Ballet Discussion #3

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Prof. Gustavo Flores
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Ballet Discussion #3

Postby Prof. Gustavo Flores » Mon Dec 26, 2016 6:04 am

In Billy Elliot we get to see how Billy is afraid of his father’s reaction if he finds out that he likes to dance ballet. That happens because for years and years, ballet has been deemed as a feminine art.

Nowadays, that misconception still exists. What do you think about it? How do you think it affects male dancers? How can it come to an end?

Discuss one, two or the three questions, or any other thing related to the topic. There is no right or wrong answers!
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Prof. Tarma Amelia Black
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Re: Ballet Discussion #3

Postby Prof. Tarma Amelia Black » Tue Dec 27, 2016 4:08 am

I'm putting in here what I wrote in my assignment ...

Ballet was deemed as a feminine art because ... that goes back a lot to when 'dancers' were deemed to be little more than demi-monde. (I am mostly writing of Europe/England here, I don't know so much about other areas of the world) Women who were the mistresses of wealthy and/or influential men.
I got this by googling "demimonde victorian times"
Demi-monde refers to a group of people who live hedonistic lifestyles, usually in a flagrant and conspicuous manner. The term was commonly used in Europe from the late nineteenth to the early twentieth century, and contemporary use has an anachronistic character. Its connotations of pleasure-seeking often contrasted with wealth and ruling class behavior.

The term 'demi-monde' is French for "half-world". It derives from a comedy called Le Demi-Monde, by Alexandre Dumas, fils, published in 1855.[1]

The term was often used as one of disapprobation, the behavior of a person in the demimonde being contrary to more traditional or bourgeois values. Such behaviors often included drinking or drug use, gambling, high spending (particularly in pursuit of fashion, as through clothing as well as servants and houses), and sexual promiscuity. The term demimondaine referred to a woman who embodied these qualities; later it became a euphemism for a courtesan or prostitute.

Then, when ballet was 'invented' as a particular form of dance, the tendency was to continue that 'definition'. Dancers weren't 'respectable' (neither were actors for that matter). So of course those 'men' of society wouldn't appreciate men dancing ballet. That would appear to perhaps put a whole different slant on their own sexual preferences, and thus was unacceptable. So, also, any male persons who wanted to do things which were not deemed manly -- like designing clothing? *le gasp* *quelle horreur* instead of going out and blowing each other's brains out and doing things like that and pugilistic activities such as boxing (or wrestling which I don't QUITE understand but evidently that is a manly sort of thing) ... got off track there ... but LOOK at the game Creaothceann, where rocks fall out of the sky and 'men' have to wear cauldrons on their head and even then folks DIE in the game -- and IT is deemed a test of manliness and courage! HA.

Oh well, forget it. That was then, this is now. I think a fair test would be to challenge any 'male' person who denigrates any dancer who happens to be male (or female for that matter) to ... having a lesson with them. Plus perform a dance routine. Plus participate in a rehearsal. See who is left standing.

Of course, that won't prove anything. Just piss them off, I think. However, I *do* think that nature will take care of it, because stupidity doesn't last. :)
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Re: Ballet Discussion #3

Postby Meredith Malkins » Sat Dec 31, 2016 9:24 pm

What do I think about the misconception? That it is stupid and backwards and truly ridiculous. I think it affects ballet by reducing the amount of awesome dancers who could bring something to the stage, but whose parents pushed into sport and told them it wasn't manly to dance. I think it affects female dancers by restricting how many get to dance with male partners, but it also works in another way, this idea that girls should do ballet discourages girls (who might prefer science or sport, I've seen this way too often) to be who they are too. So this idea is preventing so many people being who they are and who they want to be. It can come to an end by parents letting their kids do what they want to, not forcing them into an idea of the perfect offspring. It can end by everyone realising that ballet is an art, and it is beautiful, but anyone can be beautiful and it is beauty with strength. Men are well suited to ballet, you can see that by watching Men In Tutus. You need a lot of strength for these dances, and lets face it, men have great legs. Everything is better with balance, men and women together.
I didn't know about demi-monde but that certainly makes sense. As tarma said, why do violent things have to be manly? I would much rather a man who dances than a man who hits people. One minute, it's another man who agreed to do it in a ring, next it's a man who didn't consent outside of a ring, and before you know it it could be me. Even if it doesn't happen the boxer is probably less emotionally mature than the dancer, who is not only an artist but is emotionally resilient. Try being bullied for expressing yourself and still doing it anyway, WHILE LEAPING & SPINNING AROUND A STAGE IN TIGHTS. The dancer is more likely to be sensitive, kind, and more interesting as well as a more well-rounded person. Who is more of a man? I'd say the dancer. Besides which, the dancer with have more balanced strength, upper and lower body, whereas the boxer has upper body strength more than lower. If we measure manliness by physical strength, the dancer still wins.
The rehearsal test would be brilliant! Ballet is way harder than most people realise. If they had a taste maybe they'd shut up.
(But let's face it, they wouldn't, they'd find a way to keep complaining and picking at other people because of their own insecurities. But the mental image is just excellent)

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Saeir Darr
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Re: Ballet Discussion #3

Postby Saeir Darr » Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:12 pm

I'm a figure skater and we have this same problem in figure skating, a lack of male skaters because most of them want to do hockey or something else. Ballet is the forefather of modern figure skating so boys don't want to do it for the same reasons: it looks too girly.
I think it isn't emphasized enough (in popular media) that you're not just an artist, but an athlete. You have to be in incredible shape and very strong to pull off high quality ballet or figure skating. Perhaps emphasizing the athletics part of it would get more males interested. But a lot of it has to do with the arts, (such as ballet and figure skating), are expensive and obscure. Most people don't attempt them because they don't have access to money or schools or lessons. It's an obscure art for everyone.
Plus, I'm not someone who thinks we have to have "perfectly" equal amounts of men and women in each field. It's fine if a particular field is popular with the girls, as long as the boys feel welcome too. And vice-versa. We don't need every field to have a perfectly equal amount of men and women. In general, men and women are different, even if you could somehow wipe all culture from our minds, girls and boys still generally gravitate towards certain things from birth.
The good news is being male in ballet or figure skating means you are highly valuable and you automatically stand out from the crowd compared to the endless amount of girls. ;) It's a good thing to be rare and special!


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