Posted 08 November 2002 - 01:31 AM
In a brief diversion, the cameras followed a member of the artistic staff out on to a scenic balcony overlooking the Piazza. His jovial comment: "I'm probably the only one who doesn't come out here with a cigarette".
OK, I'll wear my colours on my sleeve - I'm an avid non-smoker, and the thought of dancers smoking to keep themselves thin sickens me even more than the whole issue of self-starvation.
But in truth, what proportion of dancers (professional or otherwise) really do have a serious habit? And how does this square up with the value they attach to their physical health?
Also, is there any organised effort at the RB to dissuade younger dancers from forming a habit in the first place?
(ducking for cover)
Posted 08 November 2002 - 04:23 AM
A few more dancers (3, I think) were hired for the Nutcracker now. One of those dancers used to smoke, but has also been trying very hard to quit.
Posted 08 November 2002 - 06:36 AM
Smoking is personal decision and I don't think dancers are any more immune to the habit than anyone else.
Posted 08 November 2002 - 03:51 PM
Posted 10 November 2002 - 03:40 PM
it certainly is a paradox - needing a healthy body, but deliberately abusing it...but the question remains HOW to get that message through effectively, to any and all people who 'enjoy' something about smoking, and to those who are in the grip of a genuine addiction.
Posted 12 November 2002 - 01:27 AM
Via some acquaintances connected with professional dance companies, I've heard several times the anecdote that "the dancers all smoke like chimneys" (not my words), in an attempt to keep thin. I'd assumed that other people have heard this too, whether or not it's a myth.
Posted 12 November 2002 - 02:28 AM
Posted 12 November 2002 - 03:11 AM
Originally posted by beckster
I too have heard that many dancers smoke. But then, I doubt that the proportion of dancers who smoke is any different from the proportion of university students (to take a group of people of similar age) who smoke. In the UK at least.
That's the sort of statistic I'm after - if it's true, then my question is answered, and I'm a (reasonably) happy man.
But if the proportion of dancers who smoke is much higher (as suggested by the anecdotes), it indicates that younger dancers may be under some kind of pressure that encourages them to take up smoking. And if that's the case, then I'm worried - and I'd be surprised if anyone can persuade me that I shouldn't be.
PS. Incidentally, I'm very keen that this thread doesn't become a political argument about personal freedom - as are the moderators, no doubt.
I gave up trying to fight causes years ago - it costs too many friends.
Posted 12 November 2002 - 04:06 AM
Posted 12 November 2002 - 05:18 PM
i agree that i have heard people SAY that sort of thing - but not for many years (like maybe 20), and only from NON-dancers...
antony, in my experience, in australia and the UK, like mel, i would say that no more dancers smoke that 'normal' (!) people.
i would hope it would be LESS dancers - and in australia, i would say that would definitely be true.
Posted 12 November 2002 - 05:29 PM
Posted 12 November 2002 - 06:17 PM
Posted 12 November 2002 - 06:33 PM
What's more interesting is that none of the dancers in the affiliated school's Youthworks pre-professional company smoke. Or at least, not that I'm aware of.
Posted 12 November 2002 - 07:25 PM
I've always been surprised when I see a dancer with a cigarette, because of the effect on lung capacity. I think there is a difference in America, as Mel noted, because there has been such a concerted anti-smoking campaign here, and because of laws that make it a hassle to smoke.
I have two anecdotes from the '60s and '70s, though, that bring in another angle -- stress control. I read an interview once with Peter Schaufuss who said that when he met Bruhn and Nureyev, as a young dancer, they told him he'd have to either smoke or drink to relieve the stress if he went on the super star circuit. And when I was doing the interviews for my book, I did an interview with Antoinette Sibley and I love one of the things she said, and it didn't fit in the book, so I'll put it here. She was talking about the social atmosphere among dancers in the 1960s and said, "You either smoked or you drank. I did both."
Posted 13 November 2002 - 01:10 PM
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