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Birdsall

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Everything posted by Birdsall

  1. Mekhmeneh Bahnu is the more dramatic role. She sacrifices her beauty to save her sister from death, she falls in love with Ferkhad but knows he would never love her, she becomes extremely jealous of the love between Ferkhad and her sister, and then she instigates Ferkhad's eventual saving of their people. I feel like Shyrin is simply a young girl in love and doesn't have quite the range of emotions that the tormented Mekhmeneh Bahnu has. Basically, the drama and the dramatic solos probably make prima ballerinas want to try it. Shyrin seems almost like a "soubrette" type role......just happy, innocent, pretty.......plus, Mekhmeneh Bahnu feels like the longer role. To me it is in the same tradition as how there is Nikiya and Gamzatti, Medora and Gulnare, Giselle and Myrtha, Aurora and the Lilac Fairy. One is the prima ballerina role that is coveted while the other is more like a seconda donna role. All of those "seconda donna" roles are great roles, but I suspect almost every ballerina wants to dance the "prima donna" one day. That is my take on it.
  2. Very true. However, even though I agree with most of what you say especially because the Met has to look at a legal angle, if what happened...happened just as the Times described, it does seem like an overreaction by the Met, so I guess I am looking for a hidden issue (that may or may not exist) to explain it in my mind. I don't think anyone should have to tolerate a hostile environment, but I think the majority of people would have laughed at the comment if made toward them, or, if offended, would have expressed their unhappiness right then or afterward and asked for an apology. Of course, nobody has to act or react in the way I would act or react, but I have to admit that I find that the Met overreacted, but, like I said, I don't have all the facts and wasn't in the room, so maybe I would feel differently if I had been there. The Met is probably in its legal right (and probably has a legal obligation if facing a lawsuit) to solve the situation as it did. However, the punishment doesn't seem to fit the crime, in my personal opinion. But you mentioned it might be the Met trying to show that it now takes sexual issues VERY seriously after the Levine scandal. That would help to explain it.
  3. In the end, without having been there we really don't know what exactly happened. If we had been in the room and heard tone and the exact words and mood of the room, maybe we would understand all this much more. Or maybe we would sympathize with Copley. I don't think we should rush to judgment about the chorister or Copley, unless we actually witnessed what exactly happened. It probably is a case of the Met trying to now show it no longer tolerates any hint of sexual harassment after years of ignoring Levine's behavior......those rumors dogged Levine and were discussed among opera lovers ever since I started listening to opera and probably longer, so the Met as an organization has reason to make a big show of drawing a line in the sand and showing it now finally means business. I also wonder if there was some personal conflict between Copley and administration that we don't know about. Samuel Ramey wrote that Gelb is as conservative as they come. Of course, that is an opinion. Maybe Gelb already disliked Copley, and he simply needed an excuse to get rid of him. I have no idea. Just throwing out how anything is possible. Sometimes the facts do not actually tell the whole story.
  4. Buddy, I looked at the Mariinsky website, and it appears that the two SB performances at the historic theatre are going to be the reconstruction that they have not staged for a long while! You are lucky!
  5. I just noticed that on the Mariinsky website the March 8 and 9 Sleeping Beauty performances that are at the historic theatre are the reconstructions that have not been done in a while there.
  6. Skorik

