And I saw Jaffe many times, and her dancing did nothing for me. Croce summed it up when she wrote that if Giselle herself called Jaffe, she'd get a busy signal. Now that is snark.
but then her ideal at the time was Susan Jaffe, whose perfect body also became a great dancer. But Farrell was always an exception, and even though she had a 'big look' in 'Mozartiana', that seemed appropriate to me. But I'd say Jaffe was a pretty good example, or maybe Patty McBride, of the kind of body that is never criticized.
I generally look for movement quality and like plush. I don't usually care about the body if the way the dancer moves captures me, a la Mark Morris at any weight.
No, I don't care either, but I did just want to add that, since you saw Jaffe many times, and I saw her only once live, that hers was easily the most thrilling Juliet I ever saw. That would have been 1996. She literally flew. I did see Farrell many times, though, and so I have more to judge by: Most of it was quite otherworldly and charismatic, and I'd say again that her 'big American look' in 'Mozartiana' was quite the sleight-of-hand, because it was very womanly while perfectly elegant. I think it was three years later I saw her do 'La Valse', and she seemed tall rather than quite so voluptuous. And as the Striptease Girl right at that same time (1986, I believe), she had 'taken off weight' if she'd had any just prior to that (I think about a year before that I saw her in 'Liebeslieder', but she seemed slim from what I could tell from those costumes. kfw's point about the 'Mozartiana' dress is good, and probably does have something to do with the rather large-seeming body that she carried so commandingly in that.)
I didn't see Jaffe in her earliest years of celebrity, but I do remember a good deal of criticism of her 'mechanicalness', I believe. Someone here who hasn't written for some time was discussing this once, how Jaffe made a conscious effort to 'mature', for lack of a better word, and that it had worked (I can't remember that BT member at the moment, I don't think she's written for a year or more). Oh yes, remembered, it was Phaedra392, knew it was sort of goddessy, although Phedre of Greek lore wasn't exactly that.