"For those of us who genuinely believe that ballet is over. . .&q
Posted 21 August 2002 - 02:44 AM
Posted 21 August 2002 - 09:41 AM
Posted 21 August 2002 - 09:43 AM
And the anti-ballet stance permeates reviews in the Voice.
Manhattnik, I hope you do send that as a Letter to the Editor. Perhaps we don't have enough strength for another email campaign, but if you click on the Voice link, you can easily find a screen that says Letter to the Editor.
Posted 05 September 2002 - 09:07 AM
I think every critic has a point of view, a bias, etc. One of the best ballet critics I've known is someone who, given his druthers, would spend every night of the week at Merce Cunningham, or downtown dance. But he can still see ballet very clearly and I both read and trust what he writes. So it's possible to put aside one's preferences and still retain objectivity in reviewing.
Since this comment was made in a review, though, and since, IMO, the reviewer missed the point of the Trocks -- which, as many have said, celebrate ballet, I think...well, that she missed the point.
Posted 21 August 2002 - 09:31 AM
I don’t agree with Zimmer, but it’s not as if she doesn’t give writers who hold views other than hers plenty of space. Her rhetoric is a little exaggerated, but we’re no strangers to that here. It's heartening to see her speak up for Tobias in print. I must say, however, that praising the Trocks for their technical prowess, such as it is, is kind of missing the point (although the troupe itself encourages this, by presenting things like the Corsaire pas de deux virtually straight, as if to say, “Look, we really ARE ballerinas!”)
That “self-indulgent, self-important propaganda” of the 30s Left also contained much genuine idealism, commitment, and dedication, along with less positive attributes. We could profit from some of those qualities today, I think.
Posted 22 August 2002 - 09:57 AM
It also seems to me that because parodies that are intended affectionately and respectfully doesn't necessarily mean that those same parodies cannot draw attention, however inadvertently, to more serious negative aspects of the object being parodied. One viewer's celebration can be another viewer's ammunition, and there's no contradiction in that, I don't think.
Posted 21 August 2002 - 04:12 AM
For an ostensibly well-educated and experienced critic to look at the Trock's witty, erudite and, above all, loving parodies of ballet and see only "ammunition" to be used in arguing for ballet's destruction speaks volumes about the deleterious effect an overpowering devotion to certain cherished bits of received knowledge can have on that critic's ability to see what's on the stage before her.
For one thing, how, pray tell, does an all-male ballet company strike a blow for the gainful employment of tall women dancers?
The Trocks and Grandivas aren't about breaking the "rules" of ballet. They are about celebrating them. If ballet went away, or if it turned into some sort of equal-opportunity employer, blind to the sex and/or physique of dancers, not only would travesti ballet cease to be funny, it'd cease to have a reason to exist. Does Zimmer seriously think that any member of the Trocks or Grandivas, past or present, would like to see ballet go away, or would consider travesti ballet's purpose is to bring about ballet's demise?
Perhaps, now that she's once again beaten the dead horse of ballet's alleged "sexism," (and, no, I don't think ballet is sexist at all, at least not onstage, and certainly no more sexist than most modern-dance companies) Zimmer will next assault the sacred cow of "technique" and "craft," as part of ballet's outdated, imperialist Western elitism. Why should some dancers receive better pay and more work simply because their movements fit more closely to some outdated and irrelevant ideal? How horribly exclusive.
I remember reading with some revulsion a recent article in The Voice celebrating the bitter end of a partnership between Martin Luther King high school and SAB which had allowed some SAB students to attend that school for its high academics, while continuing with their dance training at SAB. It's a lot to go into now, but the glee with which the writer recounted the slamming of this door in the face of "elitist" ballet students distressed me no end, and made me think that perhaps it is the Incredible Shrinking Village Voice (nothing sexist at all about all those hot-chat ads in the back which keep it in print, is there?) which is vanishingly irrelevant.
Posted 23 August 2002 - 01:51 AM
And, although I was really pleasantly surprised by some of the things I saw at the Joyce (big guys with big jumps making soft landings in toe shoes!), the Trocks don't dance like women, or, for the most part, as well as women. Yes, I was thrilled by "Olga Supposova's" triple and quadruple fouettes, and certainly they're all technically accomplished (although how their feet can stand all that knuckling under is a mystery to me), but for every neat trick is offset by sloppy arms, floppy feet, frightening line, which would be totally unacceptable in a female ballerina. Yes, they have a lot of energy, but so does a tornado.
And it's besides the point. They dance well enough, more than well enough, to show us the ballets they're parodying. They dance well enough to create their ballerina personas (I got particularly fond of the one who chews gum through every performance, as a Sylph or as Kitri).
Maybe when I wake up I'll remember where I was going with all this....
Posted 20 August 2002 - 02:27 PM
For those of us who genuinely believe that ballet is over—that it's time for the dance world to turn its fiscal and creative energies in directions less ossified and sexist—the Trocks provide ammunition in the form of well-aimed parody, and also demonstrate, by flouting a whole range of conventions, the way traditional ballet reinforces rigid sex roles and attitudes about body shape and partnering. Really tall women and short men are routinely rejected by top-flight troupes, as are dancers of color and those packing a few extra pounds. The Trocks give such performers an arena in which to sparkle, and the result is a level of energy rarely visible on ballet stages.
Posted 20 August 2002 - 09:35 PM
I moved this from the links forum to open discussion. It's a reasonable assumption that if we're at this site we probably disagree with the contention.
Posted 22 August 2002 - 09:30 PM
Posted 22 August 2002 - 08:37 PM
Posted 21 August 2002 - 06:22 PM
If *that* ain't sexist, I'm not sure what is! :eek:
Posted 21 August 2002 - 02:53 AM
To imply that "ballet is genuinely over" is absurd.
Posted 21 August 2002 - 07:43 AM
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