Forum: Ballet / Ballet Videos

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Ballet Videos
Ballet in pop culch - Taylor Swift's Shake It Off
By Storm_Trouper Comments: 808, member since Mon May 21, 2012
On Fri Jan 30, 2015 12:11 AM

This music video features ballet cliches.
m.youtube.com . . .

25 Replies to Ballet in pop culch - Taylor Swift's Shake It Off

re: Ballet in pop culch - Taylor Swift's Shake It Off
By SandraLAVixenmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 904, member since Tue Jul 18, 2006
On Fri Jan 30, 2015 07:55 PM
Yikes O.O

At least the other dancers were trained. :) I wonder how much money went into that shoot, looks at least 20k for the costumes and performers. Not really sure what to feel.
re: Ballet in pop culch - Taylor Swift's Shake It Off
By Serendipity42Premium member Comments: 2267, member since Sun Aug 16, 2009
On Fri Jan 30, 2015 08:08 PM
Very cute video. Can't stand the song, but those with a sense of humor can easily see Swift was playing her part for comedy.
re: Ballet in pop culch - Taylor Swift's Shake It Off
By Tishwah Comments: 586, member since Sun May 17, 2009
On Fri Jan 30, 2015 09:37 PM
I love this video, playing with ALL the dancer stereotypes really. I think I read that it is the Miami City Ballet corps? So a legit company in the Ballet section :D
re: Ballet in pop culch - Taylor Swift's Shake It Off (karma: 1)
By SwordInStone Comments: 192, member since Thu Aug 11, 2011
On Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:34 AM
Edited by SwordInStone (239239) on 2015-02-01 11:35:44 Autocorrect messed up my spelling, sorry.
Edited by SwordInStone (239239) on 2015-02-01 11:50:20
I don't get it. What with Black Swan and Ballet Beautiful and now this video--people actually think we're all like that. It's fine for Taylor Swift to be funny, but you see, these stereotypes show ballet dancers as humourless, prim and proper swan princess types. And then our classmates think we're frigid and lame, and the boys get scared off by it.

Of course there are girls who are into this image, but come on, it's annoying sometimes, if the public thinks it's the only image that exists. I've always been a tomboy, I got into ballet for the music and to tell stories, not to look graceful in a tutu. And people either assume I'm a girly girl or that I'm joking about ballet. There was a classmate who danced as badly as the girl in the Free People ad, but presented herself as the perfect Ballet Beautiful bun headed ballerina, so a bunch of out peers thought ballet took no effort and was dainty and girls all the time. And there I was, missing three toenails and shooting sweat everywhere during the codas, and the boys at school somehow thought that wasn't a part of ballet. Well, what is it, then? Wrestling?

In any case, this type of image limits ballet's narrative potential. We're not here so we can be pretty, so we can twirl around like the figurine in a music box. We're here because we want to become part of the music that's even more fleeting otherwise, or to do something physical with our bodies to remind us and our audience that we're alive. Ballet isn't escapist, it doesn't rely solely on form and tradition.

Besides, how many professional dancers are that girly? I think I've seen one who corresponds to the stereotype, but in general the dancers I've met are no-nonsense, tough sorts who aren't dainty or excessively girly because how could they have made it if they were? I think it's mostly the non-dancers who indulge in these stereotypes anyway.

What really gets me is that they show ballet as emotionally restrained. Ditto with classical music. I can't imagine anything more emotional (but focused, unlike a tantrum), visceral and intense than ballet, and while the stereotypes might be fun once in awhile, it gets awfully stifling to have to deal with them all the freaking time!

Sorry about that, I just lost it.

Here's a different video:

www.youtube.com . . .

Whole ballet: www.youtube.com . . .
re: Ballet in pop culch - Taylor Swift's Shake It Off
By Serendipity42Premium member Comments: 2267, member since Sun Aug 16, 2009
On Sun Feb 01, 2015 03:24 PM
This one is my all-time favorite:

m.youtube.com . . .
re: Ballet in pop culch - Taylor Swift's Shake It Off
By SandraLAVixenmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 904, member since Tue Jul 18, 2006
On Sun Feb 01, 2015 04:30 PM
This IS ballet:
youtube.com . . .

