Auguste Vestris


Critiques / Reviews

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Let’s talk Turkey !
Wayne McGregor & the Breakfast Oyster at the Palais Garnier
Fanny Fiat and Diana Cuni: two new Socii Honoris Causa in the Society for the Advancement of the Ideas of Auguste Vestris
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A Midnight Modern Conversation
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If it Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It
One Plummy Voice, raised in Dissent
Our Infant Wings
Reckless the Man!
More Power to Lopatkina !
Début of Emilie Cozette in Le Lac des Cygnes

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Let’s talk Turkey !
Butterball goes to the Ballet

26 October 2010

Printable version / Version imprimable   |  1243 visits / visites

Hyaluronic Injector
Source: Medical Services of Colombia Website

Fun and Games ! The author of these lines decided to spend four euros and ninety euro-cents to purchase the October issue of the trade magazine Danser because of its cover. Dreadfully exciting, never having seen a naked woman before (one keeps one’s eyes firmly closed in the bath) ! For your information – move fast, the Forum du Blanc-Mesnil may be sold out ! – these naked women perform in a ‘ballet’ called Liquide by one Christophe Haleb. One of them is picking up her skirt to shew her panties (or even better, no panties ?), and looks a bit like the ducks above.

Having rushed back home, virtually foaming at the mouth, with this treasure of erudition in hand, at page 62 on the monthly Advice page appears an article with advice so good, that I simply must pass it on, entitled “Montez le Volume”. This translates, literally, as “Turn up the Volume !” but here, we’re Talking Turkey. Face Fat, to be precise.

Signed by the prudent Mr. Anonymous himself, the page concludes with a plug for a named physician operating in a smart Paris area.

Sing Hollow, Hollow, Hollow

Being a man of feeling, Mr. Anonymous weeps for the haggard armies of the corps de ballet. Shall we feed them ? In a manner of speaking, yes.

The facial features of many dancers look worn and hard before their time. The phenomenon may hinder one’s career. But cosmetic medical practice affords solutions.

And he carries on,

Strenuous effort and a restrictive diet (…) are the main causes (…) And the outcome is loss of volume, which hollows out and hardens the facial features. But the stage generally requires that the dancer’s appearance (…) be aesthetically pleasing; this concerns the facial features, and an imperative to look young as well. The cosmetic physician will intervene to rebuild the face back to its former state, giving it a softer look (…) and allowing the dancer to recover a face that corresponds to his true age. [1]

As it happens, Butterball Own-Fat injections, used elsewhere in cosmetic surgery, are not feasible for the ballet dancer:

Easy as it is to locate fatty tissue in a ‘normal’ individual, this will prove impossible in the sportsman, who, as a rule, will have virtually no fat at all”.

Until the 1980s, the average weight of the female ballet dancer was circa 52 kilos, and the average height lay between five-foot two and five-foot five. The average female classical dancer now stands five-foot four to five-foot eight, and weighs – again, on average – in the area of 49 kilos. At present, the average female classical dancer will thus be at least ten, and often fifteen percent below normal body weight.

As it happens, “The primary weight criterion for a diagnosis of anorexia nervosa is a weight less than 85% of what is considered normal for that person’s age and height.” [2]

The scientific literature on the attendant disorders in ballet dancers would fill a library.


But, why should Mr. Anonymous entangle himself in controversy with the Powers that Be – certain ballet masters or choreographers for example - over such health-piffle, when there’s no holding back Progress ! Injections of hyaluronic acid are at hand. Whence the marvellous idea ? Men, give credit where credit is due: the Butterball Turkey people, and this is how it works.

Found on the Website,

Marty Van Ness, a supervisor with the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line, said their turkeys are not injected with butter or a butter product. Frozen Butterball turkeys are injected with a basting material that is more like a broth to keep the bird moist and juicy during the roasting time. The primary ingredient is water followed by salt, food starch and natural flavours.

Brine-injection Machine

Or, from the Dallas News, 25th November 2009:

Basically, most commercial birds, packed in tight plastic overwraps, are injected or brined, Ms. Legg says, ’with up to 30 percent water added,’ as most of the labels will state. This liquid is a mixture of water, salt, flavourings and preservatives.

Brine injector for Meat
Source : DICK Traditionsmarke des Profis

Are they perhaps we related ? We should be told.

To sum up - and parents of severely-underweight fourteen year-olds will doubtless find cause for rejoicing - Mr. Anonymous reports that one “can start at any age” !

From here,

Source : Wilhelm Busch, Max und Moritz (1865)

Working backwards, to here:

Max und Moritz, by Wilhelm Busch, 1865

K.L. Kanter

[1« Nombre de danseurs se retrouvent avec le visage creusé et durci avant l’âge. Ce phénomène peut gêner une carrière. Mais des solutions existent en médecine esthétique. (…) L’effort physique et les restrictions alimentaires (…) en sont les causes principales. (…) Conséquence : une dimunution du volume du visage qui creuse les traits et les durcit … Mais la scène impose souvent aux danseurs (…) une exigence esthétique qui porte également sur les traits, tout comme un impératif de jeunesse. Le but du médecin en esthétique sera donc de reconstituer le visage comme il était avant pour qu’il retrouve un aspect plus doux … et que le danseur regagne un visage correspondant à son âge réel. (…) Autant il est facile de trouver de la graisse chez un individu ‘normal’, autant c’est compliqué chez un sportif qui, généralement, n’en a quasiment pas. (…) il n’ya pas d’âge pour commencer ».

[2“Weight Criteria for Diagnosis of Anorexia Nervosa”. Johannes Hebebrand, Peter M. Wehmeier, Helmut Remschmidt, in the American Journal of Psychiatry ? June 2000.