Nanarina

Dancers Who Smoke

242 posts in this topic

I suppose we should be grateful they weren't Friends of Gelsey, who knows how many pages that thread would have stretched to.

:rofl:

Sorry... :blushing:

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Oh dear, such a lot of posts about such a triviality :speechless-smiley-003: I will let you folks have whatever opinion you like, but personally I subscribe to being polite and thoughtful towards my fellow human beings. Sometime I succeed, at other times not. Yet, in this life it must be remembered there is a live and let live - something that is alas sadly lacking these days. Self styled moral vigilants and busybodies are all over the place.

This brings to mind an old video that I have now discarded when I tranferred to DVD. It was a program from Swedish TV, an interview with Makarova and I did not find it worth saving for two little measly clips of her dancing. One I remember well was of her standing at the barre - cig in hand, turn round, tranfer cig to other hand, doing what I can remember was grand battement. This film would have been from late seventies to early eighties.

At the time I thought it was rather poor show, she wasnt being filmed every time she did the barre so she could have omitted the fag. If she normally smoked while doing the barre, of course it was her own business. She was not, shall we say, a good role model.

But at least I didnt start hating her for it - which judging by some of the posts, would have been the case today.

I have noticed that of late, pettiness, intolerance and general bloodymindedness is taking root all over the place in every walk of life. In the ballet world, I think anorexia is maybe a greater problem, while generally obesity is by far the most challenging medical issue today. It annoys me no end when I have to stand in the bus or train because some fat slob takes up two seats (and pay for one :FIREdevil: )

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Please,enough already. A lot of dancers smoke. The late Ekaterina Maximova smoked all her life and to me one smoking Maximova is worth a hundred non-smoking dancers.

It's a bad habit but it's a personal choice.Do I need to mention all the great dancers(living & dead) who smoke or smoked like Eric Brun,Baryshnikov,Ruzimatov etc.

Don't put performers on piedestal because they are great artists.Admire them for their art and leave them alone otherwise.

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It annoys me no end when I have to stand in the bus or train because some fat slob takes up two seats (and pay for one )

Pamela, I must express the respectful hope that this is an example of irony. Otherwise it stands out rather oddly in a post devoted to the theme of "live and let live." Excuse me if I am failing to get the joke.

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Please,enough already. A lot of dancers smoke. The late Ekaterina Maximova smoked all her life and to me one smoking Maximova is worth a hundred non-smoking dancers.

It's a bad habit but it's a personal choice.Do I need to mention all the great dancers(living & dead) who smoke or smoked like Eric Brun,Baryshnikov,Ruzimatov etc.

Don't put performers on piedestal because they are great artists.Admire them for their art and leave them alone otherwise.

Beautiful. That sums all up. The other day I was having a discussion that somehow borders this subject-(the Weiner scandal). Now, I know that this is sort of a different animal, but the person I was having the conversation with seemed to be very offended by his personal life actions. Sometimes things that are meant to be personal surface intentional or unintentionally, but I don't think it is our business to judge them. At the end this is just their private life-(which is getting more and more hard to stay private with the whole online siren songs)-, and I don't feel any of us are "pure" enough to put our finger our those. The discussion ended up when I asked the person if she was unhappy with Weiner's professional career or if she didn't feel that he had been doing a good job as a congressman, which she was unable to respond. Then I reminded her of the Clinton scandal and how great was that public pressure and pseudo-moralist notions hadn't been strong enough to destroy the Presidential couple's professional and personal career, which for me was a great response to those who were trying to flash their "role model" agenda to all of us. Good for Hillary, and good for Bill...and time for the moral squad to move on to another offending perpetrator story.

As for the original OP's question of "why do they..." the answer is just as simple as "because they choose to as the adults they are". Period.

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Political scandal is indeed a different animal. I think we are beginning to roam too far afield. Leave us not go further in that direction, please. :)

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The remark about dancers being obligated to dance well and only that was not addressed to you personally, FYI -- it was a commentary on the "role model" exchange that had just occurred. As for giving people the benefit of the doubt, I think it's a good general principle. I've even applied it to the occasional smoker....

Thank you for clarifying. As for me, nothing I’ve said has been in criticism of dancers who choose to smoke. I have said that I favor restrictions on smoking in public spaces, that I believe the concept of high profile people choosing to be role models is worth keeping rather than scoffing at, and that even highly disciplined people have lapses. And in regards to an earlier remark of Simon's, to say that giving Martins the benefit of the doubt is reminiscent of Whoopi Goldberg defending Roman Polanski, is tantamount to saying that “there but for the grace of God go I” is comparable to arguing that crime should not be prosecuted.

