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carolina

Men of San Francisco Ballet

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:) I've just been looking at San Francisco Ballet's website for the upcoming season, and I was struck by how handsome most of the men in the company are. I hope this doesn't sound pervy -- oh who cares -- these hunks are unbelievable, and all are exceptional dancers. There is absolutely no dead-weight in the male ranks. Helgi runs a tight ship and has an eye for the guys (and I don't mean anything by that except he focuses on the development of male talent in the company, unlike others that seem to focus obscessively on women). Damian Smith, Yuri Possokhov, Pierre-Francois Vilanoba, Stephen Legate could all grace the cover of GQ. SFB's marketing department should capitalize more on these beauties. Edited by carolina

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Hi Carolina :) Not that I don't agree on the eye candy (they're great dancers too, and Possokhov is a promising choreographer), but could you tell me who is obsessively focusing on female dancers nowadays, with the possible exception of NYCB?

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Hi Carolina :) Not that I don't agree on the eye candy (they're great dancers too, and Possokhov is a promising choreographer), but could you tell me who is obsessively focusing on female dancers nowadays, with the possible exception of NYCB?

I was obtusely referring to NYCB. You caught me on that one. But I find that to be the case in most Balanchine companies (e.g. Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Ballet Chicago, Miami City Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, etc.). The Balanchine rep offers plum roles for men and women, but some directors take Balanchine's oft-repeated motto "Ballet is woman" too far. The reason I brought up the men of SFB is that Helgi seems to have a type. Many of the male principals look similar to each other physically. Long and lanky, the complete opposite of Helgi, who was short and stocky when he danced. Nicholas Blanc, Yuri Possokhov, Damian Smith, Gonzalo Garcia, Pierre Francois Vilanoba and many more in the soloist and corps ranks have the same look. It leaves me to wonder whether Helgi has a preference for taller men on stage.

Edited by carolina

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I wouldn't say obsessively, but I always thought that Kent Stowell was more interested in developing the women in PNB, based on his choreography and how PNB hired partners for its ballerinas from the outside.

Among the Principal Men, none were trained at PNB, although Jonathan Poretta was in Peter Boal's first class, and influenced his choice of PNB. Poretta is the only Principal Man who was not hired after an outside career and who started in the PNB corps. In the past few years, though, the men's contingent has grown so much deeper and many men have been finished at the school. Soloist Casey Herd started in the PNB corps and he dances principal roles almost exclusively, and Pacitti, Gaines, Postlewaite, and Spell all studied at the PNB school before joining the Company. I would expect that with Boal as a leader, the men's contingent will grow stronger, and that he'd choose choreographers that would bring out the strength of the men.

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I saw Helgi in his dance belt only (accidentally) & I can assure you he was not at all stocky. Muscled, yes, but on the delicate side.

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I saw Helgi in his dance belt only (accidentally) & I can assure you he was not at all stocky. Muscled, yes, but on the delicate side.

Even in light tights in the Vienna Waltzes broadcast, Tomasson looked slender.

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Living in the San Fran/Bay Area and able to see SFB on a regular basis, I will say that the talent in the men is quite deep. IMHO opinion more so then with the women. It wasn't always that way.

A well known arts administrator in the US suggests that companys start featuring the men on posters, etc. due to the fact that the majority of ticket buyers for ballet are women. I like that idea. I work for a company where primarily we feature both on all printed material. We've got some hot men right now, and I am going to experiement and send out there pictures first to editors, etc.

Cheers,

B

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If you look at some of SF Ballet's print advertising from the past couple of years, you will indeed find several "hunky men" featured quite prominently, and their hunky bodies displayed prominently as well. I'm thinking particularly of one billboard from a couple of years ago which showed a topless Chidozie Nzerem in a grand plie. :dunno: I have a hunch that this and other "sexy" images of male dancers didn't catch only the interest of heterosexual women, either. San Francisco being what it is, if you'll pardon the stereotypes. :shhh:

Many companies like to sell themselves and their repertoire by displaying their dancers, male and female, in advertisements designed to make them look sexually attractive. And if it gets people in the door, it's effective advertising. There certainly is no need to hide the fact that many dancers are easy on the eye. I can't tell you how many times I've heard references to Baryshnikov's "nice a**", for example. It would be a shame, though, to showcase and promote dancers solely based on physical attractiveness without as least as much attention paid to technique, musicality, dramatic presence, personality, etc. Tomasson and the SF Ballet are lucky to have so many attractive male dancers who are more than simply "hott."

Oh, and just because I feel like it, I would like to point out that SFB's ballerinas are not necessarily anything to sneeze at either. :P

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I hadn't really thought very much before about how NYCB's brochures and posters emphasize the women in the Company as glamourous and often distant creatures. That's quite a contrast to a beefcake approach.

I agree with you, BalletNut, about SFB's women -- they are as stunning as the men.

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Maybe the men of San Francisco Ballet could start a "Chippendale" dance group, that would maybe satisfy some girls here :dunno: .

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