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Nutcracker Chronicles - NYTimesRequest for photos and memories


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#76 Krystin

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 06:05 AM

Jenifer Ringer's interview

I thought Jenifer Ringer did a fantastic job on the Today Show. She was incredibly well spoken and calm, even when the questions from Ann Curry were a bit awkwardly phrased. There was also some wonderful footage of NYCB in The Nutcracker-- hopefully more people will go to see the ballet after seeing this piece. Who knows, maybe some good could come for Nutcracker sales out of this controversy? No matter how you feel about weight in ballet, Jenifer Ringer should be commended for being honest and open about her experiences. She seemed like a beautiful person inside and out.

#77 abatt

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 06:05 AM

Jenny Ringer was on the Today show. I have not seen it yet, but I taped it.

Edit to add: You can watch Ringer's appearance on Today on the Today show's official website. Ringer was very well spoken and mentioned that shw was touched by the outpouring of public support. It was also mentioned that the NY Times was invited to participate but declined. (Translation: Macauley is a wimp.)

#78 rg

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 07:27 AM

Before one starts attributing the non-appearance of Macaulay (note spelling) on TODAY to a lack of strength etc., it would be advisable to investigate what NYTimes policy is about its staff writers answering their critics in situations like this. From what I understand, the TIMES might not allow its personel not to appear in such circumstances; furthermore, in this instance, I happen to know that Macaulay was out of town this weekend, and is likely not yet returned.

#79 abatt

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 07:42 AM

furthermore, in this instance, I happen to know that Macaulay was out of town this weekend, and is likely not yet returned.


In this day and age, they can hook up a satellite connection. The guests do not have to be in the New York City studios in order to appear on the show. These TV programs regularly interview people in their living rooms, hotel rooms and elsewhere.

#80 rg

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 07:53 AM

how to have Macaulay on the show is beside the point, until one knows for certain if the TIMES would approve his appearing. if not, if it's the the paper's decision, pointing a 'wimpish' finger at the writer is mistaken.

#81 kathaP

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 07:59 AM

I think what the "Today Show" clip showed is that Macauley's comment came at a time when there was already a media narrative underway that portrayed ballet as potentially dysfunctional, obsessive and unhealthy. The "Black Swan" clips inbetween Ringer's interview highlighted that. Mainstream media usually sensationalizes, simplifies and misrepresents.

Ringer did very well, she was calm and not accusatory. Because of course Macauley is entitled to write his reviews as he sees fit. That's what he gets paid for by the New York Times. At the same time, I thought the "too many sugar plums" remark was just a cheap shot. He didn't elaborate why the dancers' weight bothered him and how he thought it distracted from the choreography etc. Honestly, it seemed that he just thought that his pun was clever ("Ha ha! Nutcracker! Sweets! Suger Plum Fairy! Too many sugar plums! Get it?") and couldn't resist putting that in. Or he wanted to create controversy, I'm sure the NYT got a lot of pageviews out of all that outrage. They even linked to Ringer's interview in one of their blogs.

#82 abatt

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 09:35 AM

how to have Macaulay on the show is beside the point, until one knows for certain if the TIMES would approve his appearing. if not, if it's the the paper's decision, pointing a 'wimpish' finger at the writer is mistaken.



I don't know what the official policy is of the NYTimes. However, I do know that the Times' lead movie critic, A.O. Scott, used to host a TV show called "At The Movies", where he and another critic provided their opinions on films. The show went off the air recently due to poor ratings. If there was no policy preventing A.O. Scott from providing his opinion (for compensation) regarding films on a TV show every week, I can't imagine why the Times would prevent a dance critic from appearing on TV once to discuss dance (without compensation). (The Today Show does not pay guests for interviews.)I also believe that I have seen reporters from the NY Times on television shows like Meet the Press and other news shows discussing politics, economics, military issues and business.

#83 kfw

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 10:16 AM

I don't know what the official policy is of the NYTimes. However, I do know that the Times' lead movie critic, A.O. Scott, used to host a TV show called "At The Movies", where he and another critic provided their opinions on films. The show went off the air recently due to poor ratings. If there was no policy preventing A.O. Scott from providing his opinion (for compensation) regarding films on a TV show every week, I can't imagine why the Times would prevent a dance critic from appearing on TV once to discuss dance (without compensation).

Even if, contrary to what rg suggests may be the case, the Times doesn't have a blanket policy prohibiting such appearances, I think the reason in this case is easy to guess. Macaulay, if he'd appeared, would have been put on the defensive, and not just for his critical judgment, but for his manners. He's already been given space in the paper to defend himself. Putting him on a show geared to women, with women hosts sympathetic to a woman perceived as a victim, would clearly make him, and by extension the paper, look even worse.

