Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Tragic Art

Physically exhausting and mentally taxing; the life of a ballet dancer is of endless fascination to the spectactors and speculators upon us. Few other subjects draw such passionate praise and blame from fans and casual observers alike, with the small matters of aseticism and sacrifice dividing the groups.

Waldemar Januszczck's review of Sam Taylor-Wood's latest exhibition pays heed to the tragic nature of our most demanding art and the dedication devoted to defying gravity.

He postulates that gravity is a fact of life and ballet dancers fight hardest against it, with eating disorders and excessive exercise amongst an arsenal of carefully-honed weapons. His equation of weightlessness with innocence and divinity is unsettling when considering that 'death' is the only method certain to achieve this effect.

The martyr complex is definitely worth thinking about if we are to find the solution to the Anorexic Experience.

3 comments:

aj said...

Apparently ballet dancers also get gout, from a diet of Bollinger!

S said...

Probably explains why a certain girl in our year is always in the pub.

More seriously, an ex-dancer came to my mother's psych clinic. She'd not eaten dinner for 30 years out of sheer vanity. The result was cerebellar degeneration aged 45.

Giskin said...

One of the most memorable books I've read is "Dancing on my Grave" by Gelsey Kirkland. It is revealing of the obsessive nature of the ballet world in general. Yet someone like Darcey Bussell seems so normal!