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  2. Good comment. And Seibert goes on to say that Huxley "could use some of Mr. Ramasar’s un-self-conscious gusto." Macaulay should have gracefully ended his Instagram comment with "... how much the directorship welcomes him back." His use of the words "stridently" and "irredeemably" is disrespectful to those made uncomfortable by the situation. Have enjoyed reading Marina Harss's reviews at Dance Tabs and the Danceviewtimes City Ballet reviewers. But the day of the long thoughtful review seem to be over. (Or else I can't seem to find my way to them as easily as I used to.)
  3. Agree with what you and others have said about supernova Mearns in Brahms-Schoenberg. She brought the house down. It would have been a stronger closer than today's T&V, which was pretty tepid. Bouder was somewhat low-impact in her variations (the steps simply weren't articulated well), though she and Huxley did quite well in the PDD. Huxley's solos were solid, but for me, he really lacked flair and an ability to project. He looked stone-faced throughout, as if he just wanted the whole thing to be over. Overall, the whole performance felt somewhat uninspired, and I wonder if it's nearing the time for Bouder to hang up this role. The first three movements were the highlights of the performance, with Reichlen and Danchig-Waring looking simply exquisite. But can we pleeeeeeaaase lose the clown shirts for the men in the first three movements? Oh, and LeCrone looked like the Grim Reaper in T&V. She was wearing black lipstick and her face projected anger throughout the whole thing (and it wasn't just her facial structure doing her no favors). All the other women at least had the hint of a smile or some softness to the expressions on their faces. What a sour spot onstage LeCrone was.
  4. I would say that I'm neutral. I don't plan on avoiding a program just because he's cast. But I also wouldn't go out of my way to see him.
  5. Well really, what did Seibert expect Sara Mearns to do - bitch slap Ramasar during the curtain call? She may have been troubled by his return, delighted by it or not have cared much one way or the other. She is a professional and carried herself as one. (Mentioning her previous relationship with Ramasar was pretty tacky on Seibert's part, particularly in light of her recent marriage.) The symphony musicians who were recently fired are accused of physical sexual assaults on multiple colleagues. Why are there no hand-wringing articles regarding the toxic environment of symphony orchestras and the musicians' behavior, in the NY Times or any other major media? It could be the infantilization of ballet dancers as opposed to other artists. I can't think of any other profession where highly-accomplished adults are routinely referred to as "girls" and "boys".
  6. "The most notorious ballet scandal of our time"? (That's from Macaulay's Instagram)....I think the palm still goes to someone throwing acid in the face of the then director of the Bolshoi Ballet, Sergei Filin.
  7. As someone who himself was accused of inappropriate behavior (by his account absolutely wrongly so) Macaulay might be said to bring his own history into account when thinking of this scandal.
  8. Sadly, the Nutcracker skit has been pulled (perhaps someone complained?) from both Frantziskonis and Thatcher's Instagram pages. I hope it reappears as a single complete video on YouTube. ;)
  9. I feel like there is a subtext in this article, but also in the general conversation about this situation, of unspoken, not-wanting-to-be-spoken, and/or “don’t you dare call me homophobic” homophobia. When I read about Ramasar’s “gusto,” or “machismo,” contrasted with Huxley’s reaction to a fall, I am left feeling like the community is still struggling with tremendous ambivalence about moving past traditional norms of gender. I just finished Michael Langlois’s book, and was struck by his description of the importance of gender-normative attitudes in a business that is decidedly queer. This “team Ramasar,” like the “team Martins” divide can feel like a pretty homophobic trope.
  10. Completely agree that some balance in the form of thoughtful, incisive, keen-eyed dance criticism/reviewing would be very welcome.
  11. I don't find its existence necessarily unjustified. But these stories (very one-sided and lacking in nuance IMO) have dominated coverage on NYCB in the Times lately with little positive -- or even neutral -- coverage to balance it out. I like Macauley's post from earlier today:
  12. While I think the article has some definite oddities of logic, style, tone, etc., I don’t find its very existence to be unjustified. The return of a much-loved NYCB principal, in the current cultural context, in the given circumstances, seems newsworthy to me.
  13. It's such a bizarre article... it's as if Seibert genuinely wants to write a legitimate review of the performance but keeps having to stop himself because he's supposed to be writing a preachy op-ed. Transitioning from talking about Huxley... "A beautiful dancer who has trouble projecting, he could use some of Mr. Ramasar’s un-self-conscious gusto. Or that’s the sort of comparison I would usually make. Instead, this article must be about Mr. Ramasar’s homecoming and the response of his fans, their bravos and standing ovations. Those who were disturbed or disgusted — I spoke with some afterward — were quiet or drowned out or absent."
