Nanarina

Dancers Who Smoke

242 posts in this topic

:wallbash: I was recently very disapointed to see in the documentary "In the space of a moment" Aurelie Dupont blatently take a cigerette of Marie Agnes G. and smoke it as if to say "so what I SMOKE" Having watch my own father die a horrific death with klung cancer, in his early fifties, and me being just over 20 years, it had a profound effect on me. He was a very talented musician, and it was such a waste of

life.

I honestly feel that someone like Aurelie who has many yound woman supporters who look up to her, it is very irresponsible. Maybe it is okay for her to smoke in private, but what about her young children, or anyone else who put their family at risk by passive smoking.

Why do Dancers and others do it? is it to inhibit their appetite or to rebel against the disipline of their career?

Despite all the warnings and risks do they all just think "It wont happen tome".

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[Admin Beanie On]

The example of Dupont that Nanarina cited is on public record.

Please, no examples that aren't.

[Admin Beanie Off]

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Ballet dancers smoke for the same reasons anyone else does: they like it and they often become addicted. Perhaps Aurelie doesn't want to be a role model (or doesn't know she is one) and thinks that she shouldn't have to change her behavior to suit other people (I don't think she should feel obligated to at all). It's not like she is a teen star who relies on an impressionable audience base and needs to be squeaky clean in order to avoid enraging parents. She's an adult and most ballet dancers are fairly private about their personal lives.

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In my observations at social events for the arts; musicians, dancers, even singers in general have a higher rates of smoking than the general population. Dancers in particular smoke to stave off hunger pains and deal with stress. The pressures to remain ridiculously thin are not to be underestimated. The social barriers to smoking in Europe are very low grade in comparison to the US. While it is banned in many restaurants in Europe, most people flaunt these rules as a form or rebellion. In comparison in Seattle, the pressure *not* to smoke is tremendous, and social mores make smokers feel deeply uncomfortable.

I abhore smoking, and my father also died of lung cancer in his early 60's. He was diagnosed the Friday before Mother's Day weekend, and died the week before Father's day. Those 4 weeks were the worst of his life, and the worst of ours, watching him suffer.

There are significant smoking cecession options available now, including Chantix, which I understand is very effective. I hope Ms. DuPont is able to quit for the sake of her own long term health.

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Please, don't kill me for this observation, but...could it be that there's still a drop of the "glamour" or "sophistication" element in the fact of lighting a cigarette in public, probably more accentuated if you are a beautiful actress or ballerina...? I mean, cigarettes and ballet are both items that seem to belong to another era, very alien for many nowadays. In those old films of Dietrich-(like "Shanghai Express")-there's so much smoke all along that it sort of becomes another character. Would the two elements together-(ballet+smoking while interviewed)- be sort of a statement of "Don't mind me...I'm different from the majority of you mortals"...?

Plus...there's the undeniable fact that this is a European dancer. We all know that Europeans are not as crazy as Americans about the whole war against smoking. There are barely any public spots here in US where smoking is allowed, contrary to Europe, where one can see people smoking almost everywhere without being too much of a big deal so I don't think she thought too much about it during the interview.

Just a thought...

http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/smoking.jpg

http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/01435/smoke_1435740c.jpg

http://www.hpvf.com/catalog/2b_1_b_2971_1.JPG

http://news.injuryboard.com/uploadedImages/InjuryBoardcom_Content/Blogs/News_Blog/News/Ava_Gardner_Snows500.jpg

http://legs.free.fr/Images/Gallery/broadway05.jpg

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In my observations at social events for the arts; musicians, dancers, even singers in general have a higher rates of smoking than the general population. Dancers in particular smoke to stave off hunger pains and deal with stress. The pressures to remain ridiculously thin are not to be underestimated. The social barriers to smoking in Europe are very low grade in comparison to the US. While it is banned in many restaurants in Europe, most people flaunt these rules as a form or rebellion. In comparison in Seattle, the pressure *not* to smoke is tremendous, and social mores make smokers feel deeply uncomfortable.

It's not at all uncommon for people whose professional prospects depend on their maintaining a certain weight to smoke. The same phenomenon can be seen in the modeling industry.

I wish no one would smoke and have never done so myself, but in the United States the social situation is becoming absurd. People are openly rude to smokers who are merely minding their own business and smoking where they're allowed to smoke, and the banning of smoking in public places has gone to extremes. Don't get me started on the "secondhand smoke" business. I expect they'll be putting smokers into stocks next.

