, neither as dancer nor as spectator. I wouldn't think it's esthetic to have genitals uncovered. I myself would refuse if ever asked. With the female breasts it's a little different. I once saw 'Isadora' and the ballerina had a translucent costume with her breasts more than imaginable... very esthetic and exciting!

#78 benvolio90

benvolio90

    New Member

  • New Member
  • Pip
  • 5 posts

Posted 11 January 2008 - 01:59 AM

I agree that some nudity in Romeo and Juliet might be appropriate. Maybe have Juliet's nightie come off her shoulder ever so slightly during an embrace. But then again, I think there's the "if it's not broke, why fix it?" situation with ballets like these. I've seen Romeo and Juliets that are plenty hot without any nudity (thinking of the moment in the Czinner film when Romeo and Juliet's hands first touch).


I agree, the most erotic scene I ever saw is the recognition of Romeo and Juliet touching just their hands behind the spectators who listen to the singer in Zefirellis movie from 1968 with Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey. On the other hand the short naked bedroom scene is exciting as well. It always depends...In R&J ballets there are usually traditional costumes and no nudity even in bedroom, so Romeo doesn't have to redress when leaving. I myself wouldn't mind being shirtless as Romeo in the bedroom PDD with Juliet of course keeping her thin white night gown.

#79 Ray

Ray

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 997 posts

Posted 11 January 2008 - 05:14 AM

[...] I wouldn't think it's esthetic to have genitals uncovered. I myself would refuse if ever asked. With the female breasts it's a little different. I once saw 'Isadora' and the ballerina had a translucent costume with her breasts more than imaginable... very esthetic and exciting!


Well, this will certainly depend on your own perspective in re what you take to be "esthetic" or erotic or stimilating. Actually, practical considerations aside for a moment, I think it would be very touching and dramatically appropriate to have BOTH R + J nude (very Pasolini, very "under the uniforms which mark out our tribes we're all human"), especially in tranlating the play into the medium of dance, which is all about the body.

#80 benvolio90

benvolio90

    New Member

  • New Member
  • Pip
  • 5 posts

Posted 11 January 2008 - 07:44 AM

I think it would be very touching and dramatically appropriate to have BOTH R + J nude (very Pasolini, very "under the uniforms which mark out our tribes we're all human"), especially in tranlating the play into the medium of dance, which is all about the body.


I think this may work in a movie as it did with Zefirelli (Whiting&Hussey) perfectly in the bedroom scene, but not in ballet where practical considerations have to be taken into consideration. And, I dare not to say, what about the problem of the male getting hard on stage in the nude...impossible. And if he didn't get hard in an erotic situation while playing a passionate lover you would also think it unnatural. So with convincing evidence it is totally inept to have dancers with genitals uncovered on stage. Leave that to nightclubs.

#81 Ray

Ray

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 997 posts

Posted 11 January 2008 - 07:47 AM

And, I dare not to say, what about the problem of the male getting hard on stage in the nude...impossible. And if he didn't get hard in an erotic situation while playing a passionate lover you would also think it unnatural. So with convincing evidence it is totally inept to have dancers with genitals uncovered on stage. Leave that to nightclubs.


I was thinking more of the "morning after" scene, all passion spent, where it would be realistic for them not to be dressed.

#82 vagansmom

vagansmom

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 543 posts

Posted 11 January 2008 - 08:54 AM

Sorry, I need to rephrase. :blush: In asking about a ban, I was thinking of the traditional theaters in the USA that normally hold ballet performances. Somehow or other, it was my understanding that most if not all currently do not allow nudity in performances at their theaters.

However, in thinking about this, I also realized that Pilobolus is still going strong; I assume that they still present works in the USA with nude dancers? I've only seen their children's performances in the last couple of years.

And what about the musical "Hair"? Is that still being performed in the USA currently, and if so, is there still the famous nude scene?

#83 mmded

mmded

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 80 posts

Posted 11 January 2008 - 09:46 AM

I have seen two modern productions in a fairly conservative region of Canada this year and both have had above the waist female nudity. One was Margie Gillis who has been dancing professionally for 35 years (I am still not sure what I think about that performance). The other was Wen Wei and I thought it was very effective and well done.

