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What will a ballerina look like in 2062?


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#1 Kerry1968

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 11:43 PM

In a podcast on iTunes U, Joan Acocella commented that Diana Adams would have been regarded as "a freak" by ballet audiences of the 19th Century. She was commenting on the very great changes in the ballerina's physique which have occurred over the last century.

This got me to wondering if those physical changes won't continue on and on. There's no reason to suppose that evolution stops with Sylvie Guillem (or is there?).

And so I'd like to pose this completely hypothetical question: what will the ideal ballerina body be in fifty years? And, from our present day perspective, will the ballerinas of the future be "freaks"?

#2 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 07:51 AM

Body-type wise, there has been certainly a movement toward hyper extension and muscularity in females. Not too much can be still invented then...the body naturally stops at one point developing, and still it ought to be constricted by certain preconceived ideas that we inherited from the XIX Century, from photos and lithographs. A ballerina, even if she works out in gyms nowadays, will never be as developed as a female bodybuilder. About sizes, I think the controversy will keep going on, as they were, are and will be great technicians that were or will never be able to be a size zero. That has happened at all times in the history of ballet-(didn't Kschessinskaya feel sorry for "poor little Pavlova" being so skinny and fragile when she was teaching her some role due to her pregnancy..?). I believe that there's a little whispering around about not going that extremely thin...and if that's what the future can be, so welcome.

#3 Helene

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 08:11 AM

Unfortunately, like the heroine of "Avatar" and the daughter in "The Incredibles."

#4 polyphonyfan

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 12:43 PM

I do think that the emphasis on extreme flexibility and thinness will prevail but I think that it is possible that body types other than “tall and willowy” will be more accepted so long they are still very flexible and very thin.

For better or worse, I think that by 2062, there will have been a complete backlash against certain aspects of what we now consider classical ballet and classical ballet choreography. I think that the fluidity of movement that you see in certain contemporary dance choreography (like Lar Lubovitch) will eventually come to be regarded as more in a keeping with the spirit and progression of classical dance than the more static, sometimes pose-heavy, classical choreography of ballets like Paquita and Swan Lake. So I think that the now-familiar versions of story ballets will be performed far less, and there will be an increasing push to redo them with new choreography when they are performed. I think too that the increasing concern over the physical damage that can result from 180 degree turnout in standing positions and pointe work will come to a head and eventually mean that these aesthetics will no longer have the prominence that they do now. If classical ballet in 2012 looks like a more-or-less traditional performance of a Petipa work, I think by 2062 it will look more like Paul Taylor’s “Airs”, still classical-based technique, still performed to classical music, but less academic steps in actual performances, more fluidity of movement and costumes, and without pointe shoes.

#5 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 04:02 PM

I think by 2062 it will look more like Paul Taylor’s “Airs”, still classical-based technique, still performed to classical music, but less academic steps in actual performances, more fluidity of movement and costumes, and without pointe shoes.


God... save me from that sight...

#6 Kerry1968

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 08:23 PM

Unfortunately, like the heroine of "Avatar" and the daughter in "The Incredibles."


That's my intuitive sense too



#7 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 04:08 AM

I DISAGREE!!!! That's what I love about BalletAlert. Posted Image

#8 Alexandra

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 05:17 AM

Short and chubby :)

#9 puppytreats

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 07:48 AM

Who said, "Fat girls with dirty feet?"

#10 bagg

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 07:57 AM

Female principals and soloists will be shorter due to the avg shorter height of male dancers. Male dancers will be more widely accepted and revered by society.

#11 bart

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 08:47 AM

Female principals and soloists will be shorter due to the avg shorter height of male dancers. Male dancers will be more widely accepted and revered by society.

Interesting, and counter to my original agreement about those who go for long legs and willowy appearance. Your pragmatic explanation makes sense, bagg.

#12 Helene

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 09:07 AM

Balanchine loved to have tall women with medium/medium-tall sized men. Although tiny Madeleine Eastoe is one of my favorite dancers -- because she dances as if she were 5'7" -- I would rue the day when ballerinas are like tiny gymnasts.

#13 puppytreats

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 09:45 AM

avg shorter height of male dancers.


Why?

#14 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 10:28 AM

Who said, "Fat girls with dirty feet?"


Oh, that's true...Posted Image

#15 Helene

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 10:57 AM

Wasn't that Balanchine after seeing Isadora Duncan? If not, I'm sure he said something equally rude.


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