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Dancers Who SmokeWhy do they put their life at RISK?


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#91 kfw

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 05:20 AM

Then Peter Martins has at least two one-offs of differing sorts, the first of which was spousal abuse in the early 90s. This is public record, not gossip. I suppose you can call that a 'dumb mistake' and that he 'didn't choose to do it', not really anyway. Spent a few hours in the clink for it too. Another thing we disagree on is the 'opportunity to be a role model'. You don't have to be privileged to want to be a role model.

As serious and disgusting a crime as a DUI is, I still respect people who exercise discipline day in and day out. One lapse, or one lapse every 19 years, doesnít greatly lessen my respect. And as I wrote before, I don't think we have any right to expect dancers to be good role models, but I admire people who recognize that, like it or not, they are role models, and who believe that with privilege comes responsibility, and who embrace that role. We have no right to demand anything from them, but they can demand it of themselves. I donít look down on people who donít take on that responsibility, but I do look up to those who do. No you don't have to be privileged to want to be a role model, but that's beside the point.

I'm sorry, but this whole discussion has become rather specious. To say that dancers are so weak and impressionable that when they see an etoile or lesser star smoking they will too, doesn't say much about their strength of character, purpose, or intellect.


I donít think it impugns any of those things, it just says theyíre only human. Intellect doesnít have much to do with it, in my opinion, given that knowing whatís smart and doing whatís smart are two different abilities.

Adding to what Patrick said - the distinction between "conscious choice" and "dumb mistake" is a bit of a stretch, surely? You don't know the motivations and the history of the smoker down the way, and one could argue that the casual drinker who has a few too many and gets behind the wheel is more culpable than the alcoholic, because the former has the judgment to know better and prepare for the contingency.

You could argue that, sure. Iím just giving the guy the benefit of the doubt. You could also argue that heís not the first person to drink too much on New Yearís Eve.

Dancers are obligated to dance well. Which is certainly hard enough, we don't have to load them down with anything else. Let's just put Aurelie and Marie-Agnes in stocks in the public square and have done with it. Good grief.

Again, that is not at all the spirit of what Iíve been saying. And now I should follow your good example in regards to an earlier point of disagreement, and say that I'll leave it there.

#92 Simon G

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 05:56 AM

As serious and disgusting a crime as a DUI is, I still respect people who exercise discipline day in and day out. One lapse, or one lapse every 19 years, doesnít greatly lessen my respect. And as I wrote before, I don't think we have any right to expect dancers to be good role models, but I admire people who recognize that, like it or not, they are role models, and who believe that with privilege comes responsibility, and who embrace that role. We have no right to demand anything from them, but they can demand it of themselves. I donít look down on people who donít take on that responsibility, but I do look up to those who do. No you don't have to be privileged to want to be a role model, but that's beside the point.


Well, we have no proof it was a one off. Just the first time he'd been caught. And is Martins' daily discipline (who himself has liked a cig or two) any greater than Gillot or Dupont who go through the daily trauma and slog. It seems to me there's this odd sentiment pervading this thread that equates smoking with the most heinous crimes known to man and negates all other achievements, gracious qualities or morality a smoker may possess.

If someone has no desire to be a role model, they aren't one. And if people look up to them expecting them to uphold standards they feel they should possess, then it's that person's problem when they're disappointed.

I also get the feeling that you'd be less forgiving of drunk drivers who didn't happen to be the AD of NYCB and one of the greatest male dancers as well as an ex smoker. But like his insisting that his DUI was a one off, we have only Martins' word that he no longer smokes.

Given that he vowed to uphold the tradition and legacy of NYCB to Balanchine on his death bed I do wonder how good that word actually is.

Moreover, why can't you be a role model and smoke? Smoking is personal, climbing into a car, even once, drunk is an apalling act. It's not a lapse of judgement, it's not a "dumb move" it's a dick move and there's absolutely no excuse.


You could argue that, sure. Iím just giving the guy the benefit of the doubt. You could also argue that heís not the first person to drink too much on New Yearís Eve.