Uliana Lopatkina playing a tribute to Anna Pavlova. :)

Absolute work of art!!
re: Ballet in pop culch - Taylor Swift's Shake It Off
By hummingbird Comments: 10413, member since Mon Apr 18, 2005
On Sun Feb 01, 2015 05:24 PM
Serendipity42 wrote:

This one is my all-time favorite:

m.youtube.com . . .


I remember that advert!

Most of the guys I danced with openly admitted they got into dancing because they knew they were going to be the only guy in a room of girls :D
re: Ballet in pop culch - Taylor Swift's Shake It Off
By Serendipity42Premium member Comments: 2267, member since Sun Aug 16, 2009
On Sun Feb 01, 2015 06:34 PM
lol!
re: Ballet in pop culch - Taylor Swift's Shake It Off
By Storm_Trouper Comments: 808, member since Mon May 21, 2012
On Thu Feb 05, 2015 02:20 AM
Edited by Storm_Trouper (249942) on 2015-02-05 02:21:58
SwordInStone, I wonder if you'd have preferred to have had no ballet references incorporated into the mix whatsoever.

That bier ad is from ~2008(posted). I'm of the generation (era) where playing the 'rooster in the hen house' / ballet classmates as harem card is a useful euphemism for 'even though I plier wearing tights I'm str8', a talisman against sexist stereotypes. Nowadays the social landscape in some parts of North America at least is giving way to questioning hetero binary normative stereotypes of old in our actually quite diverse culture, such as this HuffPost piece enlightens.
www.huffingtonpost.com . . .
re: Ballet in pop culch - Taylor Swift's Shake It Off
By SwordInStone Comments: 192, member since Thu Aug 11, 2011
On Thu Feb 05, 2015 06:21 AM
Hi, Storm_Trouper!

I do like references to ballet to make it look less exclusive (is that the right word? Approachable? Mainstream? Popular.), but it would be nice if these little references were more diverse than what the public is already familiar with.

For example, there was a Russian culture teacher in college who showed a lot of very classical ballet clips. Sleeping Beauty third act, things like that. The kids were yawning openly and laughed at me for liking ballet. Then one day the teacher showed a pas de deux from Spartacus, and some people were amazed, said they didn't know ballet could be so exciting. Then I show them the Russian dance from Royal Ballet's Nutcracker, MacGregor's Chroma, clips from The Judas Tree, MacMillain's Romeo and Juliet and some other stuff I can't remember. They were surprised and liked ballet a lot more.

I guess that's what I meant. Would really love to see more neoclassical or contemporary ballet in pop culture, or at least the super classical stuff presented in a more exciting way. Sorry if I seemed humourless, I didn't mean to be rude.
re: Ballet in pop culch - Taylor Swift's Shake It Off
By Gavrilushka Comments: 872, member since Wed Jul 11, 2012
On Thu Feb 05, 2015 07:21 AM
I prefer this use of ballet in a commercial for Levis Jeans. :)

www.youtube.com . . .

I want a pair now! They must be super stretchy if you can do that!
re: Ballet in pop culch - Taylor Swift's Shake It Off
By SwordInStone Comments: 192, member since Thu Aug 11, 2011
On Thu Feb 05, 2015 07:33 AM
Wow, that is a GOOD one.
re: Ballet in pop culch - Taylor Swift's Shake It Off
By SandraLAVixenmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 904, member since Tue Jul 18, 2006
On Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:26 AM
SwordInStone wrote:


For example, there was a Russian culture teacher in college who showed a lot of very classical ballet clips. Sleeping Beauty third act, things like that. The kids were yawning openly and laughed at me for liking ballet. Then one day the teacher showed a pas de deux from Spartacus, and some people were amazed, said they didn't know ballet could be so exciting. Then I show them the Russian dance from Royal Ballet's Nutcracker, MacGregor's Chroma, clips from The Judas Tree, MacMillain's Romeo and Juliet and some other stuff I can't remember. They were surprised and liked ballet a lot more.

