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Allegra Kent on Charlie Rose


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#1 canbelto

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Posted 15 July 2008 - 08:47 PM

An interview with Allegra Kent can be found here. Enjoy!

#2 Ray

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Posted 18 July 2008 - 03:26 AM

An interview with Allegra Kent can be found here. Enjoy!



I found this interview sad because I found myself questioning Kent's mental state. She seemed unable to articulate meaningful answers to Rose's questions, and showed a disturbing degree of self-involvement--as if she was telling stories to herself or, to use her words, "for no particular audience." I love the Symphony in C clip that Rose included, but wanted more.

#3 SanderO

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Posted 19 July 2008 - 05:16 AM

Self indulgence and self centeredness seems to be a common trait among those who choose careers on the stage. No?

She does identify how dancers who start so young and stay so focused on their work are "out of touch" with the world... socially and work wise and how they are often unequipped for what comes after they "retire". This is obviously more applicable to the principals who receive so much attention that they barely have time to venture out beyond the world of dance.

In light of that it may be a good thing for dancers to be married to non artists and have a taste of the reality that the rest of us know.

#4 Ray

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Posted 19 July 2008 - 05:33 AM

Self indulgence and self centeredness seems to be a common trait among those who choose careers on the stage. No?

She does identify how dancers who start so young and stay so focused on their work are "out of touch" with the world... socially and work wise and how they are often unequipped for what comes after they "retire". This is obviously more applicable to the principals who receive so much attention that they barely have time to venture out beyond the world of dance.

In light of that it may be a good thing for dancers to be married to non artists and have a taste of the reality that the rest of us know.


I wouldn't class her among the merely self-indulgent, though--I felt that there was a real disconnect there b/t her inner monologue and the reality of the conversational context Rose was trying to establish (good thing he's such a flexible interlocutor). I guess I want more from her because, as you point out SanderO, she's very smart in many respects, more than many dancers.

#5 SandyMcKean

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Posted 19 July 2008 - 11:33 AM

I just watched the clip and have a very different reaction.

I found Allegra to be authentic and genuine. Perhaps a bit flighty, but that's part of her charm it seemed to me. I don't get "self indulgent" at all. Overall I thought the interview very effective from both parties. I enjoyed it.

Perhaps living in certain parts of the world breeds a degree of cynicism in people's conversation about life that has gentle, unhearsed honesty appear disassociated with the "real" world. From my perch I found it refresehing.....so much so that I now plan to read her book.

#6 balletgirl22sk

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Posted 19 July 2008 - 01:20 PM

When I have guest taught at Steps in NY, she often took class. She is an extremely eccentric lady....

#7 kfw

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Posted 19 July 2008 - 03:02 PM

When I have guest taught at Steps in NY, she often took class. She is an extremely eccentric lady....

And a wonderful ballerina. Creative people are often eccentric, as we know.

I just watched the clip and have a very different reaction.

I found Allegra to be authentic and genuine. Perhaps a bit flighty, but that's part of her charm it seemed to me. I don't get "self indulgent" at all. Overall I thought the interview very effective from both parties. I enjoyed it.

Thanks for your comments, Sandy. I had the same reaction, and I hope you'll tell us what you think of Kent's autobiography. If you've never seen Anne Belle's "Six Ballerina's," soon to be released on DVD, you might enjoy Kent's segment. She speaks holding a white iris.

#8 papeetepatrick

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Posted 19 July 2008 - 05:20 PM

I just watched the clip and have a very different reaction.

I found Allegra to be authentic and genuine. Perhaps a bit flighty, but that's part of her charm it seemed to me. I don't get "self indulgent" at all. Overall I thought the interview very effective from both parties. I enjoyed it.


I thought it was marvelous, too. Thanks, canbelto! And yet I had thought her much less compelling and perhaps a bit flighty and even lightweight, in the '6 Balanchine Ballerinas' film from 8 years previous. Here she is sometimes eloquent, and handles Rose's questions with real skill, and she also does some of the difficult questions much better than some of the other ballerinas. On the other film, Melissa Hayden comes off more impressively to my mind. She also looked about 40, and that hardly ever happens at 60 (this was 1997), including with ballerinas. Not at all self-indulgent, rather self-possessed (which I hadn't thought nearly so strongly in the aforementioned film), confident, and--best of all--not at all in awe of any other ballerinas. This is a woman who knew who she was in more than one way, and she engaged totally with Balanchine when she did, but was not hypnotized by him. I was really impressed.