#84 printscess

printscess

    Bronze Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 296 posts

Posted 11 January 2008 - 10:48 AM

I had seen Hair on Bway in the late 1960's as a teenager and was unfazed, or tried to act very sophisticated and acted unfazed with the nudity. In general, nudity in plays or movies, if it relates to the plot is fine. However, in dance???? It only serves as a distraction. I also find it distracting when a man is dancing only in a dance belt. There are certain body parts that I am not interested in seeing doing a pirouette.

#85 benvolio90

benvolio90

    New Member

  • New Member
  • Pip
  • 5 posts

Posted 18 January 2008 - 01:52 AM

And, I dare not to say, what about the problem of the male getting hard on stage in the nude...impossible. And if he didn't get hard in an erotic situation while playing a passionate lover you would also think it unnatural. So with convincing evidence it is totally inept to have dancers with genitals uncovered on stage. Leave that to nightclubs.


I was thinking more of the "morning after" scene, all passion spent, where it would be realistic for them not to be dressed.


I know what you mean, but they don't just wake up with a little petting, the do another love PDD! I agree it looks strange both of them lieing in bed fully dressed after their wedding night. Indeed I didn't see one shirtless Romeo in any of the famous choreographies. So take his shirt off and give him fleshtone tights, some kind of semitransparent thin night gown for her, that's enough for phantasy, and remember he has to leave hearing the lark. Just redressing the shirt is enough.

#86 Ray

Ray

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 997 posts

Posted 18 January 2008 - 05:51 AM

And, I dare not to say, what about the problem of the male getting hard on stage in the nude...impossible. And if he didn't get hard in an erotic situation while playing a passionate lover you would also think it unnatural. So with convincing evidence it is totally inept to have dancers with genitals uncovered on stage. Leave that to nightclubs.


I was thinking more of the "morning after" scene, all passion spent, where it would be realistic for them not to be dressed.


I know what you mean, but they don't just wake up with a little petting, the do another love PDD! I agree it looks strange both of them lieing in bed fully dressed after their wedding night. Indeed I didn't see one shirtless Romeo in any of the famous choreographies. So take his shirt off and give him fleshtone tights, some kind of semitransparent thin night gown for her, that's enough for phantasy, and remember he has to leave hearing the lark. Just redressing the shirt is enough.


Maybe a look at a sister art is in order here. Any reports on contemporary stage productions of the play? (I've never seen it performed live!) The theater is often less squeamish about nudity than ballet. Also, I wonder what Mark Morris will do in re nudity?

#87 Ray

Ray

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 997 posts

Posted 18 January 2008 - 05:53 AM

There are certain body parts that I am not interested in seeing doing a pirouette.


Well, I would say that about some dancers' arms!

#88 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,320 posts

Posted 18 January 2008 - 11:24 AM

I wonder what Mark Morris will do in re nudity?

Great question. Morris seems to me to be one of the most thoughtful and articulate people in the dance world, especially about aesthetic issues. It would be interesting to read his take on this topic.

Does anyone know whether Morris has spoken about it -- and, if so, what he said?

#89 Ray

Ray

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 997 posts

Posted 18 January 2008 - 11:50 AM

I wonder what Mark Morris will do in re nudity?

Great question. Morris seems to me to be one of the most thoughtful and articulate people in the dance world, especially about aesthetic issues. It would be interesting to read his take on this topic.

Does anyone know whether Morris has spoken about it -- and, if so, what he said?


I meant I wonder what he will do with nudity in his upcoming production of R+J using the Soviet "happy ending."

#90 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 25,086 posts

Posted 04 February 2008 - 12:11 PM

I wonder what Mark Morris will do in re nudity?

Great question. Morris seems to me to be one of the most thoughtful and articulate people in the dance world, especially about aesthetic issues. It would be interesting to read his take on this topic.

Does anyone know whether Morris has spoken about it -- and, if so, what he said?


I meant I wonder what he will do with nudity in his upcoming production of R+J using the Soviet "happy ending."


I just hope for the sake of the audience that he goes easy on the butt cheeks.


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):