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About britomart

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  • Birthday 11/15/1971

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    former professional ballet dancer
  • City**
    Ann Arbor
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**
  1. britomart

    NYCB Dancers Cut

    Considering that most of the pics of the two of them show him grabbing her breast, I'm not sure I would qualify this as a move up in the world.
  2. britomart

    One More Retiree

    He is still listed on the website, whereas the other retirees are not.
  3. britomart

    Saratoga July 2010

    They do indeed allow people to take drinks back to their seats now, as they are doing at many regional theaters (for example, the Asolo Theater in Sarasota recently made that change). Many venues see it as a way to make extra revenue, and I for one am grateful not to have to throw back my glass of wine in five minutes (takes ten to get it, particularly at Saratoga). I'm sorry, Deborah, that you have had such a bad experience there. I've been going to SPAC since I was a child, and always found the audiences to be fairly courteous and wildly appreciative. It's actually one of my favorite places to see NYCB; there's something almost primeval about watching dancers dance under the sky as the sun sets.
  4. britomart

    ABT Met 2010 Info

    I'd vote for Barry Foster (the serial killer in Hitchcock's "Frenzy"). Sorry Blaine.
  5. britomart

    Swan Lake

    Oh no... Don't leave us hanging. Please.
  6. britomart

    NYCB Dancers Cut

    I realize that this statement is not going to contribute to the discussion, but a good bit of this thread and the other one on the dancer layoffs from NYCB feels like a bad day in law school or an academic conference that has gotten out of hand, where someone just wants to be right at the expense of the ideas being circulated.
  7. britomart

    Molly Smolen

    Thanks for all your responses - I remember taking class with Molly when she was quite young, and it was obvious that she was a prodigious talent. Not in a fireworks-and-schmaltz way, but in a thoughtful and mature one. I hope that resurfaces soon.
  8. britomart

    Molly Smolen

    Does anyone know if Molly Smolen has left SF Ballet? If so, does anyone know where she has gone? Thanks!
  9. britomart

    Mature dancers

    Nicely said, Leigh! I'd definitely agree w/Mozartiana. Also certain roles in Liebeslieder and Davidsbundlertanze - I don't know enough about the choreographic history of these ballets, but it seems as though certain roles were choreographed with more mature dancers in mind. And I've only seen "Orpheus" with older dancers as Eurydice (Helene Alexopolous, Darci Kistler) so I find it hard to imagine a young dancer in the part. I'd also put the Waltz Girl role from Serenade on the list. One ballet I think benefits somewhat from youth is "Allegro," not just because of the technical demands, but because there is something of an Aurora-like quality about the female principal's part, but without the narrative that sometimes an older dancer can use to great advantage. I am a bit biased about "Allegro" though, because one of the most extraordinary performances of it that I have ever seen was Alexandra Ansanelli's debut in the part about 5 (?) years ago. There was something about her; she was still a girl but on the brink of becoming the woman she grew into, and seeing that moment in that ballet was magical. What about roles that can go either way? One for me is 2nd mvmt. Symphony in C - someone (was it cabro?) mentioned recently remembering Darci's 16-year-old debut in the role, and many people have lauded Whelan's rendition over the last couple of years. Of course, Whelan's body is holding up extraodinarily even though she is approaching 40, which is not true for every dancer. In her New York Times Magazine interview Whelan said that performing that role was "like talking to God." I don't think that one needs to be a particular age to talk with God, but perhaps communicating that to other mortals is something that is more natural for some dancers early on, and some come to over time.
  10. britomart

    "Behind the Curtain:The Body, Control, and Ballet"

    There seems to be as much bashing here of Ms. Kelso as she did in her article on the ballet world!! As both a former professional dancer (and no, you've never heard of me, I'm sure, but I did dance with several very well-known companies) and a current graduate student in English and film, I think that although Ms. Kelso's article was clearly biased, there were some issues raised that are worth raising, as canbelto mentioned. It seems a bit pointless to start denigrating the academic profession (which does indeed have it's own set of pervasive problems, although many of my colleagues are the funniest people I know, and teaching has provided me with some of the most ludic of experiences and exchanges that I've ever had). I think that since the basic critique of Ms. Kelso's work is one of moderation (that she used sources one-sidedly, even at times inaccurately) that the most productive response would be a balanced one rather than another one-sided attack - sometimes the best offense is really not the best defense. There is a facet of truth in what drval 01 said about academic publishing - but it's not the publishing it's the training. One is expected to present an argument in an article, and while there are certainly better or worse ways to prove it, one cannot write a sort of overview of varied opinions on a subject with no personal or authorial stakes. You can disagree with those stakes or even the conclusion, but it's not a middle-of-the-road kind of genre. One thing that I found interesting in this thread was the discussion of the sour grapes model of writing, and a few people implied that Ms. Kelso was no one in the dance world and now is no one in academia. This, besides being a personal attack, is also possibly not true. While it does sound as though she didn't have the best experience in dance, it's not the best evidentiary move to assume she has based an academic career on a previous disappointment. Second, it's very possible that Southern Ill is a top-ranked grad program in sociology; don't forget the number one school in English in the country is a state school (Berkeley) and I know for a fact that some of the big Midwestern state schools have the top-ranked programs in certain social sciences. Finally, since I brought up the point of balance, I'd like to finish by saying that I don't agree with all of Ms. Kelso's points, nor the point made in the thread that graduate students have less creative agency than dancers. Both, of course, depend entirely on context. I've worked with directors and choreographers who made their dancer's creative input an integral part of the creative and rehearsal process and ones that treated their dancers like cogs in a wheel, whose only purpose was to serve their particular vision. Academia in some ways has encouraged my creativity in ways I'd never imagined, while at the same time it is true that this creativity has to be exercised within particular parameters. Neither is a system of absolutes. It's interesting that I remember another post some time ago about individual interpretation where there was some serious backlash against the academy. I wonder why there is a tendency for these two arenas to almost immediately face off and assume ranks. It doesn't have to be this way. I attended the Balanchine symposium at Ann Arbor two years ago, which was quite illuminating and a rather wonderful amalgam of people working in the field and people studying and writing about it. I know this sounds a bit like "Why can't we all just get along?" but why can't we get along better?
  11. britomart

