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About volcanohunter

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    fan, former dancer, self-loathing (ex-)New Yorker
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  1. Binet Allegations

    And how, exactly, are the issues of the Binets and accusations of sexual harassment related? If you look back at my first post, I did write that the accusations of sexual harassment are very serious and that maybe the company should re-think the ways it has dancers interact with wealthy patrons to prevent "nightmarish"--that was my characterization--situations. So I am not deflecting. I am, however, at a loss, to understand the hostility directed from some quarters, including those cited in the article, at Robert Binet, because, frankly, the National Ballet of Canada has at various times fostered less talented choreographers. (For clarity, I have never suggested that Kudelka is untalented. I've been watching his works for more than 30 years. He has a genuine gift for movement invention. But I find his choreography gimmicky and sometimes tacky. I do think Côté is a rather untalented choreographer. And, for full disclosure, I don't much care for him as a dancer either.) Just because Binet's father is an influential businessman doesn't mean his son is untalented. Perhaps it wasn't David Binet who forced himself on the National Ballet of Canada's Board in order to promote his son's choreographic ambitions. Perhaps it was the company which recruited him in the hopes of getting access to some of his employers' fortune. In any case, Binet Sr. is no longer president of the company's board, so it's a moot point, and that particular part of the Frank story is old news. I don't quite understand why his detractors aren't mollified and find their continued smears against Robert Binet unseemly. (Again, for the record, I don't know Robert Binet. I was introduced once to his parents by a company dancer, who didn't seem to be seething with resentment at their presence. My interaction with the Binets didn't extend past "How do you do?" I don't roll in those circles.)
  2. Binet Allegations

    Which budding choreographers are losing out because Guillaume Côté has an extremely wealthy patron/admirer in Emmanuelle Gattuso, who is willing to fork over huge amounts of money to fund his productions, $2,000,000 in the case of Le Petit Prince? If anyone is receiving commissions and funding completely disproportionate to actual choreographic ability, it's Côté. Is this situation not egregious because there is no family relationship? The accusers are both "insiders" and "anonymous"? Perhaps this is simply sloppy wording on the part of the Frank writer, and the journalists approached are protecting the identity of their sources, but seriously, the criticisms of the Binets mentioned in the story are no different from those made by rank-and-file posters on this board, who need not be "insiders." Therefore I don't see anything especially sensational about the complaints.
  3. Binet Allegations

    My point is simply that when you have sponsorship programs with minimum annual donations of $25,000 (so only the very wealthy need apply) and the program promises donors "highly personalized events and exclusive behind-the-scenes opportunities designed to connect [them] more closely to the professional and individual development of [their] sponsored dancer," the potential for something unpleasant happening is there. The company's other high-end donor programs also promise various forms of exclusive access, and most of the time I'm sure everything is above board, but a creepy geezer or unscrupulous cougar could certainly make the interaction nightmarish for a dancer.
  4. Binet Allegations

    Frank is a self-described "satirical magazine," sometimes also called a "scandal sheet" or "gossip rag," so honestly, I don't know how much traction the piece will have. The really serious allegation here is directed at the unnamed Board member accused of sexually harassing a dancer, and that deserves serious investigation. Sponsorship programs like Dancers First aren't unique to the National Ballet of Canada, but they have the potential to become very problematic.
  5. Nureyev premier postponed to 2018/2019

    Plenty of curtain call photos have been posted which show that Possokhov, Demutsky and some other members of the production team wore t-shirts with Serebrennikov's portrait and the caption "Svobodu rezhisseru," but the dancers were wearing their costumes. In any case, you could say Zakharova provided the necessary political cover. But yes, it's possible that in an election season especially the government won't want to appear to be caving in to the "creative class" and may double down on Serebrennikov.
  6. 2017-18 season

    The revised program won't have a lot in the way of ballerina power. The cast of Dark Angels included Hodgkinson, Lobsanova, Lunkina, Rodriguez and Yu. I wouldn't expect any of them to appear in The Man in Black or Cacti, so unless the company is planning to throw all of them into Paz de la Jolla, the program isn't going to rank terribly high on the glamour scale.
  7. 2017-18 season

