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Subject: "What's a male ballerina called?!" Archived thread - Read only
 
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Sharla

30-06-99, 07:52 AM (GMT)
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"What's a male ballerina called?!"
 
   My friends and I had a discussion yesterday about Ballet when we discovered that we could not think of the word for a male Ballerina or even if there is one. We could think of male performers but we were stumped when it came to thinking what a male ballerina is called. If you could help it would be appreciated. Thank you.

Sharla


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: What's a male ballerina called?! gerald dowler 30-06-99 1
     RE: What's a male ballerina called?! - and other similar que... jhanner 30-06-99 2
         RE: What's a male ballerina called?! - and other similar que... Jane 01-07-99 3
             RE: What's a male ballerina called?! - and other similar que... gerald dowler 01-07-99 4
                 RE: Prima ballerina assoluta Bruce Madmin 04-07-99 11
  RE: What's a male ballerina called?! alison 01-07-99 5
     RE: What's a male ballerina called?! Alexandra Tomalonis 02-07-99 6
         RE: What's a male ballerina called?! Juliet Shore 03-07-99 7
             RE: What's a male ballerina called?! Eugene Merrett 04-07-99 8
         RE: What's a male ballerina called?! Bruce Madmin 04-07-99 9
             RE: What's a male ballerina called?! Alexandra 05-07-99 12
  What's a ballerina? Bruce Madmin 04-07-99 10
     RE: What's a ballerina? Stephanie 07-07-99 13
         RE: What's a ballerina? alison 08-07-99 14

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gerald dowler

30-06-99, 07:59 AM (GMT)
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1. "RE: What's a male ballerina called?!"
In response to message #0
 
   A 'premier danseur', although a ballerino is grammatically if not balletically correct.


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jhanner

30-06-99, 09:30 PM (GMT)
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2. "RE: What's a male ballerina called?! - and other similar questions"
In response to message #1
 
   I have also seen references to male ballerinas as "danseur noble" - but this may be a company specific term. Can anyone enlighten me if this is the case?

On a similar theme, Is the term "prima ballerina assoluta" one that is only used in the UK (eg for Margot Fonteyn) or is it used elsewhere? Where did it originate


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Jane

01-07-99, 09:10 AM (GMT)
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3. "RE: What's a male ballerina called?! - and other similar questions"
In response to message #2
 
   A danseur noble is a particular sort of leading male dancer - roughly, the ones whose temperament, physique and style make them ideal as classical princes. There are few of them around these days - Thomas Edur is probably the best current example in this country.

'Prima ballerina assoluta' is a title originating in Russia in the 19th century, and was only offically awarded twice, to Legnani and Kschessinska. I think Fonteyn is the only Western ballerina to have been given the title, and that was when she was sixty and had virtually stopped dancing.


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gerald dowler

01-07-99, 09:57 AM (GMT)
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4. "RE: What's a male ballerina called?! - and other similar questions"
In response to message #3
 
   Yes indeed, a 'danseur noble' is essentially atype of male dancer, the archetypal 'prince'; graceful, manly, a perfect partner. This is essentially a rare category, perhaps Jonathan Cope is closest to ir at present in the RB. there are other types, like demi-caractere etc.
Regarding the status of 'assoluta', in the Imperial Russian ballet, the title was indeed only awarded twice (which is slightly contadictory as an 'assoluta' must, by definition, be peerless). Kschessinska was the 'assoluta' with Pavlova, Egorova, Karsavina, Preobajenskaya and Trefilova, as prime ballerine below her ! As for Fonteyn, she richly deserved her elevation.


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Bruce Madmin

04-07-99, 07:04 PM (GMT)
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11. "RE: Prima ballerina assoluta"
In response to message #4
 
   I seemed to recall some posts about this on aab and deja.com found 35 of which more then a handful are interesting. It's an interesting debate as to who should get one and who not. Anywhere is the deja.com link to pull up the relevant newsgroup posts...

www.deja.com//qs.xp?ST=PS&QRY=assoluta&defaultOp=AND&DBS=1&OP=dnquery.xp&LNG=english&subjects=&groups=alt.arts.ballet&authors=&fromdate=jan 1 1995&todate=&showsort=score&maxhits=25

er.. sorry it is not a hot link, but the funny syntax in the URL defeats our system for converting URLs. Just use copy and paste as normal...


