photography | Mila Ritz
words | Sherry Johnson
It’s tricky to talk about sex in ballet because so many children are taught classical dance. The ballet schools are filled with pubescent girls. I understand that one wouldn’t want to make them overly aware of their sexual power, or the objectification that inevitably is visited on those whose art is their bodies. And yet they are being groomed as archetypes of conventional femininity. And they do have to go into that rehearsal room wearing very little.
People have said take a look at a video of the recently dismissed Royal Winnipeg Ballet dancer Jeppe Hansen as he practices his steps and does the splits, in his bulbous leotard, every muscle engorged. It has been comments saying it’s pretty much porn right there. What do you think? But nevertheless the poor guy was fired for making a little extra money on the side by starring in some explicit videos. Apparently sex is incompatible with such a purely cerebral activity as dancing.
How could these paragons of beauty, muscularity and grace not be seen as sexually desirable some might say. How can an art form that produced such sensual narratives as L’apres-midi d’un faune think itself above the erotic? But it has been argued that sex does ruin ballet, in this cleverly written and subtle novel, as the girl’s naive obsession starts to wreck the instructor’s life.
However, it is also shown to be so powerful and ubiquitous that it can’t be ignored. Some of the most strong and graceful professionals are in the ballet and you can not deny that strength, grace and power equates to Sex in this day and age. Can we just leave it as, ballet is great and graceful? Let's just enjoy the art form. -PQ