Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers

what makes a male dancer stand out


Guest mic31

Recommended Posts

Guest mic31

Well we know what makes the females stand out on stage. What really sets a man apart, what makes a Nureyev, Barishnikov, or a Peter Martins so memeorable? People still talk about them now. These guys as well as many other have set the bar for men in ballet. The reason why I ask is simply to begin a discussion on what makes a great male dancer. I really want to know from everyone what makes dancers like Eric Bruhn and Fernando Bujones so special. :lol:

Link to comment

Thanks for opening this forum up on the new board, mic! :lol:

 

The first thing I would look for in a benchmark danseur, like the ones already mentioned, would be a very high standard of technical excellence. The second is an ability to enter into a relationship with the audience. Ballet has no term for it that I know of, but in Spanish, it is simpatico. The third part is the ineffable, the undefinable artistry. Why would one prefer to watch Edward Villella over Rudolf Nureyev? Why not the other way around? What did Martins have in "Apollo" that still radiates, when Jacques d'Amboise did so very, very many performances of it and is hardly spoken of today? Were these dancers able to work brilliantly in more than one emploi, as could Baryshnikov? And what made Bruhn The Greatest? At least in my book? And why the hell did Bujones change choreography and nobody seemed to notice it or mind it but me?! (Well, Baryshnikov did, too, but that's another story.)

Link to comment

I think being a really good partner makes a Male dancer stand out. In some pas,you want both dancers to become one and yes it is sometyhing that is required of both dancers,but alot of times you see sloppy partnering on the male side,and then in some pas',you are to look like 2 sperate beings dancing together and still sometimes the partnering is sloppy. So,my answer in short is Good,strong solid partnering.:lol:

Link to comment

But what does that portend for the male dancer's future? Is it to be run back to Paris in the 1860s, when men were mere porteurs for ballerinas, and any man worthy of his trousers wouldn't even consider a career as a dancer?

Link to comment
Guest mic31

I got on this thought train after watching the PBS show about the four male danseurs from ABT.

So many of the guys in ballet seem to end up being little more than window dressing. The ones who stand out for me really seem to defy all of that. I think that the men who are remembered and still talked about are the ones who made their roles as strong and impactful as possible.

Link to comment

I don't think so, Mel--after all weren't male roles diminished in Russia only because the leads were danced by Gerdt? Russia certainly had wonderful male dancers--the Legat brothers, for example, but classical partnering didn't make men redundant. There were still male variations in Petipa's ballets, after all.

Link to comment

I don't think Gerdt submerged the rest of the company the way Nureyev tried to "subdue" the Royal Ballet in his opening seasons with them. There was work a-plenty for the classiques, the demi-caractéres, and the grotesques. He just got a free hand with the danseur noble parts and got to cobble his variations together himself. What we see in his old roles today are largely records of what Nicolai Legat did after him.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...