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Beautifully Proportioned Female Dancers


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#1 Alexandra

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 06:28 AM

Papeetpatrick posted on the BP Male Dancers thread:

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


Go to it! Call for your nominations for the Most Beautifully Proportioned Female Dancer.

#2 MakarovaFan

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 06:54 AM

Ekaterina Maximova and Maya Plisetskaya spring to mind. Alla Shelest too.

#3 chiapuris

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 08:15 AM

Call for your nominations for the Most Beautifully Proportioned Female Dancer.


S. Zakharova has, for me, the most beautiful physical proportions in curtain calls, esp. in a classical tutu.
(I'm not talking artistry or dancing here).

Are we equating or confounding physical beauty with dance artistry on this thread?

#4 SanderO

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 08:55 AM

What do I know?

Diana Vishneva
Nina Ananiashvili

#5 Alexandra

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 09:07 AM

Call for your nominations for the Most Beautifully Proportioned Female Dancer.


Are we equating or confounding physical beauty with dance artistry on this thread?


It will probably end up being both, and perhaps something else as well :angry2: Good point -- perhaps people can make the distinction, if there is one (for some, the nomination(s) will include everything, I would imagine).

#6 SanderO

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 09:33 AM

Just a point of information/question.

I would have thought that classical ballet being rather formal would have a natural filter as far as body types are concerned. Too tall, too long limbs or broad shoulders or whatever would not be advanced to principal status.

I'm not saying that female dancers are clones, but the variation is often quite subtle. And even then, the variations are not necessarily less than perfect. When I see Julie Kent I often think that she is thin... but not too thin. I think her line is beautiful.

In fact most dancers I find beautiful, some are more beautiful! And those preferences for me have more to do with non ballet things... so my judgment is not objective or informed.

Is it possible to be a principal dancer and not be a "thing of beauty"? I think not.

What say you?

#7 papeetepatrick

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 09:47 AM

Is it possible to be a principal dancer and not be a "thing of beauty"? I think not.

What say you?


Probably not, but it is quite possible not to be at all pretty in the conventional sense--this goes for both sexes.

#8 SanderO

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 10:11 AM

Pretty to me makes me think of someone's face or their clothes. Ferri did not have a conventionally pretty face, but thought it was beautiful. We need god to weigh in on this... it's all her fault... we have things such a beauty and perfection. Ask her. :angry2:

#9 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 10:29 AM

When I see Julie Kent I often think that she is thin... but not too thin.


Mmm...can we get risky digging into weight issues here related to "beautiful proportion"?.

Until we find out, i'll vote for Lorena Feijoo and Nina Ananiashvili :angry2:

#10 Hans

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 11:53 AM

For a Classical ballet: Alla Sizova, Larissa Lezhnina, maybe Zhanna Ayupova? For a Romantic ballet: Carla Fracci, Altynai Asylmuratova, Margot Fonteyn, Lynn Seymour, Natalia Makarova.

I want to put Maya Dumchenko down as a Classical type, but from the impression I get of her on video she strikes me as a longer-limbed, Asylmuratova type being groomed to dance like Lezhnina. Not that she doesn't do that very well, but I think it is interesting that next to the exaggerated Zakharova types she looks restrained, whereas only about 20 years ago she would have perhaps been considered more of an exotic type with her long legs and high extensions. Not having seen her in person though, I can't say for sure and would welcome the opinions of those with more experience.

As far as stage faces go, I don't think the face that is conventionally beautiful in everyday life necessarily makes for an effective face onstage as regular faces do not read as well as those with large eyes, &c. Such a face may not look proportionate or conventionally pretty offstage, but onstage it can look ravishing.

#11 carbro

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 11:57 AM

Definitely Makarova, although she had a tendency to let herself get too thin and sinewy. But the skeletal structure is exquisite.

I'd also include Anianashvili and Ayupova (whose legs had a lovely curve).

Among taller ballerinas, van Hamel immediately jumps to mind.

I'm surprised to see Plisetskaya's name above. To me, she has short legs (even by pre-Balanchinian standards) and a large head, and I sometimes wonder if this genius of ballet -- one of my idols -- would even be admitted to the elite ballet schools if she auditioned today.

Oh, and Karsavina. Of course. :angry2: Didn't Nijinsky call her "perfectly made"?

Edited by carbro, 31 August 2007 - 12:02 PM.
to add Plisetskaya, Karsavina comments


#12 perky

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 01:22 PM

Alexandra Danilova, Irina Kolpakova, Diana Adams. For some reason I'm stuck in the past :angry2:

#13 papeetepatrick

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 01:45 PM

Suzanne Farrell and Alla Sizova (alphabetical order) are the two that put the word 'BALLERINA' on the Big Board for me. They are the most dazzling bodies--I give up on 'perfect proportions' and settle for long limbs and healthy animals--and I can live with conventional prettiness, since they both have suffered from it. Both used those faces expertly, too, in my opinion, although in different ways, Farrell more the crepuscular tones and expression, and Sizova beaming sunlight. I like some other ballerinas as well from time to time, though, but I like these two for 'beautiful proportions' when they dance, even if I'm off the straight and narrow with this.

#14 Hans

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 02:07 PM

Papeetepatrick, thank you for reminding me that having conventional features is not necessarily a disadvantage, as the whole point of stage makeup is to make such features more visible to the audience. :angry2:

#15 vipa

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 04:50 PM

For beautiful proportions I'd vote for Margot Fonteyn and Miranda Weese.


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