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Ears


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10 replies to this topic

#1 SanderO

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 02:52 PM

I know this has nothing to do with dance, but the aesthetics of ears are almost never mentioned. Despite all the earrings to adorn them, ears are often ugly appendages. Usually I don't even "see" them. But occasionally they stand out, usually for the wrong reason - they are unattractive... usually large or sticking out or something.

It's also a part of the body we can't do much with. They just are there.

How do you feel about the aesthetics of ears?

#2 dirac

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 04:19 PM

Hmmmm....unusual topic, SanderO. As you note, this could veer far away from dance, so let's try to avoid that. Seems to me that there aren't too many body parts that are attractive in and of themselves. There are nice necks and not so nice necks, beautiful hands and ugly hands, and so forth. Do I notice ears? Occasionally, although not as a rule on the stage -- the dancers are usually far enough away to make even pretty large specimens look not so bad.

It's also a part of the body we can't do much with. They just are there.


I imagine there must be surgical remedies for those that are really, shall we say, outstanding.

I think that divergences from the physical ideal - itself ever-changing - in general tend to be blurred in dancers rather than emphasized. Dancer X's legs may be a trifle short or his head a trifle large, for the ideal, but a performer's skill and presence can usually divert attention from such flaws.

#3 papeetepatrick

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 04:26 PM

I don't think ears are any more often unattractive than any other body parts, certainly don't think that they 'are often ugly appendages.' I even like some peculiar-looking ears, especially those that give off a gnome-like or elfin aura, but I'm afraid I find this most peculiar speculation, as I think ears are essentially beautiful, certainly as beautiful as often as other body parts, and that they are just different from one person to the other. Perhaps they aren't meant to be looked at quite as directly as eyes, etc., etc.,

#4 richard53dog

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 04:26 PM

Hmmmm....unusual topic, SanderO. Seems to me that there aren't too many body parts that are attractive in and of themselves. There are nice necks and not so nice necks, beautiful hands and ugly hands, and so forth. Do I notice ears? Occasionally, although not as a rule on the stage -- the dancers are usually far enough away to make even pretty large specimens look not so bad.



Darci Kistler from NYCB has ears which a bit of a Clark Gable quality to them. She's clever enough to minimize the noticeability of her ears though. Lovely lady

#5 Mel Johnson

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 04:32 PM

Unless they make their owners look like sugar bowls, I find most ears neutral. For the other kind, there is always surgical adhesive or spirit gum.

#6 SanderO

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 04:41 PM

What I was trying to get at... is that this is a rather prominent part of the body, very visible in most dancers (bunheads), but I have never heard of someone say..."she has beautiful ears!" I've heard too big, etc... but what ARE beautiful ears? Is there such a thing? They do frame the face and so much emotion is conveyed with the face. I am sure that ears can DETRACT from an actor's work... or for that matter a dancer's.

As I noted, I usually don't see ears... they are more like the wihite background of a page. Your interest is on the text. I think ears are rather individualistic looking, like hands or noses or eyes.

I do find my dogs ears cute however... and very perky.

#7 papeetepatrick

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 07:17 PM

What I was trying to get at... is that this is a rather prominent part of the body, very visible in most dancers (bunheads), but I have never heard of someone say..."she has beautiful ears!"


Well, I have said it, innumerable times.

I've heard too big, etc... but what ARE beautiful ears? Is there such a thing?


Yes, there is such a thing.

They do frame the face and so much emotion is conveyed with the face. I am sure that ears can DETRACT from an actor's work... or for that matter a dancer's.


As what body part can't? Breasts can do it, and they can also add to Marilyn Monroe's acting genius, which they did. Ears are like with Garbo, and you will find that people with 'a good ear' often have beautiful ears, but if you don't look at them, it would seem to be less, not more, of an issue. Let's see now, I of course love Suzanne Farrell's ears, and thought of them immediately as inhabiting the area underneath her many tiaras, as in 'La Valse' and 'Vienna Waltzes', and of course I love Alla Sizova's ears, because she's my other favourite ballerina. And men even have clever ears sometimes, Tom Jones used those almost as much as he did anything else he could think of. Barbra Streisand has gorgeous ears, they match her nose perfectly.

#8 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 08:57 PM

occasionally they stand out, usually for the wrong reason - they are unattractive... usually large or sticking out or something.


I think the topic is very appropiate. Ears are a plus in Giselle. That's why i strongly believe that the only option to the the anatomical display of ears on the Willis is none . I don't like to see any part of the ears on this surreal spirits. I only accept the middle partition/all covered ears hair do as the ideal romantic approach to the characters.

#9 papeetepatrick

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 09:30 PM

I thoroughly recommend the reading and study of Jacques Derrida's 'The Ear of the Other'. It is about
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche's sense of having too over-developed an ear, but I think he was talking about something other than what it looked like.

Fred Astaire's ears might seem objectionable to some people--long and leprechaunish on a face that always looked oldish even when he was younger. Kiri TeKanawa's ears are supernal, With or Without Piercing. I know a Swiss baroness who was famous for her ears, I wasn't the only one that thought they were gnomelike and exquisite, and during her ballet-dancer period her ears looked marvelous onstage. Her name was Clorinda de Stockallper de la Tours. Anybody know that name? Born in a castle in Lausanne. Also a citizen of Lausanne was Audrey Hepburn, whose memorial service I attended in New York in 1993 at the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church. I told a Swedish economist friend who had the famous chiselled cheekbones and wry humour and atheism all as suggested by the popular stereotypes of the cold silent Swede about going to this, and he said he disliked her 'because she had such big ears.' I had never thought of this before, and I still haven't. But she was a ballet dancer and actress who was said to have had big ears by someone who felt his whole assessment of her might be based on his opinion of her ears. Nevermind that this was one of the great beauties of the 20th century--and even she said her feet were too big and her chest too flat. I don't whether it affected her acting, but this is a real example. Maybe one would notice her ears more in 'Wait Until Dark', in which she was playing a blind girl.

Personally, I have been far more distracted by dancers' protruding teeth, pock-marked faces, slack mouths and too much weight put on than I have been by dancers' ears, not once having ever been distracted by any.

#10 Farrell Fan

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Posted 15 September 2007 - 05:57 AM

Conrad Ludlow, a NYCB dancer in days of yore, and one of its most-acclaimed partners ever, had prominent ears which used to distract my wife, although they didn't bother me. When longer hair for men became fashionable, Mr. Ludlow got a nice haircut which covered his ears and the issue disappeared.

#11 bart

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Posted 15 September 2007 - 07:33 AM

[ ... ] I strongly believe that the only option to the the anatomical display of ears on the Willis is none . I don't like to see any part of the ears on this surreal spirits. I only accept the middle partition/all covered ears hair do as the ideal romantic approach to the characters.

Interesting observation. I'm anxious to see this again to have a look at what you mean. I guess I always thought this was just something to do with a hairstyle of the period.

Parenthetically, what about dangling earrings, which I seem to remember in some Romantic ballets and oriental pastiches?


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