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Askegard and Bushnell file for divorce


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27 replies to this topic

#1 dirac

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 05:28 PM

Charles Askegard and Candace Bushnell are phffft, reports The New York Post. Too bad.

Eyebrows were raised when Bushnell, who hosted a going-away party for Askegard when he retired in September, was noticeably missing from his opening performance at The Joyce for his new venture on Nov. 23.

This has been coming for a long time,” a friend told us. “They have been living increasingly separate lives. Candace has been spending more and more time in the country at her house in Connecticut, while Charles has been in the city working. He has been going through a huge career transition.”

#2 Eileen

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 07:07 AM

I'm going out on a limb here in replying to this post. I am trying to tread carefully, now that the name of the alleged correspondent is part of the public legal record. Candace Bushnell is not going for a no-fault divorce; she is going to try to prove fault, and since she has the best lawyers her fortune can buy, I assume she has proof that will stand up in court. I will not mention the alleged correspondent's name (The term "corrrespondent" has not been heard for at least 50 years; it means the man or woman who is party to the affair. It must be proven of course.) I am writing for the benefit of the many other young women who are watching this from the sidelines and gaining either models or lessons. I have the perspective of years, and from my perspective, the alleged correspondent has killed her career. How? Because before she was a natural to be named soloist; now she's gone from hot tamale to hot potato. Candace Bushnell is more than a pretty face, much more. She is experienced in the world and has allies. She will not stoop to be personally involved herself, but her friends on the board and among the women who are sponsors of NYCB will be deeply offended if the correspondent is offered promotion. The Ballet Master in Chief is in an awkward position if he promotes her, as her reputation will not help her. If the corps de ballet member believes she will go down in history as one of the "grandes horizontales", like Cleopatra or Madame de Pompadour - try Monica Lewinsky. Candace Bushnell will carry on, and when she recovers, what a novel she can write, from an insider's perspective! I look forward to reading it. I've only read one of her books, which I reviewed (spotlight review) on Amazon, One Fifth Avenue, and she impressed me. She has a future; her husband's career is careening into free lance uncertainty. ("But we were in love!" I can hear the dancer's plaint.)

#3 aurora

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 10:38 AM

I'm going out on a limb here in replying to this post. I am trying to tread carefully, now that the name of the alleged correspondent is part of the public legal record. Candace Bushnell is not going for a no-fault divorce; she is going to try to prove fault, and since she has the best lawyers her fortune can buy, I assume she has proof that will stand up in court. I will not mention the alleged correspondent's name (The term "corrrespondent" has not been heard for at least 50 years; it means the man or woman who is party to the affair. It must be proven of course.)

I am writing for the benefit of the many other young women who are watching this from the sidelines and gaining either models or lessons. I have the perspective of years, and from my perspective, the alleged correspondent has killed her career. How? Because before she was a natural to be named soloist; now she's gone from hot tamale to hot potato. Candace Bushnell is more than a pretty face, much more. She is experienced in the world and is a member of the NYCB Board. She has allies. She will not stoop to be personally involved herself, but her friends on the board and among the women who are sponsors of NYCB will be deeply offended if the correspondent is offered promotion. The Ballet Master in Chief is in an awkward position if he promotes her, as her reputation will not help her. If the corps de ballet member believes she will go down in history as one of the "grandes horizontales", like Cleopatra or Madame de Pompadour - try Monica Lewinsky.

Candace Bushnell will carry on, and when she recovers, what a novel she can write, from an insider's perspective! I look forward to reading it. I've only read one of her books, which I reviewed (spotlight review) on Amazon, One Fifth Avenue, and she impressed me. She has a future; her husband's career is careening into free lance uncertainty. ("But we were in love!" I can hear the dancer's plaint.)


First of all, since it is all over the news you might as well say it. Not doing so seems more unpleasant/gossipy than if you just acknowledged who it is. It reminds me of when people say "I don't want to speak ill of X!" and then go on to do just that.

I find it interesting you save all your advice and seeming condemnation for the young lady in question. Surely Charles Askegard was at least equally to blame. After all, he is the individual who had pledged himself to Bushnell, not the ballerina in question. She may not have acted wisely but I'm not really sure she is the one who deserves your scathing criticism.

Personally if what you predict comes true, and I see no reason to think 1) that she was in line for a promotion or 2) that she would be denied it because of this in the culture of NYCB (after all, pot kettle black), then I think she deserves a bit of sympathy rather than your scorn.

#4 Eileen

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 10:52 AM

Charles Askegard was equally to blame.

Since I am a senior citizen, I am more than qualified to offer career advice to the young dancers reading this board. Since I see down the road a lot farther than 20-somethings, if I did not explain what will happen next I would be derelict as a human being. Wisdom lies in foreseeing the future, and I owe it to young women to explain the natural consequences of transgressive actions. Ask Mia Farrow what she learned from her experiences. She's an expert on consequences.

I'm not sure why she deserves sympathy though - It seems that Candace Bushnell is the injured party, though maybe that's my misunderstanding of the situation. I am sure you have closer information on this than I do, who am limited to official sources.

I did not want to mention her name because delicacy prevented me from doing so. Delicacy is another term that has not been heard in 50 years. It is indelibly linked to the equally passe term "ladylike". Since I am a lady, I will not name the other woman. Delicacy is also sometimes known as refinement.

#5 canbelto

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 11:04 AM

I would like to think that we live in a time that has moved beyond chastising "young women" for "transgressive actions." There are a lot of break-ups, divorces, affairs, and whatnot in modern society. There were a lot way back when too, even in the most "correct" and "polite" of societies. The only difference nowadays is a lack of Puritanical judgment for the most part about what should be a private matter between three people.