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I have to admit that I find smoke and fire very attractive and appealing. I think we all do. After hundreds of thousands of years living side by side with fires and smoke, which has only recently been replaced by sitting in front of the TV (bleh!), I think the relationship is in our DNA and is a huge part of the allure of smoking. Smoke is an etherial and spiritual thing - how much of our modern life and daily habits fall into that category? And purely in terms of fashion and chic, who doesn't look great seen through a veil of whispy curling smoke? (especially in a black and white photo).

But of course that is not quite the same as the reality (health, life expectancy) of actually smoking cigarettes. I gave up after a few years of smoking (on and off) in my early 20's for this reason, but I made a point of not trying to deny the appeal and pretend I 'hated' smoke and smoking (which I don't - although I do find the unhealthiness of it totally unacceptable). Instead (as you can see) I attempted to deconstruct it.

Another thing I loved about smoking was the way it focuses your attention on breathing. How many times do we go through a day without actually breathing consciously?! In terms of breathing, smoking can be similar to yoga/ meditation. These days I often take what you might call a 'breathing break' which is basically a cigarette break minus the actual cigarette - although it's so much harder to remember to do it without any of the cravings!

Anyway I can certainly understand why anyone - and especially a dancer - would smoke (and that's even before considering the zero calorie energy boost they can give you). Although without doubt the health risks (which should really be called 'unhealth certainties') far, far outweigh the benefits. Plus the benefits can be enjoyed through other means anyway ... breathing exercises ... incense ..... candles ..... real fires if you live in the countryside .... dry ice :wink:

Anyway, I didn't mean to ramble on - I just wanted to offer up this video clip about how Edward Bernays (the 'grandfather of public relations') made smoking both fashionable and socially acceptable for women. It was all his doing. It's from a four part BBC series called 'Century of the Self'. Well worth watching in its entirety IMHO - there seems to be quite a few versions of it to be found on youtube. Fascinating stuff.

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:wallbash: I was recently very disapointed to see in the documentary "In the space of a moment" Aurelie Dupont blatently take a cigerette of Marie Agnes G. and smoke it as if to say "so what I SMOKE" Having watch my own father die a horrific death with klung cancer, in his early fifties, and me being just over 20 years, it had a profound effect on me. He was a very talented musician, and it was such a waste of

life.

I honestly feel that someone like Aurelie who has many yound woman supporters who look up to her, it is very irresponsible. Maybe it is okay for her to smoke in private, but what about her young children, or anyone else who put their family at risk by passive smoking.

Why do Dancers and others do it? is it to inhibit their appetite or to rebel against the disipline of their career?

Despite all the warnings and risks do they all just think "It wont happen tome".

Surely if Aurelie Dupont, Marie Agnes Gillot or any other dancer or indeed person wishes to smoke it's their business and theirs alone. But if you truly feel so strongly about it why not write to the POB and take it up with Dupont? I'm sure she'd be delighted.

www.operadeparis.fr

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I wish no one would smoke and have never done so myself, but in the United States the social situation is becoming absurd. People are openly rude to smokers who are merely minding their own business and smoking where they're allowed to smoke, and the banning of smoking in public places has gone to extremes. Don't get me started on the "secondhand smoke" business. I expect they'll be putting smokers into stocks next.

I pretty much agree with your sentiments here. Yes, smoking is bad and people shouldn't do it but it isn't criminal.

I think antismokers have gone too far; it's fine to ban smoking indoors but in the open air? New York City recently instituted a policy banning smoking in the city's parks. That seems ridiculous to me. As long as cigarettes are legal to purchase, smokers should have some flexibility where they can enjoy their "dirty habit" I don't see that much harm in passing through some smoke in the open air. I'm happy that there is no smoking indoors but I have to be honest here, fresh smoke doesn't really bother me that much it's the stale smoke residue smell that seems disgusting to me.

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I don't smoke, but agree that these dancers are adults and it's their business. I also wonder if dancers smoking has to do with being so tired in class, rehearsal, etc. So what's a foolproof way of giving their toes a rest? A smoke break! I only say this because I know some people in high-pressure/long hours jobs, and most of them smoke. Many of them say it's the only time their boss isn't constantly haggling them over conference calls and the blackberry to do this, do that. Their cigarette breaks are their alone time.

