Cross Train: Yoga & Save.

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As a Ballet Education expands, we are proud to partnering up with amazing advertisers and products. Welcome EROS SPORT! This is a men’s line, for all those male dancers out there! Yes, the product is designed for bikram yoga, but because the fabric absorbs and dries sweat fast… It is great for ballet class. (I’ve tried them, they work great) So, as a Ballet Education turns from blog to magazine, we will be able to offer you great deals! #SCORE

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Don’t forget… no one will hire a dancer who isn’t flexible. Bikram yoga is a great cross training aspect for ballet dancers. If you aren’t familiar with it, it is basically heat yoga. Get gumby real quick.

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Really… the odds are never in your favor… Prix de Laussane pt 2

So, after a few people adding their “insight” into the post about the Prix… lets be real here…the prix was founded in 1973, which means that ballet was still developing in South America and Asia. With that being said, we have to take that into account on the overall demographics of the prix… Ironically, Japan holds 57 winners, with their first win in 1978. Now, if we want to take into consideration population of this country, 127 million, the odds of a Japanese winner at the prix is roughly 4.4%. This is not taking into consideration the time span of their first win, and the changes of population. Not good odds… While say, someone from Australia’s chances of winning are 7.7% (holding 17 prizewinners since 1976, with a population of 23 million). The reality is now that the chances of a person from a country winning are less than .01% (The world’s population is 7 billion) which means to be selected into the finals 2.8 people out of a billion people will be selected… which is why it is a heralding compliment to be selected. Pretty insane right?

Now, the US, has a population standing at 316 million, and has had roughly 22 prize winners since 1979… that means the chances of a prize winner from the US is at 6%. Which means, out of the world population, the odds of a US Candidate winning is slightly larger than say someone from Australia or Belgium. Yet, Belgium has had 19 wins, from a population of 11 million. Korea has had 16 wins.

Now, if we want to look at the data of possible outcomes, the odds are still not in favor… From the prix’s conception there has been roughly 391 awards given out… Which means the odds of a Japanese winner is 15%. This means that if you are a part of the 4.4% of Japan’s population, that are exceptional in ballet, you have a 15% chance of winning at the prix. Pretty intense.

If you are from the USA, you literally only have .5% chance of winning if you make it to the finals. Intense.

Now, say like South Africa… the odds of someone from South Africa winning at the prix is less than .001%, which means once you are the prix the odds of you winning are .003%, that is super intense.

Now it might not be fair to count the entire prix’s history, as the world’s history of ballet is tainted with racism, communism and exposure… So, if we were to look at last year’s results, for the sake of saying that 2014 is the most diverse ballet has been, and 2014 brought world wide exposure to ballet, then the wins by country would stand at 3 Japan, 1 USA, 1 SPAIN, 1 FRANCE. (which ironically still reflects the overall numbers at the prix. ) If we look at this year’s numbers it is more diverse 1 Australia, 1 Korea, 2 Japan, 1 Portugal, 1 USA. So, what does this mean?

As the prix celebrates the excellence in ballet’s youth, and the opportunity to be fast tracked on the international stage, it means that unfortunately, ballet competitions will still always be skewed. There is a lack of funding, a lack of exposure, and an unfair advantage for those who don’t have the resources and exposure to ballet. This again also is a reflection of a country’s ability or idea that ballet should be supported by the state… This is also a reflection of the training in a country… Or, where the student trains…. for example most Koreans train at Universal Ballet in Washington DC. And, a lot of Euro candidates don’t train in their home countries… so is it fair? Who knows…

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Numbers were taken from the Prix de laussane archives from conception to 2014. Demographics were taken from the world’s 2013 census. (www.prixdelaussanne.org)

Picture is from: http://www.prixdelausanne.org/gallery/2015-2/selection-day/

Tu-two or three-three… size does matter?

It is about the quality of movement… It is about what you can bring to the company and how you fit in as an artist…

That is just some of the bull shit that you might hear an artistic director spew while he makes a speech before giving an audition class. Reality check, it is about the body, as ballet is art with your body. I wish more directors would just own up to it and say, “This is exactly what I am looking for… (insert requirements).”

Now, if you think this post is going to be about being fat or thin, your quite wrong. In fact this is just a comparison of male body types in ballet and how they have changed through out the decades… kind of.

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Nijinsky. 5’5″

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Jacques d’Amboise, 5’9″

baryshnikov

Baryshnikov, 5’6″

Peter Martins 6’2″

Roberto Bolle 6’1″

What did all of these men have in common? Besides that they are all leading men? Charisma and solid technique. I could have listed any such length of men, but unfortunately time is against me today. I have a date this evening. Now, with this being said, you have to have a leading man for a leading lady. It is a common misconception about the height requirement in ballet because companies varies. ABT is known for the extremely short corps, the average being around 5’4″, while NYCB corps varies because of the repertory being so vast. The same for the women of Paris Opera, and the Bolshoi. (It’s funny because I work in fashion now and the body type requirement is a lot stricter than ballet…) I think the most important thing when it comes to body types this is what is looked at… male or female:

Body Proportion… and no I am not talking about the ridiculous proportions of Bolshoi, or the craziness that is talked about the Balanchine body type… I am just saying, tight waist, long legs, pretty neckline. More important than height and proportion though are hyper extended legs, feet that beautifully arched, hyper mobile backs, turned out hips, and charisma.

I recently saw a video of a male dancer from National Ballet of Cuba, and not only does he have beautiful legs, and is ridiculously flexible, or the fact that he can do amazing tricks…. He was so charismatic… His version of the Don Q variation was so playful, so youthful, and slightly cocky… A very good Basilio…

With that being said, I do think that male body type in ballet has drastically changed. What was once the classic strong V, with thick thighs look has now thinned out and has made way for the thinner men now. Roberto Bolle’s body is like… yummy times ten, but Daniil Simkin, Taras Dimitro, now older Ethan Stiefal, and looking back at Jose Martinez and Mannuel Legris from POB. You might all murder me, and send me more hateful messages, but at this pointe (haha pun intended) I could careless.