Jump to content


This site uses cookies. By using this site, you agree to accept cookies, unless you've opted out. (US government web page with instructions to opt out: http://www.usa.gov/optout-instructions.shtml)

Joy Womack has left the Bolshoialleges corruption


  • Please log in to reply
274 replies to this topic

#181 swanchat

swanchat

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 38 posts

Posted 22 November 2013 - 02:26 PM

We here in the US know that this is just not right. It's terrible but Russia isn't the USA. It's not exactly friendly to gay men either. Before going to a different culture, it does make sense to know a bit about what lies in store. Unlike Womack, Precious has already figured out that she will look elsewhere to start her career. She also said that she was warned about the probability/possibility of racial bias there and not to take it personally. She states that she's there for the training. Good words. Now she just needs to keep her nose to the grindstone and hand on the barre and take every bit of training she can. A good work ethic and focused attitude will take her far and might even change a few of those biased against her.

 

You can't control the wind but you can adjust the sails.



#182 abatt

abatt

    Sapphire Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,754 posts

Posted 22 November 2013 - 02:39 PM

I think every civilized person must know it's not right to tell a black person to rub the black off of themselves. Sorry, there's just no excuse for it and nobody shoudl try and make excuses for it.



#183 volcanohunter

volcanohunter

    Sapphire Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,035 posts

Posted 22 November 2013 - 02:51 PM

Is Precious also paying the $18K in tuition that Womack paid?

 

The article cites a figure of $21,000, a rough conversion from 680,000 RUB.



#184 swanchat

swanchat

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 38 posts

Posted 22 November 2013 - 03:35 PM

I think every civilized person must know it's not right to tell a black person to rub the black off of themselves. Sorry, there's just no excuse for it and nobody shoudl try and make excuses for it.

Of course, it's stupidity. Of course, it's wrong. Hopefully, as Russia opens up to the rest of the civilized world, those sentiments will go away. My point was not to make excuses and I'm sorry if it came off that way. My point is that cultural differences exist. Some of those differences are abhorrent to other cultures. Certainly, asking someone to bleach off their color is sheer ignorance. Precious sounds to me like she's handling the slurs in the context of the culture in Russia and making the best of the situation. She may not change the entire culture's approach to racial difference but if she handles herself with professionalism and dignity, she may just change a few biases right there in that school. She's a ground breaker in her own right.



#185 Turandot

Turandot

    New Member

  • New Member
  • Pip
  • 9 posts

Posted 22 November 2013 - 03:49 PM

I have very little sympathy for Joy Womack on this matter.  Once she makes a serious accusation against the Bolshoi, then she should be prepared to follow through with it completely.  She is trying to come across as both a forgiving person AND a pure victim in her media blitz.  Womack comes across as passive-aggressive.  If she had wanted to make her claims in such non-specific ways then she should have made them anonymously.  That would not have bothered me as much as the self-serving way she is going about doing it.

 

What gives Womack, or any professional of any profession for that matter, the idea that you can just make a blanket accusation against your ex-employers and expect to walk away without blowback?  Highly unprofessional and quite illegal depending on severity of accusations.  For instance, what if it was a disgruntled, young surgeon at a world-renowned hospital, and she decides to quit or was fired from the hospital.  Upon leaving, she publicly accuses the hospital team of surgeons of personally taking bribes from wealthy patients.  But she refuses to give names of those unethical surgeons.  There isn't a public relations director who wouldn't be threatening the ex- surgeon with lawsuits unless she provides specifics through official and/ or legal means.  

 

Fact is, Bolshoi is a world-renowned company and one which is undergoing a hit to its brand.  Maybe due to Bolshoi's diminished reputation as a workplace, Womack feels she can get away with trashing its reputation further on her way out?  I do not understand why dancers or even young dancers such as Womack, should be excused from conducting themselves in professional manners.  Just because they are dancers?  Dancers are like other employees of big corporations or well-known brand names.  If they choose to bring bad publicity to the brand, then they should be able to back  their claims up.  Otherwise they should expect to be challenged on their reasons for trying to damage the reputation of their former employer.

 

Womack tries too hard to become a sensation overnight.  There is a recent trend of young dancers who haven't done much of anything but are already more famous than actual well-reviewed professionals.  Many promote themselves on youtube, tumblr, and Facebook in distasteful ways, such as proclaiming or have others proclaim them to be the greatest of whatever or what-not.  These girls are often still in school or just out of school, Womack certainly stands out in this regard, as does the Russian girl Xenia Zhiganshina and maybe Keenan Kampa to a slighter degree.  It is not like they are already well-regarded soloist dancers trying to connect with fans by posting updates on their season and shows.  Actually come to think of it, I already knew of Womack before watching her dance via videos on youtube, and that's through her other social media promotions.  She has promoted herself as THE American at the Bolshoi Ballet for so long.  Blaming the Bolshoi for her lack of advancement there may be the only way she has to save face, for not becoming a failure in the eyes of her many followers or fans.



#186 Helene

Helene

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,330 posts

Posted 22 November 2013 - 05:03 PM

We from the US may know that it's wrong to tell someone to rid themselves of their skin color, but perhaps we might look at the lack of opportunity and employment for black dancers in the US before thinking so poorly of Russia, even if nothing is said directly to black dancers in the US.



