The Science of Ballet
July 15, 2018 5:38 PM   Subscribe

“We are starting to quantify ballet,” he explains. “What are the dancers’ physical requirements? How many jumps will they do? What are their rest intervals?

That last one is easy, every time the music stops in rehearsal, sprawled human blobs every which way, stretching a bit but basically a large rehearsal floor covered with dancers.
posted by sammyo at 6:05 PM on July 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

That’s a nice story. It would be really nice if talented young people destroying their bodies and lives on altars could become a thing of the past. It’s crazy and unnecessary what we put people through and what people have to do to be successful. In any industry you can think of. Dance, sports, medicine, animation, you name it, people are out there grinding up their own bones because that’s what’s expected of them and it’s a sick system. I’m glad to see that stuff like described in this article is out there and recognized for what it is which is helping people do their thing.
posted by bleep at 11:18 PM on July 15, 2018 [6 favorites]

I loved reading about the way the dancers think about the mechanics of their bodies and use the knowledge gained through strength training to change their dancing.
posted by congen at 1:05 AM on July 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

This was a great read. I love how easily some of the dancers have embraced it, and that the dance company was able to fund it so completely. I'm not sure if it didn't happen or if the topic was quietly avoided, but foundational changes like this can often encounter huge resistance and the story here was much more pleasant than that.

The real effects of this program, however, won't be felt until some of their staff has been poached by other companies and the work is replicated all over the world. To @bleep's point above, this is the sort of fundamental information that can go into a book that can change how ballet is taught everywhere. Not every small studio in the Midwest is going to be buying the magic pneumatic booties to squeeze out waste from tired muscles, but a clearer understanding of the role of weight training and changing which muscles are used in which jumps can happen at any level of dance and begin to reduce injuries almost immediately. Bravo!
posted by Cris E at 12:57 PM on July 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

This is so cool. Thanks for posting!
posted by insectosaurus at 2:17 PM on July 16, 2018

Thanks for posting! My young daughter is a ballerina, so I see a small amateur piece of this world up close. It’s remarkable.
posted by hockeyfan at 6:23 PM on July 16, 2018

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