ele-bee: Xiao Nan Yu of The National Ballet of Canada and Nehemiah Kish (now with The Royal Ballet) in Christopher Wheeldon’s “Polyphonia.” Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann.

ele-bee: Xiao Nan Yu of The National Ballet of Canada and Nehemiah Kish (now with The Royal Ballet) in Christopher Wheeldon’s “Polyphonia.” Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann.

Anonymous said: Why don't you answer some questions and why do you delete some?

Reasons why I may not have answered your question:

  • I’m overwhelmed by the number of asks in my inbox (currently ~1.6k). Sometimes I legitimately just missed it! If it’s dire, ask again.
  • I am still thinking about an answer for it.
  • The question is irrelevant, indiscernible, or otherwise deemed inappropriate within the context of this blog. 

I occasionally delete questions to reduce the clutter on the blog. I usually only delete them if I feel they are super specific/won’t be helpful to a lot of people. 

Anonymous said: Do you agree that most of dancers nowadays can't express emotions on stage, are too mechanical, and all they have is a technique? Cause someone told me this, i just want to know your opinion on this.

No, I wouldn’t agree with such a blanket statement. There are hundreds of professional companies all around the world & each has a different aesthetic; some are more technical, some are more theatrical. Of course within those, each individual dancer has a different stylistic aesthetic as well, so to me, “most” is too all-encompassing.

Many young dancers don’t have a strong enough hold on technique to perform emotionally. Although there are some young dancers who naturally possess particular charisma & acting ability, I don’t think the majority can be entirely successful dancing an expressive piece until they have a firm control of technique. Once the cognitive space previously used for remembering technical things is freed up, it’s easier to focus on emotional expression.

George Balanchine’s Serenade ©The George Balanchine Trust. Photo by Gene Schiavone

George Balanchine’s Serenade ©The George Balanchine Trust. Photo by Gene Schiavone

Anonymous said: I mean do they actually stand on the tops of their toes like a ballet dancer, do their feet look like this www(.)chanhongoh(.)com/images/diamond_xray(.)jpg And also some irish dancers (my friends) claim they could go easily en pointe but... i think it's very unfair and insulting for ballet dancers and simply not true?

Oh, yes they do actually stand on their toes. Irish hard shoes are built in a way that facilitates it.

 They don’t typically stay up for as long as ballet dancers do; it’s not really the same. I mean, I’ve seen people go en pointe without shoes but it’s typically very brief.

 

Anonymous said: Do you know if Irish dancers go on pointe in the same way what ballet dancers?

How do you mean “the same way”? There are major differences in technique & their hard shoes are built in a completely different way. I don’t know any serious specifics though, my expertise in Irish step doesn’t go beyond watching them rehearse in my old studio’s rental room & seeing one performance in Galway! Oh actually, one summer intensive I attended taught us a bit of Irish step for a week but it was only soft shoe. 

Christine Winkler as Cinderella in Atlanta Ballet’s Cinderella. Photos by Charlie McCullers.

Christine Winkler as Cinderella in Atlanta Ballet’s Cinderella. Photos by Charlie McCullers.