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Arch enhancers


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#31 Mel Johnson

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 03:26 AM

Kirkland always had those feet, at least as far back as when she was eleven, which is when I met her. One of the things which distinguished her from other students with gorgeous feet was that in addition to being beautiful, they were also strong!

#32 Paul Parish

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 07:57 AM

Thanks, Mel -- I never wanted to believe that....

Kirkland always had those feet, at least as far back as when she was eleven, which is when I met her. One of the things which distinguished her from other students with gorgeous feet was that in addition to being beautiful, they were also strong!



#33 vagansmom

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 12:47 PM

About a decade ago, I took my then teenage daughter into NYC to see a doctor who worked exclusively with dancers. At some point in the conversation, he commented that daughter had nice arches and wouldn't need to ever use an arch enhancer. I remember being totally floored that dancers actually wore them! He said that I'd then be surprised at how many dancers at both NYCB and ABT used them. It makes me sad somehow.

I wish musicality would be the Next New Thing -- I guess I'm an old fogey.

Sigh... Vipa, I so heartily agree. That, and epaulement.

#34 canbelto

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 01:07 PM

Just wanted to say that I found this picture of Osipova where the arch enhancers are VERY visible:
http://bolshoi.ru/co...a-jump-3-bg.jpg

#35 leonid17

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 02:22 PM

Just wanted to say that I found this picture of Osipova where the arch enhancers are VERY visible:
http://bolshoi.ru/co...a-jump-3-bg.jpg


When canbelto started this thread he asked two questions, “What do people think of arch enhancers?” and “Are these becoming more and more common among professional dancers?”
I first became aware of “arch enhancers” about 12 years ago when in a UPS shop in London where I was waiting to send a package, the person in front of me, a cash customer, was asked to open his package and lo and behold it contained “arch enhancers” and we got into a conversation and he explained he manufactured them and was sending them to a high profile dancer in Europe.
It is interesting that a high arched foot is not only aesthetically pleasing in a ballet dancer it is a requirement (in degrees) for the aesthetic an academic classical ballet dancer.
To a doctor looking at some dancer’s feet, he would possibly see it as a pathological condition or a deformity known Pes Cavus which literally translates as claw foot. If you read medical papers the condition is something to be treated even operated upon. However Orthopaedic practitioners who have some experience of dancer’s feet or knowledge of the aesthetic would not be do concerned.
When you have seen on stage the aesthetically exquisite movement and shapes created by the great dancer Alla Sizova’s feet, nothing less really counts. But lets takes us back to the real world, there is nothing wrong with a reasonably arched foot if everything else required to become an academic dancer is in place. Anna Pavlova had an incredibly high arch, Dame Margot Fonteyn did not, but it did not detract from her performances as the whole body moved with grace combined with a flowing, interpretative line.
The idea of arch enhancers goes beyond the reasonably blocked toe show for me and shows something incomplete in dancers that use them. I have go back to the exquisitely expressed statement of Paul Parish, "A high instep makes for thrilling geometry, especially when the knee is bent, in coupes or passes."

#36 carbro

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 08:46 PM

I read this thread and can't help but think not of enhancers of arches, but of the enhancers in the bodices of many of the Mariinsky's costumes. It looks so strange to see the women's arms move or back stretch, while their curves don't, as flesh would. I find it mildly distracting.

I don't understand the perceived need to make the dancers appear more womanly. In classical ballets (which is where they pad the costumes), the women are by definition the idealized feminine.

#37 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 09:52 PM

I read this thread and can't help but think not of enhancers of arches, but of the enhancers in the bodices of many of the Mariinsky's costumes. It looks so strange to see the women's arms move or back stretch, while their curves don't, as flesh would. I find it mildly distracting.

Yes! I've seen this same phenomenom with some actresses in their red carpet dresses, specially during certain poses while wearing some strappless numbers with stiff underwire mechanisms in the bodice. They kind of retrieve back the torso, with arms leaning on the hips and shoulders pointing forward. The result is that the upper part of the dress doesn't keep attached to the skin...weird, uh...? :)
The effect is something like this...
http://gracemagazine.../10/carrie1.jpg

#38 Latecat

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 11:49 AM

Rather than blame the dancers who use arch enhancers, blame the artistic directors who insist on the high instep and the audience members who discuss "feet." Everyone from Sarah Lamb to Irina Dvorovenko uses them, and it is not because they lack artistic ability or technique. And, yes, those two wonderful dancers definitely enhance their arches. For me, it is a shame that by today's "body" standards, it is possible that some of the great artistic dancers such as Plisetskaya or Fonteyn might not have had a chance to be hired into a major company unless they enhanced their arches. And it is hard to know who we are never going to see because of the new standards.

#39 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 12:34 PM

And while on the subject, what about this...?

:helpsmilie:

“The Pro-Arch® is a device designed to increase the flexibility and strength of the ankle and toes, achieving the best possible arched foot”

http://www.kaboodle....AAAAAAAzaog.jpg

#40 Mel Johnson

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 01:03 PM

It may be designed for that, but any dancer can do it as well and better using her/his own hands. Gadgetation, I calls it.

#41 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 04:34 PM

To be honest, from the following image, I like better the "before" than the 'after". But again, this is from the non-expert point of view.
http://edge.shop.com...lt_16309838.jpg

#42 SanderO

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 06:05 PM

Not that it matters, but I agree with Miami.

#43 Paul Parish

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 06:13 PM

Me too.




To be honest, from the following image, I like better the "before" than the 'after". But again, this is from the non-expert point of view.
http://edge.shop.com...lt_16309838.jpg



#44 PeggyR

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 06:24 PM

“The Pro-Arch® is a device designed to increase the flexibility and strength of the ankle and toes, achieving the best possible arched foot”

http://www.kaboodle....AAAAAAAzaog.jpg

That thing looks like some kind of medieval torture machine: "Tell us the enemy's plans, you dastardly villain, or we'll put you in the Pro-Arch® (now available at fine dance suppliers from Lotharingia to Wessex. Local Danegeld may apply.)!!!

#45 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 06:30 PM

“The Pro-Arch® is a device designed to increase the flexibility and strength of the ankle and toes, achieving the best possible arched foot”

http://www.kaboodle....AAAAAAAzaog.jpg

That thing looks like some kind of medieval torture machine: "Tell us the enemy's plans, you dastardly villain, or we'll put you in the Pro-Arch® (now available at fine dance suppliers from Lotharingia to Wessex. Local Danegeld may apply.)!!!


:helpsmilie:


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