I guess that's what I meant. Would really love to see more neoclassical or contemporary ballet in pop culture, or at least the super classical stuff presented in a more exciting way. Sorry if I seemed humourless, I didn't mean to be rude.


Not at all, I understand the feeling too, I think ballet is portrayed in such a bizare way in the west.

I don't think there is nothing wrong with it, but the problem is that ballet is always portrayed as some obscure comedy in pop culture. I worked with many directors of varying levels of education and exposure, there are those who are less experienced and not so well educated who portray ballet that way. Then there are those who do understand but avoid the use of classical arts all together simply because they are smart enough to know it doesn�t make any money (which is sad).
re: Ballet in pop culch - Taylor Swift's Shake It Off
By Storm_Trouper Comments: 808, member since Mon May 21, 2012
On Thu Feb 05, 2015 06:01 PM
Edited by Storm_Trouper (249942) on 2015-02-05 18:03:06
Edited by Storm_Trouper (249942) on 2015-02-05 18:05:53
Do you mean that you don't see anything wrong with the video's use of ballet cliches?
(If you don't think there is nothing wrong with it, then perhaps you do think that there's something that is wrong.) I'm confused by your dubneg.

All generalizations* based on such very limited sample sizes are unreliable... *including this one.
re: Ballet in pop culch - Taylor Swift's Shake It Off
By SandraLAVixenmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 904, member since Tue Jul 18, 2006
On Thu Feb 05, 2015 09:47 PM
Taylor Swift can and has the right to make any video she wants (there is nothing wrong with that)

She probably should not make a video that portrays a topic that would only further skew it inaccurately to a mass audience (she should not do it).

Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.
re: Ballet in pop culch - Taylor Swift's Shake It Off (karma: 1)
By AlwaysOnStagePremium member Comments: 7417, member since Sun Apr 18, 2004
On Fri Feb 06, 2015 01:07 PM
The point wasn't the dance styles themselves, they were used to represent "fitting in" or "measuring up"....we're talking about ballet here, but there were a lot of other dance cultures in that video.

If anyone takes 30 seconds of video as representative as a culture and all of the people who subscribe to it is being silly.
Do we suddenly think that everyone who can twerk wears cutoff short shorts and leopard print jackets? Modern dancers only wear shades of grey and do serious faces while they reach and contract?

I think this is a mountain out of a molehill situation. The greater message is letting little stuff go, being confident in who you are regardless of what others think. The graphic representation of that included homogeneous and easily identifiable groups that she was unable to conform to. I don't think it matters much that it was dancing groups...it could have just as easily been school groups (Jocks, Cheerleaders, Goths, Nerds, Smokers, etc) or sports groups (soccer, football, tennis), or hobby groups (jogging, puzzles, larping, painting). She just liked dancing, and wanted to do a video where she got to do it.
re: Ballet in pop culch - Taylor Swift's Shake It Off
By SandraLAVixenmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 904, member since Tue Jul 18, 2006
On Fri Feb 06, 2015 01:54 PM
It would be great if everyone took the time to look at material objectionably, it really would.

But that is not how the real world works (at least not in the west). Most people reading this have a fairly decent idea of what dance really is.

But the general western population has no clue about ballet and dance. Their only source of information is often media, which portrays it as silly, impulsive, immature, shallow, fast, and drama-filled. Examples; Breaking Pointe, Dance Moms, Dancing with the Stars, etc (SYTYCD is somewhat more reputable.

If someone can find it, there was a cell phone commercial of this black girl who went all the way to some school in Russia, was told she was terrible, and gave up ballet, went back to America, bought a cell phone, and then walks around saying "hey were you at". That commercial was really just "terrible".

The Film/TV/Commercial industry has become a powerful influential role in the education of Americans (in addition to the Internet, peers, and occasionally schools).

