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Everything posted by Jayne

  1. I think you have to frame this correctly in your brain. There is so much on YouTube now that shows Symphony in C and Diamonds danced by different companies. But non-neo-classical companies often dance both at a turgid pace, to give their dancers the time to line up perfectly. Balanchine intended his dancers to look like starlings during a murmuring on the stage. Fleet of foot, fast turners, quick turns, sprightly jumpers - and length, always long and lean, those are all part of the Balanchine style.
  2. I didn't think he was critiquing the Monogasque Royal Family, so much as he was critiquing the Monogasque wealthy class who are often not even citizens, but residents to avoid taxation in their home countries (the Green Family which owns TopShop as an example). He is going after their extreme plastic surgery, fashion choices, etc. Regarding the Robbins pieces, I think we can honor him (and even include Peter Martins in the documentary) without applauding misogyny. Hitchcock will still be honored for his masterpieces, but some of his portrayals of women appear in 2018 to be terribly sexist, and his obsessions with his female stars were entirely unprofessional and grounds for termination in the modern sense. Regarding RaKU, it's a fictional story, but I didn't think we were in Charlie Chan territory. OTOH, I still love "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "Mame" even though the treatment of an Asian characters is appalling. I'm not sure how I will reconcile this in the future, but it's worth thinking through. I love dancing around the house to Michael Jackson's music now, and I rationalize it by thinking that the radio royalty funds go towards his kids, not him. The list is long if we are going to ban stories where women are badly treated.
  3. The best critics also tell a story, sometimes a great story, sometimes a car wreck story, but at their best, they inform us of what they saw in a story telling format.
  4. I attended Friday night Sept 21 and Saturday night Sept 22. A not-so-quick-summary after editing: Friday - the highlight was Pantastico / Orza in "Other Dancers". It's new to PNB and they make it unravel like a long, smooth ribbon that just weaves about the stage. I think Orza must be in better shape this season because all of his lifts were rock solid secure, and Pantastico's confidence made them look buttery soft. Just gorgeous. For "Afternoon of a Faun" - James Moore was the right danseur, but I would have cast Lindsi Dec in the Tanny role. Rachel Butler is tiny, and lacks the lengthy limbs that make the dialogue with the music. (more on this substitute later) "In the Night" had some brittle sections with Leta Biasucci and Benjamin Griffiths, hopefully this will smooth out over the following performances. I agree with what Helene wrote above about the other two couples. "West Side Story" was on fire, especially the 3 Jets girls. Anita was Lindsi Dec, and I thought she went over the top in the role. Robbins is very specific in what tone he wanted, and this portrayal felt "off". I think because she was trying to do steps meant for (tiny but shapely firecracker) Rita Moreno. Anita is not supposed to be 6' tall. I would have put Rachel Butler in this role instead, and given Lindsi the "Faun" role. NYCB doesn't cast the "Rubies" Tall Girl in the Anita role, and neither should PNB. Dec is much closer in proportional build to Wendy Whelan, which is why the Tall roles work on her, but I just don't think the choreography works on a dancer of her extended stature. Rachel Butler has acting chops (we saw that in Giselle and Coppelia) and I think she'd be better in this. The other roles were fine, I really like Ezra Thomson as Riff, and the orchestra clearly had fun playing Bernstein. We saw first cast for "DAAG", so all principals and soloists. I will only augment Helene's review, by adding that the audience was highly engaged on Saturday evening, and laughed throughout humorous moments of DAAG at moments that I've never seen them laugh before. It was a wonderful evening and I really