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HSG
9th September 2007, 17:18
<br>Although one cannot help but adore classical <strong>ballet</strong> (the graceful movements, the feminine costumes, the powerful music--some of the greatest symphonic scores ever composed), the art-form is blighted by the ghastly appearance of its prima ballerinas, who look painfully brittle and malnourished.

When one stops to reflect upon the matter, it makes no sense whatsoever for ballerinas to be so skeletal. The movements in ballet are languid, voluptuous, and sensual--qualities that are inherently associated with plus-size beauty. And full-figured women are innately beautiful dancers, genetically predisposed to move in graceful, indolent, languorous ways.

It is in the nature of voluptuous vixens to be completely in tune with their physical selves--to surrender blissfully to their bodies' desires for food, and to be in total harmony with the motions and rhythms of their womanly physiques. Thus, they are dancers-in-the-making from the day that they are born.

Although ballerinas require considerable training to learn the art's formal movements and steps, the visual appeal of ballet is based on a deceptive appearance of ease and effortlessness. This, too, suggests that plus-size goddesses would make ideal ballerinas, since they are naturally inclined to move in leisurely ways that suggest a luxurious absence of exertion.

With this in mind, we are pleased to share three experimental photographs of plus-size model Courtney Hanneman. Fans may remember Courtney from her work for Bealls Florida several seasons ago, which received enthusiastic praise on our forum:<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/courtneybealls02a.jpg"></center><p>Here, she executes several textbook ballet positions, and the results are visual marvels.

First, Courtney displays perhaps the most famous of ballet movements--the celebrated <strong>arabesque</strong>.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/chdance01.jpg"></center><p>From a distance, the lyricism of the pose impresses itself on the eye, as it would if it were executed by a modern ballerina.

But look what a revelation it is to see the image somewhat closer:<p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/chdance01a.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/chdance01b.jpg" alt="Click to enlarge" border="0"></a></center><p>The nearer view shows us how much more sensual an art-form ballet would be, if it featured fuller-figured dancers. The roundness of the model's limbs, the rich opulence of her silhouette, are pleasing to the eye--augmenting the aesthetic appeal of the movement. One senses the seductive weight of the model's body, her intense physicality.

An even closer view (and remember, ballet originated in the intimate settings of the French court) is still more revealing:<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/chdance01c.jpg"></center><p>The swell of the model's waist, her full facial features, her generous feminine contours, enhance the beauty of the position. The nature of this balletic movement suddenly makes sense in a way that it never did before, even to aficionados of the art-form--it was designed to exhibit the beauty of the well-fed womanly figure, to showcase its generous charms.

In the following image, Courtney displays a perfect example of ballet's <strong>fifth position</strong>.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/chdance02.jpg"></center><p>Again, the distant view displays the beauty of the pose itself--but even here, the benefits of seeing it executed by a model with a substantial figure are apparent. There is a monumental quality to the silhouette, closely resembling the proportions of a Ancient Greek statue of Aphrodite (and note that Courtney possesses one of the most Classically-proportioned figures this side of Barbara Brickner and Christina Schmidt). <p><center><a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/chdance02a.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/chdance02b.jpg" alt="Click to enlarge" border="0"></a></center><p>Of course, Classical art was held in the highest esteem in French royal circles, so the impulse to bring this statuary to life, in the form of dance, would have been very much present at the Bourbon court.

Now, observe the image up close:<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/chdance02c.jpg"></center><p>Here we see the added attractions of the model's softly rounded limbs. Again, the image is a revelation--suggesting that the pose was expressly devised to showcase the considerable charms of dancers' figures, from full arms to generous busts to womanly hips--at a time when dancers would have boasted proportions as opulent as Courtney's.

And finally, we see the model in the midst of a <strong>développé</strong>.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/chdance03.jpg"></center><p>For all of its innate beauty, ballet can sometimes appear mechanical and robotic when it is enacted by starving, stick-figure waifs. But the same positions, when performed by a model with a figure as luscious as Courtney's, suddenly take on a new life and vitality. The aesthetic impression becomes one of voluptuousness and pleasure, a luxurious enjoyment of life's bounty.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/forum/chdance03a.jpg"></center><p>The only pity is that the model performed these movements in slacks rather than in a ballet costume, which would have revealed her own most gorgeous feature (and that of many accomplished dancers)--her full, curvy legs.<p><center>* * *</center><p>Like the fashion industry, ballet has the potential to create ravishing presentations of feminine beauty, but this potential is sabotaged by the toxic presence of the underweight aesthetic. The worship of emaciation undermines both of these art-forms, and prevents them from becoming what they were meant to be--celebrations of full-figured femininity.

We are grateful to Courtney for her dance photographs, which show just how gorgeous an art-form ballet could be, if it were performed by Classically-proportioned goddesses.