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Sascha Radetsky "My Turn" in Newsweek magazineSpeaking up for male ballet dancers in a national forum


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#1 4mrdncr

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 08:02 PM

In the March 17,2008 issue of Newsweek magazine, the "My Turn" essay is by ABT soloist Sascha Radetsky. There is an accompanying picture. I have also been informed that the article has been posted at thewinger.

#2 carbro

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 08:35 PM

Thanks, 4mrdncr. There's nothing there that hasn't been said by others and on this board, but it's interesting to see how Sascha puts it into his own words.

The essay is -->here.

#3 Memo

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 10:42 PM

Sorry I had 3 people send it to me today and I had already read it 2 days ago. I find the topic rather "done to death". I know its still going on but its 2008 its time to get over such stupid stereotypes. I have plenty of boys in my school and NONE of them fit any particular stereotype. They are all different, all equally interesting, smart, sensitive, artistic, athletic the only thing that sets them apart from others is that they seem more evolved and interesting that the average kid. (maybe that is my bias). I just cannot believe that, this conversation still needs to be even needs to be brought up. :smilie_mondieu:

#4 Mel Johnson

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 03:23 AM

My cynical take from the other board:

Newsweek should talk!

#5 Joseph

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 05:34 AM

Sorry I had 3 people send it to me today and I had already read it 2 days ago. I find the topic rather "done to death". I know its still going on but its 2008 its time to get over such stupid stereotypes. I have plenty of boys in my school and NONE of them fit any particular stereotype. They are all different, all equally interesting, smart, sensitive, artistic, athletic the only thing that sets them apart from others is that they seem more evolved and interesting that the average kid. (maybe that is my bias). I just cannot believe that, this conversation still needs to be even needs to be brought up. :wub:


Memo - I agree with you... This article (in my opinion) is quite 'old school'. And, I am suprised that there is a still a need for defending male dancers. Who cares?
And, as a dancer, why does he feel the need to write an essay about how he loved the girls and state that some of his colleagues are gay. That is not his business nor the publics business either. There are homosexual men and women in every working environment; because ballet may be stereotyped does not give justification for those men who are heterosexual dancers a need to defend themselves. If they really are trying to prove something, then why even bother saying anything about it at all? Maybe it is more a question about maturity / immaturity?

I just don't see the need for male dancers to continually feel as though they need to defend themselves or make sure to mention in newspaper / magazine articles stuff like "well, I loved the girls of course..." Who cares?!

Anyway, just thought I would tell you I agree, Memo! There is a lot more room for discussion on this surely; will check back later... :smilie_mondieu:

#6 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 08:24 AM

I agree about the retread nature of the article, but I did think Radetsky handled homosexuality somewhat better than it usually is in this genre of articles. As I read it, at least he said up front that people he works are gay, implied that it was not a big deal to him and went on. Usually, there's an even bigger protestation of the author's heterosexuality or a prominent mention of a wife. It's not a sort of article I care to read anymore (but it's not aimed at me) - still I'll cut him some slack on that angle.

#7 kfw

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 08:38 AM

I agree with Leigh. I doubt Radetsky would say he's defending himself by noting that he's straight; I think he just means to set the record straight (no pun intended) for the sake of making himself known. What really seems to bother him is not that he's taken for gay, but that he's assumed to be effeminate when he's macho (a personality difference), and taken for a weak person when he feels he's strong and courageous.

#8 Old Fashioned

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 08:51 AM

Interesting to note that the reactions to the article here are much different from the ones at the winger. Any reason why?

#9 carbro

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 08:59 AM

This is old news to people who frequent dance studios and read these boards, but what about that whole swath of America whose exposure to live ballet is the Dolly Dinkle annual Nutcracker with their daughter -- or less? I suspect the old stereotype is still pretty strong among the underexposed.

Somewhere out there may be a Billy Elliot whose parents want him to grow to be a macho guy and won't let him pursue his dreams of dancing. I think Sascha is pleading the boy's case to those parents as well as the larger community.

#10 dirac

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 09:15 AM

In the March 17,2008 issue of Newsweek magazine, the "My Turn" essay is by ABT soloist Sascha Radetsky. There is an accompanying picture. I have also been informed that the article has been posted at thewinger.



Thanks, 4mrdncr. There's nothing there that hasn't been said by others and on this board, but it's interesting to see how Sascha puts it into his own words.

The essay is -->here.


Just noting for the record the article was posted in our own Links five days ago.....

#11 dancesmith

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 10:12 AM

We need to have more articles like it in the media. The best way to combat the stereotypes is to put real faces on the subjects, showing the public our male dancers as being just as Memo was describing.

Carbro is correct. This is old news to those of us who have already chosen ballet. We already know the reality and have chosen to deal with the stereotype in our own ways.

