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de facto segregated roles


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#46 felursus

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Posted 16 November 2001 - 01:44 AM

The casting of Arthur Mitchell partnering a white woman was deliberately done by Balanchine - as was his pairing with Diana Adams in "Agon". Balanchine loved the contrast. It was the 50s and so caused quite a stir. It wouldn't cause any raised eyebrows today (except amongst members of the Aryan Nation and their fellow travellers, and thank goodness they don't seem to be too keen on ballet).

Talking about being PC - what about those little black "slaves" (children) in the POB "Bayadere"??? Is it ok because they were there in the original (were they???) and if so, is it ok only if the co. uses only black children or are white kids in dark makeup ok??? How many black kids are at the POB school? Do we apply the same standards to European comanies as to American companies???????

#47 bijoux

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Posted 17 November 2001 - 11:47 PM

I think the use of "painted" black children would definitely raise some eyebrows.When I heard that Boston Ballet was going to do "La Bayadere" last year,I went and got the Kirov tape to see what to look for,and I was surprised to see all of those children in blackface out onstage.I was fearful that Boston ballet would do the true Kirov version of the ballet,but I was releived to see that it had been modified a bit.The children were "dirty' but not in black face.The only misgivings I had politically ,was in the "warrior Dance".It was a wild spirited dance for eight men and a woman, where the woman wore a bikini top and little skirt and ran around like a Banshee,and Erika Lambe(the black woman in the company) was cast to dance most of the shows.She was great and had alot of energy which the role required,but I wonder if it was typecasting or if they could have gone another route.(Most companies have cut that number from the ballet...) [quote]Originally posted by felursus:
The casting of Arthur Mitchell partnering a white woman was deliberately done by Balanchine - as was his pairing with Diana Adams in "Agon". Balanchine loved the contrast. It was the 50s and so caused quite a stir. It wouldn't cause any raised eyebrows today (except amongst members of the Aryan Nation and their fellow travellers, and thank goodness they don't seem to be too keen on ballet).

Talking about being PC - what about those little black "slaves" (children) in the POB "Bayadere"??? Is it ok because they were there in the original (were they???) and if so, is it ok only if the co. uses only black children or are white kids in dark makeup ok??? How many black kids are at the POB school? Do we apply the same standards to European comanies as to American companies???????



#48 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 19 November 2001 - 08:52 AM

actually, bijoux, the little children (who accompanied the golden idol) were, as you know, dressed in gold like him, and had gold, not dirt, on their faces. in addition, there were three casts for the warrior dance; the other two girls were caucasian, one blond and blue eyed and one brunette and dark eyed. erika was very very good but it was because she was very good and spirited and strong in the dance, and my suspicion is that this quality is what got her the part!

#49 Mel Johnson

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Posted 19 November 2001 - 10:57 PM

I think what has happened there is a failure of makeup design against the old pocketbook. There is a waterbase foundation called "Texas Gold" which, because of small metallic particles in the mixture, bronze perhaps, imparts a golden sheen to the skin. The same company makes a different product called "Texas dirt" which, because it doesn't have the shiny stuff in it, is much less expensive. I can just see some bean-counter somewhere in the POB organization saying, "Wotthehey! They're both Texas, aren't they? Take off the gold, bring on the dirt!"

[ November 19, 2001: Message edited by: Mel Johnson ]



#50 felursus

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Posted 21 November 2001 - 01:09 AM

Alas, Mel, the brown tights are a dead giveaway!

#51 Mel Johnson

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Posted 21 November 2001 - 07:53 AM

Hey, milliskin is a lot more expensive than plain old nylon! wink.gif

#52 bijoux

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Posted 24 November 2001 - 02:29 AM

Yes,I know the children were painted in Gold.I was saying that I was relieved that boston Ballet didn't put black face on the children .I had seen a video of the kirov and the children looked like they had been painted black,so I was worried that boston Ballet might try to stay true to that version,and I was glad to see that they didn't in that respect.As for the "warrior Woman"I saw the ballet a few times because I wanted to see different casts and every time I went,Erika was doing the Warrior Woman,so I apologize,I assumed she was the only one doing the role. [quote]Originally posted by Mme. Hermine:
actually, bijoux, the little children (who accompanied the golden idol) were, as you know, dressed in gold like him, and had gold, not dirt, on their faces. in addition, there were three casts for the warrior dance; the other two girls were caucasian, one blond and blue eyed and one brunette and dark eyed. erika was very very good but it was because she was very good and spirited and strong in the dance, and my suspicion is that this quality is what got her the part!



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