Ben Rudisin

It’s been a while since I featured male dancers. And now, BR, a young (now 23) dancer with the National Ballet of Canada (in Toronto), seen here in a wonderful photo (by Karolina Kuras) on the NBC site:


Rudisin is tall, lean, long-necked, and long-bodied, with a beautiful line in this shot. And of course with the muscled legs and arms required by his job.

The head shot in his NBC profile —


— is of a “sensitive” young man, with big, beautiful eyes, and it gives no suggestion of his enormous strength, amazing balance, and overall athleticism.

Photos to go along with #1:



I haven’t found any good recent videos of BR, only his performance (at the age of 17) at the Prix de Lausanne competition for young dancers in 2011, which you can watch here.

I’ve been increasingly interested in presenting creative types — artists, designers, musicians, writers, actors, dancers, cartoonists, scholars, scientists, engineers, and so on — as characters who are of interest as people, with rich and engaging personal and social lives, so extending to these groups some of the focus accorded to celebrities and sports figures, but without the icky mix of worship and tabloid gossip that such figures routinely get. I’m interested in humanizing accomplished people, celebrating their accomplishments and their commitment to creativity (nobody becomes a painter, a poet, a ballet dancer, a chamber musician, or indeed a linguist because, well, it’s a job that will pay the bills) while relating to them as people — and good photographs are an important part of this program (see Steph Shih’s collection of photographs of linguists).

That brings me back to #2,  A portrait of a beautiful, open, vulnerable young man. You imagine that this guy was bullied and beaten up at school, even before he committed to ballet. But you don’t see his power and his drive: all those classes, all those competitions, all that sweat, all that pain. And you don’t see his playfulness, though some of his physical presence and his playfulness comes out in the snapshots on his Instagram page. Like this one with his adorable dog (there are lots of dog pictures):


And this sweet Toronto Gay Pride photo with his even more adorable boyfriend RS:


(I refer to the boyfriend by his initials because I don’t know how much RS’s family knows about his relationship to BR.)

BR and RS have chosen to present themselves in this photo as almost equals, but with RS as somewhat superior. On masculinity points, they’re interestingly matched: BR has a decidedly more “feminine” face, and his hair is blond-red-brown as against RS’s dark black, not to mention RS’s “ethnic” look. BR, however, is several inches taller and he’s the one with the publicly significant career. In any case, a really cute couple.

Being young gay men these days, they have a collection of friends they goof off with, including several young women they are close to.


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