With that much power, I think one needs to be more responsible with their creative content. Even if it's legal and free speech, doesn�t mean you should be irresponsible with it.
re: Ballet in pop culch - Taylor Swift's Shake It Off (karma: 2)
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 5889, member since Sat Sep 29, 2007
On Fri Feb 06, 2015 03:33 PM
...and here I was thinking the video was funny.
re: Ballet in pop culch - Taylor Swift's Shake It Off (karma: 1)
By Sumayah Comments: 6875, member since Wed Nov 12, 2008
On Fri Feb 06, 2015 09:59 PM
Yup, I'm with you. I thought it was hilarious. She brought in skilled dancers from all genres, made fun of herself, not them by being ridiculous, and showcased some great dancers and athletes. I'm actually not a Taylor Swift fan, but the video made me dig the song. 10/10 would recommend.
re: Ballet in pop culch - Taylor Swift's Shake It Off
By popergerm Comments: 760, member since Tue Apr 26, 2005
On Sat Feb 07, 2015 01:12 AM
its a cute number, bad to get started dancing like that those kind of shoes are not toys, but raw dance, a number or mattias eck numbers are very raw, almost irreverant.

But if you want alluring, look at some of the stuff with roland pettit and his wife zizi jeanmarie, black tights, carman, and the young man and the death are not standard kids stuff, there is a lot of sexual tension in the numbers

another ballet related number is the song black widow but I hated the costuming at the mtv music video awards, and that irretating pretentious clapping like they are doing flemanco when they are not
re: Ballet in pop culch - Taylor Swift's Shake It Off
By SwordInStone Comments: 192, member since Thu Aug 11, 2011
On Sat Feb 07, 2015 03:47 AM
Sumayah wrote:

She brought in skilled dancers from all genres, made fun of herself, not them by being ridiculous, and showcased some great dancers and athletes.


Yeah, that's the thing. The other dancers looked great, and ballet could have looked a lot better. Not saying the ballet dancers were bad at all, only that they could have danced more. Instead they posed a lot.

Of course this video isn't representative of a whole culture. It's just that when I saw the white tutus with the barre (which don't actually go together, but are both ballet cliches, right?), I said, oof, there it is again.

I'm not mad at the video, but if for once the ballet isn't Swan Lake, just once...even if it's Giselle...
re: Ballet in pop culch - Taylor Swift's Shake It Off
By Sumayah Comments: 6875, member since Wed Nov 12, 2008
On Sat Feb 07, 2015 07:31 AM
SwordInStone wrote:

Yeah, that's the thing. The other dancers looked great, and ballet could have looked a lot better. Not saying the ballet dancers were bad at all, only that they could have danced more. Instead they posed a lot.

Of course this video isn't representative of a whole culture. It's just that when I saw the white tutus with the barre (which don't actually go together, but are both ballet cliches, right?), I said, oof, there it is again.

I'm not mad at the video, but if for once the ballet isn't Swan Lake, just once...even if it's Giselle...


Contemporary dancers don't always wear grey or other neutrals. I mean they do, a lot, enough for it to be the identifier of the contemporary dancers in the video. I've never met a hip hop dancers embrace metalics except ithe ones in music videos, and since music videos have formed the general public's view of hip hop, let's break out the silver lamé. Swan Lake is an easy identifier of ballet, plus it has the benefit of being very matchy and having pancake tutus (the shake it thing wouldn't have worked so well in a romantic tutu). Yeah they're all stereotypes, but that's the point. Sia has been using Dance Mom's Maddie for her videos, Sting used Alessandra Ferri for his. There are music videos that showcase dancers dancing, this one showcases Taylor Swift and happens to have dancers in it. There's a difference.
re: Ballet in pop culch - Taylor Swift's Shake It Off
By SwordInStone Comments: 192, member since Thu Aug 11, 2011
On Sat Feb 07, 2015 08:38 AM
Edited by SwordInStone (239239) on 2015-02-07 08:39:48
I don't know if lyrical and hip-hop dancers roll their eyes at stereotypes too, but okay, okay, I get it, sorry.
re: Ballet in pop culch - Taylor Swift's Shake It Off
By lafifille Comments: 4, member since Sat Feb 07, 2015
On Sat Feb 07, 2015 05:39 PM
Just going to put it out there that the alternative (in terms of ballet portrayed in music videos) is Jenna Rose's 'OMG'.
Which... just, God, no, please.
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