Rather sad, bleak and poignant interview, from 10 years ago, with the then-coryphee Yekaterina Kondaurova.
The bleak realities and psyche of a young, low-ranked member of major Russian company. She dances better with more weight now, it is impossible to have eating disorders and be a rank-climbing top soloist or principal in major companies. You will not have stamina and your technique will suffer. Kondaurova’s career skyrocketed after getting healthier weight but yet she is still thin compared to average population. But she does not look anorexic like this video anymore she looks wonderful for a ballerina.
After viewing this video I sat and wondered how she could possibly be dancing 12 hours a day and not eating at all. I have a job where I stand 8 hours a day. I often don’t get enough time to eat well. But I do eat; otherwise I’d collapse. Granted, I am in my fifties and not as strong as someone just 20 years old, but goodness…no one can not eat indefinitely.
I’ve watched very recent videos of Kondaurova and agree that she does look much more healthy now. Thank goodness. Some viewers have criticized her legs as being “heavy,” but heck…she’s 5’10”. She wouldn’t possibly be healthy dancing on sticks. Her legs look fine to me.
I have also wondered about this claim that they do not eat. Lopatkina allegedly only eats some porridge or something like that. It is just not physically possible to dance 8-12 hours a day and eat nothing. So they must be exaggerating?
Yeah, I heard somewhere that Lopatkina eats only grapefruit, which is even worse.
I don’t believe it for a minute.
First of all, although Kondaurova looked very, very scary-thin in that video, when her back was shown, you couldn’t see the ribs. This tells me that she was actually eating something now and then.
And as you say, it’s just not possible to dance most of the day every day and not eat. Just doesn’t happen.
I know Kondaurova says at one point in the video that she eats “once a day.” That’s interesting. You wanna know how sumo wrestlers get so fat? They eat once a day. In fact, eating less often is a GREAT way to gain weight, because your body goes into starvation mode and hangs onto everything you put in it.
But, your body can’t do that and meet a ballet’s physical demands at the same time (I daresay a sumo wrestler’s training is a bit less strenuous, but I’m not sure.) Collapse would surely result.
So I’m convinced that although she may have felt shy about eating on camera, this girl was eating SOMETHING. Maybe not enough, maybe not often enough. But she must have been eating.
BTW I saw a video of the POB. It seems they have a gourmet cafeteria. And none of their dancers are anything approaching fat.
The Romans ate once a day as well (something about digestion) and they survived. I think it is really more about caloric intake. I read that Michael Phelps had to eat 10,000 calories a day to keep weight on. Now obviously female dancers are not as big and don’t need as much muscle, but it show how much more a person has to eat to keep up a high level of activity.
I am sure they skimp on food during the day, but I also believe they must be eating at night after the show. I’m no doctor, but common sense and personal experience tells me they need more food than a grapefruit. A person working a desk job would not be able to sustain that, let alone a professional dancer.
It’s fine that she wants to say these things among her colleagues (who probably know its BS) but it is irresponsible that they portray this image to younger dancers. This culture of one-upping each other by claiming to eat less and less is detrimental to the art and has nothing to do with ballet.
Very interesting documentary to watch! However, having attended a professional ballet school and was dancing 7-8 hours a day, I was not eating nothing…. I admit that I did not eat very much, but it was more a question of what I was eating rather than the amount. (In graduating year I was 5’7 and weighed 48kg)
Comments are closed.