Ouch! What about the toes?
Posted 01 March 2002 - 09:50 AM
Should I be concerned about those dancers that I see perfoming? Are they being good to their toes or are they enduring some pain for the sake of the art?
Posted 01 March 2002 - 10:02 AM
I put this up on another thread a few days ago -- Fonteyn was quoted as saying that if the audience knew how much pain was involved in a ballet performance, the only people who'd come were those who enjoyed bull fights.
(But it's not just the toes that hurt smile.gif )
[ March 01, 2002, 10:03 AM: Message edited by: alexandra ]
Posted 01 March 2002 - 10:53 AM
Unfortunately, along with the current craving for the extreme and the sensational, even circus-like, that has taken over our art form in recent years, many steps that would, in actual fact, be more beautiful and fluent, if executed on the demi-pointe (half-toe), are now done on pointe.
Pointe work, in female dancers, has developed over the last half-century to the detriment of jumps and beats. Go to a shop, and ask the shop lady to shew you what the shoes look and feel like. You will note how terribly stiff, not just the pointe, or box, is, but how stiff the shank, or sole is. They have become increasingly hard, reinforced, in recent decades. One does not have the same feel for the floor, for extremely fast and brilliant foot-work, and for certain types of steps that I cannot explain here, in such clunky slippers.
If you would like to understand this concept more fully, try to find a film of a ballet by Auguste Bournonville, or perhaps "Giselle" which dates from the same period (1841-1842). The steps are so beautiful, you do not NEED pointework, to find the ballet exciting. There is some pointework (much has been added, incidentally, by modern performers), but it is not essential.
Lastly, but not leastly, orthopaedists are not happy about this trend in the ballet. They see the chronic injuries, the bunions, the stress factures, and so forth, and are the first to say - loudly - that there is too much pointework, and that it should be used but sparingly, as a rare and therefore notable, ray of light.
[ March 01, 2002, 10:56 AM: Message edited by: katharine kanter ]
Posted 01 March 2002 - 11:40 AM
Before we get too far into theory here, though, what do dancers think? smile.gif
Posted 02 March 2002 - 07:46 AM
At least the beauty of the ballet is still very much present in spite of the risk to the female dancers. Boy, the men really got off easy in ballet, no pointe work for them!!
Posted 02 March 2002 - 11:49 AM
Posted 02 March 2002 - 12:00 PM