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Bulls and ballerinas


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#1 Drew

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 07:37 PM

I take the 'no politics' rule very seriously, but am hoping we can at least take notice on Ballet Alert that one of the iconic protest images of recent months is a figure widely referred to as a "ballerina" on top of the statue of a bull.

The dancer atop the bull IS in a ballet position, attitude en arrière, but is barelegged and barefooted. One article I read described her as on pointe--which she most certainly is not--but which does show the degree to which the "ballerina" moniker has taken hold.

I am actually very late to the party regarding this image which I only learned about this week, though I gather it has been circulating on the web for months...I did a search on Ballet Alert, but saw no mention of it, so thought it was worth posting about even belatedly.

I had trouble finding a politics-neutral link, but people might try googling "the ballerina and the bull." If you search "news" most of the entries that come up will be pertinent.

I find this poster a much more interesting phenomenon with regard to the popular idea of a "ballerina"--graceful, yes, but empowered and anti-elite--than, say, Aronovsky's Black Swan.

#2 Helene

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 08:12 PM

Thank you, Drew. We do allow politics to enter the discussion when it's ballet-related, and this is :)

#3 Drew

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 12:42 AM

In thinking about the background figures on the poster--barely visible as they emerge, perhaps threateningly, from behind the bull--I wondered whether the whole image does not belong in the line of Delacroix's "Liberty Leading the People."

Delacroix's female "Liberty" stands in a pose that, very loosely, recalls an attitude en arrière (at least to my eyes) as she stands out against a crowd of (male) figures. More distantly the attitude pose makes me think of much older statues of Mercury alighting on earth.

Delacroix's content is "historical" (the July 1830 revolution), though the history was, for him, very recent--that is, still polemically alive. The ballerina on a bull poster conjured an event that had yet to occur (and, in a way, has yet to occur). And is certainly still polemically alive.

I think it's really kind of fabulous, but am willing to acknowledge that if I hated the political connotations then I might find it harder to admire aesthetically. Don't know really.

By the by, I have never seen the bull statue in the photo but assume many others on this forum have; it's a statue by Arturo di Modica that is located -- I go by Wikipedia -- in Bowling Green Park in Manhattan.


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