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Plastique?


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#1 scherzo

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 07:53 AM

I've read many reviews which refer to a dancer's 'plastique' but I've never quite understood what the term means....Any thoughts?

#2 Mel Johnson

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 09:30 AM

Here's a hint. I don't think ANYbody actually knows what it means. I see it used a lot as a synonym for port de bras. I don't think that's actually it. That and "amplitude" as an exact synonym for "ampleness" can drive me birds!

#3 kfw

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 10:05 AM

scherzo, you're not the first around here to ask. Look here! :)

#4 bart

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 11:13 AM

Thanks, kfw, for that Link. A much more complex concept than I thought.

I guess I always equated plastique with the ability to link different poses, thereby creating an impression of flow, continuity and ... I guess you'd say ... "rightness." All the posts on that earlier thread are very helpful, but Paul Parrish came closest to expressing what I had always thought (in an unformed way) but never tried to put into words.

But what it means, I think, in ballet terms, since ballet is an idealistic art, has to do with sculpting, molding an ideally beautiful shape. Technically, you might say it's more about posing than moving -- except that really beautiful movement goes through really beautiful positions, and the pirouettes we remember for hte rest of our lives always express ideally beautiful positions.

Paul describes, beautifully, two examples of Baryshnikov in motion. I urge you to read the post.

Does anyone have any other examples of dancers who show exceptional plastique?

#5 Mel Johnson

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 11:51 AM

Me, I still prefer the C-4. :)

#6 scherzo

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 01:44 PM

Here's a hint. I don't think ANYbody actually knows what it means.

Oh, well in that case I shall use it more often. :clapping:

Thank you kfw for the link to the previous thread (note to self: there is always a previous thread!). Oddly enough, bart, I had an idea that plastique had to do with the actual poses, though that is probably due to my unimaginative mental link with the word 'plastic'. I like the idea of a type or quality of movement. Anyway, thank you all! :crying:

#7 bart

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 02:06 PM

scherzo, I think we're all a little confused by the terminology. Back in 2003, Minty -- a French member -- posted the following, which I found very helpful l.. but also, inevitably, a bit mysterious.

Just a little word from a Frenchwoman : in French, we have two names
"plasticité" which would be "plasticity" , which means either the caracteristics of something very malleable or the sculptural quality of a work of art
"plastique" which is either a noun or an adjective
as an adjective , it means either malleable or aiming to give an esthetic expression of something (ex : the plastique beauty of a setting)
as a noun , it is of course first a material , and second can be either the art of sculpture (the Greek plastique) or a type of beauty (the beautiful plastique of a dancer )
when we speak of plastique , we often mean someone's physical appearance, his shape
end of lesson....

:clapping:

#8 Mel Johnson

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 02:43 PM

Just so long as it isn't being used as an exact synonym for port de bras and/or epaulement, I can live with it.


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