Sunday, November 27, 2011

Goths and Ballet

I have always been facinated with dance. I have studied Jazz Ballet, Contemporary, Irish, Hip Hop, Jazz, Ballroom, Bellydance and Latin for varying periods of time, the longest being 12 years. So, naturally, dance and dance related things have always been very close to my heart.
Ballet, for me, was always out of the question. I'm rather tall, with a large bust (sorry for being frank) and solid- ish legs. When I turned 17 I became rather slender and women tend to do, but I will never be skinny and petite which is rather a requirement of ballet. This has frustrated me because I love ballet. I really think it is a beautiful form of dance.

When people think of ballet they imagine a prima balllerina dressed in white with a stiff tutu and hair in a bun. This is a true image of ballet in the traditional sense.
But ballet has expanded and grown, as alll art forms do, into contemporary ballet which is modern, unconventional yet just a dramatic and mysterious.
 None the less, ballet has always been beautiful, dramatic and with a focus on 'line'. There is also a sensuality about ballet, in the lightness of the movements and the lines the body creates. Ballet forces the body into positions it is not designed to be in. This makes ballet a very unhealthy form of dance, but with an element of fantasy and the surreal.

Ballet's appeal to Goths, I believe, lies in this fantastic, dream like quality.

Google 'Goth Ballet' and you will find dozens of pictures similar to this...
While these sorts of shoes a clearly ballet inspired and very pretty, they are without question fetish shoes and so may not be appropriate for everyone. (I should add that these shoes are not designed to be walked in. They are for show only.) However, Google 'Gothic Ballet' (Isn't is amazing how a few letters can change the meaning) and you will find many beautiful pictures...
 All of these pictures, and there are hundreds more, have a dark, romantic quality about them. A touch of sadness or an air of danger, yet they are still 'ballet'. There is also a distinct contrast between this and traditional ballet, through the use of lighting, colour, symbolism and/ or texture.

Ballet can incorperated into fashion easilly. I feel this is similar to Lolita fashion styles, with more flow and something of a simplication. Ribbons and stocking are items that are often found in wardrobes, and are perfect. Tutus, flowing skirts that go to the knee and shorter hoop skirts are also perfect. Singlets, corsets (to the looney in the back, of course you cannot dance ballet in a corset. It's just for show), plain t shirts and flowing loose shirts are good for top clothing. Colour wise, ballet often features pastel and pale neutral colours such as ivory. While these can be very effective as Gothic attire, perhaps you would feel more comfortable in black, grey, charcoal or even neon colours. Hair can be arranged in a bun, neat or deconstructed, or in an elaborate up do and secured with nets, ribbons or pins. In a performance, hair will always be off the face, but really you can have your hair however you like.
The 'Gothic' nature is really brought out through contrast. For example, stocking can be ripped and distressed, clothes can be stained, torn and embellished, huge chunky boots can be paired with pastel stockings and neat hair... The combinations are endless and any amount of DIY creativity can bring a ballet costume, or ballet inspired garb to be spooky, cute, mysterious, dark or even sexy, depending on your personality.
(Sorry for any ballet loving Cybergoths reading this. I'm not all that experienced with Cyber fashion, but I'm positive it can work. Oh, and if someone ever composed a ballet featuring vampires and droids I really would love them for ever.)

I don't encourage everyone to suddenly stop what they're doing and take ballet lessons and I'm certainly not supporting the idea that you must be rail thin in order to enjoy this look. That would be foolish and very unrealistic. Instead I think that the grace, elegance and attention to detail can be incorperated into our everyday dress, manner and lifestyle.

xxx Lilly


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  2. Ah yes, the dying swan, the beautifully exotic costumes in early 1900's Ballet Russe... ah yes it does epitomise the dark, romance of Goth. Beautiful post and divine photographs... do you mind if I share this on my FB page?

  3. @Demon Lily- Thankyou, and share this page by all means. Thanks for asking, too. xxx