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New York Critics, 2012-13 Season


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#16 dirac

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 03:08 PM

I've been disturbed by Kourlas'  interviews.  I think some of the people she interviewed spoke too freely to their detriment. Given that she is a seasoned journalist, I sometimes feel that the people she is interviewing are relatively naive and inexperienced in dealing with publicity and the press, and that Kourlas is capitalizing on their naivete.

 

I don't think Kourlas' interviewing style is particularly aggressive. Even if it were, however, it isn't the reporter's job to not ask questions that might be revealing, certainly not when dealing with consenting adults.



#17 angelica

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 03:27 PM

 

I think critics are too often presumed to be unkind, and in this review I count six compliments and only one criticism of Semionova. Hallberg is complimented as well. Whether Kourlas has good taste or not, as a critic she's paid to be critical as well as to praise. In any case, the Times has fixed the Odette/Odile mix-up now, and posted the following correction:

 

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: June 19, 2013


An earlier version of this review reversed the identities of two characters. It was as Odette, not Odile, that Polina Semionova was difficult to connect with and it was as Odile in the Act III pas de deux, not as Odette, that she possessed more glittering allure.

 

 

Kudos to the editor who had to draft that correction. It couldn't have been easy to find a succinct way to clarify the identities.



#18 sandik

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 03:34 PM

 

 

I think critics are too often presumed to be unkind, and in this review I count six compliments and only one criticism of Semionova. Hallberg is complimented as well. Whether Kourlas has good taste or not, as a critic she's paid to be critical as well as to praise. In any case, the Times has fixed the Odette/Odile mix-up now, and posted the following correction:

 

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: June 19, 2013


An earlier version of this review reversed the identities of two characters. It was as Odette, not Odile, that Polina Semionova was difficult to connect with and it was as Odile in the Act III pas de deux, not as Odette, that she possessed more glittering allure.

 

 

Kudos to the editor who had to draft that correction. It couldn't have been easy to find a succinct way to clarify the identities.

 

It is indeed a very tidy sentence.



#19 pherank

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 02:47 PM

It's interesting to read all these rave reviews of the Swan Lake performance and then to see Gia Kourlas' sad, mean little review in the NYT. Contrary to all the posts here, she writes the same old stuff she always writes - it was boring, nobody but Gomes was good enough for her, Simkin can't partner, Hallberg was dull, the ballet didn't really start until Gomes came out. Not surprising from a modern dance person. But then she confuses Odette/Odile getting the parts mixed up. What does that say about the standard of dance writing at the NYT? If she can't tell Odette from Odile why would you listen to her about anyone's performance, or the tempi, etc. If they insist on retaining her why not assign her to performances that are more to her taste? That is to say, modern dance.

 

I'm actually more concerned that editors don't catch this type of thing (Odette/Odile) - it's a huge problem in the age of 'instant news' and Tweets. Writers, especially writers under a short deadline, can scramble things in their heads, to be sure. But editors are there to make sense out of things, ask pertinent questions, and bring the writer back down to earth if necessary. But I'm seeing very little 'editing' of online reports and essays these days.

 

Not to defend Kourlas, but I was reading Patrick Kennedy's Swan Lake review today, and I appreciated the fact that he pointed out what he thought were real issues with the SL costumes and staging - something I hadn't heard before. And he was cleraly not as smitten with the general performance aesthetic as some:

 

"In the realm of dance, Swan Lake occupies the kind of place that Pride and Prejudice occupies in the realm of literature-held up as a prim and pointless display of technique, subjected to endless riffs and parodies, but actually smart and challenging in ways that the detractors always overlook. There is an unruly, beautiful tangle of interpretive possibilities beneath the surface of Swan Lake, and the ABT production doesn't unearth any of them. It's all surface, all dazzling, melodramatic surface. Surface isn't enough."

 

I've been disturbed by Kourlas'  interviews.  I think some of the people she interviewed spoke too freely to their detriment. Given that she is a seasoned journalist, I sometimes feel that the people she is interviewing are relatively naive and inexperienced in dealing with publicity and the press, and that Kourlas is capitalizing on their naivete.

 

It's worth noting that most dancers have lived in a tightly controlled, closed environment, and are certainly not trained to handle themselves well with the press, or general public for that matter. Even though stage performers are normally thought of as 'public figures', at least to some degree, I think relatively few dancers qualify as true public figures or media darlings. In Russia, yes, it happens, but not in the West.



#20 California

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 03:05 PM

Macauley's review of Swan Lake just appeared on-line. Diplomatically, perhaps, he says nothing about Vasiliev as Rothbart:

 

http://www.nytimes.c....html?ref=dance




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