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I think antismokers have gone too far; it's fine to ban smoking indoors but in the open air? New York City recently instituted a policy banning smoking in the city's parks. That seems ridiculous to me. As long as cigarettes are legal to purchase, smokers should have some flexibility where they can enjoy their "dirty habit" I don't see that much harm in passing through some smoke in the open air.

Amen. Breathing the smoggy air in LA is equivalent to smoking a pack a day, as I understand it, but LA just banned smoking on the beaches and in parks? Here's another puzzler: the increasing number of hotels that allow you to bring a pet into your room, but ban smoking? How about people who are seriously allergic to cats and dogs?

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Amen. Breathing the smoggy air in LA is equivalent to smoking a pack a day, as I understand it, but LA just banned smoking on the beaches and in parks?

I'm not sure how much of the anti-smoking fervor has to do with serious risk analysis any more. It's become an occasion for moralizing.

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Of the dancers I knew, it was about 50-50 who smoked and who didn't. For the women, I thought it was mostly due to weight issues, but some had parents who smoked so that may have contributed to their choice of habit. For the men, I think it was more just the usual social reasons back then.

Of course I have also noticed more people smoke in Europe and Japan than in the USA now. Spain was pretty blatent. But I also remember, the Tube in London was the first smoking & NONSMOKING separated cars I ever saw on a subway 25yrs ago--and will ALWAYS remain eternally grateful for that. (And deplore the idiot airline industry that allowed smoking for so long on such long flights! Thank goodness the stewardesses finally sued!)

My father smoked, he also lived half his life in L.A., and for a number of years near the San Pedro oil/petro-chemical plants! He had major emphysema/COPD problems, claimed to be so allergic to the smog his body produced massive histamines (sorry if I'm getting any medical issues muddled), and though never got cancer (good genes spared him there), had an abdominal aortic aneurysem (sp?)which he survived, only to die of a massive heart attack and only 20% lung capacity 2yrs later.

And me? I can get an asthma type attack (chest pain, bronchial tightness, headache) from barely breathing someone's cigarette smoke. In a room, in a building, even 50yds behind a car going down the road, and I can tell if they're smoking or not. Everyone has a right to smoke, but when one particle of their smoke gets in my lungs, they just destroyed my right not to smoke. Sorry, but I totally agree with every ban they devise, unless a smoke is both downwind and a good 200 yards away from me. (I will get off my soapbox now, and put my pointe shoes back on.)

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I think antismokers have gone too far; it's fine to ban smoking indoors but in the open air?

I walked out of War Memorial Opera House early yesterday evening, happy as a clam after having heard Nina Stemme's Brunnhilde in a performance of "Die Gotterdammerung" that flew by, and one person lit up, and the entire area was hit by a chemical bomb. I was not happy as a clam after that.

Sorry, but I totally agree with every ban they devise, unless a smoke is both downwind and a good 200 yards away from me.

I agree with you.

I don't know if the argument that dancers, models, and actors smoke to keep their weight down is anecdotal, but cigarettes are often described as being comforting, especially in times of stress, and they keep a person busy.

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I also smoked for a few years in my youth - due partly to leaving home quite young and being very immature and impressionable, stress, weight-control issues - and in fact I got much better control of my weight after stopping smoking.

Back in those days more than 50% of the dancers I knew smoked - I am in Europe.

Now it is quite different from company to company, I have seen.

It also seems to depend on where the dancers come from.

I have one DD who has asthma and she has serious trouble when confronted with cigarette smoke.

Sometimes I compare smoking around others to blaring very loud music out of a ghetto-blaster: the person playing the music does not mind it, and some of the passersby may also like it or be indifferent, but there are probably going to be some people who are really, really bothered and will feel very uncomfortable and cannot get away.

I tend towards a mantra of "my freedom stops where yours begins". :)

Probably one has to sort of agree on how important it really is to have fairly clear air to breathe while out walking or waiting for a bus, and all of that.

-d-

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In my experience more dancers smoke than not and not just tobacco either. The worst smokers are the Russians and here in the UK where it is now prohibited to smoke in any workplace, the sight of Russian dancers having a fag break in full costume outside of the stage doors is quite common.

As an asthmatic I avoid smokers at all costs, though as for injuring themselves isn't it more a case of it being like Russian roulette? A friend of my parents actually made it into the papers as the UK's oldest smoker when she died last year, just short of her 103rd birthday and smoking didn't harm her. The cancer that is mentioned wasn't lung cancer by the way:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/7941676/Britains-oldest-smoker-dies-after-puffing-on-cigarettes-for-95-years.html

Cuban Miami Boy has a very good point about the glamour aspect of smoking and I picture some of the old stars in my mind, such as Marlene Dietrich wreathed in smoke and with a smokey voice to match, they looked wonderful on screen but I was always grateful that weren't sitting next to me.

