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Nutcracker Chronicles - NYTimesRequest for photos and memories


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#91 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 11:54 AM

I feel this like a Volochkova zaga...

#92 Natalia

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 11:57 AM

I feel this like a Volochkova zaga...


Yes, except that, thank goodness, none of Ringer's male partners have complained that she is too heavy to lift, a-la Yevgeni Ivanchenko's complaint about La Volochkova.

I wouldn't be surprised if Ringer ends up on other shows very soon, such as The View, Ellen, Letterman, etc. This sort of thing escalates pretty quickly, especially during a stretch of 'slow news days.' I would just keep the DVRs at-the-ready for more in the next day or two.

#93 dirac

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 12:39 PM

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.


I expect the appearance by Ringer on national television had something to do with keeping the story going.....

#94 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 03:44 PM

... La Volochkova.

:D

#95 papeetepatrick

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 04:35 PM

What interests me is that The Nutcracker is clearly the most powerful ballet every written in several senses. Does that mean it is the greatest? Yes, just like the most powerful nation in the world is the greatest viz., the U.S. of A., in practical terms, yes, nothing else comes close, not even Swan Lake, in ballet terms, or England or France or even China yet, in national power terms.

And it is also interesting that balletomanes take it so seriously too. The popular audience comprises people who never go to a single other ballet, that's one thing. Then balletomanes tend to go see it every year. There have been discussions about how the Nutcracker is not everywhere seen as a holiday thing, but the Balanchine is, and maybe previously the old ones were, too.

This is a curious collaboration, because connoisseurs of ballet most likely don't think The Nutcracker is the greatest ballet ever made, but they talk about it, with every detail of minutiae, as if it were. Which is fine as long as you feel it's that important, for whatever reason.

I've seen The Nutcracker a total of twice and it is very enjoyable, but I don't plan to see it again unless it comes up as some social affair to do; I wouldn't seek it out for artistic reasons. It's not an unimportant ballet to me, but neither is it particularly outstanding either. It's on the same level as 'La Bayadere' or 'Don Quixote', but not up there with Swan Lake or Sleeping Beauty or much of Balanchine.

I wonder if anybody else doesn't care that much about the Nutcracker as an always de rigueur holiday event. It may be that it finances the rest of ballet to a great extent, and that's reason enough for it, no other ballet does that. But is it this 'cozy' thing that happens for some balletomanes every year? Because to me, it's just another good ballet among a number of full-length one, if I'm being as objective as I can be. It's pretty clear that the appeal has to do with its charm for children and its use in the holidays (even if not everywhere, most people think of it as an Xmas event.) If you're in the business, it's obviously a big deal, but not everybody who likes ballet is in the business, so I wonder if there are others who realize that the Nutcracker is also just something that is propelled by its popularity with families w/children, and may not really be more interesting than a lot of other ballet. I do know it's not necessary to love ballet to not want to see a lot more Nutcrackers, although this is not meant as a criticism of those who do. I just think it's a fine ballet, but not that great.

So what I guess I am asking is, of you balletomanes, which of you think that, overall, the Nutcracker is the single most important ballet every made? or the greatest? or the most worthy of infinite, endless attention? Nobody seems to ask this, but I've also never heard the Nutcracker proclaimed by even a single critic, dancer, artist, or balletomane as 'the greatest ballet ever made'. Not that it has to be, again, to make it all this popular. On the other hand, the 'spell' that seems to come, and this includes Macaulay's 'Nutcracker Chronicles', which is representative of this perennial phenomenon, seems to be something accepted for the most part. But, while I stopped being an NYCB freak and started getting interested in other ballet companies that used to interest me much less, it has never happened that I have been caught by this 'Nutcracker spell', and I imagine there are even some dancers and choreographers who are not always.

I'm also realizing that I would want to go see other dancers in 'Swan Lake' and 'Sleeping Beauty' and many Balanchine and Ashton works, and other things I can't even remember right now, but to go see what somebody's 'Coffee' or 'Arabian' is just doesn't captivate me. But it seems as reliable as tax returns, and that's what's interesting to me about the phenomenon. So I want to know if there really ARE ballet super-fans who think Nutcracker is THE greatest ballet ever made.

#96 Bonnette

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 04:56 PM

I'm glad you raised this issue, because I've always felt like the lone ranger when it comes to Nutcracker...I appreciate it in its historical context, for its visual panoply, wonderful music and so on, but it is among my least favorite ballets. I don't find it interesting or engaging, and certainly not great; even as I child, it left me cold. Maybe I'm just a born curmudgeon. :blushing:

#97 Helene

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 05:34 PM

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.

There's little comparison between a critic appearing on TV in a critical format or for expert opinion or debate with other critics or subject matter experts and a critic appearing on TV to "debate" the object of his criticism.

If it were up to Macaulay to decide and not a NY Times policy/guideline/rule, to accept simply because someone might think you are weak is a weak position, and bypassing the "opportunity" just means that someone may think you are weak.

Criticism is a job, not a debate. It's not "American Idol" where we get to phone in our votes.

