Tragedies and Disasters
Posted 07 January 2001 - 10:36 PM
Posted 07 January 2001 - 11:45 PM
Vaslav Nijinsky's mental breakdown...Tanaquil LeClerq's polio...Gelsey Kirkland's difficulties with anorexia and drugs...Yuri Soloviev's suicide...Kenneth Macmillan's premature death from a heart attack...These are among the most important dancers and choreographers of the twentieth-century.
The death of so many talented dance artists from AIDS...
There's something of an abyss between this type of tragedy (like the death of Emma Livry) and sleeze/corruption adventure that marked the American Ballet's problems! I gather from another thread on Ballet Alert that some of Ballet Arizona's problems stemmed from problematic management, though the company was, happily, rescued...
There are, too, what one might call self-inflicted tragedies -- say, the Balanchine-Farrell relationship which resulted in tremendous upheaval for many City Ballet dancers (just read the interviews with Farrell's contemporaries!!!) as well as Farrell, Mejia, and Balanchine himself. For some, Kirkland's career would fall under this rubric as well...In the former case (but perhaps even the latter), the causes of the tragedy are all too intimately linked to the causes of the artistic accomplishments. But there are other careers where interpersonal or political problems/issues probably affected careers rather brutally and in some cases unjustly and senselessly. Some cases of which I'm thinking are really matters of gossip so I won't repeat them, but certainly on the public/political front it cannot have been good for the Panovs as dancers to spend so many years under a de facto house arrest.
P.S. After reading this over, I realized that it might seem odd to some that I don't view suicide as a self-inflicted tragedy -- this is a difficult issue, but let's say only that I consider it linked to mental illness and not necessarily a choice that is under someone's control. Assessing "choice" is always enigmatic...perhaps no-one makes tragic choices consciously, but anyway I stick to my original distinction...
[This message has been edited by Drew (edited January 07, 2001).]
Posted 08 January 2001 - 09:52 PM
Only one of my partners is still alive......Basheva
Posted 08 January 2001 - 11:07 PM
Posted 09 January 2001 - 12:23 AM
This past year, wasn't there also a young dancer from Chicago (not sure), who passed away due to anorexia while on her way to Disneyland? I can't remember her name, but what a tragic situation for her family.
[This message has been edited by Yvonne (edited January 09, 2001).]
Posted 09 January 2001 - 12:35 AM
[This message has been edited by Victoria Leigh (edited January 09, 2001).]
Posted 09 January 2001 - 10:00 AM
Posted 09 January 2001 - 06:15 PM
On Heidi -- while people tend to remember anorexia, her symptoms and the chemical imbalance that leads to sudden heart problems are more in line with bulimia and more in keeping with her behavior and the laxatives found in her purse. Bulimia is a more hidden killer because people's weight doesnt' shift very radically, they appear to eat, even eat a lot, around people and yet they are playing chemical havoc internally.
[This message has been edited by samba38 (edited January 09, 2001).]
Posted 09 January 2001 - 08:38 PM
Posted 09 January 2001 - 09:49 PM
He arrived for the men's class straight from the beach (this is San Diego) and he was clad only in a t-shirt, shorts and sandals. He carried his ballet slippers in his hands. At one point during the class when the men were saying that the music was much too fast for the combination which Patrick had set, he put on his slippers. And then as the class stepped back and the music started, he flew through the combination, inserted beats everywhere, and then without pause, reversed it entirely. He ended with a huge, glorious, multiple pirouette and finished impeccably. He wasn't even warmed up.
There were no more mumblings about the music being too fast. Everyone was in awe - total awe. This man in t-shirt, shorts and barelegs in ballet slippers.
I also saw him perform La Sylphide with Gelsey Kirkland - and what a glory that was. And a Swan Lake with Cynthia Gregory. Had things been different he would have been the perfect partner for her, in my opinion. He certainly was that night. Basheva
Posted 10 January 2001 - 12:34 AM
The only reason Laurel Fosters death was not a topic to be discussed was that her sister Amy and the family as well as all the members of Balet West needed time to grieve before the information went public. The last thing anyone wanted was for Amy to be harassed with calls from the press while she is dealing with a such a tragedy. When the info went public I notified Alexandra of that fact and that at that point it was probably O.K. to start talking about it.
I was going to put up a post about the death and circumstances surrounding it myself but I then decided it would be so much better to celebrate Laurel's life rather than dwell on the tragedy, which it truly was. I get sick to my stomach just sitting here thinking about it. Laurel was a lovely dancer and a good and special person. I will miss her dearly
You have inspired me to open a post about her now
Posted 10 January 2001 - 08:10 AM
While flying with an airliner is one of the safest modes of transport, private plane accidents have always been less so. If you have a friend who wants to take you somewhere in his plane, ask about how current his logbook is. I have an awful feeling this accident could have been avoided.
Posted 10 January 2001 - 10:20 AM
I have an awful feeling this accident could have been avoided.
That is, of course, the definition of "accident"; every accident can be traced back to human error.
I'm going to continue this, I think, in a new thread in the "Tech" forum, where backstage safety is a recurrent theme.
Jeffrey E. Salzberg, Lighting Designer
This Day in Arts History: www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg/arthist.htm
Posted 10 January 2001 - 03:46 PM
Although I believe that you are right, Laurel's accident possibly could have been avoided I feel we need to give a bit more credit to the pilot. Mike's dad (the pilot) was a very experineced pilot he apparently had been flying his own private plane for over 30 Years. Furthermore he had flown through bad conditions countless times and was very skilled at using his instruments, Unlike JFK jr. I also have to add that although it was snowing and the visiblity was very bad, Penticton had given the plane O.K. to land. In fact it as on their decent that the plane just crashed. I am hoping it was a plane malfunction as opposed to pilot error. I have to admit when I first heard Laurel was misssing I felt a little anger towards Mike's dad. I thought how could he take my friend into an unsafe environment. Now I realize he is not responsible and the horrible truth that he died as well along with Mike and his mom. Maybe we should not be so quick to judge the pilot without knowing the details. Unfortunately because of the severity of the crash no one may ever know the details
Posted 10 January 2001 - 04:43 PM
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