    I posted this in the tour topic, but I think some people may miss the news if that topic doesn't interest you. Oxsana Skorik is now listed on the Mariinsky web site as a First Soloist.
  7. Social media and Canbelto beat me to providing the links. They seem to be friends with other singers including Ildar. The reason that the new reports have changed my mind is that Ildar apparently is the type to have laughed it off and found it funny and would not take offense, and apparently he tried to defend Copley. The chorister in question supposedly misunderstood and thought Copley directed the comment to him. Overall, I do think that if it were strictly the way it was originally reported, I don't think a chorus member should have to put up with it, but if it is as these opera singers say, then it does sound like it was blown out of proportion. We need more information to really pass judgment. If there was no true victim I suspect the sexual harassment issue was a smokescreen. Gelb or someone wanted Copley gone and heard about something that could be used as an excuse. This is completely my personal opinion. There is usually some other motive when something seems too fishy.
  8. A couple of opera singers are saying openly that what happened was John Copley said he would like to see the Russian bass Ildar Abdrazakov, who is playing Assur, naked, and a non-native speaker mistook the comment to mean Copley wanted to see him (the chorister) naked. The chorister reported it and later regretted it. Apparently, Ildar, according to Sarah Connolly, went to see Gelb to save Copley, but it did no good. So maybe it is an overreaction if that is the case. The initial report made it sound very different.
  9. Also, chorus members are not "extras"......many could have had major careers but chose not to globe trot and opt for a steady job and steady pay and settle down. Just because they are in the chorus doesn't make them lesser artists. They aren't all failed soloists. Many just didn't want to do what it takes for a major, international career. Why should a chorus member have to put up with that no matter who said it if she or he was in the workplace and had no interest in sleeping with Copley? There are plenty of opera directors as well, and no one is indispensable. Some people might choose to laugh it off or tell him, "No chance in that!" but someone who chooses to get upset has that right too. We are taught that the workplace is a professional place. Most companies even have trainings. Of course, people continue to break the rules and often it goes unreported for various reasons, but when it does get reported that is a person's right, in my opinion. If I had a daughter and some old man said that to her I would be furious.
  10. The Bolshoi under Vaziev

    And the audience response is often baffling depending on the general mood. Due to her fame and reputation I always felt a certain atmosphere at Lopatkina's shows at the Mariinsky. There was a general feeling of excitement or buzz, and that is common when a very famous star appears, same in opera, but the actual performance isn't always one of the best. Sondra Radvanovsky is a case in point. Bellini turns over in his grave whenever she sings Norma, yet she gets huge applause. In contrast, you can have an amazing dancer like Victor Lebedev go unnoticed by a blind audience with polite applause. So my point was that audience reaction is not proof that someone did a good job or bad job.
  11. MCB Program II. All Robbins.

    I was planning to skip this MCB program b/c Robbins (for me) does not inspire a trip, but, as fate would have it, a good friend from Chicago, who I haven't seen in years, was flying to South Florida to visit his mother. He guilted me into meeting him in South Florida to catch up. So I also bought a ticket to the West Palm opening night last night. For me Robbins ballets are always nice and fun to see, but somehow I don't crave them the way I crave Petipa or Balanchine. However, I enjoyed last night very much. Circus Polka is lovely with various levels/ages of girls dancing, and Lourdes Lopez as the Ringmaster. At the point where all the levels in different colors danced in circles the audience applauded. It is always fun to see young dancers showing the same style as the adults but at a different level, and it was a good way to kick off this celebration of Jerome Robbins. it was also nice to see a woman playing the Ringmaster in our current climate. MCB is one of the few ballet companies run by a woman and so it is fitting for her to be the Ringmaster on stage. Lopez joked that now we know how it is done except without the whip (she spoke between Circus Polka and In the Night about why she decided to program an all Robbins night. In the Night started with a very elegant Emily Bromberg partnered by Jovani Furlan. They made a great young love couple. I especially loved Bromberg's elegant turns that reminded me of the type of turns I saw at the Mariinsky many times. Tricia Albertson and Rainer Krenstetter were the mature, elegant couple, and they were really good, but it didn't erase my memories of Kronenberg and her husband who somehow exuded a couple who had matured into elegance. Since they were actually husband and wife it helped create that feel. Katia Carranza and Reyeris Reyes were the "fighting" couple, and they were spicy but the "fighting" was less apparent than in previous versions I have seen. They seemed to play it more like spicy throughout. This was different from my previous experiences of this ballet, but it worked actually. Normally I find the women flailing more comical. It was not comical last night. The Cage seems really old fashioned to me, but it has its fun moments. Jordan-Elizabeth Long is becoming a favorite. Her long limbs and tall frame with the wild hair made someone who could bring any man to his knees. She was appropriately wild and predatory as the Queen with amazing extensions. Nathalia Arja as the Novice was just as fabulous, but next to Long on stage she looked like a baby predator. That is not a criticism. Her dancing was fabulous. Those two made this ballet work, because they put their heart and soul into it. Simone Messmer and Renan Cerdeiro were great together in Other Dances, but Cerdeiro outclassed her a bit. His dancing is always full of excitement. I thought Messmer needed to play up the elegance, although she was not bad. I am gradually liking her more and more. Her stage presence is looking more and more natural. West Side Story Suite was fun as usual but I was disappointed in the phrasing by the soprano in "Somewhere".....her vowels were mannered. That is a song that needs emotion more than exact notes. Overall, a fun night, and Robbins probably deserves "All Robbins" programs but I will never run out to go to another. I don't quite know why. All the ballets I have seen of his I have liked, but somehow I like them better as one of the pieces better.
  12. I saw SB at the historic theatre before it was moved to M-2, and I am glad to see it is returning to the historic theatre for a change. It seems to be the only classical ballet that continues to be at the M-2; others seem to go back and forth between M-2 and the historic theatre. So glad it is returning to the historic theatre for a change. But even in the historic theatre the panorama was not used for some reason. I don't know why. The violin solo, however, is still done. The orchestra pit raises up for it and then goes back down after it is over. I love that moment.
  13. The Bolshoi under Vaziev