  14. What really annoyed me in that NYT article was this: "As a dancer, Mr. Ramasar gives even imperiousness a boyish innocence that defangs it, or used to. On Saturday, bounding joyfully in his old manner as if nothing had changed, his technique seemingly in good shape, Mr. Ramasar looked more than a little clueless." Although he had been one of my favorite dancers, I am really not excited to see Ramasar at SPAC this summer (although I probably won't avoid him either). But it's ridiculous to say that having been cast in the role that he should not have been conveying joy. What is he expected to do on stage that would satisfy this criticism? And I'm also more than a bit tired of this scandal being brought up continually.
  15. I don’t see Ramasar’s girlfriend’s personal forgiveness of him as having any particular bearing on the case one way or another. I haven’t seen anyone (including Seibert) questioning her right to forgive him.
  16. I find it ironic and troubling that the person whose photos Ramasar DID share is mostly left out of these conversations. The NYT loves to talk about the women in the company are supposedly “shocked” by his return; the paper chooses not to acknowledge that plenty of company members are probably pleased to have him back – including his girlfriend, who has every right to forgive him if she wants to! And this line about Mearns just wreaks of judgement: “And yet there was Ms. Mearns, one of City Ballet’s biggest stars, a woman who once dated Mr. Ramasar, there by his side, seeming, at least implicitly, to endorse him.” I love the Times but I’m getting so, so sick of these extremely one-sided, moralistic, agenda-driven articles in the dance section.
  17. Eh. I see no reason to give him that much power. He's on the roster, like it or not. If there's a program I want to see, I plan to see it whether he's on the casting sheet or not.
  18. Well, I'm not sure we can know if, from a PR point of view, that it did simply backfire--it may have helped prevent some donors and audience members from walking away in disgust at that point and it sent out the message to the company's audience and to its dancers that the company was/is prepared to take the issues raised by the case seriously. I know other fans (and donors too one assumes and dancers) disagreed with the decision so likely they were angered in turn...But it seems to me hard to measure which decision might have done the most damage to the company's reputation. Nor am I certain that the company was panicking exactly if there was true internal concern and debate going on about the implications for the workplace of not taking further action. It may well have seemed like a reasonable and necessary decision that then, of course, was over-ruled by the arbitrator. I suppose if people are making Ramasar some kind of hero that could be considered a backfire, but I expect there are a lot of people out there who don't view him quite in those terms. Obviously AGMA has been bending over backwards not to seem as if they don't care about the complexities and implications of the case for those who are unhappy Ramasar is back at NYCB. Would they be doing so if they weren't hearing from women in their union? Seems unlikely. (My own feeling is that Ramasar won his case--good for him. I don't begrudge him his legal victory. But had I been in the audience for his return to the company, I'm not one of those who would have been offering standing ovations and cheers at the fact of that return.)
  19. Brian Seibert writes in the New York Times about yesterday's matinee, including Amar Ramasar's return. A taste of the article's rather odd shifts and turns:
  20. From the NYT article, which I link to again for convenience: This appears to have happened at NYCB. The company leadership acted in panic mode and it backfired. They can point to the upholding of the suspensions, and apparently the company and union are in discussions about standards, which is positive.
  21. Yesterday
  22. I was wondering if anyone on this board might have qualms about seeing Ramasar perform. I had a ticket for today’s matinee, but it would have been difficult to come in to the city today, so when I realized I would be seeing Ramasar, I had mixed feelings, and because of that and the challenges of making it to Manhattan today, I decided to exchange the ticket for a performance of Midsummer Night’s Dream.
  23. As I make my way through all four performances of the Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet/Tchai Suite #3 program, I am enjoying it a lot. Today, third performance. The more I see Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet the more I like it. Splendid dancing from all four principal couples plus the soloist (Wellington) from the first section. I would just have to single out the incredible Sara Mearns. I mean, she's always been incredible but this season she has propelled herself to another level altogether, with speed, strength, precision, and power that are breathtaking. In T&V, Huxley looked great, but I find him and Bouder to be such an odd match that it feels a little incoherent.
  24. In which I review the two Brahms-Schoenberg casts, Dances at a Gathering, and some debuts in Symphony in Three Movements and The Times Are Racing: https://humbledandoverwhelmed.blogspot.com/2019/05/spring-diaries-nycb-brings-back-brahms.html
  25. Thanks for reporting on this. I wonder how many people may have changed tickets rather than see Ramasar perform and have a negative reaction. I know I did for next weekend after casting was announced
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