This reminds me a bit of Whoopi Goldberg's charmingly bizarre defence of Roman Polanski's rape and sodomising of a 13 year old; as she said "there's rape and then there's "rape, rape". (BTW not equating rape with smoking or DUI or vehicular manslaughter.

So if one kills, maims, seriously injures oneself or others at Christmas it's somehow a lesser offence or more acceptable than say after Easter, Pesach or Labour day? Festive Pile up, Yuletide paraplegia? This is turning into the biggest atrocity in the name of Festive fun since Sandra Lee's Kwanzaa Cake.

Some people here hate smoking, some don't, some love it etc But please, getting into a car pissed out of your skull is not equatable, is in a whole other realm of irresponsible, is deeply criminally negligent and it belittles any argument against smoking but considering it in relation to DUI. DUI is a half tonne loaded gun with a moron at the wheel.

#93 Simon G

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 05:59 AM

Actually I just have to ask. If you absolutely had to choose and "neither" was an option, who would you rather be in the passenger seat of a car with? A smoker or someone who's just downed a half a bottle of tequila?

#94 kfw

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 06:16 AM

Actually I just have to ask. If you absolutely had to choose and "neither" was an option, who would you rather be in the passenger seat of a car with? A smoker or someone who's just downed a half a bottle of tequila?

Perhaps I haven't been clear. I'm not interested in discussing the discussion, which is against BA rules anyhow, and as I indicated, I'm trying to bow out here. But that's a rhetorical question, and like the points in your previous post, it would not arise if you understood my view.

#95 Simon G

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 06:58 AM


Actually I just have to ask. If you absolutely had to choose and "neither" was an option, who would you rather be in the passenger seat of a car with? A smoker or someone who's just downed a half a bottle of tequila?

Perhaps I haven't been clear. I'm not interested in discussing the discussion, which is against BA rules anyhow, and as I indicated, I'm trying to bow out here. But that's a rhetorical question, and like the points in your previous post, it would not arise if you understood my view.



The "not discussing the discussion" argument is incredibly passive aggressive and I think misused here as what we are actually discussing is a continuation of the theme. I did understand the gist of your argument, I don't think though you've clearly expressed it, indeed the glibness of the original statement that getting into a car drunk was a one-time dumb move and we've all made those, is specious.

It's also incredibly passive agressive to baldly state that I wouldn't make a point if I understood your view, implying what? My comprehension skills are lacking? I could counter that if you had made your view with clarity then confusion wouldn't arise.

All this because Marie Agnes Gillot offered Aurelie Dupont a cigarette and she accepted. I suppose we should be grateful they weren't Friends of Gelsey, who knows how many pages that thread would have stretched to.

#96 Helene

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 07:01 AM

The "not discussing the discussion" argument is incredibly passive aggressive and I think misused here as what we are actually discussing is a continuation of the theme. I did understand the gist of your argument, I don't think though you've clearly expressed it, indeed the glibness of the original statement that getting into a car drunk was a one-time dumb move and we've all made those, is specious.

It's also incredibly passive agressive to baldly state that I wouldn't make a point if I understood your view, implying what? My comprehension skills are lacking? I could counter that if you had made your view with clarity then confusion wouldn't arise.

All this because Marie Agnes Gillot offered Aurelie Dupont a cigarette and she accepted. I suppose we should be grateful they weren't Friends of Gelsey, who knows how many pages that thread would have stretched to.

This post pretty much defines "discussing the discussion". Stop it. Take it to PM.

#97 bart

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 08:59 AM

Take it to PM.

A very good suggestion. We have an excellent Personal Messenger feature, for just that purpose.

#98 papeetepatrick

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 09:12 AM

Sandra Lee's Kwanzaa Cake.