    I don't think anyone is saying that dancers are imagining there is a claque, but it is really hard to identify or know for sure. I once took a non-opera lover to a performance in which I found the tenor excruciating to listen to, and my friend turned to me after a horrendous rendition of the aria, and he said, "I love his voice!" This was someone who was not used to opera, so he probably just found it thrilling to hear a loud voice. So anything is possible in the audience. People can love a terrible performer and not be a claque member. People can hate a performer and not be a claque member and vice versa......claque members are paid, but sometimes they actually like what they are applauding and sometimes actually hate what they are booing (I am guessing). Nothing is black and white in this world.
  14. The Bolshoi under Vaziev

    The article about Abramov (Canbelto posted a link above) and his claque says that claque members sit in different places, not all grouped in one place. At La Scala opera singers have forever talked about having to pay the claque for an important debut. This paying does not mean they are lesser artists. They are genuinely nervous about a very important debut and do not need the extra anxiety of an angry claque that has not been paid. Some refuse to pay it and win over everyone anyway, but some choose to not have the extra anxiety. I suspect anyone who dares to sing Norma (if La Scala ever decides to stage it again) after Callas at La Scala will be so nervous and know it is high stakes that she will pay the claque even if she is the most amazing artist that ever lived. The article that Canbelto posted also has Mr. Abramov claiming many are hardcore lovers of ballet who can no longer afford tickets. They also sell their tickets sometimes to make money if a show is sold out. That means (in my opinion) the claque doesn't always work as planned. Someone buying a ticket who is not a member of the claque is probably going to be more independently minded (not always). I think it is probably very hard to know when the applause is caused by a claque and when not. Probably sometimes an audience reaction is genuine. Sometimes the claque is making noise b/c they are paid, but they also agree with what they are doing. I have sat in the Hermitage theatre and applauded with zeal the amazing Victor Lebedev while everyone else in the tiny theatre gave polite applause (same amount of applause to fairly mediocre talents on the same stage). I was astounded and wondered, "Don't they have eyes????" His deep cambres, His elegant turns, etc. So you can see someone amazing and for some reason the audience just doesn't seem to care. And I have definitely seen the opposite where the audience goes wild for what I consider a very lackluster performance. Who is to know if a claque was a t work? This happens with or without a claque. The amount of applause does not necessarily mean the dancer or singer was having the best night of her career. Lack of applause also does not mean the dancer was terrible. Occasionally an audience is just blah. All of the greatest artists have had divided fans. Mediocre artists rarely have people fighting over them, b/c no one cares. No one spends time debating someone is just "okay" or "meh." The ones that create the fights tend to go down in history as big names (and many are truly great artists). The great opera singers all have flaws and people still fight about them to this day online. Dame Joan Sutherland's mushy diction and lame acting vs. her amazing coloratura, big voice, etc. Many can not stand the sound of Maria Callas and point out her screechy high notes, her wobbling, etc. while many of us adore her way with drama and words and her fiery temperament. Montserrat Caballe admits she didn't have the forte high notes for the bel canto repetoire, but she got by on her silvery pianissimi that created some legendary moments in the theatre. She overused her famed pianissimi late in her career singing them at the end of almost every line even when it wasn't in the score, but it was hard to complain. ALL great artists have flaws. But most of them highlight what they can do and choose roles that suit their voices better. It is the same with dancers. There are always things people can find they don't like about a dancer while others find amazing things in the same dancer. This goes on and on throughout history but an audience's applause (amount or lack of) does not always tell the whole story. Callas was booed at times, but almost every opera lover would give their right leg to see her in Norma or Violetta today.
  15. Yes! This!!!! Yes! Yes! Yes!
  16. Nothing in life is black and white and simple.
  17. The Bolshoi under Vaziev

