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About fondoffouettes

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    avid balletgoer
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  1. Winter 2018

    I'm not sure if that's the case, but I don't think you are alone in having these impressions. I think characterization becomes an innate talent for dancers at a company like ABT, where story ballets are their bread and butter. You can see the difference when you compare ABT and NYCB in Fancy Free or Prodigal Son (I find ABT absolutely delightful in the former, though some may argue they go too far with the acting in Prodigal Son). I've sometimes been left cold by NYCB dancers' acting abilities in Swan Lake (both the full-length and one-act versions) and, to a lesser degree, Sleeping Beauty. But sometimes it's the choreography itself, or fast pacing, that doesn't really allow room for characterization. I agree that I'd like to see NYCB continue to collaborate with visual artists for scenography. I think David Hockeny could be an interesting choice, if the right project came along.
  2. Gomes and ABT

    I agree. I wouldn't be quick to assume ABT wronged Marcelo when this issue came up. This may have been a best-case scenario for Marcelo -- the story indeed seems to be squelched and there have been no apparent legal repercussions. Whether any payout was involved, we may never know.
  3. ABT Swan Lake in Singapore

    Some of the ballet books I've read -- I believe Hallberg's memoir and also Dance as Life -- have discussed how injured dancers are expected to show up to rehearsals, and maybe even class (I can't remember), to just observe things if they aren't able to dance. I didn't realize that would even extend to times when the company is on the road. Not sure how strict these policies are, though. When Murphy was injured in the last Met season, I remember her posting on Instagram about a trip down south (I believe to her home state of SC), and she seemed to stay there for an extended period of time to recuperate. I'm sure, on the one hand, it's disheartening to have to to observe rehearsals as an injured dancer. On the flipside, it might help an injured dancer morale-wise to still feel like he's still a part of the company even when he can't dance. I'm reminded of Hallberg's intense sense of isolation, and subsequent depression, when he was dealing with his injury all on his own in NYC. That, of course, is an extreme example. You know, I used to give them the benefit of the doubt, but the past few seasons have really led me to believe that it's their MO, as you say, abatt. Of course, I'm sure there are times when they are holding out hope a dancer may still be able to dance, but there have been too many instances of them dragging their feet to update casting when it's clear a dancer is not going to go on.
  4. 2018-19 season: Pennsylvania Ballet

    But with a better website! ;) This might be a good strategy in terms of box office, assuming there isn't a great deal of overlap between NYC and Philly audiences. (I know some balletomanes may trek back and forth between the cities, but I've always been under the impression that NYC and Philly are somewhat distinct markets, despite their relative geographic proximity.)
  5. ABT in Chicago, Feb. 21-25

    Looks like Murphy is injured and potentially out for at least some of the Chicago dates. She has really had a tough time of it with injuries these past couple years. I wonder what the odds are of her making it through the Met season... I would like to see her in Swan Lake at least one more time.
  6. Winter 2018

    I completely agree. If that's all that's left when you separate the wheat from the chaff, then it's a pretty paltry choreographic legacy to be leaving the company, considering how many pieces he's churned out. And he's only credited with staging Sylphide, not choreographing it, unlike the other story ballets. I don't give Kevin McKenzie credit for all that much, but at least it's pretty clear he has realized he's not a choreographer. (Of course, I wish he had realized that before he created his Swan Lake.)
  7. Winter 2018

    You make an important point, NinaFan, and I agree. And I can only imagine it's been more artistically satisfying for some of the dancers to be able to dance the full-lengths, in addition to all the plotless works. The recent NYT article with Indiana Woodward about R&J really drove home that point for me.
  8. Winter 2018

    If being a competent choreographer or dancer were a prerequisite for offering criticism, then I wouldn't have a right to say much of anything. I, too, enjoyed La Sylphide, but part of what made it successful was that Martins didn't try to put his own stamp on the Bournonville choreography. He said as much himself in the ballet's program notes, quoted in this article from DanceTabs: "In the program notes, Martins points out that he didn’t make any changes to Bournonville’s version of the ballet: 'There is virtually nothing of me in the production. I simply went back to the essential La Sylphide. This is the Romantic ballet that I was brought up on; this is Bournonville as I know it,' adding that his only change was the elimination of the intermission between the first and second acts." While I don't enjoy the fast pacing and cuts of his Sleeping Beauty, that's another one where he's mostly stuck with traditional choreography (with the added bonus of the Balanchine Garland Waltz). I don't mean to be hateful toward an entire body of work; I just sincerely believe that most dance critics and audience members wouldn't miss Martins' works if they were removed from the rep., provided that R&J and Swan Lake were replaced with new versions. (I don't count Sleeping Beauty and Sylphide among the full-lengths that should be replaced; they have so little of Martins' own original choreography in them, especially La Sylphide.)
  9. Winter 2018