Oh. My. God. You have made my day, I hadn't heard about this, although as a very serious cook myself, I haven't actually gone nuts over some of her imitation canned pineapple juice that wets Duncan Hines Yellow Cake Mix. Oh lord, not a role model except for good husband-choosing, she ought to go to the Martha Stewart Show like I did. Even if Martha does shamelessly insert insidious product placement like confusing people's names with 'L'oreale', which turns out to be all over her magazine, she DOES know how to countenance ingredients in a reasonably basic form (I do her Romaine Salad with Feta and Anchovies all the time.) She also begrudgingly admitted that you could frost a chocolate butter cream with 'just a regular spoon', after trying to sell all sorts of specialized paraphernalia.

I just Googled several sites, and this is so hilarious, I fully believe a new era in inedibility has impinged, one which may well signal the downfall of all civilization. And I do NOT like it that she's well-known in Britain either! I had thought she had a reasonably localized 'trashin'-cookin' following..

Sorry this is so :off topic: but Simon's pm was full, so I could not 'emploi' that method :P

#99 dirac

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 09:41 AM

Adding to what Patrick said - the distinction between "conscious choice" and "dumb mistake" is a bit of a stretch, surely? You don't know the motivations and the history of the smoker down the way, and one could argue that the casual drinker who has a few too many and gets behind the wheel is more culpable than the alcoholic, because the former has the judgment to know better and prepare for the contingency.


You could argue that, sure. Iím just giving the guy the benefit of the doubt. You could also argue that heís not the first person to drink too much on New Yearís Eve.

Dancers are obligated to dance well. Which is certainly hard enough, we don't have to load them down with anything else. Let's just put Aurelie and Marie-Agnes in stocks in the public square and have done with it. Good grief.


Again, that is not at all the spirit of what Iíve been saying. And now I should follow your good example in regards to an earlier point of disagreement, and say that I'll leave it there.


The remark about dancers being obligated to dance well and only that was not addressed to you personally, FYI -- it was a commentary on the "role model" exchange that had just occurred. As for giving people the benefit of the doubt, I think it's a good general principle. I've even applied it to the occasional smoker....

#100 Nanarina

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 10:17 AM

My, this subject brings up strong emotions!

Personal space, yes. Also, good old-fashioned manners. If you know you stink, you stay away from people; even homeless people who don't have an opportunity to bathe understand that and usually settle themselves in some out-of-the-way spot. And when did it become all right to light up without asking in the presence of someone who's not smoking?

Nearly every weekend when the weather is nice you can find me reading in the park. I can't tell you how many times over the years somebody takes a spot on the bench next to mine, or occasionally even on my bench, and without so much as asking do you mind they start puffing away. I mean honestly, they *never* ask. Ever! It used to be I would say something, but that sometimes led to testy words that spoiled my mood. So now I don't say anything, though I suppose the alacrity with which I stand and vacate the vicinity makes it pretty obvious why I'm leaving. Who, please, is the "smoking nazi" in this scenario? Who has a seat, and who has none? Surely we can agree that if we non-smokers avoid smokers when we see them in the park, they can do the same for us?

But getting back to the original subject: it seems what I said before was taken exactly the opposite of how I meant it. My "thing" about not drinking in front of children is, I know all too well, my own personal quirk, and I know of not a single person who shares it! I only spoke of it as an example of how easy it is to make a habit of not doing something possibly offensive in front of other people, especially children and teenagers. On the other hand: One is chosen to be a role model, yes, I believe that; but I don't think anybody has to feel obligated to live up to that responsibility if they don't want it. And the younger somebody is, the more likely they will choose the deliberately provocative action rather than the one that would mark them as a good citizen.

Oh, but if Dupont had just said a quick "do you mind?" to those present before taking that cigarette, I would have cheered for her! If more people were willing to be a role model for etiquette, perhaps we wouldn't need so many laws to enforce what should just be common sense and good manners.

Anthony


She did not need to ask anything, there was only her, Marie Agnes G. and possibly the camerman. It was a "ciggy" brake on the balcony of the Garnier. But the programme went out on DVD available to her followers of all ages. Some of who would have been impressionable young people who treat her like a pop star and put her on a pedastal. Surely if you are a person in the spotlight you should consider your actions.