    Common sense prevails. Dark Angels is a poor ballet, and Guillaume Côté doesn't really have time to attempt to fix it because he's working on a new evening-length work. If that one were to turn out poorly as well, and Côté's track record is not great, it would mean the company will have presented two deficient Côté ballets in the space of a month, and it would be very difficult to justify commissioning any more works from him. Dark Angels was commissioned by the National Arts Centre, and I don't know whether the National Ballet of Canada is contractually obliged to present it at some point. If the idea is to delay the premiere, and the company decides to present it in one season with a revival of Côté's poorly received Le Petit Prince, which it's almost duty-bound to put on stage again given the enormous private contribution that funded it, the company will still be in the same bind. The Man in Black is a known quantity. I find it somewhat thin and slight, but at least it's not a stinker.
  8. Peter Martins Sexual Harassment Allegations

    But Baryshnikov had a very public reputation as a lothario, which was even immortalized in barely fictionalized versions on film. I recall a program about Karen Kain, one of many produced by the CBC, in which she described a point in her career when she felt really stuck in a rut. So she contacted Baryshnikov about the prospects of leaving the National Ballet of Canada and joining ABT. The way she related it, his reply was, "We'll talk about it over breakfast," at which point Kain decided she didn't want to work for Baryshnikov after all.
  9. Nureyev premier postponed to 2018/2019

    I am a little curious about the Makarova role, since according to her site Zakharova has spent the last few days in China, and Shipulina's Instagram seems to indicate that she's in Japan. Is the part really so small that they don't need to be present at rehearsals this close to the premiere?
  10. Is Alyona Kovalyova "Zvezda" material ??

    I do, very much!
  11. Nureyev premier postponed to 2018/2019

    Kirill Serebrennikov, who has been under house arrest since August, will remain there until at least January 19. https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/russian-court-keeps-theater-director-under-house-arrest/2017/12/04/2d1a3706-d8f5-11e7-a241-0848315642d0_story.html?utm_term=.62f7e3616548https://www.rferl.org/a/rusia-serebrennikov-house-arrest-upheld/28895832.html One of the reasons tickets for this week's premiere of Nureyev sold out so quickly is that only 500, less than a quarter of the Bolshoi's capacity, were released to the public, and only two performances have been scheduled, rather than the four that were to have taken place in July. https://www.bolshoi.ru/en/about/press/articles/none/Nureyev-sale/
  12. Is Alyona Kovalyova "Zvezda" material ??

    Myrtha was a cornerstone of Part's repertoire at ABT. She was wonderful in the role. Of the Myrthas I've seen, the one I treasure most is Marie-Agnès Gillot. What was wonderful about it was that she didn't seem to have to "try": so tall and glamorous and with such a big jump, like a goddess of death. (A Myrtha who is very obviously striving to be imperious and intimidating is already failing to be that. And I hate herky-jerky, i.e. "mean," Myrthas, because they look anything but incorporeal.) Many moons ago I saw a wonderful Myrtha with the Australian Ballet, who could do entrechats-six as well any man. The frustrating thing is that I can't remember her name, because she was a "guest artist," so her name doesn't usually pop up in information on the company. I can only remember that the name was Irish.
  13. Royal Ballet 2016-17 Season

    Practically the story of my ballet-going life. From my experience, it's a state of chronic frustration, so I'm not inclined to think that people do it for the sake of being contrary.
  14. 2017-18 Bolshoi cinema season

    Sadly, I think it's relevant to the way Gergiev and Vaziev operate. Think back to the last World Ballet Day. Whom did we see in rehearsals? Pupils of Svetlana Adyrkhaeva (who is also from North Ossetia) and pupils of Olga Chenchikova (who is Vaziev's wife) and no one else. Who danced the Tall Girl during the New York tour? Any principal dancers? No. There was a junior soloist, Yulia Grebenshchikova, and a corps member, Olga Marchenkova. What do they have in common? Grebenshchikova recently changed coaches, but at the time both were pupils of Adyrkhaeva. I am not suggesting that Krysanova and Stashkevich are trying the advance their careers by training under Andyrkhaeva. They've been with her for years. But Anna Nikulina's career has skyrocketed since she left the tutelage of Lyudmila Semenyaka and switched to Chenchikova. Vaziev clearly has little use for the Moscow style, but these graduates of the Moscow Ballet School are doing okay. From my point of view, and I want to emphasize that, Vaziev's leadership looks like a combination of anti-Moscow style disdain, tribalism and a sort of artistic nepotism.
  15. 2017-18 Bolshoi cinema season

    Miserable ex-Mariinsky dancers, miserable dyed-in-the-wool Bolshoi dancers and the dilution of the Moscow style. However, as long as (fellow North Ossetian) Valery Gergiev remains the dominant player in Russian culture, and Vaziev doesn't do anything to tick off Zakharova, I fear this wretched state of affairs is likely to continue.