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Balanchine And Emploi AgainAnother clue?


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#16 Mel Johnson

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 03:51 AM

Just for the record, here's how the four temperaments, or humors, stack up against Empedocles' four basic elements:

Too much Earth: Melancholic
Too much Air: Sanguinic
Too much Fire: Choleric
Too much Water: Phlegmatic

#17 bart

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 04:07 AM

Balanchine is quoted as saying, "She's like a whale in her own ocean."

That explains a lot. Thank you. I'm visualizing right now the video of Tzigane.

I wonder whether other great artists -- the kind that command your eyes to go to them; the kind that never quite fit (maybe "merge" is the better word) into ensemble -- have this same quality And I wonder where it comes from. :)

And thanks, Mel, for that check list. I never thought of these categories in terms of "too much."

#18 Mel Johnson

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 04:30 AM

Balanchine was commenting on the pure humors themselves; to the ancient physician, the state of perfect health was a balance of all four humors, which also had implications with hot and cold, dry and moist. The alchemical circles which are drawn show which materials "rule" which temperament, what zodiac sign applies to it, and so on.

#19 Amy Reusch

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 07:54 PM

As far as earth and water being together... has anyone encountered the type of dancer who is extremely supple with good balance for posing but who doesn't seem to have enough tension to be able to jump?

#20 canbelto

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Posted 05 April 2006 - 04:08 PM

As far as earth and water being together... has anyone encountered the type of dancer who is extremely supple with good balance for posing but who doesn't seem to have enough tension to be able to jump?


From what I've seen, Sylvie Guillem. Despite her famous sky-high extensions, there's something very earthbound about her. I can't really explain it except that when I watch her dance (and I have some videos plus I've seen her live) I feel somehow that she's glued to the stage. I've seen her jump, but nevertheless, the jumps don't seem to take off the way the best jumpers can just literally seem to propel themselves into the air and fly. With her ultra-lean body, sometimes I feel like I'm watching a broom dance. A very beautiful, glamorous broom that can twist itself into all sorts of positions, but strangely earthbound nevertheless.


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