dfp_header_hidden_string

Get our free email newsletter with just one click

Darcey Bussell: ‘Girls are now finding it hard to keep up with the guys’ in classical ballet

Darcey Bussell speaking at the launch of ImagineNation in Westminster. Photo: Cultural Learning Alliance Darcey Bussell speaking at the launch of ImagineNation in Westminster in 2017. Photo: Cultural Learning Alliance
by -

Retired ballerina Darcey Bussell has said that women are now struggling to keep up with the technical and physical abilities of men in classical ballet.

The comments were made at the Oxford Literary Festival and reported in the Times, with Bussell arguing that ballet had “always been a woman’s art, they were the main muse … men were there just to be this extraordinary crutch”.

As reported in the Times, Bussell said classics such as Giselle, Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake had strong, dominant roles for women, with the male roles there “to make the women look as good as they could”.

She argued that the creation of “amazing” ballets with more equally weighted roles, such as Manon and Mayerling, had helped lead to a “transformation”, but that it had sometimes been at a cost for women dancers.

She added: “I knew how tough it was for men I danced with, but then I have seen this transformation where works have been created just for men.

“I see incredible talent with the men nowadays and, actually, the girls coming through are finding it hard to keep up with the guys.”

Darcey Bussell and Fiona Shaw back ‘call to arms’ for arts education

We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.

loading...
^