Posted 14 January 2007 - 04:35 PM
I don't think classroom overdancing is what we're talking about. The studio is where you try to extend your range so that when you get on stage, your body is capable of handling a movement in any number of ways. So, yes, you're always trying to do more, bigger, faster in class. You want to be able to do a step with delicacy in some roles, and very boldly in others. In performance, though, there is definitely such a thing as overdancing. We don't expect Bournonville's Sylph to do a quintuple pirouette, even if she can, because it violates the style and is out of proportion to the rest of the choreography.
In New York City Ballet, I'm lately seeing some young soloists who seem to think "attack" means punching out every step with strong and equal emphasis, which is not only unmusical, but terribly unattractive. And that is an example of overdancing. Thankfully, only a few carry it to this extreme.
I think vipa's comments are very true. We don't expect our 18 years olds to be great artists (although once in a great while such a dancer comes along), and we do expect them to be especially exuberant.