    I tend to prefer sitting close up for classical ballet which is basically hierarchical in nature (the leads are more important than the corps and minor soloists although the corps is also very important when it is a company like the Mariinsky). Anyway, imo when watching the leads in classical ballet I usually do want to see the facial expressions and nuances close up. For Balanchine I like to sit higher up to see the patterns of the corps. To me in many of Balanchine's ballets the leads are not as important as in classical ballet and often they are not acting because it is an abstract ballet, so I don't have to see their expressions. In opera it is a very hard issue for me, because when the singers are huge stars I do like to sit close up to see their expressions and how they act. However, sound is often way better far away (you get to hear how big a voice is). I tend to vary it from time to time or choose a halfway point in opera hoping I get a feel for the size of the voice as well as facial expressions (and binoculars help too). I sometimes think what we think is an artist projecting can sometimes be our own excitement of the experience. Big stars often seem to project because the house is buzzing with anticipation, and the live experience of hearing or seeing a "star" in a signature role makes us want to feel that we have seen a performance of a lifetime. I have often seen a performance and found it "electric" and then found a bootleg audio recording or video and then felt it wasn't quite what I felt in the house. I think we get wrapped up in the moment and enjoying a fun time with people around us. This is all my opinion, but I have never sat in the very back row of a balcony and experienced someone projecting who I could not see well.......I need to be somewhat close to feel I am seeing the real deal. And I have seen Leontyne Price, Placido Domingo (when he was in his prime and not an embarrassment), Montserrat Caballe......just to name a few. I am not saying some stars can not project. Maybe they can. I think they can certainly project their voices and create a visceral thrill with the voice alone. However, I am in doubt about projecting acting or face or anything.......if I can barely see the person on stage to me he or she is not projecting no matter how big the personality is.
  18. Nutcracker 2017

    I didn't feel the NYCB tree was "mammoth" but maybe it was. I liked both the NYCB tree and the MCB tree in the end.
  19. Nutcracker 2017

    It looked like it grew to about the same size as NYCB's tree to me, but I thought it might not be exactly the same size......so you confirmed that Lopez says it is not as big, but to me it looked almost as big, so there was a growing tree that was pretty large and the projection grew also at the same time but then the projection took over as the physical tree was lifted and pulled out of sight. To me it was sort of magical. When I originally read the reviews you made it sound like the growing was only done by projection and there was no physical tree growing, so I thought I would not like the tree at all. It sounded really lame. However, in person I saw a growing tree very similar in size to NYCB's if not quite the same and then the projection took over after the physical tree grew to full size. So I was actually pleasantly surprised after thinking I would be very disappointed. I find that if I go into an opera or ballet sometimes expecting a disappointment I actually am pleasantly surprised once I see the production. The opposite can be true too. If you go in expecting the world you can be disappointed.
  20. Nutcracker 2017

