In Wednesday's Evening Standard there was a short article entitled 'Aussie ballerinas leave their tutus out back' concerning dancers from Australian Ballet appearing in the Aussie issue of FHM magazine. The spread was designed by AB's artistic director David McAllister from an idea by the mags editor John Bastick as a way of "humanising ballet."
Also from the ES article ....'Soloist Olivia Bell stated that the whole company was thrilled at the chance to take their clothes off and wanted to be recognised in the street. "We don't get a lot of opportunity to do this sort of thing," she added.'
See the online version for yourself at FHM: Girls of the Ballet
This kind of thing has been done before by some dancers from the English National Ballet in the summer of 1999 (Loaded mag), but the FHM pics do look racier. A cold bucket of water is advisable gents....
I personally think the girls look absolutely gorgeous, appear to have freely consented to the piece and more importantly appear to have enjoyed doing it. They work extremely hard to achieve a perfect body and frequently have to cover it up under layers of costume. I also believe that those going to the ballet purely for some sort of sexual gratification will be quickly bored & disappointed, go straight to the top shelf at their local newsagents, hopefully never to return. If the article convinces a younger generation of men to get into ballet with the same passion as rugby or football (I know I am) then it must be a good thing IMHO. Dancers deserve the same recognition (especially financial) as pro footballers, their dedication to their art is unique.
But how do others feel about this move by the AB and it's dancers? Is it sexy or sexist? Justification or desperation? Will it attract the right audience - and what is the right audience? Are we just too stuffy over here?
Your opinions please!