#84 abatt

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 10:29 AM

I don't consider the Today Show a "woman's" show. It's not Oprah or The View. By the way, the clips that have been posted do not show what happened earlier in the broadcast. At approximately 7:30 AM, the show's host, Matt Lauer, was introducing the various guests who would be coming up on the show. He noted that Ms. Ringer would be a guest in a few minutes discussing the controversy regarding the NY Times article concerning her weight. He then turned to his co-host and he stated that he can't understand why she would be considered heavy. He then stated that Ms. Ringer had a lovely, slim figure. You're right that the Times would have looked very bad if Macauley had shown up to defend his position. The last thing the Times needs right now is to lose readership. Thus, my guess is that there was no "policy" that prevented an appearance. Nor was it an issue of logistics. It was simply an attempt by the Times to save face after one of Macaulay's more obnoxious statements. As someone noted on the blog on the Times website, let's not forget that this is the same critic who equated Ethan Steifel to a Hitler Youth because of his hair color only a few months ago.

#85 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 10:34 AM

I see the whole thing as simple as "You choose a profession, you deal with it". Weight issues were, are and will be an item in ballet, we like it or not, and many times for being too "politically correct" critics reviews are just totally flavorless. I would hate to see my favorite ballerina's-(or singer, or actress or whatever)-feelings hurt, and I'm SURE I would be ballistic would I be the object of the attack, but...that's show business. Old school comedians-(like Letterman)-have at times been forced to apologize in public television about some of their jokes, and I still don't get the WHY of the apology...
Actually the freedom to which all this people speak about and criticize public figures-(even the President!)- was one of the things that amused me BIG time when I came to US...and I totally :clapping: to it.

#86 dirac

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 10:37 AM

The Times does have stricter rules than many news organizations about under what circumstances its reporters are allowed to appear on television, although I don't know enough about chapter and verse to know if Macaulay would be forbidden to appear on Today. The paper might well not think it appropriate and one could see why, but I don't know. Macaulay's already responded to the criticism. If Ringer wants to appear on the teevee to talk about it that's entirely up to her.

Putting him on a show geared to women, with women hosts sympathetic to a woman perceived as a victim, would clearly make him, and by extension the paper, look even worse.


Actually, it might make him look better, if the wimmenfolk appear to be ganging up on him. I'm sure he would receive a square deal from the ladies, however.

In one exquisite — but unacknowledged — respect, most of these “Nutcrackers” are hard to tell apart. Only the Joffrey production admits that it is based on the old 1940 Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo production; the others give credit only to their own house choreographers. But much of the same Sugar Plum choreography is danced by the Colorado Ballet, Moving Island Company in Rhode Island, Boston Ballet, Washington Ballet and Houston Ballet. (That’s just to name a few; the Royal Ballet and other companies in Europe also use this choreography.) It probably all derives from the Monte Carlo version, and in the case of the adagio and ballerina solo, parts of it surely go back to the 1892 St. Petersburg original, choreographed by Lev Ivanov.


Good stuff.



#87 kfw

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 10:54 AM

Putting him on a show geared to women, with women hosts sympathetic to a woman perceived as a victim, would clearly make him, and by extension the paper, look even worse.


Actually, it might make him look better, if the wimmenfolk appear to be ganging up on him. I'm sure he would receive a square deal from the ladies, however.

I'm sure as well that they would have been perfectly polite to him, but no less sympathetic to Ringer, in their questions and their facial expressions, than they actually were this morning. Their very courtesy would have made him look all the more the ogre. Unless, of course, he'd done what he didn't do in his blog post - actually apologize.

#88 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 11:41 AM

He sort of did a summary of his Nutcracker chronicles, and I thought this was maybe my favorite description of all:

In one exquisite — but unacknowledged — respect, most of these “Nutcrackers” are hard to tell apart. Only the Joffrey production admits that it is based on the old 1940 Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo production; the others give credit only to their own house choreographers. But much of the same Sugar Plum choreography is danced by the Colorado Ballet, Moving Island Company in Rhode Island, Boston Ballet, Washington Ballet and Houston Ballet. (That’s just to name a few; the Royal Ballet and other companies in Europe also use this choreography.) It probably all derives from the Monte Carlo version, and in the case of the adagio and ballerina solo, parts of it surely go back to the 1892 St. Petersburg original, choreographed by Lev Ivanov.



Yes, yes and yes..Viva Fedorova...!! :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping:

#89 Natalia

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 11:48 AM

The entire Jenifer Ringer "Fat Ballerina" story seems to be gaining momentum. It's now on the front page of Yahoo and Google. This from Yahoo -

http://news.yahoo.co...-called-her-fat

It's really sad that American at large will know the exquisite dancer as 'the fat ballerina.' She deserves much better.

#90 perky

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 11:52 AM

I agree with the above posters regarding Jennifer's Today show appearance. She was calm, warm and open and seemed to me a little overwhelmed by the firestorm. She did acknowledge that she was appreciative of the outpouring of support from so many who rushed to her defense. On a completely shallow note, her shoes were to die for! :wub:
I didn't appreciate seeing the clips from Black Swan used to suggest that ballerinas are under pressure to be too thin. Gad, I'm sick of that movie!


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