#101 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 01:14 PM

I suppose we should be grateful they weren't Friends of Gelsey, who knows how many pages that thread would have stretched to.


:rofl:

Sorry... :blushing:

#102 Pamela Moberg

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 03:00 PM

Oh dear, such a lot of posts about such a triviality :speechless-smiley-003: I will let you folks have whatever opinion you like, but personally I subscribe to being polite and thoughtful towards my fellow human beings. Sometime I succeed, at other times not. Yet, in this life it must be remembered there is a live and let live - something that is alas sadly lacking these days. Self styled moral vigilants and busybodies are all over the place.
This brings to mind an old video that I have now discarded when I tranferred to DVD. It was a program from Swedish TV, an interview with Makarova and I did not find it worth saving for two little measly clips of her dancing. One I remember well was of her standing at the barre - cig in hand, turn round, tranfer cig to other hand, doing what I can remember was grand battement. This film would have been from late seventies to early eighties.
At the time I thought it was rather poor show, she wasnt being filmed every time she did the barre so she could have omitted the fag. If she normally smoked while doing the barre, of course it was her own business. She was not, shall we say, a good role model.
But at least I didnt start hating her for it - which judging by some of the posts, would have been the case today.
I have noticed that of late, pettiness, intolerance and general bloodymindedness is taking root all over the place in every walk of life. In the ballet world, I think anorexia is maybe a greater problem, while generally obesity is by far the most challenging medical issue today. It annoys me no end when I have to stand in the bus or train because some fat slob takes up two seats (and pay for one :FIREdevil: )

#103 anink

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 03:15 PM

Please,enough already. A lot of dancers smoke. The late Ekaterina Maximova smoked all her life and to me one smoking Maximova is worth a hundred non-smoking dancers.
It's a bad habit but it's a personal choice.Do I need to mention all the great dancers(living & dead) who smoke or smoked like Eric Brun,Baryshnikov,Ruzimatov etc.
Don't put performers on piedestal because they are great artists.Admire them for their art and leave them alone otherwise.

#104 dirac

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 03:24 PM

It annoys me no end when I have to stand in the bus or train because some fat slob takes up two seats (and pay for one )


Pamela, I must express the respectful hope that this is an example of irony. Otherwise it stands out rather oddly in a post devoted to the theme of "live and let live." Excuse me if I am failing to get the joke.

#105 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 04:05 PM

Please,enough already. A lot of dancers smoke. The late Ekaterina Maximova smoked all her life and to me one smoking Maximova is worth a hundred non-smoking dancers.
It's a bad habit but it's a personal choice.Do I need to mention all the great dancers(living & dead) who smoke or smoked like Eric Brun,Baryshnikov,Ruzimatov etc.
Don't put performers on piedestal because they are great artists.Admire them for their art and leave them alone otherwise.


Beautiful. That sums all up. The other day I was having a discussion that somehow borders this subject-(the Weiner scandal). Now, I know that this is sort of a different animal, but the person I was having the conversation with seemed to be very offended by his personal life actions. Sometimes things that are meant to be personal surface intentional or unintentionally, but I don't think it is our business to judge them. At the end this is just their private life-(which is getting more and more hard to stay private with the whole online siren songs)-, and I don't feel any of us are "pure" enough to put our finger our those. The discussion ended up when I asked the person if she was unhappy with Weiner's professional career or if she didn't feel that he had been doing a good job as a congressman, which she was unable to respond. Then I reminded her of the Clinton scandal and how great was that public pressure and pseudo-moralist notions hadn't been strong enough to destroy the Presidential couple's professional and personal career, which for me was a great response to those who were trying to flash their "role model" agenda to all of us. Good for Hillary, and good for Bill...and time for the moral squad to move on to another offending perpetrator story.

As for the original OP's question of "why do they..." the answer is just as simple as "because they choose to as the adults they are". Period.


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