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puppytreats

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Posts posted by puppytreats

  1. 4. If she would have gone to file a formal complaint in week 2 about nonpayment, as someone above indicates, do you think she would have had a better or worse reputation?

    She was not told to file a formal complaint about non-payment.

    Helene, This was in response to Swanchat, who stated: "If she was on a regular contract and wasn't paid regularly, then after the 2nd missed payment, she should have lodged a formal complaint, requested her pay and left with her training and company affiliation on her resume."

  2. She adds more to every interview but they are her words, her views. No way to substantiate them as she refuses to file a formal complaint or go to the authorities. Maybe she didn't like Filin's advice and complained of extortion. M

    One cannot "substantiate" words that are spoken. Her filing a formal complaint would not "substantiate" anything. Sure the cops could send her back with a wire to try to get someone to repeat it, but why would she do that?

    It is a non sequitur to say she did not like advice to find out the way it is done (a sponsor/lover and/or a payment) and then complained (about him? seeking) extortion She apparently was asked why she left, and, according to Keim, said she did not want to make a payment or get a sponsor. If one did not like Filin's advice, why would one make up a complaint about him? She simply would not follow the advice. The problem is, according to Keim, she told Kiem what the advice was, and that she left because she did not feel that following that advice was appropriate.

  3. Who threatened her? Did she name those who threatened her? Filin gave her advice that she didn't like but I didn't read that he threatened her. She adds more to every interview but they are her words, her views. No way to substantiate them as she refuses to file a formal complaint or go to the authorities. Maybe she didn't like Filin's advice and complained of extortion. Maybe she didn't like the advice to be silent and said it was a threat, who knows? If I were threatened, I would go to the authorities. If I were her parent, I would insist that she go to the authorities and ask for protection. If she feels unsafe in doing so, then she might want to reconsider where she's chosen to live. Which brings us to the whole, that's the way it is in Russia thing. As outsiders, it's really not our privilege or responsibilty or opportunity to say when it doesn't fly anymore. As an American, she's an outsider, even if the sham marriage makes her a Russian citizen. Any changes at the Bolshoi will only happen when those in power (both at the company and from the state perspective) decide to change. The complaints of a disgruntled dancer will not cause that change. Unless she's willing to make formal charges of extortion and threats, no one is going to listen.

    1. An article 2 days ago stated that two high level people threatened her, and I characterized what Filin's lawyer stated as a threat. I interpret a threat to mean something very different from advice to go learn the ropes, or a whisper in the ear, saying that is not the best way to achieve one's goals.

    2. I don't think anyone can "protect" her and many probably would not even want to protect her. Someone once dumped a body behind a fence across the street in front of my home. They then walked across the street and asked my mother, "Did you see anything?" She told them, "No, I don't know what you are talking about." Did she tell her family? Yes. Did she tell anyone else? Of course not. Do you think anyone else would have been able to "protect" her? At what cost? Would you pay that price? Would you allow your family to pay that price? What would you achieve by it? What would you lose by it?

    3. I don't get the impression the 19 year old had a goal to change the way things are done at the Bolshoi. Why would anyone think she did? From what I read in the newspapers, she just said she was mistreated and was told to do things she did not want to do, so she left. And she said, "This is what happened to me, in case you are looking to follow in my footsteps, beware."

    4. If she would have gone to file a formal complaint in week 2 about nonpayment, as someone above indicates, do you think she would have had a better or worse reputation? She would have been labeled a "troublemaker", and not a "team player". Her career would have been dead even before the end of the first year. Haven't you been told to "take one for the team"? Only a very few places of employment are text-book, by the rules places. Reality is very different than the what one is lead to believe exists when one sits behind the ivy walls of university or in other idealistic places.

  4. Yes, Womack is her worst enemy. If she were a young Hollywood wannabe actress, this would be the perfect time for her publicist to announce that she is entering rehab for delusions of (ballet) grandeur.

    ...

    Also yesterday, the New York Times published a correction in regard to their Womack article

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/22/pageoneplus/corrections-november-22-2013.html?_r=0

    finally pointing out that "she was one of the first Americans — not the first — to join the Bolshoi after graduating from its training academy in Moscow"

    This was high time because I have been reading for years that there were other Americans before her at the Academy who kept quiet because they didn't want to make a big fuss over this.

    ...I find it very sad when you call yourself "A dancer for Jesus" and always mention your faith but use this in the way of "As He is FOR me, who dares to be AGAINST me" - but that's another story.

    In my very personal opinion, Womack's big dream collapsed within two minutes and she is unwilling to accept this fact. ...This can become an addiction and it seems to be one in Womack's case. So, maybe, going to "rehab" is not such a bad idea...

    1. She is criticized for having pursued (being advised to pursue?) a bad, high profile, (risky?) social media pr strategy, which backfired, and now you suggest she follow a standard Hollywood pr strategy, by going to rehab?

    2. By the way, rehab for what? Having had childhood dreams? Growing up? Moving on? Giving up a dream? Not buying the hype? That is not an addiction.

    3. I am sure after you suggest that she pursue a pr advised rehab period, the criticism of her credibility for going to rehab would follow.