    Yes, but hopefully the new AD will have the sense to replace Martins' awful full-lengths with more palatable versions. Let's face it -- if all of Martins' works were effaced from NYCB's repertoire, almost no one would miss them.
  10. Peter Martins Retired; Succession Discussion

    I think Wendy Whelan needs to be taken out of consideration. I had been enthusiastic about her as an option until her recent social media posts glorifying her own emaciation. As AD, she would sow a new generation of dancers with eating disorders. She seems totally in denial about how/why she’s so skeletal. Her own documentary showed a dancer profoundly out of touch with reality.
  11. Peter Martins Sexual Harassment Allegations

    LOL! This whole thing stinks of a cover up for the sake of NYCB's self-preservation (especially in terms of its board and administration.) Why would a current company dancer have reported (anonymously) to the NYT that Martins shook his fist over her head a week or so before she was promoted? I guess she and everyone else was just lying? Seems unlikely.
  12. Peter Martins Sexual Harassment Allegations

    Just in from the NYT: “Abuse Accusations Against Peter Martins Are Not Corroborated, Inquiry Says” https://nyti.ms/2BuFYbc
  13. Wendy Whelan -- Into The Future

    That's interesting. At the beginning of part 2, she talks a bit about working through an eating disorder when she was a student and mentions her teachers making her gain 20 pounds. I didn't realize she had ever gone on the record about an eating disorder. This would make me think she'd only be more sensitive to the images she puts out there. But she's obviously incredibly proud of her body as a work of art. As vipa said, the photos read as portraits of starvation. It's quite different from the powerful images of her in performance. I've found her angularity and crookedness to be exactly what makes her so appealing. She wouldn't have lost those qualities if she had gained a few pounds. "I have a body where, if I drop a few pounds, it shows a lot. I wasn't trying to lose weight, but when you work hard during the season, you do. I felt defenseless." If she wanted to change this, surely she could have sought advice on how to increase her caloric intake, etc. I get the sense that she wanted to maintain the absolute minimum weight that still would allow her to do her job. She's still thin as a rail in retirement, without the rigors of a regular performance schedule to keep her that way.
  14. Wendy Whelan -- Into The Future

    These are the other photos that, to me at least, read the same way as what you describe above. The protruding veins, the oddly rounded yet muscular stomach. Every vertebra in her back exposed.
  15. Wendy Whelan -- Into The Future

    It's an important point you make, and I don't support shaming at all. (Some people treat skinny-shaming as a joke, but it's very real.) People leaving comments like "eat something" or comparing her to a Holocaust survivor are very hurtful. I guess I was just hopeful that Whelan might be mindful of the effect her photos might have on the legions of young fans that follow her. She has nothing to be ashamed of -- and has every right to be proud of her body. But 99% of dancers wouldn't be able to achieve her physique without severely limiting their food intake. She's an anomaly, even in the rarified world of skinny ballet dancers. Take someone like Tiler Peck -- you can't get much more physically fit and technically proficient than she -- yet I have to imagine she'd only achieve the Whelan look if she starved herself. Luckily, dancers at NYCB don't appear to be striving to do so. Sandik makes an important point about how "healthy" looks different on different people. There's no way Whelan would have sustained such long and relatively injury-free career (at least until the big injury toward the end of her career) if she weren't healthy. But to the casual observer, who may not know her back story, she looks like someone who has starved herself. That super skinny thigh, hardly thicker than a man's arm, looks incapable of supporting the activity of dance. But obviously, she did dance with those legs. I've seen tons of pictures of Whelan over the years, and certainly she's always been rail thin, but these have been the first to make me feel uncomfortable, perhaps because they seem shot in a way to highlight just how skinny and sinewy she is/was.