Kathleen O'Connell

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About Kathleen O'Connell

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    Member of the Audience
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    New York

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  1. Oh, I'm so sorry to hear this! Brown was one of my favorite choreographers. I was saddened to learn in 2012 that she would no longer be making dances due to illness and that her company would stop performing, and further saddened to learn that her company would cease performing her "proscenium" works in 2016. Now I'm even sadder.
  2. Schumacher is a very winning Puck, and my personal favorite among the current crop. (Although I will add that Harrison Ball's debut made me see the role with new eyes. I do want to see him in the role again ...)
  3. Congrats, and well deserved all around!
  4. NYCB's Carabosse is young, beautiful, larger-than-life, and, most important of all, very glamorous. I'd be shocked if Mearns didn't shine in the role. And the role hasn't been reserved for dancers near the end of their careers with diminishing technical resources. Merrill Ashley, the role's originator, retired seven years after the ballet's 1991 premiere; she may have been in the afternoon of her career, but she was hardly on her way out the door. By way of a recent example, Marika Anderson took on the role a few seasons ago (and was wonderful).
  5. In a drug-free society, which substances are OK and which aren't? Who decides and on what basis? Is a zero-tolerance drug testing regime the best way to address the real problems of abuse and addiction? Ideally, anyone who was drug-dependent would have access to effective treatment programs and would be both encouraged to use them and supported while they did. An aside: anti-doping programs are not the same as anti-drug programs.
  6. Let's leave aside fascism and police states for the moment and focus on more practical matters. In sports, drug testing and enforcement regimes are generally designed, administered, adjudicated, and funded by private or semi-private organizational bodies such as the IOC, professional sports leagues, etc. that have effective control over sport or athletic even in question. The stakeholders — league officials, player's unions, team owners — have a say in the program's structure, what happens in the event of a violation, and the avenues for appeal. What international body could design, establish, run, and enforce a drug testing or anti-doping regime for dance? The professional ballroom competition body mentioned in the article is akin to a sports league and can offer up the same kind of carrots and sticks. What would induce a dance company to sign up for an anti-doping regime? What are the carrots? What are the sticks? Who will pay for it? Who will run it?
  7. Yes, resources should be directed towards artists' health and wellbeing. As in universal, affordable health care, including mental health and substance abuse programs. Drug testing alone will do nothing to address dancers' health. And, keep in mind that a number of states prohibit employee drug testing without cause.
  8. Fair and effective drug testing regimes are expensive to design, implement, and maintain, both in terms of blood and treasure. The arts have better things to do with their scarce resources. Educate by all means — and that means ADs, administrators, and board members as well as the dancers.
  9. Sigh. I still miss the Orzas.
  10. "Amassed an immense archive" does sound like someone in management been in consultation with their intellectual property rights attorneys. I'd be interested to know the financial and rights-related terms under which other photographers* are given access to the company and its dancers. For instance, does the company have final say over which images can and cannot be sold, exhibited, or otherwise made available to the public? Does it retain any financial interest in the images themselves? (Henry Leutwyler's work with the company had the air of a joint project, for instance.) The issue may not be the immensity of the archive so much as the fact that the company doesn't have much if any control over it. The shame of it is, Alberda's photos are immensely flattering to both the company and its dancers. Maybe they should just hire him already. (But he shouldn't stop dancing! He's a delight to watch, always.) * By which I mean photographers who have not been hired to produce marketing and promotional materials or archival images.
  11. No worries! And I can see why the people who have gone above and beyond to help those fleeing horrors most of us can't even imagine would be deemed worthy of an award (although giving them some concrete assistance with their efforts would be a good thing, too). I was pleased to see Santos' efforts recognized, although less for his sake than for Colombia's generally. I've been there; it's a gorgeous place and the people I met and worked with there couldn't have been more welcoming. It broke my heart to see what decades of violence can do to a country.
  12. I believe Santos was awarded the prize for his efforts to negotiate a peace deal with the FARC, rather than for a struggle against them. I'm not sure I understand why the award would be controversial, although it would certainly have seemed more on point had the referendum to authorize the peace agreement had gone the other way.
  13. Here's how I think about it: I'm a big fan of Reichlen's Diamonds ballerina, but I fully expect to see other dancers shine as brightly in the role, both now and in the future. I don't expect to ever see Reichlen's equal in Rubies, however: she's practically the Platonic ideal of the Tall Girl.
  14. Amy, that is one lovely site! I've only just dipped into it, but it looks to be a great resource — I've duly bookmarked it and added it to my "Dance Resources" folder. Congrats—and thanks—to you and your team!
  15. Now that I've sorted out how to use the "My Activity Streams" options on the content tab, I'm actually pretty happy with the upgraded version. I've set up a custom "New Content" stream with the parameters of my choosing, bookmarked it, plunked it down on my "Favorites" page and am good to go. And again, many thanks to Helene for both handling the upgrade and fielding our concerns.