What could be meant by the phrase, "part-time" ballerina, especially in connection with NYCB dancers? Does the author suggest it means someone who only has star power at times? Or does it mean one who dances in classical ballerina-type roles only at times? Or does it mean one who shares a job with others?
A ballerina could have good and off days, but is still a ballerina. For example, Veronika Part is not a part-time ballerina, even if she has trouble with pirouettes. Ashley Bouder does not lose her stars every time she falls.
Articles like this provoke for certain purposes, such as to advance an agenda or stir controversy, or even to fill space, but they also diminish credibility and can be self-defeating. The loss of credibility, in turn, hurts the goals that the writer seeks to advance. Seemingly, the author seeks to promote someone, but believes he must do so at the expense of another, which is untrue and unnecessary. Often, statements have no relationship to the truth. Any observer of the same scene can readily discredit the reporter. Many comparisons exist without validity, solely as devices to promote an alternative. For example, one does not have to criticize Ashley Bouder to praise Tiler Peck. Sometimes mean and untruthful things are said, suggesting even maliciousness, pettiness, or vendettas (or a bad mood and the absence of an editor).
The New York Times critic is not the only one guilty of this. For example, a recent article summarizing the ABT season described Roberto Bolle as appearling solely like a circus strongman carrying a ballerina from one point to another. I believe Roberto Bolle can communicate more than many of the acrobats spinning and jumping who do nothing to advance a plot or convey emotion, such as the nuanced movement of his pinky in "Onegin", the careful shift of his gaze in "Sylvia" or "Romeo", the revelation of his inner warmth through the appearance of a soft smile in "Romeo", or the pained lift of his leg into arabesque in "Manon", But, for some reason, the writer of that article believed that to promote David Hallberg or Marcello Gomez (or other personal favorites), he had to disregard these qualities in Mr. Bolle and criticize him instead, which was unnecessary. One may, of course, criticize anyone for a valid purpose, but the criticism lacked necessity or validity in this context. Can't one like X without shooting down Y?
The topic in the New York Times itself seems odd. Many complain about "home grown" artists not receiving adequate opportunities, roles, or promotions, such as at ABT, but the "home grown" artists often are not American or from the United States. One may hope for opportunities to see a local company favorite, but the local, long-term dancers often do not come from America.