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The Big Ballet

Cadmus sent over a link to a Daily Mail piece on Russia's Big Ballet, a group of fat ballerinas. They're embarking on their first UK tour. It'd be nice if the article was a little, ah, less condescending though. It starts:

Thundering onto stage, their size-22 costumes straining at the seams, this troupe of outsized dancers are, quite literally, the biggest ballet stars you are ever likely to see.

Surely these dancers have clothes that fit, yes? Then why are their costumes "straining at the seams"? Oh, right, because that's how fat people wear clothes... I forgot! Sheesh. And "thundering" onto stage?

"They're really very fit and supple, there's no breathlessness and there are medics on hand to make sure no one is straining their heart or joints," says UK tour publicist Dion Clements.

This is good, and all, but I wonder: are there medics on hand for ballerinas who aren't fat? (I genuinely don't know... does anyone?)

One member, Katya Yurkowa, says: "From childhood, all of us were large and often taunted as children. I've always loved to dance, so Big Ballet was a great opportunity for me.

"It's hard being teased your whole life then finding the confidence to go on stage and perform in front of so many people, but now I have it and I am so happy.

"We hope we are helping to change the public perception about larger people and encourage big children to take part in sport and dance."

Overall, it is positive to see The Big Ballet out there - overwhelmingly positive. Just a shame that the article's author, Sarah Chalmers, couldn't stay away from a few quick jabs.

White House, Thin Market | 2007 NAAFA Conference: Chicago!

Jenny813 February 5th, 2007 | Link | are there medics on hand
are there medics on hand for ballerinas who aren't fat? Major ballet companies will have some semblence of a medical team on staff and on location for performances and practices. (My younger sister was a ballerina for nearly 2 decades.) There are so many accidental injuries that it's a bad business practice not to have at least a physical therapist on staff.
paul February 5th, 2007 | Link | Thanks for the info! So it
Thanks for the info! So it sounds like SOP then, Jenny.
BabySeal February 5th, 2007 | Link | "are there medics on hand
"are there medics on hand for ballerinas who aren't fat?" My experience is limited to Indian classical dance but, while the troupe I'm friends with does not have a medic on staff, the person doing the lights and sounds is a former medical student and I know it for a fact that she'd be more than capable of handling an emergency till an ambulance arrived.
twincats February 6th, 2007 | Link | This is encouraging and I
This is encouraging and I hope they get to do a US tour soon. I have taken tap, jazz, Polynesian and belly dancing lessons, all as an adult (but before I got fat.) Polynesian was definitely my favorite because Hawaiian dancing makes me feel beautiful. I'll take lessons again whenever I have the time and finances to do it. Who knows? maybe you'll see a fat Polynesian dance troupe someday!
avianmooch February 6th, 2007 | Link | Hah! I love dancing of all
Hah! I love dancing of all kinds. I'm actually enrolled in a bellydancing class now, where being fat just means you gots more shimmy! I've started choreographing my moves, too.. Combining ballet with bellydance and Latin flavours of dance.
creeloo February 6th, 2007 | Link | The pictures I can find of
The pictures I can find of them, they all look so beautiful. I didn't see any tutus "straining at the seams" either. :P I really hope they tour here! The snide comments from the reporter add nothing to the story, they're just a sign of bad journalism. Stick to the facts and if you have to make something humorous don't make it juvenile taunts.
kali February 6th, 2007 | Link | I *love* this! I had no idea
I *love* this! I had no idea there were groups of large dancers until I found this site and the link to big dance. This is even more awesome! I started taking ballet and modern dance classes in college (sizes 9-16) and luckily have had such positive experiences (probably because no one expects much from adult beginners). Beautiful role models!
wallflower February 6th, 2007 | Link | I went to the last site,
I went to the last site, with the promos for booking tickets, and I think it's awesome but...why are they doing a "comedy ballet"? Fat people can't show off the serious fundimentals of dance and perform the classics? Or is it just that audiences don't have the staying power for classical ballet without rubber chickens anymore?
JeanC February 6th, 2007 | Link | Here is another site with
Here is another site with info and pics you can download: I've been rotating a number of the pics as my desktop background :D
Rapieress February 8th, 2007 | Link | I think this is great. I
I think this is great. I went to a meeting in a local small museum here in Northern California where artists had scetched penciled nudes of women sizes 14 and up. They were so beautiful. I was struck by the beauty of these different women and then saddened when I realize how little of "real beauty" we see here. Catherine
corinna February 22nd, 2007 | Link | all the reports I read of
all the reports I read of the company used the same language. It's a backhanded way of being anti-fat but hopefully the positive message of the company will shine through.

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