Tattoos and Piercings on Ballet Dancers?
Posted 26 October 2007 - 06:46 PM
Posted 26 October 2007 - 07:36 PM
On stage, a tatoo is really a kind of costuming. If the costume is appropriate to the ballet, why not? Papeetepatrick, with his reference to Tzigane, has convinced me. On stage, discreet tattoos can call attention to something different about the character, suggesting something exotic and slightly dangerous. (Sadly, they no longer do this in real life. Most of the time nowadays they seem to be the badge of dullness, attention-seeking and/or conformity.)
For some reason my thoughts went to The Man She Must Marry in Lilac Garden. I always wonder: where did he come from? how did he make his money? why is she being forced to marry him? A small tatoo (on the hand, for instance) would make this figure even more mysterious and ominous. And why not Ali in Corsaire? Carabosse, Rothbart, or Katchei? The Queen and her followers in The Cage? One or two of the sailors in Fancy Free? And then there's Gamzatti (but not Nikiya) in Bayadere. Gamache (but not Basiliio) in Don Q. Abderakham (but not Jean de Brienne) in Raymonda. The Pearly King and Queen in Union Jack. Oberon, Puck or even Titania in Midsummer Night's Dream. The Strip Tease Girl in Slaughter on Tenth Avenue.
Why not insert a drunken visit to a tattoo parlour into Prodigal Son, one more way-station on his road to degradation?
For most ballets, however -- for instance, Agon, with its strict black-and-white costume guidelines, or Liebeslieder Walzer, abstract ballets without characterizations, or the ballets blancs -- the dancers should be tatoo-free.
Posted 26 October 2007 - 08:22 PM
Posted 26 October 2007 - 08:40 PM
An intermission group discussed that and other aspects of costuming. One woman complained that Paloma's earrings in Clear were at odds with her simple beige bra top and belled jazz pants, and shouldn't someone have prevented her from wearing them? Well, as far as I know, earrings are considered as much a part of the costuming as any other article, and whatever Paloma wore on her ears (and escaped my notice) was probably the choreographer's choice.
As a point of clarification, the ABT dancer's tattoo was approximately the size of the lid of take-out coffee, and there were several across the back, each only slightly smaller.
Posted 26 October 2007 - 08:48 PM
I'm almost sure that's what Bart meant, as would I. A permanent tattoo is not costuming anyway, as it is a real-life tattoo thereafter even had it been made for 'Fancy Free'. This couldn't happen, and I definitely think temporary tattoos for 'Fancy Free' are an excellent idea--wouldn't even be surprised if they hadn't already been used. Ditto 'Slaughter on 10th Avenue' for the men, and some other things.
For the permanent tattoos you're talking about, I think they ought to be covered and camouflaged if they do not coincide with very specific kinds of tough guy characters of the kind bart and I are clearly talking about, although he's added some character roles I haven't had time to think about yet. I don't really like the idea of the Striptease Girl in 'Slaughter' having tattoos personally--because she needs to be a ballet-stripper, not a Coney Island or Bourbon Street stripper. Ali in 'Corsaire' a temporary tattoo--yes, if he could dance it at a Tattoo Level.
Posted 27 October 2007 - 02:46 AM
Posted 27 October 2007 - 07:29 AM
Anyone out there love 'em or think they're hot on a ballet dancer?
Posted 27 October 2007 - 07:44 AM
Anyone out there love 'em or think they're hot on a ballet dancer?
I never saw the Marcovici tear-drop, but will look for it next time. Where is it, please? I think it would look good on him and offer a nice dissonance to his prettiness of rococo style that reminds you of the Ile St. Louis, Carpeaux, and Canova, among other 18th century expressions. In the 80s, shortly after her Playboy spread, the 50s-era starlet and Howard Hughes-heiress Terry Moore, who was born with the world's best genes, had a $1000 diamond teardrop she wore under one eye. We thought that was 'de trop' at the time, but now look back on it with more tolerance. here she is at 74, sans teardrop, looks like she might hire Philip Marlowe for an investigation and change the story around a good bit later:
http://www.imdb.com/...E..., Terry (I)
Does she look lovelier with this simpler and more natural look?
Anyway, the answer is no, but I'd like to see Marcovici's anyway. If a diamond teardrop, why not a tattoo teardrop? It sounds like the dancers want to do this anyway, and that's where the buck stops thus far, it seems (at least on the tattoo question.)
Posted 27 October 2007 - 08:33 AM
When one is involved in a performance, cast in a role, you are essentially a blank canvas to fit into, some rather preconceived "standard". It's pretty clear what that is for dancers, but there is certainly some room for variation. Performers are expected to add a certain je ne c'est quoi to their role, but a body mod I would thing are what is sought.
This crowd seems to find them a distraction and out of place in ballet. I wonder if any companies have any official policy about these things???
Posted 27 October 2007 - 09:55 AM
Posted 27 October 2007 - 10:26 AM
Posted 27 October 2007 - 10:49 AM
I've always kept my chest hairs but i have only a few in the middle of chest and a little line going down from my navel.This is nice to see but i admit that more hair on one's chest and even legs are unfair.Imagine an Acteon with much hair on his chest and legs and even worse....ON HIS BACK!It's awful!the Bolshoj corps of ballet danced last year "La Fille du Pharaon": some dancers were really hairy and the costume was a typical short egyptian one....it was a bad sight really!
Posted 27 October 2007 - 11:23 AM
Regarding body hair, that is not something one chooses to have; it is there naturally, so I do not have a problem with it, although a close trim is usually a good idea, as that will usually keep the hair from being distracting onstage.
Posted 27 October 2007 - 11:44 AM
As with tattoos, I think of male body hair hair as an aspect of costuming (and lighting, too, I suppose, following Hans's suggestion).
If this were Shakespeare, it would be a no-no for Ariel, but okay (maybe even desirable) for Caliban. Apollo, no; Hercules, yes. The Poet in Sylphides, no; Othello, okay. Eros no; Aminta maybe; Orion yes.
Odette with chest hair is okay if it's the Trocks. But not okay for Siegfried, should he remove his shirt.
What about the Faun in Nijinsky's version of the Debussy ballet?
No or very little hair: idealized ballets, abstract ballets, ballets in which corps uniformity is an important element, ballets of adolescent love (eg. Romeo), ballets involving sexlessness (eg. Puck) or ambiguous sexuality.
Hair okay: certain characters in dramatic ballets, especially when unidealized raw sexuality is called for. Or street funkiness (some Tharp, McIntyre, Forsythe).
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