    4. I don't understand the dancer for Jesus claim or the quotation or how it applies. Do religious people have to be infallible? Did she claim to dedicate her dance to religion? I am not familiar with the for/against quotation, so I am not sure to what it refers.

    5. Her dream of the Bolshoi "collapsed", true, but she seems very willing to accept that fact. That doesn't seem like a basis for vitriol or the pr disappearing route suggested, but maybe some people are happy for others to fail.

  5. Here;s the thing: I've seen many things in this thread (and elsewhere) simply shrugged off as the "Russian way." This includes securing rich patrons as lovers, abusive coaching practices, bribery, racism, and most of all, a dictatorial system of management. These are not accusations unique to Womack -- other dancers have complained about the same thing.

    My question, is, at what point, does the "oh well, they're Russian" excuse not fly anymore?

    Helene says her situation was not unique. Many articles about Womack quote dancers who say that what Womack said is not far off. Others on these boards say it is the Russian way. The "New Yorker" magazine article on the Bolshoi renovation said that the locals thought the bribes and sexual favors were no big deal, and shrugged it off. Certainly, Pavel D. Nichola Tsiskaridze, A. Voloch__ (sorry spelling) and the open letter writers support claims about the favors and money. Certainly we know about the money lost in the renovation, the power struggles, and the acid violence.

    That is why I don't understand all the people on the board insisting that Womack is making up a reason for leaving as a face saving excuse to cover for her having been a failure in the big leagues after having been an inspiration to local children in her ballet school. She can be only suitable to be a minor leaguer and still be truthful about having faced all of the above situations that many people seem to confirm without thinking it is a big deal.

    Why do they ignore the plethora of confirmations, and say she is only a disgruntled liar? Because of deleting a twitter account (which she may have thought better of or may have been advised to do)? Because of some social media inconsistencies? I think some people who write on the internet, even on these boards, sometimes make statements to be provocative, or to debate, or to promote one person at the expense of another, or out of boredom, or to see what people say in response, or because of changed moods, or changed opinions, or a bad day at work. This may give rise to "inconsistencies", but does not render the people posting as otherwise bad people or warranting disbelief if they were to be put on a stand and sworn in to testify under oath, over something important or of consequence.

  6. 1. Yes, often claiming someone who is rightfully "disgruntled" is "effective" and suffices to eliminate any objective review of the content of the fired employees' complaints, Helene. The smear defeats justice and revictimizes the employees.

    2. Turandot, I don't see how being protective of or loyal to a director (whom she does not seem to have accused of wrongdoing) is equivalent to "forgiving" the theater.

    3. Turandot, I agree with Helene regarding whistleblowing. Snowden was granted asylum in Russia, whereas she is in the center of the storm, complaining about her treatment in a Russian school.

    4. Turandot/Helene, I think there is a difference between explaining why she left to warn people who had read about her in the news (as a way to promote students to the school?) that her experience was not what she expected, and being a "whistleblower" trying to engage in a formal review or change the system or get people in trouble.

    5. Helene, the threats to be silent were mentioned in the article two days ago.

  7. If she wasn't paid, she should have left long ago. ... Right now, it seems that she is her own worst enemy. Continuing to make these accusations and broaden them without taking official action just makes her appear more immature, more whiny and more like a disgruntled employee (which she is

    1. She seems to have left quickly - in her first year.

    2. Have you ever had a nonpaid bill, been asked for time to make payment, wait for collections? Maybe she trusted them, gave them a chance, waited like she was told, expecting to get paid, and then couldn't live on vapors anymore.

    3. I always laugh when employers excuse all of their misbehavior based on label of "disgruntled" employee. Almost anyone who leaves a job is "disgruntled". If one is not paid and leaves, one is rightfully "disgruntled." If one is told to rub the black off one's face, one is rightfully disgruntled. If one is taunted and chased out, one is disgruntled. That doesn't mean the employer was not stealing her money and labor, enslaving her, tormenting her, prostituting her, discriminating against her, etc.

    4. You are cavalier in ignoring the threats that were made against her. Complaining to the authorities, after being told to STFU, would not help that. It does not make what she said untrue.

    5. If you were threatened, I assure you that you would be upset, to say the least. To criticize someone for being angry is strange.

  8. "Of course" the hospital *would* tamper with witnesses is an absurd generalization.

    I said there was no reason to fire her. (That's what you quoted.) There is not a strong relationship between them not giving out roles and firing dancers. As she was on a contract, they simply could have left her contract lapse had they wanted.

    She claims to have left. One of the articles in Links insists she was fired. The company hasn't addressed her claims or made a statement.

    The Bolshoi has not used either of the PR strategies you've proposed.

    You are right, i should have said "could" instead of "would".

    Maybe when the person discussed in the article said she was fired, he was saying that she was "fired", or constructively discharged, by giving her little to no work, giving her little to no pay (including "forgetting" to pay her - sorry, I forget which article), having high level teachers taunt her (article of 2 days ago), having high level people threaten her (article 2 days ago). It is like when a landlord somehow forgets to put the heat on, or fails to repair a leak, or blasts the radio all night, and then tenant loses the war of attrition, and is effectively "evicted."

