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About vagansmom

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    balletgoer, professional dancer's parent
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  1. vagansmom

    ABT 2018 Firebird / AFTERITE

    I agree with those who said that the McGregor piece should have come with a warning. Back in the day, I was one of those ignorant moms who would have taken my daughter (beginning at 6 or 7 on up) to any ballet performance, particularly one that included Firebird. But children that young, and even up to age 12 (some a bit higher) are not developmentally able to handle that gassing scene. Well, my 6 year old wouldn't have gotten the context and I probably could have fooled her if she was even paying any attention at all, but not the same child at age 8. This is not the age group that is reading The Lottery or Lord of the Flies, but this IS an age group that attends ballet performances. This performance should come with an advanced warning to ticket buyers.
  2. vagansmom

    Washington, DC - Spring 2018

    When I googled Tiler Peck's height, the first thing that came up had her at 5'5", but that felt seemed wrong to me as I've seen her standing next to other dancers who are not tall but definitely have at least a couple inches on her. So I continued searching. Every other site alluded to her being a short dancer. Certainly 5'5" doesn't qualify as short. One site was written by someone whose dance school hired Peck for a workshop. This dancer said repeatedly that Peck was short, not much over 5". That makes sense to me. I'd have pegged her at 5'1"-ish.
  3. Just saw this on my fb feed: " WMS Presents an Evening with Patti LuPone." Monday, April 16, 7 pm, New Preston, CT. Call Washington Montessori School, 860- 868-0551 for details. WMS periodically offers these nights with mega-stars. Don't know if it's true of this evening, but actor Jack Gilpin has interviewed guests in the past. I'm bummed because I teach that evening and can't attend. LuPone lives in CT and I've attended interviews with her in the past as well as a workshop where she critiqued high school students who sang for her. They are always a lovely glimpse into Sondheim and other greats of Broadway as well as her own mighty self.
  4. vagansmom

    ABT in Detroit, Feb. 8-11, 2018

    I feel so awful for the dancers. Has it passed through anyone else's mind that it could be related to the recent contract negotiations?
  5. vagansmom

    John Curry Biography

    Ah, Robin Cousins. He was one of the Big Three in my mind: the triumvirate of male artistic figure skating from a bygone era. First, to my mind, there was Toller Cranston, then John Curry, followed by Robin Cousins. I adored Curry's work, but as someone else stated, I liked Curry skating to his own choreography best. Looking forward to reading your book, Mr. Jones.
  6. vagansmom

    Winter 2018

    Thank you for this, Vipa: I have attended several performances by Mearns where she has ignored the music, and I couldn't put my finger on it because in her first year of dancing solo roles, I thought she was lovely and very musical. In fact, I was a big fan. But I haven't felt like that about her in a long time. I think she's doing exactly what you state, Vipa: going for the big dramatic moment, while disregarding the music. To me, the "music is always the boss," as I tell the dancers I coach for musical expression. Suzanne Farrell was a disciple of the music, and she knew how to interpret it dramatically - how to make "things as big as she could" - in such a way that it exposed the music, translating it for the audience. That inability, or, now I'm wondering, disregard for the music is why I've not been a Mearns fan in a while. After reading about her histrionics on stage (apparently it wasn't just once, according to another post in this thread), I'm even less inclined to want to buy tickets that feature her in roles.
  7. vagansmom

