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Is the Volochkova story good for ballet?

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28 replies to this topic

Poll: Is the Volochkova story good for ballet? (52 member(s) have cast votes)

Is the Volochkova story good for ballet?

  1. Yes (11 votes [21.15%])

    Percentage of vote: 21.15%

  2. No (31 votes [59.62%])

    Percentage of vote: 59.62%

  3. It depends, see my answer below. (9 votes [17.31%])

    Percentage of vote: 17.31%

  4. I hate yes/no polls. I abstain. (1 votes [1.92%])

    Percentage of vote: 1.92%


#1 Alexandra


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Posted 18 September 2003 - 09:27 AM

Or not?

A quickie, yes or no poll. Feel free to expand your answer in the space below.

#2 diane


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Posted 18 September 2003 - 09:38 AM

I voted "it depends..." :wink:

Because to me it does depend on what those who read the stories (and do not know much about Ballet) think and what their reactions are afterward.
If they then become interested enough to want to see an actual performance, or to even try it out for themselves; then that is fine.

If it only serves to reinforce dried-in-the-mud stereotypes, then that is not so fine.

In show-biz, usually almost _any_ publicity is good. What folks normally remember is not necessarily whether a story was positive or negative - but that there WAS a story at some point on that person/ topic.


#3 nysusan


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Posted 18 September 2003 - 09:53 AM

I voted yes because - any publicity is good publicity. I hate the fact that most of the news coverage has focused on the sensational aspects of the story and I think that it not only reinforces a negative stereotype, it actively makes fun of ballet dancers and the general attitude of the ballet going public.

Still, if Volochkova tours (and she will!) and 100 people who wouldn't normally go to the ballet go to see her because of all this fuss and 1 of them falls in love with ballet...it's good for ballet! :wink:

#4 Arak



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Posted 18 September 2003 - 10:51 AM

I say no, it's not. We've been pegged as being overly concerned about being skinny for a long time now. The baised coverage this story is recieving does nothing but reinforce that, at least in the West. Especially after the Today Show coverage this morning, people are sitting around their living rooms saying "See? I told you it was a bad idea to put little Suzy in ballet classes. They'll turn her anorexic." Not only is it giving non-dancers a negative picture of the ballet world, it's providing reinforcement for the eating-disorder epidemic that already exists in many younger dancers.

#5 kristinene


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Posted 18 September 2003 - 11:37 AM

No, and my feelings are in agreement with Arak. I think that publicity for weight issues is not something ballet needs.

#6 perky


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Posted 18 September 2003 - 11:46 AM

I voted "it depends". If Volochkova does dance again soon (instead of giving dramatic press conferances dressed in long flowing scarves), and she is actually talented, then so many people will be exposed to ballet that normally would not be. I think the press savvy Ms. Volochkova would have the press salivating to cover her next dance assignment, and the worldwide audience could see that a ballerina does not have to be tiny and skeletel to be beautiful.

However, all depends on how the Bolshoi reacts to her lawsuit and if the ballerina herself is trying to expand and glorify her art form or is just out for some publicity and worldwide fame(or infamy).

#7 Hans


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Posted 18 September 2003 - 12:22 PM

I'm with Arak & Kristinene.

#8 carbro


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Posted 18 September 2003 - 12:36 PM

Voted "it depends" out of my naive optimism that someone, somewhere Out There will bring an honest perspective to the story. I want to think that the celebrity factor may sell a few seats. At this point it seems to be a story about an appropriately proportioned but grandiose ballerina who has engaged in some political head-butting with the Powers at the helm of her company, which Powers may have justified their actions with patently false charges -- or at least were reported to have made excuses that were later exposed as false.

Publicity is good. :thumbsup: Sensationalism is bad. :wink:

#9 Justdoit



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Posted 18 September 2003 - 12:37 PM

I am in complete agreement with Diane as she mirrored my thinking exactly!

#10 nlkflint



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Posted 18 September 2003 - 03:07 PM

Publicity is good.  Sensationalism is bad.

And this focus on a "fat"dancer who is not even is WORSE.

#11 dirac


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Posted 18 September 2003 - 05:33 PM

What Arak said, although I'd add that stereotypes become stereotypes for a reason. This is not something ballet needs, and I wish the powers that be who wanted to take the lady down a peg had considered such issues before throwing their punches. (I don't think they'd call a man fat. Out of condition, temperamental, yes, but not fat.) Most people won't be that interested in the fine print. They'll see the headline or hear a little on television, and that will be that.

Also: no fair voting and not posting. Come on, people.....

#12 Cliff


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Posted 18 September 2003 - 06:41 PM

I voted yes on the theory that any publicity is good publicity. The story was on NPR this morning. When was the last time they ran a ballet related story? Eventually Volochkova will perform again, and there will be more headlines. Its free advertising.

Those people inclined to see the worst are unlikely to attend a performance anyway. Other people will be intrigued and may decide to see what the fuss is all about.

The one downside I see is that concerns about the weight issue may cause some parents to remove their daughter from ballet.


#13 Pamela Moberg

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Posted 19 September 2003 - 02:49 PM

:angry: I voted no - OK, this is not the thing one should vote on IMO, but there it was, so...
Another thing emerged though. While I was watching State TV News this morning there was a bit, only 90 seconds or so in the Foreign News section, about Ms. V. and her tribulations.
Well, if that is the only way ballet can get on State TV News then the situation is really very sad. Just imagine it, ballet is completely ignored otherwise, Fonteyn died, Nureyev popped off, whoever else produced something great, Ashton and Balanchine they never even heard about - but this got prime time 9.15 a.m. news time!!!
I am frankly disappointed, such a pseudo-news item on the day of the memorial service of the slain Foreign Minister.
There are such things as publicity managers, hers must be the Phantom of the United Press and Television. :)

#14 dido


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Posted 19 September 2003 - 06:08 PM

My roommate (who is a strictly video games and violent-crime-novel type of guy came home to inform me of the situation right after it broke. He didn't remember what Ms. V.'s name was, he didn't even notice where she danced. All he remembered what that she got fired for being "too fat."
So, I got some ammo (from this site and the links) and gave him a lecture and showed him some strategically chosen pictures of dancers... And he listened, and even watched some of the RB's Sleeping Beauty when I had it on.
He still doesn't give a darn about ballet and the last 2 times I headed off for ballet class he made a point of sitting on the couch eating Ben and Jerry's out of the pint, and saying something about "Anastasia."
Maybe somebody else got lucky with their non-ballet person. I hope so.

#15 zerbinetta


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Posted 19 September 2003 - 09:38 PM

Any story which makes the front page of the New York Times brings national attention to the subject. Ballet needs the attention.

Page One! Was it a slow news day?

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