    Yes, that's what I said. It goes up and away as the projection takes over, but the excitement of the growing tree is over by then. The growing part is what most people get excited about and it grows about as big if not the same size as NYCB's tree and then the projection takes over and enables it to grow even larger and so the physical tree flies up and away from our view b/c we are finished watching it grow as big as we are used to and the projection makes it much larger. And it makes sense for them to be fighting underneath. I always thought the NYCB tree was not big enough compared to the soldiers, mice, etc. It didn't give the illusion that Marie/Clara/Masha is shrunk down to the size of the mice and toys. But in this version it attempts to do that. It didn't bother me in the slightest. I initially thought it sounded lame because I thought the tree was just a projection the entire time and only grew as a projection. I prepared myself to be disappointed and was surprised that there was a physical tree and it grew just as big (to my eyes) as the NYCB tree and then the projection kept the growing......so I went from expecting major disappointment to loving it. Another BA member I met with and ate dinner with felt the same way I do about MCB's tree. But we all have our differing opinions.
  21. Are there ballets that should no longer be staged?

    I agree with that. Often stereotypes stem from a certain amount of truth. We all know the stereotype of the Asian men snapping photo after photo. Well, I never did that, but now with iPhones making it so convenient I tend to pull out my phone and snap anything that seems interesting. When I visited my German friends a year ago for Christmas they joked about how stereotypical I was acting. Years of studying German Lit in college and discussing various views of a work makes me think this particular thread is actually important. I actually do not advocate shelving ballets or operas or literature, etc. that may offend. Even the chilling Leni Riefenstahl "Triumph of the Will" film (Hitler propaganda) is studied intensively by film students to learn how to create feeling and mood. So there is always something to learn from even works of art that offend us. But discussing and recognizing things as part of that time period and even being offended by a work are okay and important to discuss. I think "Triumph of the Will" is both horrifying (because we know what it helped) and beautiful at the same time. Things are not black and white. Madama Butterfly sort of makes me roll my eyes in a way but I still like it. Verdi's Violetta is one of the most human portraits in opera and one of my favorite soprano roles (which I think should be treated like Norma and not given to just any soprano, but then it would hardly ever be played). However, I have had many female friends who hate how it is that stereotypical "whore with the heart of gold" and the opera shows once again the beauty of a woman dying. So La Traviata offends some. I adore the opera. For me the world could lose almost all operas except Wagner, Norma, and La Traviata. All of those favorites of mine offend someone, but we like and dislike things for various reasons and that is okay, in my opinion. In contrast, in actual reality we should speak up when we are disgusted by what is going on in the world.
  22. Are there ballets that should no longer be staged?

    I too have been an opera-goer for about 25 years and that is the scene I was referring to when I suggested that Madama Butterfly does show some spunk and is actually quite sadistic toward Yamadori. She has contempt for the Japanese man who claims to love her. But then she is quite masochistic when it comes to Pinkerton. I think Puccini was giving a kick to America and using the story to do so. Yet he was also fascinated with America as La Fanciulla del West indicates. So you can have both love and disdain for a culture. I think most people view Madama Butterfly as an Italian's idea of what American imperialism was doing to Japanese culture (and maybe even world culture), and most Europeans I have known (when I lived in Germany and Austria) had a certain amount of love-hate with American culture. However, mixed in there is some beautiful music. I think Puccini definitely intended to be totally sympathetic toward Madama Butterfly but inadvertently perpetuated a stereotype. However, as I said, I think he kept the part I am referring to as sort of an attempt to show she is not just this passive wilting Butterfly at all times. So for me that redeems the whole thing somewhat. And the music, of course, redeems the whole thing. I guess what I am getting at is that these works of art can often be flawed but if there are redeeming qualities they (to me) deserve to continue to be staged and seen......afterall, Madama Butterfly has probably helped many people fall in love with opera. I think it is the same with individuals. Great artists can be total jerks. We can love the art and dislike the person (Wagner is a prime example for me). Although I hate the passive, long suffering and long waiting Asian woman as a stereotype (which is NOT AT ALL my experience of Japanese women.......) I do enjoy a good performance of Madama Butterfly although it is often sung by sopranos who are way too light for the role.......in fact, I don't think many sopranos around can actually do it justice, so I am more likely to pass on Madama Butterfly because often I have deep reservations of who is cast in the soprano role or have never heard of the soprano so suspect it is a young singer who doesn't know what she's getting herself in for...... A search on Operabase shows how it is often an unknown soprano even in decent houses. So I would rather shelve it for lack of singers who can actually sing it rather than for stereotyping.
  23. Are there ballets that should no longer be staged?