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alison

01-07-99, 03:39 PM (GMT)
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5. "RE: What's a male ballerina called?!"
In response to message #0
 
   I'm afraid I've heard and seen the word "ballerino" used a number of times. It sounds so affected that it makes me want to wince. Yuck!


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Alexandra Tomalonis

02-07-99, 01:28 AM (GMT)
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6. "RE: What's a male ballerina called?!"
In response to message #5
 
   I've always wondered why people think "ballerino" is affected and "premier danseur" is not? I'll go with "premier danseur" if all of our "ballerinas" will convert to "premiere danseuse."

It's ballerino (grammatically and balletically, I think). Repeat: "I'm proud my son is a ballerino" seven times and it sounds just fine.

Alexandra


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Juliet Shore

03-07-99, 05:23 PM (GMT)
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7. "RE: What's a male ballerina called?!"
In response to message #6
 
   My son would never, ever speak to me again if I did this.

Not to mention my male friends who are dancers.

Sorry...


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Eugene Merrett

04-07-99, 12:00 PM (GMT)
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8. "RE: What's a male ballerina called?!"
In response to message #7
 
   What's a male ballerina called?

Answer-a very brave person!

It takes a considerable amount of courage to became a male dancer - you have to start young when all the peer pressure is on you. It is not exactly cool for a teenager to do ballet!

The financial rewards are slight but the physical demands are enormous. According to the American Medical Association only professional American football is more demanding.

A parent should should be very proud that there son has the guts to resist the peer pressure and endure the brutal hard work to be a dancer!


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Bruce Madmin

04-07-99, 06:18 PM (GMT)
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9. "RE: What's a male ballerina called?!"
In response to message #6
 
   >I've always wondered why people think "ballerino"
>is affected and "premier danseur" is
>not?

I think "ballerino" may be right, but then so are all those terrible variations on "Bravo". But they somehow (to me) they smack of cleverness, superiority and being a little too contrived. I'm not sure why we would want to introduce a new term when "premier danseur" has proved fine enough (on this side of the pond anyway!)


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Alexandra

05-07-99, 08:12 PM (GMT)
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12. "RE: What's a male ballerina called?!"
In response to message #9
 
   Well, it's really not a new term. It's an ancient and honorable term that got dropped in American and England in the early years of this century. It was used, at least in newspaper then; it's more a scholarly term now, but it is not a new one. Second, "premier danseur" (may not sound affected to you; does to me) is the rank BELOW than that of ballerina. In Paris Opera rankings, etoile is top, then premier danseur/danseuse. I think the French (at least, the few French dance people I know) translate "premier danseur" as "first soloist."

I know that "ballerino" or "primo ballerino" isn't common parlance (neither is "premier danseur" actually; try it at your next cocktail party). I have known several dancers to use it though -- Danish dancers, perhaps because Denmark was the last company to be ballerino-dominated (they're chary with the word "ballerina" there. They think the word "dancer" is masculine; women are "danserindes").

And that's the real problem. As someone pointed out on alt arts ballet when this topic came up last summer, English is not an inflected language -- or it's an imperfectly inflected one. I'd like a linguist explain why "dancer" didn't have its companion "danceress," the way "actor" has "actress" (in America now, "actresses" are calling themselves "female actors" or "actors." Odd).

It might be better -- much more egalitarian -- to just say "dancer" and "principal dancer."

Alexandra


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Bruce Madmin

04-07-99, 06:38 PM (GMT)
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10. "What's a ballerina?"
In response to message #0
 
   An extension to this question... when does a dancer become a ballerina?


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Stephanie

07-07-99, 01:55 PM (GMT)
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13. "RE: What's a ballerina?"
In response to message #10
 
   Surely isn't it when a dancer joins an actually ballet company?


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alison

08-07-99, 12:07 PM (GMT)
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14. "RE: What's a ballerina?"
In response to message #13
 
   Well, depending on what part of the press you represent, it may be any tiny tot (female, of course!) who's been learning ballet for, oh, at least six months ... and especially ones who have got to the stage where they are considering early professional training. My local paper occasionally has stories about "ballerina unable to get funding", and then you discover that she's about to enter the first year at one of the schools that take children from the age of 11!


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