stinger784

The One … Ballet Movie Even Straight Guys Might Like

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Newsweek maintains a long-standing editorial policy toward ballet, particularly when relating it to men. Was it in 1966 that they trumpeted "Ballet is Woman" as the cover story, showing an owlish Balanchine seated in the midst of his younger female principals and soloists? And during the height of Baryshnikov's popularity, they ran a story entitled "...Those white tights....", describing men's squirmy feelings while watching other men dance in ballets? This story is just another in that tradition. Given this bent, it's no wonder they've slipped so far down the newsmagazine ladder.

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Just bear in mind that James probably didn't write the title for this article herself. Editors do that, ordinarily, and that's where you'll find the bias of the journal. I can't figure out how they've stayed in business so long with such a postwar (that's WWII) mindset.

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The headline is referenced in the text, I think.

I can't work up a big head of steam about this myself - "Black Swan" doesn't really seem to be a ballet film, strictly speaking, and it does have elements, such as the highly publicized hot-chicks-smooching scene, that may well be intended to pull in some straight guys.

The travails of the weekly newsmagazines are well known. I kind of doubt that Newsweek's editorial attitude towards ballet, if it can be said to have ever had one, has anything to do with the magazine's decline and fall. I remember reading some pretty decent articles on the subject back when dance was considered a general interest subject worth covering and the news magazines played a bigger media role than they do now.

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The headline is referenced in the text, I think.

I can't work up a big head of steam about this myself - "Black Swan" doesn't really seem to be a ballet film, strictly speaking, and it does have elements, such as the highly publicized hot-chicks-smooching scene, that may well be intended to pull in some straight guys.

The travails of the weekly newsmagazines are well known. I kind of doubt that Newsweek's editorial attitude towards ballet, if it can be said to have ever had one, has anything to do with the magazine's decline and fall. I remember reading some pretty decent articles on the subject back when dance was considered a general interest subject worth covering and the news magazines played a bigger media role than they do now.

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Yes, I don't care much either. Has Tina started yet? That was the hoot about Newsweek for me. When I was in Switzerland in 1997, I noticed a copy of Newsweek with the cover 'The Death of Privacy'. Despite much surveilliance of all kinds even with terrorist attacks and the rest, I haven't seen the death of privacy, these magazines are forms of tabloids. I guess Tina will try to 'sex it up' the way she did the New Yorker (with some surprisingly good fiction pieces that probably never would have appeared otherwise.) Although her 'Talk' didn't amount to much.

These issues are always loaded and have to do with people's reactions to terms. I personally don't like the term 'gay' or 'straight' although I like 'heterosexual' and 'homosexual' fine. But so what. People are going to use them.

Interesting to muse on Mel's mention of Balanchine's well-known 'Ballet is Woman' remark. Well, that's definitely never been proven, and probably referred mostly to the way he saw ballet and how to do it. But not all great choreographers saw the male as subordinate in ballet, of course, that was part of what Balanchine was. But from Balanchine, heterosexual himself, saying 'ballet is woman' doesn't necessarily follow either that ballet was ever 'homosexual' (there are surely at least as many 'opera queens', although the following of all the 'lively arts' has always had a big homosexual following). I see Mel's point, but don't care what they write in these rags. I'm much more upset when things happen like when Judith Miller and the Times did numbers back at the beginning of the Iraq War. Mainly, it's because the Times still really does exist, among a few important print publications (even if a lot of us read it online). Newsweek and Time used to be so important, and they don't seem to be anymore. I don't even think the New Yorker is all that important anymore, although I do think New York Review of Books is, even though they publish the occasional trash piece. But this is some of it just opinion (mine, I mean). I was more repelled by her using the term 'goody-goody White Swan'. Just plain cruddy writing. Nor is this sort of fatuous thing "channel her sensuous, sinister inner Black Swan" impressive. 'Inner black swan', how revolting. But the print people seem to be studying with the hipster bloggers at this point--be sure to be trendy, no matter how silly.

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Thanks for that link, jmsu; the article was spot on. Speaking of movies, while it wasn't exactly a ballet movie, Waterloo Bridge did feature a fine ballet stereotype in Maria Ouspenskaya's tyrannical ballet mistress.

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