I loved the bulk of AM's original review - he writes beautifully about the ballet. The critique of the actual dancing thrown in at the end was coarse, and yes, snarky. I find he often makes little remarks that should just be tempered or edited out - it taints his otherwise thoughtful prose.
I completely agree that critics have the right to criticize, and to be colorful; however, as mentioned earlier in these pages, that element of controversy seems to be condoned and encouraged in this age when everyone's opinion is out there in the blogosphere, and people can say whatever they want (but shouldn't necessarily).
As for the weight issue:
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...
Eating disorders are deadly, and although they are prevalent in ballet, a "like it or not" attitude is insensitive and harmful, and it is more than a matter of someone's feelings getting hurt. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. And, a growing percentage of sufferers are men. As a ballet audience, it is our responsibility not to continue this prejudice. So many people in these pages have commented on the beautiful dancing of so many different bodies! And Jenifer Ringer said it herself in her Today show appearance. Hopefully discussions like this one will sink into the ranks of ballet masters around the country, who can put these different body types onstage, for everyone to appreciate their artistry.
In truth, I have been painfully aware of this dilemma for awhile, having been in a position to watch numerous local dance studio performances over the last few years - ballet, jazz, musicals... Numerous girls are overweight, and it is not always pleasant to watch them. However, some "heavier" dancers have a remarkable command of technique, which transcends the weight issue. And a passionate dancer shines no matter what her physique. (I refer to girls, because very few boys dance in these regional shows, at the high school level and below). And often I am really glad the dance teachers put these girls onstage, giving them confidence and encouragement, to express themselves joyously, no matter what their physical appearance. Healthy bodies are neither frail, nor obese, and as dancers mature, hopefully their bodies will become the best instruments their art allows them to be.