Ms. Ringer has been given a platform to respond to his formal criticism, and it sounds like she took the high road, which is no less than I'd expect. For the record, she was my favorite dancer when I left New York, and she remains the one I miss most keenly, regardless of her weight at any point.

#98 vipa

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 05:46 PM

Ms. Ringer has been given a platform to respond to his formal criticism, and it sounds like she took the high road, which is no less than I'd expect. For the record, she was my favorite dancer when I left New York, and she remains the one I miss most keenly, regardless of her weight at any point.


Amen to that - on the Today Show clip that I saw, she said something like this (paraphrasing) - at NYCB we have all types, big, petite, womanly, wraithlike - they are all gorgeous, and can all dance up a storm. Let's celebrate that. (end paraphrased quote)

I loved that statement. It showed class and told people who are not familiar with ballet, that not every dancer is as skinny as Natalie Portman in Black Swan. In fact Ringer said that dancers who are too skinny, can't do the job.

I'm getting off topic, but I think Jennifer Ringer's statements are great ones to have out there.

#99 canbelto

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 06:14 PM

My favorite part of Ringer's interview was her point that people who have eating disorders don't have enough strength for ballet. I noticed the last few times I saw the Mariinsky that certain dancers were SO thin that at times they seemed to actually have difficulty rising up on pointe. It was painful to see them grimly trying to go on pointe, with absolutely no calf muscles to speak of. But Ringer's such a well-spoken lady, with such a lovely voice. Great appearance by her on the Today Show.

#100 vipa

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 06:42 PM

My favorite part of Ringer's interview was her point that people who have eating disorders don't have enough strength for ballet. I noticed the last few times I saw the Mariinsky that certain dancers were SO thin that at times they seemed to actually have difficulty rising up on pointe. It was painful to see them grimly trying to go on pointe, with absolutely no calf muscles to speak of. But Ringer's such a well-spoken lady, with such a lovely voice. Great appearance by her on the Today Show.


Again veering off topic (moderators remove at will). The too thin thing was part of my problem with Portman in the film Black Swan. I looked at her body and thought that she would never get through a ballet.

#101 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 07:15 PM

My favorite part of Ringer's interview was her point that people who have eating disorders don't have enough strength for ballet. I noticed the last few times I saw the Mariinsky that certain dancers were SO thin that at times they seemed to actually have difficulty rising up on pointe. It was painful to see them grimly trying to go on pointe, with absolutely no calf muscles to speak of. But Ringer's such a well-spoken lady, with such a lovely voice. Great appearance by her on the Today Show.


I just saw the clip, and find Miss Ringer's physique very lovely to watch...(actually much more closer to my own standards than the current underweight fashion...)

#102 jsmu

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 07:33 PM

Amen to the remarks that Macaulay does NOT need to appear on the Today Show, or any other television show, in order to keep this ludicrous farce going even longer. He does his job as a critic; yes, he made snarky remarks about dancers; yes, critics have done this since critics existed; yes, dancers have to be thinner than 'normal' human beings. The interlarding of the horrendous 'Black Swan' clips, as if that piece of CHEEZ WHIZ had any statement to make about anything on earth, much less an art form like ballet, clearly demonstrates the total idiocy of the public which is fueling this tired little sideshow. Ringer was gracious, sympathetic, charming, and completely poised (very much what one would imagine from her lovely dancing); I devoutly hope her well-mannered and well-spoken appearance will put an end to this drivel.

#103 Bonnette

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 07:36 PM

I, too, thought that Ms. Ringer was articulate and gracious in the Today Show interview. I was glad to hear her say that she doesn't want an apology, since her body is integral to her art form and critics rightly take note of physical attributes. Like Cubanmiamiboy, I found her performance and appearance lovely in the clip that was shown...her physique is a bit reminiscent of Lynn Seymour's, well formed and strong, capable of deft and wide-ranging expression.

#104 Bonnette

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 07:40 PM

The interlarding of the horrendous 'Black Swan' clips, as if that piece of CHEEZ WHIZ had any statement to make about anything on earth, much less an art form like ballet, clearly demonstrates the total idiocy of the public which is fueling this tired little sideshow. Ringer was gracious, sympathetic, charming, and completely poised (very much what one would imagine from her lovely dancing); I devoutly hope her well-mannered and well-spoken appearance will put an end to this drivel.

:clapping:

#105 papeetepatrick

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 07:46 PM

The interlarding of the horrendous 'Black Swan' clips, as if that piece of CHEEZ WHIZ had any statement to make about anything on earth, much less an art form like ballet, clearly demonstrates the total idiocy of the public which is fueling this tired little sideshow. Ringer was gracious, sympathetic, charming, and completely poised (very much what one would imagine from her lovely dancing); I devoutly hope her well-mannered and well-spoken appearance will put an end to this drivel.

:clapping:


agree with bonnette. very cool, jsmu, I don't know if I like the 'interlarding' or the 'total idiocy of the public' best, but this has given me great pleasure.


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