Saturday, October 22, 2016

Suzanne Farrell Ballet

I'm just leaving the Suzanne Farrell Ballet's presentation of a Balanchine three-fer: Danses Concertantes, Gounod Symphony, and Stars and Stripes. I really thought I was going to arrive late due to traffic, but I managed to get seated minutes before the lights dimmed. Whew!

I usually prefer story ballets, as I can get bored with nothing but patterns of dancers regardless of technical challenge. Danses Concertantes is an exception. I really enjoyed watching the trios do their thing. There was one duo; oddly I thought the male dancer of this duo was a bit uneven, doing some harder steps well then being shaky on simpler steps. But overall I really liked it a lot more than I expected to.

I expected to like Gounod Symphony more, as it's a classical ballet with lots of dancers. Technically they were very good, but I found myself thinking some of the principal parts were slowly paced. Maybe my preferences are shifting?

Stars and Stripes was fun. Despite the women's corp looking a bit like the June Taylor Dancers -- on pointe --  at the beginning, it got better and better. All in all a fun afternoon.

I do have one question, though. Why can't women jump? A man doing a tour jete has three movements: up, rotate, land. A woman doing the same step appears to do it as one motion, with the landing happening almost at the same time the other foot leaves the ground. Is this stylistic or a physical limitation?


  1. > I do have one question, though. Why can't women jump?

    “While males jumped higher than females in this study, this appears to be due to larger thigh and calf girth. When jump height was examined in relationship to girth, no gender differences were
    seen. These results correspond to the research by Golomer and associates2 and Harley and coworkers,6 which both found that jump height is linked to muscle mass.” … “In conclusion, jump height in ballet seems to be specific to gender and company position, with thigh and calf girth circumferences having a significant influence.” The complete article can be read at:

    Anthropometric Factors Affecting Vertical Jump Height in Ballet Dancers

    And of course, some dancers are just better jumpers, turners, etc. than others.



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