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Perhaps one had to grow up in those "glamourous" days, as I did, at least at the tail end.

I recall sitting in an auto surrounded by so much smoke generated by adults that I could hardly see outside the closed windows. (Ditto trains, planes, to mention windowless elevators.) I recall, when I was a bit older, having the take clothes frequently to the dry cleaners to get rid of the smell of rancid smoke. Not to mention: visions of Central Park and Jones Beach being littered with cigarette butts, the smell of old tobacco on people's breath, the prevalence of orange-brown teeth, the ubiquity of cigarette burns on clothes, arms, the surface of furniture and upholstery. I could go on.

Sometimes, sitting in a Parisian cafe or someplace like that, I do feel wistful and wish I were 20-something, willowy, with that marvelous French ease in public places, holding the slender white tube just so, smoking peacefully, meditatively, gracefully. The cigarette can be one's companion, security blanket, tranquilizer, and communications tool, in addition to helping curb the desire for food.

Then I recall the awful long-term medical consequences, much of which non-smokers have to pay for in the form of higher insurance rates and public spending, no to mention the loss of loved ones. I think of my cousin and her husband, both militant smokers'-rights advocates. He died in his fifties of lung cancer; she now is in need of a double lung transplant.

Nicotine is powerfully addictive. This is particularly true when the form in which it is delivered is -- like cigarettes -- seen in a very positive light. For every dancer who smokes thoughtlessly today, and then gives it up when it is time, there will be some who will not be able to give it up, even if they feel that they want to.

I agree that the choice to smoke is personal and individual. The consequences, however, are usually social, somewhere down the line.

Given the history, and the vast amount of harm it produced, I find it difficult to think of the anti-smoking regulations as being particularly villainous.

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I used to smoke for years and I stopped, but by far my favourite holiday destination of choice remains Marlboro Country, with it's verdant rolling plains and snowy-topped mountain peaks, how I loved to wrangle cattle my Marlboro light glued with spit to my lower lip, a scaramouche trail of exhaled smoke filtering through the cracks of my careworn straw stetson - My beloved Marlboro country, I miss it all the more for being so long parted.

In truth I think it's important not to be too precious regarding "my freedom stops etc etc", I mean it's estimated over 50% of methane gasses destroying the ozone layer is a result of livestock flatulence, those aren't my farts but they're slowly destroying the polar ice caps and irrevocably tipping the world to the brink of Armaggedon.

As has been said there's more harm in the crap in the air from pollution, exhaust fumes etc than catching a whiff of second hand smoke.

The history of smoking predates ballet, in regards to the original question one could ask instead of "why do dancers smoke", "why do smokers dance", it's actually an equally banal question either way to which the only real answer is "none of your business".

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I think antismokers have gone too far; it's fine to ban smoking indoors but in the open air?

I walked out of War Memorial Opera House early yesterday evening, happy as a clam after having heard Nina Stemme's Brunnhilde in a performance of "Die Gotterdammerung" that flew by, and one person lit up, and the entire area was hit by a chemical bomb. I was not happy as a clam after that.

Well, see, this is the tricky part. Of course it's understandable that you don't like walking through a cloud of smoke. And certainly it's quite logical that it makes you unhappy.

But for the smoker that can't light up because a ban has been placed on a huge outdoor area, well, they're not happy with that.

So you have the problem of who's unhappiness/happiness is more important. Not an easy call.

My own feeling is that common sense needs to apply. Even outdoors, there are areas that aren't ventilated well, say a space between buildings. And even though it is outside and in open air, the smoke will build up and become really a problem. It makes sense to me to say "no smoking in this area"

But in general, in the open air, well smokers have rights too, as long as buying cigarettes are legal.

For those really passionate about it anti-smokers, here's a suggestion, work towards getting the cigs made illegal.

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I used to smoke for years and I stopped, but by far my favourite holiday destination of choice remains Marlboro Country, with it's verdant rolling plains and snowy-topped mountain peaks, how I loved to wrangle cattle my Marlboro light glued with spit to my lower lip, a scaramouche trail of exhaled smoke filtering through the cracks of my careworn straw stetson - My beloved Marlboro country, I miss it all the more for being so long parted.

