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I should have stayed out of Links today. There's a preview of ABT's upcoming tour to Orange County, in which critic Elizabeth Khuri makes two references to blonds:

and what of the tragic injuries of Ethan Stiefel—as much our loss as ABT’s? Now more than ever, the company needs a male lyrical dancer (a blond would be nice) to fill the princely shoes of Albrecht and Romeo.
Hallberg, who has been with ABT for five years, has a dangerous look about him. He’s tall—check; blond—check; and sufficiently cheeky-yet-earnest to garner sufficient attention. After all, he describes himself as towering, with good proportions for classical ballet.

Basically, he’s in the running to become the next ABT-Man-God—there are always a few in every company (they tend to get all the parts and all the girls)—a sort of Zoolander of the dance world.

Given the calibre of the existing Man-g-ds at ABT, exactly why does ABT need to hire blonds?

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Male, blond, and in ABT is about all that Hallberg and Stiefel share, as far as I can see. They are very different dancers, and aren't we lucky to have both!

And what about the tall, sometimes blond Max Beloserkovsky?

As a rule, I'd advise against the bottle, although Max is a rare case where I think blonding flatters him.

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Dyed blond hair tends to look overly shiny under stage lights, but my problem with light hair (being blond myself) is that without large, strong features blonds don't "read" very well onstage.

Otherwise, I'm with Helene. ABT has more than sufficient male talent in its top ranks (Carreno, anyone?). I'd be more concerned with the lack of men at NYCB.

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As a matter of fact, I would like to raise a question. In the classical ballets, very often dancers wear wigs, especially blond ones. Aurora can turn from a dark hair princess to a blond bride. Now that dancers are getting more international, I have to admit, blond wigs for Asian dancers, do not look as appealing. Is that the sad fact about classical ballet? that it only looks good with Caucasians? I must say, I admire all dancers from all nationalities. I hope this reply does not offend anyone.

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Actually, I see a trend away from wigs. I know the Messel Sleeping Beauty (and I presume you are alluding to this) is very wiggy, but it reflects the era in which it was born more than today. I agree that blond wigs look funny on people of many ethnicities -- even some Caucasians -- and tend to provide the very kind of distraction they were originally intended to prevent, which was, after all, to keep individual dancers from "standing out."

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Just for the record.The word caucasian includes people from Europe to north India, central Asia and north Africa. The origin of the word is from Caucasus which is between Caspian sea and Black sea. So I think this caucasian equal blond image is not accurate. As with ballet and race, eventhough I live in a country where everybody is obssesed with blond ballet dancers, I see absolutely no racial difference in ability to dance ballet. After all using the brain is the most important thing in ballet not the body. My Japnese teacher whom I consider the greatest living ballet teacher on this planet is a living proof of that.

PS . the level of professional ballet in Japan is quite bad though.

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