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Acocella to ballet stars: "Stop flirting with the audience.&quot

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Then there are other dancers who look like toothpaste adds, but that is because it isn't natural.
Or the ones who suddenly change expression :D:) as they turn to face upstage or head into the wings, unaware that their faces are still visible to much (any?) of the audience.

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Eric, everything you say makes me picture Anthony Tudor's "Gala Performance," in which the French ballerina flirts shamelessly with the audience in a gamine sort of way, the ballerina in red hogs the curtain calls, and the ballerina in black vamps the audience like we're' her prey......they also do a lot of steps, and it actually pretty impressive, but God the last time I saw it, Lorena Feijoo as the ballerina in red outdid any Trock Ive ever seen taking her bows. I laughed so hard I could not stop; she hugged the curtains, she bowed for 10 minutes, and it never stopped being funny....

Is "flirting" a new phenomenon? I have little doubt that by the time the French ballet started being thought of more as an excuse (apparantly) to see women's legs by the 1880s that the dancers flirted with the men in the boxes to some extent. The Russian Imperial Ballet was a much stricter situation but I wonder, is it possible the audience favorites would flirt to some extent too? the visiting Italian ballerinas? Certainly *in a way*, the Russian technique of taking endless curtain calls and bows after a ballerina's solo is sorta "flirting with the audience", albeit during a break in the action of the ballet.

I also wonder if with modern dancers this comes a bit from different forms of dance now being accepted together. What I mean is, a modern ballet company might have in their repertoire some famous dance numbers from a Broadway show, something that 50-75 years ago and longer would have never been true. You're also more likely than you were to discover that a dancer in a tour of Chicago, say, was once a ballet dancer at some company. Bob Fosse infamously told his dancers to flirt and smile at the audience, albeit in a slightly intimidating way ("the audience is your prey"). Maybe if a performer is trained in more styles of dance this becomes more common even in ballet?

Just throwing ideas out there

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About smiling, I think I remember reading that Ashton told a dancer to "smile with your eyes", which is a wonderful description. Dancers have different personalities and what works for one wouldn't work for another--I was thinking of McBride, too, who just beamed, but it was genuine and involved more than just her teeth. Then there are other dancers who look like toothpaste adds, but that is because it isn't natural.

The aesthetic effects of rampant tooth bleaching is another subject. Most distracting.

Kind of surprised that the name of Jacques d'Amboise doesn't seem to have arisen yet in this thread. My impression was that he sometimes played direct to the audience and opinions were divided about this.

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