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ballet is not only sexy, but tough?

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#1 NO7



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Posted 19 December 2001 - 03:59 AM

I found the article entitled 'Australian Ballerinas shed tutues for sexier look' last week.
There was also a photo of five ballerinas in underwear and stilettos posing provocatively in For Him Magazine. Here are some interesting reasons for doing that:
"There is a whole lot of negative ideas that dancers are anorexic and waif-like and there was a really good way of showing the girls as athletic and strong and sexy."
" What the ballet is trying to do is break down the barrier that ballet is just for the cultured--ballet is for everyone."
I'm not sure if it would be appropriate to post this. But I am just curious to hear how other people think about it.

[ December 19, 2001: Message edited by: NO7 ]

#2 BW


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Posted 19 December 2001 - 07:16 AM

Hmm, maybe we should have Donald Rumsfeld and John Ashcroft pose in their underwear ("cod pieces") so the uninitiated will appreciate their other side...

This sounds like a pretty stupid idea to me. If they want to entice the uninitiated into the ranks of the dedicated ticket buyers, I think that they're heading in the worst direction...and the idea of a webcam that can zero in on a "favorite dancer" - I can't imagine anything worse! Oy!

Voyeurism reaches a new low...or is it high? rolleyes.gif

The way to educate people to the multifaceted world of ballet is not to take the dancers' clothes off - but to offer lower ticket prices and more performances in a variety of locations...and to allow small groups of students to attend rehearsals with small scale "talks" with dancers of both sexes before and afterwards...to expose them to dance and music is one thing but underwear and stilettos?

Let's hear from some of our posters from Down Under!

#3 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 19 December 2001 - 08:05 AM

[quote]What the ballet is trying to do is break down the barrier that ballet is just for the cultured--ballet is for everyone.

I hpe that the article is talking about accessibility in the above quote, but I have a feeling it isn't. Maybe it's just me, but isn't culture for anyone (even if it's not for everyone)? Why should we make ballet for the uncultured? I'm all for making ballet available to everyone. I don't think it should or needs to become mass media. If it needs to do this to survive. . .maybe it shouldn't survive.

#4 attitude



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Posted 19 December 2001 - 08:33 AM

I haven't seen the photos as I'm not really in the habit of reading men's magazines but I've seen the coffee table book "Tutu" (here's a preview:
sr=2-2/ref=sr_2_11_2/002-9796590-5041629]. the pocket sized version "Mini Tutu" and the Australian Ballet Diary. All are packed with photos of AB dancers in various degrees of undress and very little tutus to be seen, there were no stilletos just pointe shoes. I'm not sure if the poses are similar but the books like the magazine spread aim to portray ballet dancers as strong, sexy etc. Many of the photos are quite impressive although some I'd have to say are bordering on soft porn (but then again I'm a tad bit conservative). I'll try to work up the courage to flick through FHM at the newsagent and I'll tell you what I think.

If the uninitiated was actually enticed to go and see the AB by these pictures I think he's in for a big disappointment, there's not much nudity in Coppelia.

"...and to allow small groups of students to attend rehearsals with small scale "talks" with dancers of both sexes before and afterwards..." They actually do that and subscribers are also entitled. As for the webcam I think I might give that a try wink.gif , for educational purposes, of course.

[ December 19, 2001: Message edited by: attitude ]

[Edited by Alexandra to break the long link. You'll have to cut and paste it into your browser, but long links throw the margin and make the thread hard to read.]

[ December 19, 2001: Message edited by: alexandra ]

#5 BW


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Posted 19 December 2001 - 11:33 AM

Thanks Attitude! Good to hear from a native Aussie.

I haven't seen the photos either...they may actually be very well done for what they are...but to advertise the dancer's merits in the way described for the reasons said, does seem a bit far fetched.

We must always remember that "there's no accounting for taste"!! wink.gif

Leigh, I think it's safe to say ballet will never become mass media...at least we can hope!

#6 Alexandra


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Posted 19 December 2001 - 04:48 PM

Thanks for posting this, NO7. I think it's a topic that deserves discussion. I posted another, sister thread, to get at the "to be [accessible] or not to be [accessible]" question, but I think this case deserves a discussion all its own.

I think it's just an excuse for the magazines to show skin, and I sense the meddling of the marketeers here -- skin sells.

It's amazing how many of the smaller or mid-sized American regional companies use nearly naked bodies -- as often beefcake as cheesecake -- juxtaposed with a woman in a tutu or nightgown on their brochures. The audience has become bifurcated -- or it's perceived that way by company managements, I think. Half wants "modern" which somehow has come to mean "nearly naked" and the other half wants "classical" which is often interpreted merely as anything where the dancers wear tutus (or nightgowns).

There's been a push in the last 20 years to see dance as sport -- you see a lot of young dancers with a signature line of "Dance is my sport." Sport pays big bucks. Sport is cool. Sport is on TV. Why wouldn't people, especially young people, want to emulate sport, especially when there is absolutely nothing else in school or media to tell them that art is anything at all?

[ December 19, 2001: Message edited by: alexandra ]

#7 attitude



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Posted 20 December 2001 - 07:34 AM

I'm not entirely sure where to post this but since I'm here anyway...

I do wonder if the "sex/skin sells" marketing strategy really change people's (by that I mean those who don't know any better) opinion/perception of ballet. I'd like to walk down the streets of Sydney showing people the offending photos and ask each of them "So what do you think of ballet and ballet dancers now?"

Sports have been using the same tactic to get people's attention for years. Almost every sport has a nude calendar, I think. But that's sports and little can be more artless. God forbid if companies resort to nudy calendars eek.gif even if it's called "tasteful nudity". Anyway do we really want the kind of audience targeted by this marketing at a ballet? They'll be too preoccupied perving at the dancers to appreciate the dancing (possibly while opening candy wrappers or making stupid comments to their dates rolleyes.gif ).

Despite some companies' need to "reinvent" it's image I'm fairly confident that Ballet can survive without selling out.

[ December 20, 2001: Message edited by: attitude ]

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