    I do love the music of Madama Butterfly, especially the love duet, but I have always thought if I were a composer I would compose "Madama Butterfly: The True Story" and show my Japanese mother being proposed to by a navy guy who told her he would come back for her. She was like, "Sure! Heard that one before!" and he realized too and decided to re-enlist to stay near her because the naval chaplain kept losing the paperwork for their marriage in a vain attempt to not let it go through. As much as I like the opera and do not at all believe it should be shelved, I do think it is a very stereotypical view of Asian women as these masochistic sweet things (although there are signs she is sadistic to those she doesn't care for but it is subtle). My friends growing up always thought my mother was the sweetest mother in the entire world. They didn't see her behind closed doors. My mother had a very separate face that she showed to the outside world compared to the inside world. I love her dearly but my view of Japanese women is not at all a wilting flower. They will get their way come hell or high water if it has to be a roundabout way. If you upset my mother you pay dearly (my sister got caught skipping school and smoking pot in high school and my mother did not speak to her for a month because it was public shame. In contrast, she found a pot plant my sister was growing in her bedroom and put it on the kitchen table because it was beautiful and she knew what it was.....but it was private and that was okay). So, there is an element of Madama Butterfly that I find obnoxious but the beauty of the work overcomes that for me. Still it will never be in my Top 10 operas. I think we can have issues with a work and still like them and not want them deleted. You probably agree.....it doesn't have to be an all or nothing approach. Things don't have to be changed in the work to make me like it better. But I think it is normal to discuss what we like or don't like in a work and have a critical eye at times about how it doesn't speak for our personal experience of life.
  24. Peter Martins Sexual Harassment Allegations