Perhaps living in certain parts of the world breeds a degree of cynicism in people's conversation about life that has gentle, unhearsed honesty appear disassociated with the "real" world.


No, no, no. I can't see what's more cynicism-breeding about Park Avenue and its suburbs than all that Microsoft... I mean--doesn't it just pervade Puget Sound? :)

#9 SandyMcKean

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Posted 19 July 2008 - 05:41 PM

No, no, no. I can't see what's more cynicism-breeding about Park Avenue and its suburbs than all that Microsoft... I mean--doesn't it just pervade Puget Sound? :)

I once worked at Microsoft. In my experience, there certainly is a cynicism there -- not a "nothing measures up" kind of cynicism, but more a kind of "the vast majority will never understand" cynicism.

I wouldn't say Microsoft pervades the Puget Sound....altho the money they generate does. Seattle still holds onto its innocence (not necessarily a good thing), but the "savviness" of cynicism is steadily creeping in. Frankly, I'd say our limitiations here are from being too "nice-nice" rather than from being cynical, but in terms of responding to authenticity, the results of the 2 ways of being are pretty similar. Everything is just too PC around here.

#10 papeetepatrick

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Posted 19 July 2008 - 05:54 PM

Thanks for that, Sandy. Even though we're :) , that does remind me of being at an airport line in 2002 and talking to a nice and also nice-nice lady from Seattle who must have been one of THE Bill and Melinda Ambassadors--and she made a hilarious point of contrasting their 'homeliness despite wealth' to the British Royal Family, of whom she did not approve! I was very amused.

I may revisit the 6 Balanchine Ballerinas to see Kent in that again, because I don't know whether it was I who changed in 2 years or she who changed in 8--but I hadn't been interested enough to even turn it on till the discussion got going. What had seemed rather vague and not quite decisive about her in the earlier film now seems very specific, sharp and certain. Writing the book would surely be part of what made her ability to focus and articulate so striking and crystal-clear.

#11 vipa

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Posted 19 July 2008 - 05:56 PM

When I have guest taught at Steps in NY, she often took class. She is an extremely eccentric lady....


I used to live next door to her, and was in some dance classes with her (back in the day). She has always had a unique way of expressing herself verbally and as a dancer. She is an extremely intelligent person who never had the slightest interest in being conventional.

When you listen to her speak you have to let go of certain expectations and just go with it. She is special. I remember one time, many years ago, when she couldn't open her locker because the combination lock was stuck. After many people tried the numbers, she marched out (pointe shoes and all) to the local hardware and got a hammer and banged it off with great glee. Not conventional, but direct, strong and the people in the hardware store loved it!

I think of her with great affection and admiration, and enjoyed the interview very much because for me that is and always will be the unique Allegra.

On a separate note - I wonder what her kids are doing.

#12 canbelto

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Posted 19 July 2008 - 07:10 PM

I liked her in the "6 Balanchine Ballerinas" interview and in this interview because she's different. Many ballerinas in my observation in older age are as hard as pointe shoes. You can see it in their chins, their steely voices, their tales of the pain and monastic life of dance, their coldness when they are asked about a rival. Not that I blame them -- it's probably the way they have to be. But Allegra seems soft, dreamy, a bit kooky, but I find it endearing. She's somewhat melancholy, but not bitter. Grateful that Mr. B remained loyal to her personally even when he lost interest in her artistically.
And I always love to see the clips of her dancing. Even the brief clip on Charlie Rose showed why Mr. B kept her in the company year after year, after three pregnancies, disastrous plastic surgery, and injuries. She danced like a star.

#13 Amy Reusch

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Posted 19 July 2008 - 08:45 PM

... and hasn't she always been? this way, I mean? She seems in wonderful shape to me!

#14 agnes

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 08:25 PM

I first learned of Allegra from the book, Dance Is A Contact Sport, and having seen the small clip at the end of the Charlie Rose interview, she must have been indeed just so enthralling and enchanting. Her physical grace though, does not carry to intellectual fluidity. I found the quality of her comments, and even her demeanor, in that interview, as vapid, rather unpolished. Sad really. I wonder if it was the lack of social interaction with people outside NYCB/ballet world, or perhaps not having engaged in other meaningful pursuits besides ballet that might have limited her capacity to actively engage a serious conversation?

#15 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 08:52 PM

Oh,you would be surprised how common this phenomenom is...dissapointing indeed. Two books that reflects your point of view are Kirkland's and Farrell's (both of them not even being able to get a high school diploma), so do the math...2 plus 2 is almost always 4.


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