But the importance is not for us, but for talented young male dancers that we are losing because they cannot battle the stereotype with their peers or even parents. We will never know how many times this article, or another like it, might serve as the tipping point for a young man or a parent, making the difference is someone’s opinion that a young dancer might vitally need.

#12 cahill

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 12:07 PM

But the importance is not for us, but for talented young male dancers that we are losing because they cannot battle the stereotype with their peers or even parents. We will never know how many times this article, or another like it, might serve as the tipping point for a young man or a parent, making the difference is someone’s opinion that a young dancer might vitally need.


I totally agree. Especially since he is more well known than some other male dancers due to his starring in the movie Center Stage.

I found it interesting that the article was written by him and not just an interview of him. Perhaps he found a way to supplement his income? Personally, I would like to see more articles of this nature showing the life of not only ballet dancers but other artists.

#13 Haglund's

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 01:30 PM

I wonder if the tatoos and the bulking up of the upper body are, in part, a response or reaction to his perception of others' perceptions of his vocation.

Some group of men will always be picked on by some other group of men for purposes of elevating one group over another. If it's not ballet dancers, it's sailors. If it's not sailors, it's chefs or beret sporting painters.

#14 Marga

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 03:50 PM

I agree with so many opinions expressed in the posts above mine. I had similar gut reactions. Since I've been well aware of the "My Turn" column for decades, having had an interest to contribute to it on many occasions throughout my life, but never doing so, my first reaction was that Sascha had the same twofold desire: to make a few bucks (I assume the contributors to this feature get paid?) and to get his name out into the mainstream. A member of BT4D was pleased to discover that he was a very fine writer, but I don't think there was anything "very fine" about his writing, rather, it was just okay. Had I written an article about the subject, I (wouldn't have been content to send in such a hackneyed attempt.

The inclusion of "loving the girls" is, IMO, definitely his way of saying he's straight (and feels the need to make this distinction). But, I think that's okay. That way he won't be written off by some still-biased readers. At least they will read to the end of the article.

As far as M. Mel's cynicism goes, the examples stated are rather old, although valid. I'd like to think Newsweek, in the name of current events and keeping up to date, has modified its position over the years, as much of the general population has. We all grow and change with the times.

Do I think Sascha's article will effect any change? No. I think it was just a satisfying exercise for him, personally, to be published in Newsweek. If he'd wanted to make a real case of it, his slant in the piece would have packed more punch.)



Edited to say:
I was just adjusting the order of words in one of my sentences (ever the editor) and having a lot of trouble posting my modified post -- my screens wouldn't change. I had the same trouble with "quick edit" and had to go to "full edit" in order to amend my post. Now, poof! -- the bulk of my post is gone (and that's not the section I was adjusting, so it wasn't my keystrokes that did it, I don't think).

I have no copy of what I had written, so can't fix the above truncated post! Sorry. There was so much more there, part of which is, thankfully, reproduced in M. Mel's post below.

For the record, I don't know if this comment will ever post, as nothing is happening when I press "submit modified post". We just got our computer in from the shop where it was sent because we thought we had a virus. It's only been back for an hour or two and is acting up, although the computer shop guy said everything was okay. So, I don't know if it's me or BT!

Moderator's note Previous text salvaged from email notification and copy/pasted here. Mel

Thank you very much, Major!
Marga

Edited by Marga, 14 March 2008 - 07:29 PM.
like it says.


#15 Memo

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 04:11 PM

And, as a dancer, why does he feel the need to write an essay about how he loved the girls and state that some of his colleagues are gay. That is not his business nor the publics business either. There are homosexual men and women in every working environment; because ballet may be stereotyped does not give justification for those men who are heterosexual dancers a need to defend themselves. If they really are trying to prove something, then why even bother saying anything about it at all? Maybe it is more a question about maturity / immaturity?

I just don't see the need for male dancers to continually feel as though they need to defend themselves or make sure to mention in newspaper / magazine articles stuff like "well, I loved the girls of course..." Who cares?!

Anyway, just thought I would tell you I agree, Memo! There is a lot more room for discussion on this surely; will check back later... thumbsup.gif


Amen to that.

It is nobody's business and sorry but there are tons of guys entering the field these days the competition and level of male dancers rivals the girls. I run a local ballet school and do not find the stereotypes hold true. There are many dads who bring their sons to dance class and sit and watch with the other dads there with their daughters. In fact guys who are openly leery of it are almost inclined to be ridiculed for it thinking that a dance class will make you gay, really when you say it out loud it is just a ludicrous statement.

I also agree that we don't need Sasha Radnesky to prounounce his "straightness" who cares. Is he reinforcing the stereotypes by feeling the need to to write articles on his macho ness :)

Maybe I am just tired or jaded by it. I have trained professional male dancers and have a dancing kid (almost adult) who is male. He knows who he and he respects the other members of his class as people and friends and does not identify them by their sexual orientation. Get over it already. ON with the dance.


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