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California

"The Mikado" controversy

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I assume people are hearing about the controversy surrounding the current production of "The Mikado," especially in Seattle, which has a huge Asian population. A few examples of the coverage:

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/stereotypes-mikado-stir-controversy-seattle-n157306

http://seattletimes.com/html/thearts/2024145209_mikadocommentaryxml.html

Bolshoi Ballet audiences were greeted by a group of Jewish demonstrators protesting the presentation of "Klinghoffer" at the Met. I stopped to speak with some of them and they objected to the presentation of Israelis and Palestinians as "moral equivalents," among other things.

I might add that Wagner's characterization of Jews in some of his operas is pretty appalling, but I'm not sure that draws the same protest.

I wonder if we'll start seeing such protests over ballet classics, which include some pretty ugly stereotypes (e.g., Nutcracker, Raymonda). A few of those divertissements could be omitted or altered without disrupting the ballet overall, just as blackface can easily be omitted from some classics. But for some ballets, the stereotypes seem so pervasive, you really can't just remove a few scenes and still have the ballet.

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Thanks for the post, California. Interesting. I think they could have saved themselves a world of hurt by casting a few Asians in the production......

But for some ballets, the stereotypes seem so pervasive, you really can't just remove a few scenes and still have the ballet.

That is a potential problem, and not only in ballet.

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