ChocChip Posted May 27, 2013 Share Posted May 27, 2013 I'm starting this topic as a ballet watcher feeling disturbed about some of the "things" the latest generation of ballerinas do on stage. I don't know whether these are the new standards of classical ballet technique. I hope some of the professional dancers and teachers here may comment on that. Russian ballerinas have been dancing like these for at least one decade now. And recently I started to see some English ballerinas do it as well. Oversplits in the leaps (grand jetes), 180 degrees lifting of the leg, 180 degrees penche or even an oversplit in the penche...Are these the new standarts of ballet technique or it just started with some extremely flexible young ballerinas one or two decades ago? When they talk about these ballerinas in documentary films most of the times they refer to them as ballet wunderkinds (being spotted in ballet schools for their extreme flexibility and immediately hired by big ballet companies and very quickly promoted to principals.). Two of the ballerinas I don't really like are Svetlana Zakharova and Alina Somova (because of their extreme flexibility and showing this off on stage like it's the best thing classical ballet can offer). They don't look like ballerinas to me, they look like puppets. I don't like the oversplits in the leaps at all. It doesn't look balletic to me. It might be suitable for rhythmic gymnastics but nor for ballet. This is my personal opinion. 180 degree lifting of the leg...I might have been taking classes for only 3 months but in the very first class my teach told us that the ballerina's torso should always have stood straight.When I see a 180 degrees lifting of the leg, the torso always gets curved. I have watched many ballets filmed 20 or more years ago - and 160 degrees lifting of the leg and a straight torso looks much more beautiful and natural to me. When I watched Zakharova dancing the Rose Adagio (where there are many liftings of the leg), she always lifted her leg very high (180degrees). Half of the Rose Adagio I was watching her panties and the bottom side of her tutu. Not pretty at all. About the penche... previous generations of ballerinas were doing 160 or less degrees lifting of the back leg on the penche. A 180 degrees penche (I've heard one ballet teacher in a documentary calling it 6 o'clock penche) looks fine and beautiful to me. It doesn't ruin the classical look of the ballet. But an oversplit in the penche looks awful. Last month I saw live the notorious William Forsythe' ballet "In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated". I didn't want to go because I had seen the ballet at home and I hated the music. But a friend of mine talked me into it. Surprisingly to me the ballet dancers managed to pull the technique off quite well. I even liked the ballet. It was like the evil and naughty twin of the classical ballet to me. This ballet definitely 'colors outside the lines' with everything it has. The music, the choreography, the costumes, the extreme flexibility and outstanding technique of the dancers needed made me perceive something new, something that extreme that made it an incredible ballet. I was shoked and impressed at the same time. It really is a masterpiece I agree, one of the 'ugly' and "twisted-minded' masterpieces.Seeing this ballet made me think that oversplits and pushing the technique outside every possible limits had their place in some contemporary ballets like Forsythe's. But not in all contemporary ballets. About the classics and the classical ballet... for me the oversplits ruin the classical form. How do you ballet watchers/dancers/teachers feel about that? 4 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Create an account or sign in to comment
You need to be a member in order to leave a comment
Create an account
Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!Register a new account
Already have an account? Sign in here.Sign In Now