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As for me, nothing I’ve said has been in criticism of dancers who choose to smoke.

Respectfully, kfw, and not to start anything up again, I would find it hard to agree with that, myself. Of course, people will interpret posts differently.

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This has not been nearly as entertaining as a night at the ballet, but, taken as a roundtable discussion or salon piece, it held one's attention right through to the end. (And now I have embarrassed myself by blatantly discussing the discussion as if I held myself in such high esteem as to be exempted from the forum rule!)

I am the mother of a non-smoking ballet dancer. What has concerned me most about the dancers smoking issue is having watched young students develop into fine dancers who, despite being smart young women, began to smoke in their late teens as a way to keep thin. (I, as a dance major 46 years ago, did the same thing, and smoked until pregnant with my first child, as I was still involved in ballet, and, of course, was addicted after 8 years of daily smoking. I have not smoked at all in 38 years, however, and don't miss it one bit.)

Given what I saw happen with so many young ballet dancers, I don't believe that their role-model dancers had as much to do with their starting to smoke as did the beginning of the most intense phase of their dance careers. Coffee and cigarettes go together for dancers all over the world as the most popular way to skip meals. One of my peers back in the day lost a tremendous amount of weight (she became anorexic before we knew the word for it) and survived on only black coffee and cigarette smoking, which she took up at age 21 when her dance career was on the brink of becoming something special.

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I notice how this discussion has been progressing, and with the introduction of issues like territoriality and civil rights, believe that it is going over into the area of political discourse, where civility and respect for other posters may be at a premium these days. Where the talk began with an expression of concern for the smoker, now it seems to be veering into a sort of Prohibition-style moralizing. Just a simple admonition. (Moderator beanie off)

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To take this back to ballet, I remember reading that Frederick Ashton (himself a chain smoker) once admonished Svetlana Beriosova for lighting up by commenting "ballerinas don't smoke". I suppose back then it wasn't considered lady-like or something. Back in Beriosova's day ballerinas were role models but I really don't think that is the case today with most UK youngsters probably unaware of what the word ballet means, certainly a TV presenter I saw not long ago had difficulty with the word. UK role models are the likes of Katy Price and for those Americans that have not a clue who she is - consider yourselves lucky.

Are dancers role models for the young in France? I don't know, but as others have pointed out smoking is small beer compared with the track records of certain other dancers. Personally I don't like the practice and tend to give smokers a wide berth, I'm aware that it is more socially acceptable in France than in Britain but that would never stop me from visiting France or even those places where you wonder if the habit is considered compulsory such as Greece or Morocco. Cigarettes come with health warnings on the packaging (as does booze in France), these girls can read presumably so it’s their choice if they want to clog up their lungs and walk about in foul smelling clothes: for me as long as they keep their distance it's no big deal.

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This has not been nearly as entertaining as a night at the ballet, . . .

:lol: Best line of the whole thread. Thanks for the laugh, Marga.

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One thing I haven't seen mentioned is that there's a practical but not health or morality related reason for dancers to not smoke -- long term smoking causes wrinkles and premature aging. There's a reason so many youngish Hollywood stars undergo Botox.

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Are dancers role models for the young in France?

I don't know if the idea of role model was for all the young or for dance students, young dancers, and possibly ballet lovers. I assumed the latter, given the lack of recognition of most ballet dancers apart from Nureyev and Baryshnikov.

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To take this back to ballet, I remember reading that Frederick Ashton (himself a chain smoker) once admonished Svetlana Beriosova for lighting up by commenting "ballerinas don't smoke". I suppose back then it wasn't considered lady-like or something.

Indeed it was not considered ladylike. Viewers of “Titanic” will recall the moment when Kate Winslet shows her rebellious streak by lighting up at the table and decades later the late Princess Margaret would do likewise in real life.

Karen Kain said Ashton was the best advertisement for alcohol and cigarettes one could imagine. The combination of lots of Famous Grouse and lots of ciggies didn’t work out so well for the Countess of Snowdon, however.

One thing I haven't seen mentioned is that there's a practical but not health or morality related reason for dancers to not smoke -- long term smoking causes wrinkles and premature aging. There's a reason so many youngish Hollywood stars undergo Botox.