#6 Natalia

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 11:37 AM

Did dirac's original post (top of this thread) about the unfortunate split mention a 3rd party ("correspondent") who is a corps dancer at NYCB? Not at all -- neither his post nor the linked article.

Did somebody say 'refinement'?

#7 Eileen

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 11:42 AM

Canbelto, we have certainly moved beyond Puritanical judgment. I totally agree with you. The thing is, I have never abandoned my sense of right and wrong, and I never will. The other woman did something wrong, the husband did something wrong, the wife is devastated but bears it bravely. All this occurred throughout history, but the difference is that there was moral judgment then, and now we have "moved beyond" chastizing young women for "transgressive actions". I do consider breaking up a long term marriage a transgression. They both are cheap. I will never move beyond my belief that marriage is sacred. Canbelto, today the only thing we consider sacred is Serenade. Personal standards have been cheapened and vulgarized, and the people who behave like Monica Lewinsky deserve to be called on it. So yes, we totally are in agreement. But you find "moving beyond" judgment praiseworthy, and I consider it pusillanimous. That means cowardly.

#8 canbelto

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 11:50 AM

Canbelto, we have certainly moved beyond Puritanical judgment. I totally agree with you. The thing is, I have never abandoned my sense of right and wrong, and I never will. The other woman did something wrong, the husband did something wrong, the wife is devastated but bears it bravely. All this occurred throughout history, but the difference is that there was moral judgment then, and now we have "moved beyond" chastizing young women for "transgressive actions". I do consider breaking up a long term marriage a transgression. They both are cheap. I will never move beyond my belief that marriage is sacred. Canbelto, today the only thing we consider sacred is Serenade. Personal standards have been cheapened and vulgarized, and the people who behave like Monica Lewinsky deserve to be called on it. So yes, we totally are in agreement. But you find "moving beyond" judgment praiseworthy, and I consider it pusillanimous. That means cowardly.


I knew what pusillanimous means, thank you very much. I am a teacher.

I too consider some things sacred. But since I don't know the story besides the bare-bones facts, I'll hesitate before "delicately" condemning this "transgressive" young woman to the Magdalene laundries.

#9 Eileen

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 12:17 PM

There's nothing I relish more than an intelligent debate, especially on ethical principles.

My argument is that the limited facts we know that are asserted in the legal filings and have been confirmed by the parties are sufficient to cast negative judgment upon both the husband and his paramour. I am not interested in learning more about their affair.

#10 canbelto

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 12:23 PM

I'm saying I don't know the insides and outsides of the marriage nearly enough to condemn anyone, but even if all you say is true, I don't think it's that big of a deal. People get married. People get divorced. People have affairs. Romances that start out as heaven often end up in icy recriminations. All very sad for some of the parties involved, but it happens, and it's part of life.

Even societies with the most puritanical standards of adultery, divorce, and sexual freedom are rife with cases of exactly that: adultery, divorce, and issues of sexual freedom.

#11 JMcN

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 12:30 PM

As no-one can ever know what goes on behind closed doors or even what has been discussed between client and lawyer, no matter what one's morals and standards, it is, IMHO, inappropriate to apportion any blame to any of the parties. Additionally, IMHO, the direction this thread is taking bears little relation to ballet.

#12 dirac

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 01:12 PM

Did dirac's original post (top of this thread) about the unfortunate split mention a 3rd party ("correspondent") who is a corps dancer at NYCB? Not at all -- neither his post nor the linked article.

Did somebody say 'refinement'?



No, the OP didn't have anything of the kind, although the co-respondent's name was mentioned in subsequent news reports.

I did find it interesting that in this day and age an allegedly injured spouse was taking such a retrograde course against an errant mate, especially this allegedly injured spouse, but that's a matter for other boards, not this one. This is a delicate subject; everyone please take care.

#13 ksk04

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 01:17 PM

I think what everyone in this thread has said is that this is clearly a personal matter between the three parties and it doesn't need inflammatory comment from those privy only to what is revealed to the press. Saying that people here have a "lack of principles" because they are unwilling to sit in total moral judgement of those we do not know and regarding a situation we do not know details of is rather ludicrious. I think most people, if asked, would say "adultery is bad" but few would want the parties involved tarred, feathered, and kicked to the curb from their job over it.

#14 Jayne

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 01:59 PM

I have few questions about the politics of promotions at NYCB:

1. The current Artistic Director has also been through a divorce from his first wife, a long term relationship with another NYCB ballerina while he was ballet master, and then married an NYCB starlet while he was ballet master-in-chief (and her supervisor). He also supervised his own son, which in many other places of business would be seen as nepotism. There was a domestic abuse case with his now-wife, and a drunk driving incident. Since none of these bits of news gossip destroyed Mr Martins career, I would deduce that an interpersonal relationship will not derail the correspondent's career.

2. The NYCB Board has approximately 35 people on it, and not all of them are still on their first marriages...or allies of Ms. Bushnell.

http://www.observer..../12/nutcracked/

3. Based on publicly available books and news articles, Mr. Martins tends to promote rather impulsively. Which leads me to believe that the board is not terribly involved in this process. But I have not studied their bylaws to find out if board approval is required for each dancer promotion, or if they just approve budgets for promotions and allow the AD to choose the specific dancers.

4. Mr. B was remarkably unfaithful to all of his wives. Marital fidelity is not really part of the dancer's job description.

5. To the best of my knowledge, the NYCB costume department does not sew scarlet letters onto costumes of dancers deemed to stray.

#15 Ray

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 02:04 PM

[....] To the best of my knowledge, the NYCB costume department does not sew scarlet letters onto costumes of dancers deemed to stray.


Now THERE'S a ballet story idea! To music by Mahler, of course (because the topic is SO serious)... and we can call the ballet The Correspondent.


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