Ballet Body image?
Posted 23 April 2001 - 04:47 PM
The fashions at this time looked better on very thin bodies, too.
Choreographers in the 1950s -- Balanchine, but Ashton, too, and others -- were very interested in line, in a long, elegant look, and this goes along with trends in visual arts too -- painting became all about shape and color (the "bones") rather than telling a story.
I think it's these two things coming together.
Posted 23 April 2001 - 07:25 PM
I agree with Alexandra that ballet is reacting to the world around it as well as its own internal tastes. The first ballerinas I can think of with that elongated look were Olga Spessivtzeva and Felia Doubrovska in the 20's. I think the look fit in with the fashion of the time, the more athletic woman, the "flapper". I think that look also influenced Balanchine's taste in ballerinas.
Posted 23 April 2001 - 09:05 PM
What's interesting about Doubrovska is that she was thought of as an unusual body type, I think. The Ballet Russe (especially Massine) used the unusual -- a modern dancer here, a Spanish dancer there. She wasn't the norm. One of the greatest French ballerinas was Guimard (forget her first name, sorry) who was extremely skinny -- and mocked for it; very nasty cartoons.
Also, now we're getting a different look -- Audrey Hepburn never lifted weights (or at least, if she did you can't tell) but after Wonder Woman, I think, the ideal female body is changing again, from Twiggy to Ms. Muscle.
Posted 24 April 2001 - 02:30 PM
Doubrovska didn't really fit in because of her height, I think, and those super-long legs. Flappers were slim, athletic, and flat-chested -- bazooms were out and didn't really come back till the forties -- but not especially tall (think Louise Brooks or Colleen Moore).
As for today, it's kind of hard to tell. The fashion magazines say things like "curves are back" but by "curves" they seem to mean chiefly breast implants on the same skinny girls. The Fifties may not have been the most enlightened era for women, but at least A. Hepburn was not expected to have a big bust and be a rail everywhere else, while girls who did have a big bosom, like Marilyn, were allowed to be expansive elsewhere as well. Pardon the editorial.
Posted 24 April 2001 - 07:31 PM
Posted 24 April 2001 - 07:42 PM
I also loved dirac's comment about the new curvy woman being the old skinny one with breast implants (forgive the inelegant paraphrase). Maybe we really are working towards Barbie: breast implants, removing a rib or two to fake a waist where there isn't one....
Posted 25 April 2001 - 06:14 AM
Posted 05 May 2001 - 06:47 PM
Hope that wasn't too harsh.
[ 05-05-2001: Message edited by: BalletNut ]
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