Why Are Asians So Brilliant in Competitions (& Ballet in general)?
Posted 31 January 2002 - 09:56 AM
Let's not stop at the competitions. Japasese & other Asia-born dancers are making inroads in the top ballet companies of the world. The lone non-Russian member of the Kirov ballet is the Korean-American soloist, Ms. Ti-Young Ryu...a star of the Stanislavski Ballet of Moscow is the Korean-born Svetlana Tsoi...several Japanese are on the soloist roster of the St. Petersburg Maly Ballet, both Royal Ballet troupes, etc, etc.
Comments & 'explanations' on the ASIAN BOOM IN BALLET, please!
Posted 31 January 2002 - 10:37 AM
[ January 31, 2002: Message edited by: Victoria Leigh ]
Posted 31 January 2002 - 03:16 PM
Posted 31 January 2002 - 07:59 PM
Posted 01 February 2002 - 11:17 AM
As much as I adore the amazingly beautiful lines & technique of the Chinese dancers, I wish that they would 'loosen up' just a teeny tiny bit. They are amazing, nonetheless. It is a joy to discover the dancers of Shanghai, Beijing & elsewhere in the PRC.
What a world of ballet lies beyond 'the West'!
[ February 01, 2002: Message edited by: Jeannie ]
Posted 02 February 2002 - 01:19 PM
Posted 03 February 2002 - 10:57 PM
In terms of ballet, I think there may be a higher percentage of the population with a high degree of flexibility (perhaps that's cultural).
I remember a Chinese man I knew who had never studied ballet until he was 13. He had gone to pick up his little sister from her ballet lesson and arrived early. He must have been quite an aggressive little boy, because he said he had told the teacher that he didn't see what was so hard about ballet - he could "do that." Apparently he could. He later became a soloist with Ballet Rambert (when it was still a classical company). He certainly was one of the most naturally "turned out" people I have ever seen!
Posted 04 February 2002 - 09:20 AM
And there were some Asians playing wood wind instruments, but less playing brass.
Posted 05 February 2002 - 11:40 AM
Asking "Why are Asians so good at ballet?" is a RACIST comment and in my opinion has no place on a bulletin board dedicated to the "civilized" discussion of ballet. I am aghast that the administrators did not remove this post as soon as it appeared. On the contrary, they validated the question by responding.
If you would like to inquire as to why INDIVIDUALS with a strong work ethic succeed over those who do not (a point so obvious as to not need stating) then that is one thing. But linking the question to ESSENTIALIST qualities such as ethnicity, which lumps all individuals of one "sort" into a specific category, is appalling -- even if you believe you are paying a compliment! I have asked several colleagues at the university I teach how they feel about this and they were all equally alarmed that such a topic could enjoy a public forum.
If you doubt me, consider if this is a racist question: "Why are blacks good at basketball?"
I urge the adminstrators to close this topic immediately.
Posted 05 February 2002 - 11:56 AM
As the moderator of this forum & also the person who posted this particular topic, I feel compelled to answer your well-stated post.
Although I am sensitive to your concerns, the analogy to basketball is not quite right, as athletes representing all races have been playing & excelling in basketball & other team sports (baseball, soccer, volleyball) for as far back as I can remember in my over-40 lifetime! However, in the case of ballet competitons, the upsurge in medal-winninig performances by Chinese, Japanese, and Korean competitors is a relatively news phenomenon (1990s), even though a Yoko Morishita would earn top medals once in a blue moon before the 1990s.
Secondly, there is the all-important fact that this art --- classical ballet -- is one that was forged in a part of the world far removed from Asia, i.e., classical ballet is a 'native art' of Europe, and not just any Europe -- the royal courts of Europe. To praise any nationality that is not of European roots that can persevere and succeed in European Classical Court Arts (like ballet) is tantamount to praising any non-Asian performer who succeeds in, say, classical No Theater of Japan or Shanghai-style acrobatics of China. In short, it is a miracle. [And, no, I do not count the Latin Americans who succeed in ballet in this category, as we latinos are already born with European/Iberian blood in our veins.]
Furthermore, please don't forget the spirit of our posts. Our (certainly my) intentions in all of this are to compliment & not denigrate the dancers of China, Japan, etc. My hat's off to them for their spectacular achievements, surging to the top of the ballet-competition podiums (and principal status in top professional companies) in such a short time! It is a fact that cannot be ignored and, as a 'civilized' forum that includes contributors of intelligence & a certain degree of maturity, we should and must address it. But your concerns have been duly noted and, of course, we all try to phrase our views sensitively.
[ February 05, 2002: Message edited by: Jeannie ]
Posted 05 February 2002 - 11:57 AM
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