Alexandra

Beautifully Proportioned Female Dancers

34 posts in this topic

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.

Share this post


Link to post

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

Share this post


Link to post
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?

Share this post


Link to post

What do I know?

Diana Vishneva

Nina Ananiashvili

Share this post


Link to post
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).

Share this post


Link to post

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?

Share this post


Link to post
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.

Share this post


Link to post

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:

Share this post


Link to post
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:

Share this post


Link to post

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.

Share this post


Link to post

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
to add Plisetskaya, Karsavina comments

Share this post


Link to post

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

Share this post


Link to post

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.

Share this post


Link to post

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:

Share this post


Link to post

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

Share this post


Link to post

Although she might not be perfectly proportioned in the classic sense of the word, I'd have to vote for Suzanne Farrell. Her small head is so beautiful, her limbs tapered and straight, and her feet perfect. Her face is exquisite, with those fawn-like large eyes. When I watch her dance, I think of her as the ideal. She was the most beautiful dancer ever.

Share this post


Link to post

Good stage faces can look goofy in real life since many features are bigger-than-life.

My favorite female proportions belong to Sylvie Guillem, Patricia Barker, Svetlana Zakharova, Polina Semionova, and Darcey Bussell. I guess I like long, hyperextended ballerinas with amazing feet.

--Andre

Share this post


Link to post

Is there a difference between beautifully proportioned body and preferred body type?

Share this post


Link to post
Is there a difference between beautifully proportioned body and preferred body type?

Well, since the "beautiful proportioned" expression doesn't contain any specifications, every single answer to that question is going to be based in a personal set of preferences .

Share this post


Link to post

Beautiful proportions?

Oh, that's easy.

Maria Kowrowski. Beyond compare.

Share this post


Link to post
Is there a difference between beautifully proportioned body and preferred body type?

Well, since the "beautiful proportioned" expression doesn't contain any specifications, every single answer to that question is going to be based in personal preferences,so beautiful proportions here will be linked to specific sets of preferences.

Then why is this thread "beautifully proportioned" not "my perferred body type" or "the dancer who has a body that I think best for ballet" or "a body that I think amazing." Are there body proportions that are beautiful as a classic archtypes? If so I stand by my vote for Fonteyn and Weese.

Share this post


Link to post
Well, since the "beautiful proportioned" expression doesn't contain any specifications, every single answer to that question is going to be based in personal preferences,so beautiful proportions here will be linked to specific sets of preferences.

There is some critical consensus in almost any period, and judgement made by those who choose young dancers for the top-level ballet academies and Artistic Directors who choose company members, on what body types are needed for different kinds of ballet -- classical, neoclassical, and contemporary. Proportion is included in their assessment of the proper body type needed for a company or a role within a company: whether the dancer is a Prince/Princess or Jester/White Cat, or whether a dancer is a lead in Rubies vs. Diamonds.

I prefer dancers -- male and female -- with flesh, muscles, and wide shoulders, but that doesn't make them perfectly proportioned in the classical sense.

Share this post


Link to post
I prefer dancers -- male and female -- with flesh, muscles, and wide shoulders.

I do too. I like the old school body type of well developed thights in female dancers. Those extremely long skinny legs don't do it for me at all...

Share this post


Link to post

Many female ballerinas have beautiful bodies, but a few that really stand out:

Anna Pavlova (maybe the start of the modern ballerina), Irina Kolpakova, Margot Fonteyn, Alessandra Ferri, Tanny LeClercq, Altynai Asylmuratova, Sylvie Guillem. I think I can stare at Sylvie Guillem's legs and feet for hours.

Share this post


Link to post

I think the term "beautifully proportioned" still lends itself to personal interpretation as much as "preferred body type". None of my favorite dancers have what would be considered perfect or even favorable proportions. To the ballet world that is. To me, their proportions fit their style as ballet dancers and that's what makes them great. I think if I were to venture a vote for the most beautifully proportioned according to regular ballet standards, perhaps I would say Carla Fracci. Not too thin, not too big, not too long, not too short, lovely arms and neck and her face is just beautiful in structure (I'm a figure painter as well as needleworker, perhaps I concentrate too much on detail). However, my favorite female dancer is Karin von Aroldingen and yes, it was her unusual proportions that struck me as very beautiful and the way she used them even more stunning. So...conundrum? :speechless-smiley-003:

Niamh

Share this post


Link to post