Wonderful image! Ah, the power of advertising! :devil:

I'll play devil's advocate here. Scent isn't part of your experience here, right? Because while you're in MC, instead of that bracing mountain air tinged with the scent of the mountain pines and the added in whiffs of cow poop, you're not really experiencing any olfactory sensation, right? My own experience, when I smoked,is that you didn't smell much of anything. Although even then yesterday's unemptied ashtray still packed quite a punch.

I enjoyed smoking for the years I did it and in a few ways I do miss it. But mostly, I'm glad I'm over it.

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For those really passionate about it anti-smokers, here's a suggestion, work towards getting the cigs made illegal.

Richard,

Are you secretly Rob Reiner? The thing is cigs will never be illegal as long as tax revenue is there to be garnered and indeed why should it, people have been enjoying a tab for millennia in one form or another.

Though if it were to be made illegal it'd just push it underground, it'd be just like the days of prohibition with Emphysema Speakeasys, with a troupe of wheezing hoofing iron lung flapper girls.

What gets me is that sure the odd stray whiff can be annoying, but think of all those sleights small and large, petty infractions, annoyances and irritants that happen to one over the course of a lifetime, are any of those truly worth getting one's knickers into such an inordinate twist?

Smoking is a choice and sooner or later every smoker decides to quit, and it's hard or continue. As tragic as the stories of loved ones dying are, Aurelie Dupont is not nanarina's father and should she continue to puff away till her lungs are black wizened lumps of tar rattling around in her rib cage it has absolutely no relation or bearing on anyone else's death or illness. With all the stresses, insecurities, injuries, hardships and worry a dancer has to face, will you really deny her the occasional cig, or not so occasional if that's what floats her boat?

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So you have the problem of who's unhappiness/happiness is more important. Not an easy call.

No, but I don't think that's actually the question. The question is whether or not smokers should have a legal right to harm non-smokers.

My own feeling is that common sense needs to apply. Even outdoors, there are areas that aren't ventilated well, say a space between buildings. And even though it is outside and in open air, the smoke will build up and become really a problem. It makes sense to me to say "no smoking in this area"

Yes. It makes sense to me that spaces immediately outside entrances and exits to public facilities should be no-smoking areas.

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For those really passionate about it anti-smokers, here's a suggestion, work towards getting the cigs made illegal.

Richard,

The thing is cigs will never be illegal as long as tax revenue is there to be garnered and indeed why should it, people have been enjoying a tab for millennia in one form or another.

No kidding!!!!

Agree, where is there is money to be made or collected, cigarettes will not go away.

But I really agree with you overall take on the situation. Yes, it's a nasty, dirty, unhealthy habit... but it's legal and the

fallout to non-smokers joins a host of other unsavory effects such as breathing smoggy, poluted air, or smokestack output. I live in New Jersey and one of the nasty local attractions is a group of large oil refineries. Really, really nasty. But again, here Big Oil is an interested partner here so the whole thing is allowed to continue.

My problem is that many of the antismoker groups have more than a tinge of the Evangelical about them "you'll be puffing on your way to damnation...."

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I used to smoke for years and I stopped, but by far my favourite holiday destination of choice remains Marlboro Country, with it's verdant rolling plains and snowy-topped mountain peaks, how I loved to wrangle cattle my Marlboro light glued with spit to my lower lip, a scaramouche trail of exhaled smoke filtering through the cracks of my careworn straw stetson - My beloved Marlboro country, I miss it all the more for being so long parted.

Ah, "Das Gesmaeck von Freiheit und Abenteur".

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Well, see, this is the tricky part. Of course it's understandable that you don't like walking through a cloud of smoke. And certainly it's quite logical that it makes you unhappy.

It wasn't a cloud of smoke -- it was a single cigarette lit up that sent a bomb down the street.

But for the smoker that can't light up because a ban has been placed on a huge outdoor area, well, they're not happy with that.

So you have the problem of who's unhappiness/happiness is more important. Not an easy call.

There are people who are unhappy because they can't bring their animals into stores and restaurants, as is customary in other parts of the world. There are people who want to go shirtless and shoeless in some restaurants and are unhappy because they can't. There are people who don't like seatbelts and are unhappy when they are ticketed for not wearing them. There are children who pass a toy store window and are unhappy because they can't have toys.

I don't think happiness has much to do with it. And I also don't think that because there are other things that are equal hazards to one's health, like pollution or the amount of meat that first world societies eat, means that there should be no regulation unless everything is addressed.

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