    From what I have seen many years in schools is that one person maybe even two people might accuse someone of something, but rarely would 3 or more band together to ruin someone's career. Someone is bound to feel guilt and break down and expose it as a vendetta against the person admitting they made up the story to "get" the person. Even when it is two people one will usually confess it was all a vendetta. For me you can wonder if an accuser has an ax to grind when it is "he says/she says" (one person) but when more than a couple of people come forward I tend to think, "Where there's smoke there is fire!" and just reading many of the comments on this thread make me understand why people don't immediately come forward. People's feelings are a complex thing also. When a doctor took advantage of my state (months of being told by nurses at the university that it was all in my head, beginning to think I was crazy, feeling exhausted for months and tonsils that hurt so bad I wanted at times of frustration to take a knife and cut them out myself).....well, after months of being sick and medical professionals kept telling me there was nothing wrong with me I was beside myself, finally found a doctor who diagnosed it as mono, gave me a steroid pack which got rid of the problem, and then did a follow up. I was telephoned and told to make an appointment immediately about my blood work. I was worried I had HIV or something because the message sounded urgent. So I rushed over after making the appointment and was told to come on in. He went over the blood work and everything was okay and then he said since I am a new patient he needed to do a full physical. A warning bell went off, and I said, "No, can't be anything but what he's saying" and complied with his suggestion of doing a full physical. Then, I was given a prostate exam (way too early in my life but I didn't know that back then) and it seemed to be way too long. Then, he did a hernia test. Sorry to go into so much detail, but I feel it is important to explain how someone can be manipulated. During the hernia check I became aroused and he jumped on that and at that point I agreed to what he then did. The entire time I said to myself, "What the heck?" and then, "I was a fool to think this was a normal physical! Why was I so dumb?" and then, "But this is sort of naughty and fun" but then "What am I doing? I am perpetuating this behavior! I must be a horrible person!" The reason I tell all this is that many, many things go through your head. It doesn't feel like a black and white situation. You've never been in the situation so you aren't actually sure how to react. I went back and forth many times, "I should tell him I am out of here and leave" and then, "But I am aroused and this is naughty which makes it fun" and back and forth and back and forth. So you don't really know how to react and let it happen. As I drove home I was really upset and wondered why I was upset since I agreed to it at some point. I was seeing a counselor about my sister's death at the time and in talking with her the very next day (I luckily had an appointment) I realized what made me mad was not anything after I agreed. It was that he manipulated me and tricked me into getting aroused. I was angry I was tricked, not at the actual thing he did once I agreed. I also actually felt pity and/or sympathy for him. He had pictures of his wife and children all over his office and Bibles on all the tables in the waiting room. It made me think that he felt trapped and couldn't act on his homosexuality and had to express it in this way. What I am getting at is that someone who has been abused or molested or taken advantage of has VERY conflicted and conflicting feelings. It is never black and white. There is no, "If A happens, do B".......you are in a state of shock that it is actually happening. Later I went jogging with my jogging buddy the same day, and as we jogged I told him the story, and his immediate reaction was, "Was he hot? Where is his office?" and another gay friend said, "You were probably egging him on and he could tell you wanted it!" Basically, even close friends did not take the story seriously and didn't understand my conflicting feelings about the entire incident. Friends even doubt you are a victim in these situations especially if at some point you agree to it. I did not feel I could go back to that doctor ever. Would he take my ailments seriously? Or would he just want to play around? For years I avoided full physicals because I thought it would happen again. Then, I realized I should go to a female and I have been going to female doctors ever since. This is another point. There are some long lasting issues that stick with you throughout life because someone you trusted broke that trust. Until someone experiences a certain situation it is very easy to judge and dismiss victims' claims as a vendetta. I just do not think most human beings are willing to ruin a person's career or well being or livelihood just because he or she did not get roles. One person might be evil enough to do that but when the people start to come out of the woodwork in many of these cases, I think there is something to their stories. For example, I was still naive and foolish enough to actually think the doctor only did it to me out of a need to experience his homosexual feelings and explore them. I felt compassion and my counselor was absolutely outraged that a fellow medical professional did this to me. The only number I was willing to take was an organization that helps and works with a doctor if there are issues of abuse or alcoholism, etc. Well, about a couple of weeks later I got a form letter to all his patients saying he had spoken with his wife and they decided he needed to close his practice after much reflection and thought, and our files could be found with such and such doctor. It suddenly dawned on me, "I wasn't the only one! He may have been doing this to men, women, and children! And he is in trouble! He has to close, because someone has reported him," so I called and gave my story to corroborate anyone who needed another voice. I was especially worried he may have taken advantage of children. Even though I was in my 20s I have always looked very young. I don't mean to be long winded, but I am trying to show how very complicated these issues can be. You can have a mixture of feelings for the person doing something wrong to you. It is NOT black and white. Nothing in life usually is. There are reasons people do not come forward. There are reasons they come forward later. There are reasons people stay silent. None of us really knows what did or did not happen with Martins or Gomes or Cosby or Weinstein or anyone for that matter. We just have to hope if it is a legal matter the law will prevail. But when multiple people come forward I think allegations should always be taken seriously. If there is nothing there I think the accusations will actually collapse.
  25. Are there ballets that should no longer be staged?

    I feel that it shows them in distress and not happy at the whole thing.....I can not imagine anyone watching the Kirov version and thinking selling and buying women is depicted as a good thing, and they are freed by Conrad who is convinced by Medora to also let the other women go (and not be forced to be with his men), and that leads to a mutiny of sorts, until he shows them who is boss. The harem is owned by the Pasha who is painted in the Kirov/Mariinsky version as a leering clown who gets his comeuppance in the end, and the gorgeous Le Jardin Anime takes place due to the Pasha's harem (who is the main one shown buying women in the Mariinsky and Bolshoi and I believe Mikhailovsky versions). I feel the overriding message of that version is that women should be free and want to be free and should be free, which would make sense considering it is a Soviet version and communism attempted to at least give lip service to equality of women. I agree with Canbelto. I think every version of Corsaire depicts selling and buying of women, but so far out of the ones I have seen I think the Mariinsky/Kirov version does the best to paint it as a trade perpetrated by evil, gross guys.
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