think they really have the Robbins style, which appears caught up in the moment and spontaneous. "The Concert" was also very well received, and in the post-event talk, Peter Boal noted that Robbins choreographed based on his keen sense of the reality of his day. "Fancy Free" portrayed his observance of 1940's war time street life, and "The Concert" portrayed his observance of late 1950's concerts in the park. He worried that future audiences would be offended by the nature of the humor - the unfaithful husband's physical head-bop of his unhappy wife. But perhaps he was also alluding to the purse keep-away game in "Fancy Free". Whether present-day audiences accept the humor or not, those things were humorous in the zeitgeist of the time of portrayal. I have always enjoyed Alan Dameron's musical contributions to PNB, but I feel confident that the new artists on piano (and potentially in the future at the podium) are thoughtful contributors as well.
  5. NYCB and the dancers who participated in photo sharing without the subjects' written consent need to settle this and move on, and work towards atonement. Dragging it out in the courts is a terrible idea. So is all the dissembling about the horrors of the complaining witness suing NYCB. The dancers at NYCB who are "forgiving" this behavior have personal relationships with the terminated dancers, and the emotional attachments prevent them from seeing the big picture. None of the bad actors would have met each other or their victims if not for the structures at NYCB and its affiliated school SAB. This needs to stop now, rather than drag it out. Company policy should be that every acts like it's 1986 and sharing your intimate partner's naked pics / videos is an awful thing to do and stop normalizing it. There are child porn victims who have to live the rest of their lives knowing their images are "out there" and there is nothing they can do about it. This will also apply to Alexandra Waterbury. No one knows how far the images / videos have already been disseminated. To quote Brad Paisley "The Internet is Forever". Edit for clarity
  6. I certainly feel inadequately expert in legal matters to make any sort of analysis. My Law & Order TV watching from the mid-1990's is not helping me today. Honestly I feel rather dispirited today. After reading the amended complaint, the detail about a PNB dancer (then an SAB student) victimized, the news coming out of the US Senate for the current candidate for the Supreme Court, and the manner in which alleged victims of Peter Martins were treated by the "investigator / interrogator", I have a rather low opinion of how boys are raised in my country, how we shape them into men, and how we treat women who allege abuse. Even if the women continue to "hold up the sky" at NYCB, will much change? Will men still have the instruments and (more important) psychology to want to exploit them? Are the dancers who defended Peter Martins and 2 of the 3 fired danseurs complicit in the patriarchy at NYCB? Do they owe too much of their career progression to these men to see what they have done?
  7. It has been dispiriting, for sure. I just refer to the long arc of the art: in the future, more talent will emerge, more revelations will grace the stage, and more care will be given to the professionalism backstage. I've been yearning for an essay that "explains it all" when it comes to the psychology of men who are tempted into this type of behavior to know what makes them tick. And to wonder if redemption is possible, and what it might look like. The difficult thing about social media is the impossibility to divine the true intentions (fantasy or malignant intention) in posting their words. We all have social media and emails that we would take back if we could. But the normalization of typing out these malignant words on the internet without realizing consequences needs to be examined.
  8. I'm not a NYer so I can only suggest from afar that if NYCB is short on appropriate male partners for roles he already knows.....he could save the day.
  9. Perhaps Ballet Master Craig Hall might return to the stage to partner?
  10. Jayne

