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Single gender ballets...


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I was skimming what's on over the next few months at Sadlers Wells and came across this:  

 

"Angelin Preljocaj’s MC 14/22 (Ceci est mon corps) is a hymn to the male body. Preljocaj evokes biblical imagery through the 12 male dancers who surrender to both tender care and wretched cruelty in this glorification of masculinity."

 

It struck me that all-male pieces crop up quite frequently, as do variations on the 'hymn to the male body' theme by way of an accompanying description. A sub genre is the all-male take on a traditionally mixed cast.   However, the converse does not seem to be the case.  The mighty collective Balletcoforum memory bank will no doubt come up with some examples of all female pieces, but I'd hold that the frequency is still asymmetric.  Why is this?  I guess there are physical limitations in moves available to the choreographer where pure partnering strength is required such as big lifts, but is there just an underlying lack of interest in the idea among choreographers?  I must admit I personally prefer mixed gender works, so I'm not desperate to see either all male or all female pieces, but the anomaly intrigues me.

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There are ballets which are 90% female with a token male presence. Les Sylphides, Serenade and Concerto Barocco being notable examples. Cannot immediately think of an all female work. That is a bit odd given that most of classical ballet is very female driven.

 

Interesting observation Quintus.

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Yes, as I said in the original post, I expect there to be some rare examples of all female, but my point was rather than there is a strong preponderance of all male over all female, and questioning why that should be the case.

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Perhaps because men are still seen as the stronger sex (not just physically) and so can 'carry' a work on their own in a way that women perhaps can't? (Not saying I agree with that - just that it may be the case, either consciously or subsconsciously.) And of course most choreographers are (still) men, which may be a factor. I also personally prefer mixed gender works, but it's an interesting question to ask.

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Opposite way round for me Dave!

 

Perhaps there is more of a preponderance of all male dances because most choreographers are men and they are thinking what they would like to do themselves...  

 

Perhaps because men have, on the whole, more spectacular leaps it is easier to choreograph a more crowd-pleasing piece...

 

Perhaps because men partnering men in lifts is easier than women partnering women...

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