#187 vagansmom

vagansmom

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 543 posts

Posted 22 November 2013 - 05:25 PM

The same could be said of expecting sexual favors in exchange for favoritism in roles within the dance world (other realms too, but this is a dance forum). 



#188 Helene

Helene

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,330 posts

Posted 22 November 2013 - 05:45 PM

It can't, because sexual harassment, pressure to have sex for roles, voluntarily having sex for roles, and being pressured to have sex with sponsors is almost entirely invisible to the outside world, and so is nearly every way management enforces, doesn't enforece, or directly violates its own policy or ignores what happens under their watch.

We only know about it if someone sues or is brought to court, as happened to a Ballet Arizona dancer, who was raped by his sponsor for his education in Russia. The case was covered fairly extensively in the media during the trial.

The racial composition of companies and who is cast in what role are transparent. There's no conjecture about who is actually dancing.

#189 Buddy

Buddy

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 569 posts

Posted 23 November 2013 - 04:41 AM

There was a day several years ago when grade school or high school students (or both) throughout St. Petersburg anyway, made a group statement against xenophobia (discomfort in regard to outsiders). It was heartening.
 
Although I'm light complexioned, I've always been treated very kindly in St. Petersburg (the only place in Russia that I've so far stayed in) and I have very warm feelings about this.


#190 Birdsall

Birdsall

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,339 posts

Posted 23 November 2013 - 05:38 AM

We from the US may know that it's wrong to tell someone to rid themselves of their skin color, but perhaps we might look at the lack of opportunity and employment for black dancers in the US before thinking so poorly of Russia, even if nothing is said directly to black dancers in the US.

 

 

This is exactly the problem. You can try to enforce non-discrimination like we do here in the U.S., but then discrimination goes underground. In SOME ways it might be better to have it out in the open (although then you need a thick skin), because you at least know exactly what you are dealing with. Another point is that my experiences living in Western Europe (Germany and Austria) back in the late 80s to early 90s showed me that the concept of political correctness and being shocked by stereotypical depictions tend to be an American thing regardless if you think it should be worldwide or not. I could not explain to my German or Austrian friends why a candy bar wrapper with a black face on it was shocking to me. Their attitude was, "Get over it!" no matter how I explained it. They simply could not relate to my shock, and these were university students who were very educated and very liberal-minded and were not prejudiced from what I could tell. 



#191 Amy Reusch

Amy Reusch

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,778 posts

Posted 23 November 2013 - 06:57 AM

Forcing smoking out of public spaces has done a lot to discourage smokers from smoking in this country... I believe forcing discrimination out of public spaces has done a lot to discourage discrimination. Sure, some smokers have just gone underground, but a great number of them have quit altogether and many more have never gotten started...

#192 puppytreats

puppytreats

    Gold Circle

  • Inactive Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 751 posts

Posted 23 November 2013 - 07:40 AM


 

 

There was no reason for the Bolshoi to fire her: she's hardly unique in that regard.

But didn't the news media quote the Bolshoi as saying she was fired?  Are employees at her level at will employees?  Did they fire her for cause as a contracted employee? Did they give a reason?



#193 puppytreats

puppytreats

    Gold Circle

  • Inactive Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 751 posts

Posted 23 November 2013 - 07:50 AM

Turandot:

 

The PR strategy employed by the dancers (who were advised by theaters/impresarios/competitions/guidebooks?) already backfired.  I imagine the hospital threatening to and/or suing the surgeon who quit would face quite a similar result (a pr backfire).  Of course, the hospital would smear the surgeon, maybe even plant information or pressure workers to testify falsely against the one who left.  However, then the surgeon would be forced by the hospital to defend himself, with the information he had gathered, or testify under oath about what had happened to him, and then the hospital would have a true pr nightmare.   The better strategies would be to (a) be silent, (b) say the allegations are being looked into, or © say it is instituting measures to prevent similar wrongdoing. 

 

ETA:  Especially if the surgeon is, like Womack, a nobody, or "blip", to use Helene's description.  That nobody really can't affect the powerful brand that is the Bolshoi.



#194 Helene

Helene

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,330 posts

Posted 23 November 2013 - 07:59 AM

"Of course" the hospital *would* tamper with witnesses is an absurd generalization.

I said there was no reason to fire her. (That's what you quoted.) There is not a strong relationship between them not giving out roles and firing dancers. As she was on a contract, they simply could have left her contract lapse had they wanted.

She claims to have left. One of the articles in Links insists she was fired. The company hasn't addressed her claims or made a statement.

The Bolshoi has not used either of the PR strategies you've proposed.

#195 puppytreats

puppytreats

    Gold Circle

  • Inactive Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 751 posts

Posted 23 November 2013 - 08:00 AM

I have very little sympathy for Joy Womack on this matter.  Once she makes a serious accusation against the Bolshoi, then she should be prepared to follow through with it completely.  She is trying to come across as both a forgiving person AND a pure victim in her media blitz.  Womack comes across as passive-aggressive.

Where did you read anything to give you the impression that she was trying to come across as a forgiving person?  Do you equate moving on (from a situation involving threats, nonpayment, a violent environment) or leaving a nightmare with being forgiving?  Is not going to the authorities, or not filing a lawsuit for the sake of being vindictive, the same as being forgiving?




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):