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Where do the aesthetics lie?


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#16 Treefrog

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 09:46 AM

And -- what about men, in both corps and solo positions. Why is variety of body type so much more acceptible (unnoticeable?) in them?


I wonder if that isn't just an effect of supply and demand. There are SO many aspiring female dancers that an AD can choose many wonderful dancers of a similar body type -- so that is what we get used to. Not so, perhaps, with the men?

#17 Hans

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 09:36 PM

That makes sense to me, Treefrog. Also, men don't have a history of being idealized/idolized in ballet--think Giselle, La Sylphide, Swan Lake.

IMO, ballet is about movement. That's partly why I find the current trend of hyperflexibility in the Kirov so disturbing--it ruins the quality of the movement. So they have great bodies, big deal. They still look awful once they start to move. It's like a second-rate musician playing an expensive instrument; if they can't play well, the music won't be any good no matter how glorious the instrument is.

#18 Paul Parish

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 12:14 AM

Hans, you said a mouthful. I SO agree.

It's been a problem for the Paris Opera Ballet, and it's spreading to the Kirov -- weakness in the waist is fatal to a ballet dancer's dignity.

#19 dirac

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 05:01 PM

So they have great bodies, big deal. They still look awful once they start to move. It's like a second-rate musician playing an expensive instrument; if they can't play well, the music won't be any good no matter how glorious the instrument is.


Very well said, Hans, indeed.

#20 Amy Reusch

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 09:14 PM

Personally I think aesthetics always lie... Since when are they straight forward?... (to disagree with my very late friend Rik Matsuka who was convinced Beauty & Truth were the same thing... Perhaps that's the line where you can divide higher mathmatics from art).

Apologies... but I've been ticcing about the subject heading since I first saw it.

#21 Mel Johnson

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 09:44 PM

Where do the aesthetics lie? Well, Oscar is in Pere LaChaise, Swinburne is on the Isle of Wight, Whistler is at St. Nicholas, Chiswick, and after that, I get them all mixed up! :clapping:

#22 sandik

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 10:20 AM

Where do the aesthetics lie? Well, Oscar is in Pere LaChaise, Swinburne is on the Isle of Wight, Whistler is at St. Nicholas, Chiswick, and after that, I get them all mixed up! :clapping:


No, no -- aesthetics, not aesthetes!

#23 bart

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Posted 10 March 2006 - 12:53 PM

As for aesthetes: Don't forget Robert de Montesquiou (Proust's model for the baron de Charlus, and a true prince of aesthetes), at a cemetery in Versailles in the 1920s.

As for aesthetics: buried somewhere in the late 20th century. Or so it sometimes seems.

#24 bart

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 01:45 PM

The body-type issue continues to disturb. Here's a LINK posted by dirac concerning a $100 million suit filed by Alice Alyse, a dancer in the touring company of Movin' Out. The suit claims that she was fired when her breast size increased.

http://www.nytimes.c...gin&oref=slogin

#25 Mel Johnson

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 02:09 PM

I beg to differ on the Wilde Bunche - they were the "aesthetics", as in "The peripatetics of long-haired aesthetics seem very much more to their taste,/Which I never counted upon, when I first put this uniform on!" - Col. Calverly, Patience, Act I.

#26 DefJef

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 02:21 PM

I am an architect who attends ballet and knows little about technique and jargon and so forth. I view the ballet like architecture in motion or solidified music in motion. I can't see what an expert sees in a performance.

However, for me the dancers represent the idealization of form and motion. Each of us has our eyes trained by our education and out exposure to idealized notions of beauty. This clearly changes over time. There is, for me a ballerina who is too short or too tall, too thin or too curvey or not curvey enough... The same applies to male dancers. In addition, the dancers exist in a matrix of the company and this often forces a type of conformity of appearance.... like a row of identical ballerinas performing in syncronicity. This works better with conformity than it does with variety.

You can pick apart a dancer and put them against some platonic ideal and some will come closer to it (the one for today) and others will be off... and usually by a bit.. at least in classical ballet. This type of dance is in a sense very structured and rigid and it is almost expected that a certain body type will be desired over others.

Techique also is a component of the aestheic appeal of a dancer. When they have a perfectly proportioned body and technique and dance with passion it is the nexus of aesthetics in the ballet.

My two cents!

#27 dirac

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 05:03 PM

I am an architect who attends ballet and knows little about technique and jargon and so forth. I view the ballet like architecture in motion or solidified music in motion. I can't see what an expert sees in a performance.



I think you see more than you give yourself credit for, and thank you for your two cents! :)


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