    Joy Womack

    I sense a void that she hopes to fill by becoming "important" through ballet. She tried to do that by being a "first" American Bolshoi school graduate, then a "first" American Bolshoi Corps member, then a "first" Kremlin soloist (she says principal). All that time vlogging. None of it filled that void. Her interview discussed her "ground breaking" views that American ballet companies don't get enough government funding and the dancers don't have enough performances to be considered pro dancers. Then she went to Korea, this time as a true principal, still didn't fill the void. Now she has returned to Moscow to try to fill the void by writing a PhD thesis on sports therapies for ballet dancers that will be "important" and the Russian ballet leaders will "change" things. If she is truly interested in studying sports science in ballet, she should visit The Australian Ballet, which famously put David Hallberg back together again (among other international dancers). I know she is only 24, and I was certainly very insecure at 24 too. We all want to feel important and needed. But she is doing this on blast through social media. I really wish she would take a year off from vlogging, and really do a full reset, and figure out why that void exists. I hope she closes the void and can find her path forward. She may need a different kind of professional assistance to figure this out.
  11. I read the whole thread, and while I agree with many points already made, this letter omits three important details: Organization remedy for the donor's multiple incidents of appalling behavior. Organization remedy for the other NYCB-connected participants in the group-share of explicit photos / videos. Organization remedy for the NYCB employee who forwarded explicit photos / videos of Ms. Waterbury to a pimp. Other thoughts: There have been all sorts of corporate cases where employees were bad actors on company time, without company permission, and the company still had to pay out a settlement, or lost a lawsuit and had to pay damages. Phones have date/time stamps, location stamps, etc and that is going to come back to haunt some people who gave in to temptation. The culture blossomed under Peter Martins' management, and continued after despite the #metoo movement. This does not develop overnight. If the organization tried to dissuade a victim from pursuing a legal complaint after a sexual assault in Vail, City of Washington, or other place, then there may be other legal consequences. The dancers are athletes, and are paid to keep their bodies in tip top shape. Avoiding Colombian marching powder seems pretty straightforward. So does showing up to class sober, and keeping a hotel room in good order. The male dancers thought they were untouchable, but in reality, they are completely replaceable. NYCB doesn't even have to look internationally to find replacements. They can just ask Justin Peck who he's worked with at other companies (SFB, MCB, PNB, HB, etc), and reach out to those men. Maybe we need to let go of the concept that slavish devotion to a sport or an artform develops character. I think it develops work ethic, but not character. Social media puts traditional office gossip / shenanigans / relationships on steroids. I am so glad I was a young person when email was the only thing that got us into trouble. POST SCRIPT: The donor's name has been omitted as a legal tactic. I'm sure the ABT corps members are not thrilled to be included in his misogynist fantasy, nor to be included in the legal claim or multiple media reports. I'm sure they are having their own revenge fantasies of throwing drinks in his face and giving the donor a hard slap at the next fundraiser.
  12. Second the McIntyre recommendation.
  13. Goodness the thread has strayed from the original discussion topic. But I must correct the error: Shaun King is bi-racial, his mother is white and his biological father was mixed black and white. https://www.snopes.com/news/2015/08/19/shaun-king/ Also, if you did not grow up with American minstral shows or segregated Hollywood, the offensive “clown show” is harder to wrap your brain around. To put it in better context, think of the Andy Rooney “chinaman” in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.
  14. Shocking, just 25 years of age, and for car mirrors!
  15. It will be interesting to watch the AD job evolve over time in the US.
  16. And 10 years after her last promotion, Yuhui Choe remains a First Soloist.
  17. GeXer here, I remember the mid 90’s trying to teach you a few grey haired folks how to fax. In Japan, even today faxes are still used for confirmation documents because the courts recognize them as legally binding, judges distrust e-signatures, etc as too easy to manipulate. Fax away! Now, if a Millenial will please help me figure things out my smart phone....
  18. Don Quixote: ABT version with Mikhail Baryshnikov, and the Bolshoi version with Natalia Osipova.
  19. I am definitely going to watch that documentary. I didn’t think circus for the fouettes or hops. For me, tricks refer to over extensions, rather than excellence at specific ballet steps. (would Gillian Murphy’s fan emphasis in DQ be tricks too?)
  20. Wow, Suarez is spectacular! I can’t believe she wasn’t a principal until nearly 40. She deserved *all* of the audience adultation. What were her specific criticisms of Alonso?
  21. Berlin’s carousel of ADs continues to spin, as does Bavaria’s carousel of dancers.
  22. If you specifically want to see Zakharova, choose Giselle. She is much better at pathos roles (Swan Lake, La Bayadere, etc) and is considered “too cold” in fairy tales (Sleeping Beauty, etc.).
  23. Jayne

    Marcelo Gomes

    There is a larger question: what of the level of resposibility for any company or organization to investigate accusations against employees for off-hours behavior? Obviously behavior away from work can reflect badly on your employer, and criminal behavior should set off alarm bells. But at what point does the employer get to limit the reaction to advising the accuser to seek remedies through a police complaint or civil suit?
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