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Design the Ideal Female Ballet Dancer

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Balanchine is quoted as saying once that he wished all of his dancers danced the way Diana Adams did. I've often thought of this, imagining a corps de ballet full of Diane Adams.

And so I'd ask, what would you like your corps to look like, if you could design the individual dancers? What is your ideal ballet body -- proportions, etc. What is the way that ideal body moves (fast, graciously, with daring, like a queen, whatever).

Ballerina Factory open for a limited time. Get your orders in now, please.

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Oooh! good idea!

Well, I'd like my dancer not to be rake-thin- Its just not pretty, just slim in a more normal way. Plus expressive hands and arms. The dancer should have an expressive face, particularly eyes. Oh, and a graceful neck and way of carrying their head. Plus it's lovely to see a dancer smile!! :)

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This probably isn't quite what you had in mind, Alexandra, but for me the ideal female dancer is the ideal female. What does she look and move like? I'm reminded of a verse in Genesis that reads something like "and the sons of men looked on the daughters of men and saw that they were fair.' And we haven't stopped noticing and marveling. In other words, there is no ideal, because attractive personalities and attractive bodies, both of which we read as symbols for attractive souls, come in limitless variety. I love that variety onstage, male and female. Especially, as Jane says, when they smile!

As you can imagine, I love photos and footage of both Adams and LeClerq.

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I'm with KFW. I think a variety of types and temperaments is important. Also women with healthily trim physiques. But to choose one archetype, my mind keeps going back to Martine van Hamel.

While pleasant facial expression :) certainly helps (anyone remember Sandra Jennings' [ex-NYCB] perpetual sneer? :) ), my feeling is that dancers spend 10 years preparing their bodies to be expressive instruments, and that is most important.

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Carbro, I always loved van Hamel's arms.

I've mused over this thread for some time and my answer hasn't deviated since I first thought about it. My dancer would have to have a lean, chiseled, beautifully scuplted back, and world class arms instead of so, so, so many throwaway arms I see. Interpretation: beautifully held, soft, with no extraneous movement or gesture.

If they had these assets, I could almost assume all of the other qualities were there as well -- that they were focusing on all the right things.

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I'd like variety as well (how can you do Swan Lake without tall swans and small swans?), but some general qualities I prefer are:

Slim but not skeletal and not over-muscled

Expressive face and port de bras

Proportionate limbs (not too long, not too short)

I'd also like them not to have exaggeratedly high arches or flexible feet (though to a point that's a good thing :ermm: ) and a sense of harmony and what is appropriate (in terms of extension, pirouettes, &c) for each ballet.

Not to mention a very strong jump and some sort of interest in other art forms in order to make their dancing/acting richer.

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Although she isn't immediately known as a ballet dancer, Cyd Charisse is the image of my ideal ballerina. She has the most gorgeous pair of gams I've ever seen and her feet are lovely, too. I've always imagined her dancing in a vast variety of ballet repertoire.

This is swerving off-topic, but I came across this article on the net comparing Catherine Zeta-Jones to Charisse. Does anyone else disagree with what's stated?

http://www.inq7.net/ent/2003/apr/02/ent_4-1.htm :ermm:

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Old Fashioned, I just saw a clip of a ballet on TV that featured Cyd Charisse. It was by Roland Petit and the section was I think called "Regine's", maybe someone will know what ballet it is. Anyway, she had on black pointe shoes and a sexy can-can dancers outfit. She was wonderfully chic and elegant and did some pretty fast fouttes. Fred Astaire said she was his favorite partner.

I do prefer longer legs on female dancers, and extremely expressive arms and hands. And I loathe stiff backs, a female dancers back should be supple yet strong.

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My ideal female dancer, is one which has all the technical attributes and a lean frame, but far more important than anything else is their stage presence. She should make the audience hold their breath as she enters the stage, and keep every member completely captivated throughout the entire ballet. Hundreds of eyes should see only her as she glides across the stage, hundreds of hearts should burst with the feeling of her every emotion, and thousands of spines should tingle, and hairs stand on end - awestruck by such a presence.

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