    James Fayette Retirement

    Fayette's not that young - he was born in 1970 - so while he certainly didn't have to retire yet, he must have been thinking his NYCB afterlife. I don't know, but it seems reasonable that he would retire b/c he was offered the job with AGMA, which is something he's been involved with for quite awhile as company rep.
  12. britomart

    The Saratoga commitment

    I will say that I had much the same question as you did last year, Bart, when the SPAC scandal erupted. However, I have been lucky enough to spend two weeks up here this summer (my mom is a long time summer resident) and the whole town is buzzing with excitement about the ballet's return, and I can honestly say that I can't imagine the place without it. It might be true that NYCB might make a bit more off of a summer tour, but they are part of the summer tradition here, and SPAC is a part of the company's tradition now. So it's more complicated and involved than the finacial aspects suggest. I want to mention that NYCB forms part of the cultural fabric in Saratoga, and that its loss could also mean the loss of some of the other wonderful events that take place during the summer, many of which are free. I saw a terrific outdoor performance of Much Ado About Nothing this week, that was well-attended at Skidmore. I heard many members of the audience talking about the ballet as well - what they'd seen or were going to see. Saratoga also hosts two large ballet summer programs - Briansky Ballet and the New York State Summer School of the Arts, and the benefits they must reap from NYCB's presence here are immeasurable. So, it's sort of like a tapestry - pull one thread and the whole thing might fall apart - of course, that's a bit overdramatic, but I do believe it would have a truly detrimental effect on the arts community here. And, rkoretsky, I'll be at the ballet Sat. eve with my mom on the lawn! Maybe I'll see you!
  13. britomart

    More SPAC politics

    Oh rkoretsky - I hope not. People like Chesbrough often seem invincible, but I can't believe that his seeming campaign to get rid of NYCB won't bite him in his nether parts in the end. He's handled it with such gracelessness. At any rate, I for one will be bringing my mom back to SPAC, and seeing if a few friends can't come in for a performance or two over the next couple of weeks. It's a small thing, and it won't help the numbers problem much, but it is a testament to the efforts of STB and yourself. Your commitment to this cause has inspired a lot of discussion (and individuals) on the board, and it has also asked me to think about the ways in which I for one, take institutions like NYCB for granted. I'll bet those efforts writ large over the Saratoga community have done more than you can imagine or see right now.
  14. britomart

    More SPAC politics

    Hi all: Been thinking about this a lot, and I've come to realize that one thing I'd not thought about earlier is the fact that one of the things that makes the Saratoga residency special is that it is in New York. NYCB could, no doubt, find another place to have a summer season, but it would likely not be in New York. It's pretty unique and quite special that NYCB brings its performances to residents of NYS as well as NYC, and that's something that shouldn't be overlooked (slapping my own hand :sweating: )
  15. britomart

    "All-American" Dancers

    I think that the separation of temperament and aesthetic is a really good one to delineate, ballerina 1023. Kowroski definitely fits the bill in terms of the Balanchine/American aesthetic, and might even temperament-wise, especially in comedic roles. People have brought up some women I hadn't thought of originally, like Merrill Ashley, who, during her career, seemed lto me ike a quintessentially American dancer both in terms of physique and temper. Some others I have since come up with are Susan Jaffe for her wide-eyed beauty and ability to convey a sort of purity of essence and Evelyn Cisneros for the sort of fearlessness and athleticism that carbro was talking about with Lindy Roy. Another person I thought of was Jodie Gates formerly for the Joffrey Ballet, and later with Pennsylvania. There was something incredibly robust about her dancing and her stage presence. And definitely Darci in her early career. Here's something I've been struggling with a bit, and it might sound a little dopey, but can one seem like the boy/girl next door, and/or all-American even if they're not? For example, doesn't Angel Corella embody many of the qualities we see as all-American in dancers like Woetzel and Fayette? Or do they register differently?