Alexandra

Beautifully Proportioned Female Dancers

34 posts in this topic

The wonderful cover storyarticle in the August issue of Dance Magazine, about dancers who have "made it" in spite of not having a ideal body type. It was a positive article and I am sure gives hope for the "too short, too tall, too whatever or not enough" men and women dancers who are extraordinarily talent.

Share this post


Link to post

Perhaps some dancers could comment on how one's weight distribution body type might actually impact on their "performance". What problems do tall dancers have.. sort ones etc. From a purely physics point of view a small and more compact dancers would be able to "spin" faster. Can someone comment on this? And do you think that the movement is ballet is designed for a specific body type?

Share this post


Link to post

SanderO,

That is a great question. I am not an expert, but have seen enough to know that shorter men usually jump higher than taller men and stay in the air longer. Most notably are Herman Corjeno, Angel Corella (ABT), Daniel Ulbrich and Joaquin De Luz (NYCB) (that is to name a few). They can do more rotations when the do any combination of turns.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that ballet is designed specific body type, rather than parts in ballets require certain abilities and those abilities come not only with varying degrees of talet but different body types.

So IMHO, although companies tend to graviate toward taller dancers, not everyone can dance Puck in Midsummer Night's Dreamr \,lead the corp in Stars and Stripes or dance The Bluebird Variations. And short men do make wonderful partners as well. It is just a different asthetic.

Share this post


Link to post

Printscess,

Of course when we speak of the "perfect" form or beautifully proportioned dancers, one cannot think of them as statues, but how they move their bods. What I was trying to get at, is that body form does impact on how a body can move and perform in ballet and that would then underscore the notion of beauty. If you look at just the arms and the hands, it would seem that form must follow function and that disproportionately short fingers or arms simply couldn't "move" in the most fluid way they should.

Does this make sense?

Share this post


Link to post

I was attempting to answer your question/comment about shorter dancers.

Share this post


Link to post
Of course when we speak of the "perfect" form or beautifully proportioned dancers, one cannot think of them as statues, but how they move their bods.
Actually, I read this thread, and its male counterpart, and have replied, thinking of statues. :-) Bodies as bodies. Movement is something else, and while obviously there's a feedback loop between long bones and joints on the one hand, and how that body moves on the other, I can easily separate the two.

I have heard that narrow hips are an advantage for elevation, a disadvantage for turnout.

Share this post


Link to post

Any list of Most Beautifully Proportioned Female Dancers has to include Jennifer Penney. Her dancing may have sometimes lacked power and presence, but what a body...and what a fluid, elegant, effortless technique. Anyone who missed seeing her onstage can catch a glimpse of her in an excerpt from "Manon" on YouTube. She stood out among Royal Ballet dancers for that fluidity, especially in the back and arms.

Share this post


Link to post

I certainly agree about Penny. I can never quite get her out of my mind when I see the first fairy in Sleeping Beauty or the shade that she danced. No one I have seen ever matched her boneless quality that was so matched to the music.

Share this post


Link to post
I have heard that narrow hips are an advantage for elevation, a disadvantage for turnout.
I'd love to hear the physics behind this distinction. What explains it?

Share this post


Link to post