We live in a world where the line between nature and artifice is constantly blurred. From plastic surgery to photo-shopping, the opportunities to enhance or change one’s appearance seem to be endless.
While the performing arts are all about artifice and illusion, when it comes to the mechanics of classical ballet there are not many options for fakery. However, with the development of commercially available prosthetic arches, it is now possible to enhance the shape of one’s foot. Working in a similar way to many cleavage-enhancing bras, the arch is made of silicone attached to fabric, and is worn like a sock.
It’s so simple… but is it cheating? Dance Australia sought the opinions of various dance professionals on the subject.
Newcastle teacher Marie Walton-Mahon is not against the use of false arches. But she warns that they can’t take the place of hard work.
“If the student has correctly worked their feet and the intrinsic muscles are activated then I have no problem if the ‘dance arch’ is placed strategically in exactly the correct position to enhance the line of the foot. To me this is the same as wearing false eyelashes to improve the projection of the eyes. However, I have seen students looking ridiculous [using false arches] because they haven’t used their feet at all!”
Artistic Director of West Australian Ballet, Ivan Cavallari, is of a similar opinion. . . .

This is an extract from a full article by Nina Levy in the Dec 12/Jan 13 issue of 'Dance Australia'. OUT NOW!

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