View Full Version : NY Times Dance Critic: Nutcracker Dancers Hefty?

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12-13-2010, 07:10 PM
I received a holiday e-card from the Royal Ballet today which I thought was rather pleasant since I've only been there once, and boy oh boy are those blue-haired English ballet-going ladies a cranky lot. So, uh, NYCB, where's my card from you, huh? Come on, don't be stingy.

12-13-2010, 07:29 PM
Here's a link to a video on this thread's subject. I didn't see it posted.


Well, the sugar plum fairy certainly is a class act! She handled that interview very well.

12-13-2010, 07:55 PM
Judging from the video, the Sugar Plum fairy does not have the physique that I find appropriate and aesthetically pleasing in ballet. Her limbs are too short to begin with and she is probably not that tall so every ounce shows up and disrupts her lines.

I find that American ballet companies are more democratic as to the body types (to an extent) but also really prefer Mariinsky. Russian ballet dancers are a hot export. At the same time you don't see American primas dancing at Bolshoi or Mariinsky. You don't see them among the La Scala Etoiles either.

12-13-2010, 08:01 PM

Is it because of the way they dance or because they can't act? For me, dance is about movement, so I care less about line if the movement is interesting. However, I am tired of vapid American dancers who don't seem to have taken acting or character classes. Some of them just can't create a convincing character on stage, no matter how good their dancing is. For instance, Julie Kent. I go see her in something, her dancing is lovely, and 5 minutes after I have left the theater I have forgotten what she looks like - there is absolutely "no there there" if you know what I mean.

12-13-2010, 08:03 PM
Can't dance OR act. :EVILLE:

12-13-2010, 08:18 PM
Here's a link to a video on this thread's subject. I didn't see it posted.

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/40639920/ns/today-today_people/When I saw her, I thought, perfect Sugar Plum, awful Manon. As Ringer said, she's not overweight, but her body type is different from the long lean later-Balanchine ideal. She looks friendly and robust, perfect for the Sugar Plum. On the other hand, if she were playing Manon, starving to death in a swamp, I would absolutely criticize the appropriateness of her body in that context. Ringer must be mindful that her body type is totally unforgiving of the least bit of extra fat, or muscle for that matter, on her line. So if she wants roles like Agon, then she has to go above and beyond in watching her weight.

But she's not Manon, she is the Sugar Plum Fairy. Not only that, she is the NYCB's ambassador Sugar Plum Fairy. Anyone who follows ballet knows that there is no way Peter Martins would have given her that honor if he thought she weren't well-suited for it.

The Nutcracker is the NYCB's cash cow, and dancers may do meet-and-greets with fans, mostly children, so Ringer probably has personal qualities that make her the best overall combination of dancer+ambassador.

12-13-2010, 08:32 PM
Based on the clips, I thought Ringer's dancing was nothing special, but her body type looks just fine to me. I'd rather watch her than a thinner dancer of similar ability.

12-13-2010, 09:01 PM
My favorite dancers are not usually the shorter limbed ones either because of the line. Unless pyrotechnics are in evidence. Like this dancer - Viengsay Valdes of Cuba: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jszXsHASeVw&feature=related Watch at 1:16, 3:09,3:41-4:10 and 4:40 on. She was slimmer than this when I saw her dance, but she does this balancing act everytime. It is ridiculous. Makarova used to park on pointe like this - she was one of my all time faves.

Ringer is definitely shorter limbed, but I don't think she is overweight.

12-13-2010, 11:24 PM

Just saw this on Yahoo!. Apologies if it has already been posted.

ETA: Is that idiot f*cking kidding me? She's FAR from fat... ugh people. COME ON.

12-14-2010, 12:16 AM
Svetlana looks nice and healthy in that video, brina. Strong, lean and healthy. Thanks for posting, I love seeing their faces up close.

I like her because she appears to naturally have that body type. I'm sure all ballerinas have very strict dieting regiments, but from an outsider's perspective, it looks like Uliana follows a much stricter diet (and probably too strict, imo) than Svetlana. I think that's why her movements always appear so certain and strong. I do think Uliana is a better actress than Svetlana though.

In regards to Ringer, she isn't my favorite kind of ballerina due to her limbs being human-length, but she certainly is not fat by any means.

12-14-2010, 12:23 AM
Svetlana is too icy for me. I much prefer Lopatkina and Vishneva.

12-14-2010, 12:34 AM
The reason is adore Vishneva's dancing is that she is a perfect storm of natural talent, physique, musicality, technique, on stage charisma and acting talent. Lopatkina and Semionova are similar.

I cannot say the same for Svetlana. I can't put my finger on it but she leaves me cold although she is fantastic.

And Alina--well, as it turns out long lean lines are a necessary but not a sufficient condition for excellence. I find her hyperflexible and sort of a brittle quality to her dancing, like there is no core strength and no control. It just looks weird and distracting to me. I saw her do the fouettés in the Don Quixote pdd and found them to be :scream:.

12-14-2010, 12:39 AM
Here's a link to a video on this thread's subject. I didn't see it posted.


Thanks for posting this. Count me in as one who thinks Jenifer Ringer is a class act. Fat! :eek:? She's not even in that ball park!

12-14-2010, 01:49 AM
WTF this girl is soooooooooooo small!!!!! That guy has to be totally nuts.

12-14-2010, 02:36 AM
I saw her on the Today Show this morning - what's really sad is that she used to suffer from anorexia and was able to "beat" it :(

She said that there are many different body types in ballet and hers happens to be more "womanly curvy" than some.