This would be a trend without any smoking. The pressure on movie actors, especially women, to look youthful actually seems to be increasing, and plastic surgery is becoming common at earlier ages.

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Viewers of "Titanic" will recall the moment when Kate Winslet shows her rebellious streak by lighting up at the table and decades later the late Princess Margaret would do likewise in real life
Of course, the Titanic sank a few years before the start of World War One when the shock would have been very great indeed.

When, i wonder, did public smoking become socially acceptable among a wide range of women, at least in sophisticated urban settings? You see a lot of it in films from the 20s, but I've never been able to figure out whether those films reflected actual social behavior in that period, or whether the were somehow trying to lead the way by creating new manners right before our eyes.

I am old enough to remember frequent newspaper photos of NY Cafe Society types -- along with visiting Hollywood stars -- actually smoking throughout the entire meal. (Very alcoholic meals, often with hard liquor served instead of wine. Looking at these shots now, it's strange to see filet mignon -- the quintessential "classy" French dinner meal in those days -- served with a bottle of Bourbon on the side.)

Did that smoking pattern ever become widely socially acceptable among other groups and areas?. In my suburban family, I recall adults of both sexes smoking at table with the coffee -- after dessert -- but never (NEVER !!! :speechless-smiley-003: ) before.

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You see a lot of it in films from the 20s, but I've never been able to figure out whether those films reflected actual social behavior in that period, or whether the were somehow trying to lead the way by creating new manners right before our eyes.

Movies have always played the dual role of social reflector and trendsetter. 20s films were hardly documentaries, any more than our pictures are now, but I think it unlikely that they would show young women smoking if it wasn't actually happening.

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The number of dogs and cats that are likely to be staying in a hotel at any one time, will be far lower than smokers actually in residence.

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The number of dogs and cats that are likely to be staying in a hotel at any one time, will be far lower than smokers actually in residence.

But these 'smokers' do not smoke in the hotel. I doubt their clothes 'stink' more than some of the dogs, frankly.

This thread is really irritating by now. Is there any possibility of closing it? Aren't we all done with this?

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Maybe they bring the dogs and cats into hotel rooms in order to mask the smell of illicit cigarettes smoked craftily out of the window? A wet dog can smell very much like a pack of 20 Woodbines.

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Maybe they bring the dogs and cats into hotel rooms in order to mask the smell of illicit cigarettes smoked craftily out of the window? A wet dog can smell very much like a pack of 20 Woodbines.

:jawdrop::toot::tiphat::yahoo::rofl:

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This thread is really irritating by now. Is there any possibility of closing it? Aren't we all done with this?

This is also discussing the discussion. Stop it.

If there's a policy violation, hit the report button, and the Moderators will take a look. If not, then skip the thread. The people who are done with this will, and the people are not done with this will continue to discuss.

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I notice how this discussion has been progressing, and with the introduction of issues like territoriality and civil rights, believe that it is going over into the area of political discourse, where civility and respect for other posters may be at a premium these days. Where the talk began with an expression of concern for the smoker, now it seems to be veering into a sort of Prohibition-style moralizing. Just a simple admonition. (Moderator beanie off)

My original post was indeed as much critismn as concern for the dancers I featured, in particular Aurelie Dupont, who I still admire for her dedication

and what she has achieved in her career. To see someone who is a beautiful talented dancer, put her future health at risk shocked me. I fully realise she is an adult, and it is no business of mine really, but it would be dreadful to see her succumb to a fatal illness. One could also feel that Cedric Klapsch the film maker did not do her any favours by including the scene.

Still on the same subject, but taking a slightly different direction, is it acceptable to suggest that it is okay for people to smoke as they are adults.and it is their business only. What about the situation when a smoker dies, leaving a heartbroken family, including children, spouses, parents, siblings, relations and friends. Death in any form is hard, but for it to be the result of a self inflicted habit, that could easily have been avoided, with

better will power and effective safer subsitutes, it only makes the loss the harder to bare. The smoker misses sharing the lives of their loved ones, they in turn are left to face the future without the smoker, the only people who benefit are the cigerette manufacturer and taxman. And at the end of the day

it all burns ang goes up in smoke. So often people realise too late they have past the point of no return, having disregarded the inevitable. This is a selfish act, and what do you tell their children when they ask Why their parent died, of course you could never tell them, but what ones to mind could be the words "Because Mummy or Daddy , smoked when they knew it was bad for them." "That is why it is not sensible to smoke".

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