Except in SL, this is NOT my body shape–a simple fact that haunted me greatly when I was young and trying to Dance. To this day, I remember some sadistic teacher pointing out to an entire class that I had “a short neck”. But this is the herd-like aspect of ballet that I came to abhor. This goes well beyond an individual pursuing a hobby for which she is not suited — it is a facet of the larger syndrome that makes women despise their own perfectly normal and lovely bodies.
Because, you know, ( Mr. Ballanchine, I am talking to you.) I AM NOT UGLY. Ballanchine married four times in his life, all to dancers, and his liaisons with members of his corps amounted to droit du seigneur privileges. He was so enraged when Suzanne Farrell married, that he fired her from the company at the peak of her career. His iconic style of choreography involved “de-individualizing” his dancers. A woman was not a woman, one feels he’s saying, but a brushstroke. They were, like his wives, interchangeable. His corps de ballet moved around the stage in abstract patterns. Only his own idiosyncrasy was considered worthy of celebration.
In an accident of time and place, Ballanchine’s narcissism proved extremely influential in the culture. His ideal body, an echo of other iterations, broadcasted through art and advertising, was the source of suffering and even illness for women trying to somehow become what they would never be, in the process, tragically ignoring what they actually were: people with their own beauty, deserving of love.
And in SL? Seems you have a dys/utopian choice there. So, Reader, I chose Beauty. Ballanchine wins in the end?