    Joy Womack

    VIpa, that's what I've always thought: that she's talented and is certainly an extremely hard worker, but that she lacks social communication skills, and that deficit, of understanding that compromise and at least some degree of humility will get you much farther in life than an arrogant persona, is her downfall.
  8. Pherank, I first heard the dulcimer on Mimi & Richard Farina's album and was intrigued. Joni Mitchell also plays it on her "Blue" album and Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones played it on "Lady Jane." Tim Hart of Steeleye Span also plays the dulcimer, as does Cyndi Lauper. Farina, though, was the fellow who inspired the first wave of modern folk musicians to pick up the instrument. Then David Schnaufer, influenced by Farina, came along and continues to be the most authentic voice in the mountain dulcimer tradition. He went on to mainstream it in the Nashville recording studios. He could play every kind of music on that instrument and was a quiet, humble guru to myself and dozens of others in the Appalachian folk music world of the 1980's and 90's. In 1975, I became engaged to my future husband while in a dulcimer-making workshop up in a holler in Tennesee and received one from the instrument maker as a wedding present. David Schnaufer then taught me to play and encouraged me as I started to transcribe Baroque recorder music for the dulcimer. I followed him everywhere for a few years just to get the chance to try to absorb his style, which was, and still is, unique. My introduction to ballet was similar to yours, pherank. I grew up on classical music and trained as a classical guitarist (later switching to other instruments and joining the Celtic and folk music world), but classical music is my first love. A boyfriend loved the Joffrey Ballet (back when they were still in NY) and convinced me to attend a performance: I was smitten.
  9. Pherank, Mimi and Richard Farina are a staple of my playlists, as is Laura Nyro. How I would have loved to hear Farina's later work! I can never forget the day I heard he died in a crash. On my current (last two months playlists): The Farina's two albums Tracy Chapman (mix) John Renbourn's "Sir John Alot" and "The Lady and the Unicorn" David Schnaufer (mix): a mountain dulcimer genius, mentor and friend who died much too soon. Randy Wilkinson's "Elizabethan Music for the Dulcimer" Mount Alvernia Seminary Choir of New York. My parents were 3rd. Order Franciscans and played this every year at Christmas-I still do the same. I find their singing among the most soothing music I've ever listened to, despite its very terrible original recording. Billie Holiday (mix) Janis Joplin (mix) Janis Ian (mix) Joan Baez's "Diamonds & Rust" Laura Nyro's "Eli & The Thirteenth Confession" Louis Armstrong (mix) Ray Charles (mix) The Count Basie Orchestra (mix) Paul Simon (mix) Sting (mix) Mozart Symphonies Rachmaninoff Piano Concertos Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake" Maria Callas (mix) Sonya Yoncheva's "Paris Mon Amour"
  10. vagansmom

    Peter Martins Sexual Harassment Allegations

    This is where I think you are absolutely wrong. I agree that in the present moment, there's a chance that these people will not "suffer catastrophic fallout." But down the road? I think there's a very STRONG chance. All I have to do is think about how the current president came into power to know that nothing should be taken for granted. Surprises - SHOCKS - could be right around the corner.
  11. vagansmom

    Peter Martins Sexual Harassment Allegations

    Thank you,nanushka. My feelings exactly.
  12. vagansmom

    Peter Martins Sexual Harassment Allegations

    YEs, Canbelto, that's how it's been done in two of the institutions I've worked in. One is similar: A charismatic head in his mid-40's, of a private school was having an affair (often carried out during school hours) with a 16 year old girl along with some other young, married women. His wife worked at the school, and much like Kistler's situation, this woman's livelihood and the fate of their children depended on her trying to turn a blind eye. He had a minor drug problem as well. He also had made statements (to me) about a 6 year old girl in the school and what a "looker" she'd be when she was a little older. The board was worried about the future of the school if this charismatic head were fired. His behavior went on for a few years. I was one of a couple people who reported some of his actions and statements to the board. It took a year after the last report before he resigned and only after a couple other people reported things he'd said to a class full of children. He resigned rather than be fired. Staff was mixed. Most were worried about their jobs, fearing that if he went under, so, too, would the school (he was that charismatic and had saved the school through his fundraising ability) so they kept quiet. Some took his side, stating that he'd never treated them that way. Lots of parallels here. I learned that MONEY rules the world. Even people whom I'd previously regarded as having integrity kept mum. I've watched this lesson repeat throughout my entire life. Money +power=absolute influence, and when it's a matter of a man and woman, there's also the issue of physical strength domination.
  13. Last week, I saw on Facebook that Eleanor D'Antuono would be in Hartford, CT over the weekend signing copies of her biography written by Fred G. Jarvis (who died in 2015) and recently published. So yesterday, drove there to buy a copy (and get it autographed) for my daughter, whom Eleanor coached during her final 4 years at a pre-professional ballet school many moons ago. My guess is that it was incomplete at the time of Mr. Jarvis's death; there is at least one caption error, mislabeling one dancer as her mother, also a dancer. This biography has nearly 200 photographs spanning Ms. D'Antuono's entire life, and I am thrilled to have it in my possession, if only for a few more days: many are photos of her early dancing years, likely taken from her scrapbook during her Ballet Russe years as she has penned in the names of her fellow dancers.
  14. vagansmom

    Peter Martins Sexual Harassment Allegations

    Thank you, BalanchineFan. I'd like to add an aside: I don't see it as Watts "saving face" at all. I see it as within the realm of two possibilities: what BalanchineFan posted above and the need to save her career. One doesn't need to imagine what being blacklisted by a man the likes of Martins in power will do to one's livelihood. She had no choice back then. She decided to keep her enemy close. I think she had to.
  15. vagansmom

    Peter Martins Sexual Harassment Allegations

    Let's be clear: Sexual abuse IS physical abuse. As long as we consider those two terms as separate, sexual abuse will never be taken seriously.