carbro

Beautifully Proportioned Male Dancers

42 posts in this topic

The photo of Nureyev in the Corsaire pdd, widely used in promotional material for the PBS special, is identified in the Washington Post article. It is from the 1958 student performance.. The body and face sure looked more mature in the photo than what I, at least, saw in the video. But I was wrong. Apologies. :)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...=sec-artsliving

In this pose, you can see Nureyev very much as Perky describes him.

Thanks, dirac, for this article -- along with other articles in today's Links thread.

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Kaufmann's concluding paragraph from the p/review linked by bart, above, emphasis added:

What is captured, however, are those qualities the camera always loved about Nureyev: his leonine beauty, his perfect physique, the carefree smile and mischievous eyes. Those eyes convey the most, especially in the show's early minutes, where the newly escaped star silently confronts the press, shifts his gaze mysteriously as he's peppered with questions and finally -- like Marilyn Monroe blowing a juicy kiss -- delivers a long, slow, conspiratorial wink to the camera. This man was too big -- we can never know his full story.

:)

In the 1958 Corsaire adagio, we can see Nurevey standing in a fairly wide second position, three-quarter point, partnering Sizova. This unconventional stance (not as stable as flat, of course, and I assume the wide second was to compensate for that), could have been partly to make sure he didn't disappear behind his partner, who on pointe was about his height. It also could have been to elongate his own appearance for elongation's sake, regardless of the ballerina's presence.

Interesting, though.

Edited by carbro
adding video reference

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Here's an interesting PR piece about the PBS special on Rudi:

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I think Fernando Bujones has the perfect male dancer body, with beautiful legs and feet, his upper body is just as beautiful with nice flowing arms.

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I think Vasiliev had beautiful proportions. Broad shoulders, handsome musculature, small waist.

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Well, my question ended up being superbly answered, very specifically by rq and Alexandra about how Nureyev used his art to enhance certain proportions so they would then be the ones that seem perfect, and that he felt were the most correct in terms of ballet proportion.

But now scores of new 'perfect physiques' and even 'ideal male proportions' have appeared under as many names, and so I can fully admit to always thinking Nureyev had one of the 'perfect physiques', but that this was not quite the same as 'perfect male physique proportions for ballet', about which I technically knew nothing. And yet the net result has been about the same, with the 'ideal body' and the 'perfect physique' become nearly one and the same. In that case, I ought to add Nikolaj Hubbe, who, according to Alexandra, also speaks with a great richness of images--and he certainly has a 'perfect physique'. All the other ones I named, and most likely everybody else's too, have perfect physiques--so it ends up being a lot more the 'ones you like best' than I would have thought. In short, there really is no 'golden ideal', because I am now even free to say that Peter Martins has 'the perfect physique' even if this isn't all that popular here, because, for one thing--he did have it, and it was more obviously masculine than some of the others, and that was in a literal sense the criterion of 'male proportion', while not being so obviously lush-looking as Marcelo Gomes, who is nevertheless masculine. This has turned out almost as an interesting experiment, although I certainly had no idea beforehand that there would be so many different ideas of what 'ideal' is--such that there does end up being nothing that conclusive except qualities of dynamism, energy and brilliant imagination mixed in with--perfect physiques.

Should we now turn to the ladies, or has that been done?

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Was it in Far From Denmark where Martins tells how Balanchine informed him that he was not ideally proportioned? Balanchine noted that PM's thighs were too long for his calves, by an inch. Martins said he studied his frame in the mirror and realized it was true.

Not that he looked bad, just not quite perfect.

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Was it in Far From Denmark where Martins tells how Balanchine informed him that he was not ideally proportioned? Balanchine noted that PM's thighs were too long for his calves, by an inch. Martins said he studied his frame in the mirror and realized it was true.

Not that he looked bad, just not quite perfect.

If even so, it was definitely in Far from Denmark that Peter Martins was made to understand that he was the ideal partner for Suzanne Farrell, who may have the 'perfect female physique' to my mind, but may possibly not be of 'ideal female proportion...' , given that I am always made to think of my favourite Tintorettos, which the Baroque rode in to dispute as not occurring in nature quite frequently enough...In any case, both Suzanne and Peter tended to agree a little bit more with everything Balanchine said than some of the other more religiously individualistic ones we've been talking about today...who were glorious but had shorter tenures in some companies than others.

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Perky, I think Croce was talking about the fabulous Nikolai Fadeyechev, who was certainly a big guy and danced with heroic generosity in every way -- his cabrioles hung in the air and he beat htem so slowly it was almost an assemble ouverte -- he had all the time in the world,, and when he'd finally come down he landed very softly. A VERY old-fashioned ideal, but you can see that it was an ideal. I personally adore fadeyechev. He's one of my favorite dancers, I fancy I can see something of Pavel Gerdt in him.

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But now scores of new 'perfect physiques' and even 'ideal male proportions' have appeared under as many names, and so I can fully admit to always thinking Nureyev had one of the 'perfect physiques', but that this was not quite the same as 'perfect male physique proportions for ballet', about which I technically knew nothing. And yet the net result has been about the same, with the 'ideal body' and the 'perfect physique' become nearly one and the same.
I agree, papeetepatrick. As I read and think about this topic, I wonder sometimes if we aren't confusing several different sets of categories. But, everyone, keep the posts coming! We'll work it out eventually. :clapping:

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There are also different "ideal physiques" for different styles. The appropriate physique for a Balanchine dancer is very different (or used to be) from the ideal physique for a Petipa dancer. I think Peter Martins is rather too tall for classical ballet, but as a performer of Balanchine's ballets and a partner for Farrell, he is indeed ideal.

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A simple analysis of physiques is visible in a still photo on the Ardani Associates website of the "Kings of Dance". It's from the opening stance of the performance (after the video prologue) when all four "kings" are standing side by side in backlit silhouette. (Kinda like four "Oscar" statues in a row.) An easy way to see proportions in four of the top male dancers of today. You be the judge whether it has affected the brilliance of their dancing. I think not.

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I don't think anyone has stated that a less than ideal physique diminishes the brilliance of one's dancing. An easy example to cite is Baryshnikov, whose physique was not suited for very much at all in classical ballet, but of course he was one of the most brilliant dancers the world has ever known.

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I divide my vote between Nikolai Tsiskaridze and Carlos Acosta. :clapping:

...and from the past, of cooooooooourse, who else than Mr. Perfection, (aka George Zoritch?) :bow:

just take a look... :clapping:

http://www.georgezoritch.com/frame.html

Love the beard on Hadrian too!

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I divide my vote between Nikolai Tsiskaridze and Carlos Acosta. :clapping:

...and from the past, of cooooooooourse, who else than Mr. Perfection, (aka George Zoritch?) :bow:

just take a look... :clapping:

http://www.georgezoritch.com/frame.html

Love the beard on Hadrian too!

...the one taken by Massine in Florence is my favorite. So, do i get any credit for my Zoritch choice...? :bow:

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