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" Ballet Is A Living Art "

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"Ballet is a living art, it can never be a museum piece because it's made by individuals who are alive, who have emotions and profound energy. Body language is universal. Even today, as in the past. The public has a sense of participation, of immersing itself in the story. It is something vital, not a movie."


This is a quote by Oxana Skorik in a very brief interview in italian.



(thanks to "maps" for posting this at another topic)


Any thoughts about this ?


For instance, is there an interaction that goes on ? Is the audience actually part of the performance ?

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I think Italians are particularly emotional, but this is not the case everywhere.

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Isn't this person sort of stating the obvious? Couldn't the same be said about a live musical performance or a theatrical performance of any kind?

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At first thought, I would say yes to all the performing arts. The degree of human representation is probably the important factor.


In a sense the 'non-living' arts can be less restrained. The artist's representation is only limited by imagination and the medium being used.


When actual human beings are the 'medium', then it becomes "vital", as close to the real thing as possible, and to us humans, perhaps the most compelling because it's us, living and breathing.

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A major difference between theater and dance is that theater generally uses words. Words can be seen as an 'artificial' construction, 'once-removed' from our natural selves. Perhaps it is here that dance becomes more 'real', more basic, even more "vital". 'Original' man did not use words as far as we know from a scientific viewpoint.


Somewhat unrelated to the topic, but still fascinating to me, is how quickly children rely on words to express themselves and fulfill their needs and desires.


Also: As Oxana Skorik points out, "Body language is universal".

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Also: As Oxana Skorik points out, "Body language is universal".

There is something that this statement is trying to capture (like Graham's "the body never lies") but I don't think it's strictly correct to say body language is universal. It has conventions and is also inflected by "baseline" cultural expectations, many of them gendered, of how people inhabit space.

Holding hands seems a pretty universal expression of affection. But Men holding hands in one society is read completely differently from man holding hands in another society. (And that in turn influences even the desire to hold hands--who feels it and why.) One could think of other examples. But it's not just cultural differences at issue, but context as well: a slouch that's modest in one setting, is rude and disrespectful in another.

Are there deeper bodily universals? Maybe, but that kind of body language would still end up being very thoroughly embedded in not-so-universal body languages.

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