  9. I have very little sympathy for Joy Womack on this matter. Once she makes a serious accusation against the Bolshoi, then she should be prepared to follow through with it completely. She is trying to come across as both a forgiving person AND a pure victim in her media blitz. Womack comes across as passive-aggressive.

    Where did you read anything to give you the impression that she was trying to come across as a forgiving person? Do you equate moving on (from a situation involving threats, nonpayment, a violent environment) or leaving a nightmare with being forgiving? Is not going to the authorities, or not filing a lawsuit for the sake of being vindictive, the same as being forgiving?

  10. Turandot:

    The PR strategy employed by the dancers (who were advised by theaters/impresarios/competitions/guidebooks?) already backfired. I imagine the hospital threatening to and/or suing the surgeon who quit would face quite a similar result (a pr backfire). Of course, the hospital would smear the surgeon, maybe even plant information or pressure workers to testify falsely against the one who left. However, then the surgeon would be forced by the hospital to defend himself, with the information he had gathered, or testify under oath about what had happened to him, and then the hospital would have a true pr nightmare. The better strategies would be to (a) be silent, (b) say the allegations are being looked into, or © say it is instituting measures to prevent similar wrongdoing.

    ETA: Especially if the surgeon is, like Womack, a nobody, or "blip", to use Helene's description. That nobody really can't affect the powerful brand that is the Bolshoi.

  11. There was no reason for the Bolshoi to fire her: she's hardly unique in that regard.

    But didn't the news media quote the Bolshoi as saying she was fired? Are employees at her level at will employees? Did they fire her for cause as a contracted employee? Did they give a reason?

  12. If someone accuses a person or institution of having a felony, does that person or institution not have the right to use every legal remedy to dispute it? If a thug came to her door, that would be illegal means. ...

    And, yes, accusing an unidentified party of taking bribes is accusing someone of a crime. That's why Urin told her to go to the police with her accusations. Accusing management of a government controlled institution of condoning criminal activity could be accusing someone of a crime.

    If a thug came to one's door, and then the management told one to go to the police, and then one went to police, then that would be a very convenient way to end the scandal - go to police, thug finds out, no more witness, no testimony. Managements' hands are cleaned.

    I would not call that a lack of credibility.

    When did this tell-all book come into being, anyway? Is that what you call something to gain? I would call that a "smear" campaign. The girl walked away, she explained why when asked, end of story.

  13. I think that's different than being the person quoted in the media, because no publicity is considered bad, and that could be catnip to a company that would get immediate press attention by hiring her.

    This is an extremely wise statement! Deep inside I am already waiting for the news that Womack has signed a multi-million-dollar contract with an American publishing house for the tell-all tale "Shattered Swan" or that CBS will give her the lead in a made-for-television movie where she will walk in the final scene into the Siberian ice desert. Does anyone know whether there is any credibility to the claim that the Kremlin Ballet is interested in her? It must have a reason why she is neither confirming, nor denying a possible contract with them.

    Maybe this whole social media debate is why she does not confirm or deny anything. Because anything she says can and will be used and twisted for anyone's selfish goal, including the company seeking press attention

  14. Is it a "smear" to say bribes were given if they were? No

    Will bribes stop if that is the way? No, but maybe one person will be a sacrificial lamb

    Is it her fault that someone looked into bribes? Doubtful. I don't know how the "plea" and "cooperation" game works in Russia.

    I am thinking the anger is that she didn't give the bribe, or close her eyes and walk away. For this reason, I still can't understand the threats made in the press.

    You cannot accuse someone of a crime unless you can PROVE that it was committed. And she cannot prove that bribes were given and accepted.

    I am not accusing anyone of a crime.

    I don't think she accused anyone of a crime. I think she said she left because she did not want to become involved in paying for roles or finding a rich lover. which she was advised she had to do. She said she was told by the AD to find out how to play the game. She apparently did not feel it was worth it. She does not look like she is interested in accusing anyone of anything.

    Is she obligated to lie, particularly after being threatened? I think the threats would push someone to gather evidence of the truth as a defense.

  15. She made herself vulnerable by speaking to the press in the first place: to say that she needed the press' attention to protect herself is a circular argument.

    I think her vulnerability derived way before she spoke to anyone. Her vulnerability existed by virtue of her age, lack of money (a situation created by the theater to make her vulnerable), her lack of support, and the dangerous environment in which she found herself. (I would say all of the dancers are vulnerable). In any event, it doesn't justify subsequent threats. That is like blaming a victim.

  16. Did she not fit into the corps? Apparently. That has nothing to do with internal investigations or bribes.

    Did she not deserve solo roles (by virtue of time, talent, or bribes)? Apparently.

    Is it her fault that bribes were given and consequences may follow? No.

    Is it a "smear" to say bribes were given if they were? No

    Will bribes stop if that is the way? No, but maybe one person will be a sacrificial lamb

    Is it her fault that someone looked into bribes? Doubtful. I don't know how the "plea" and "cooperation" game works in Russia.

    I am thinking the anger is that she didn't give the bribe, or close her eyes and play ball, or just walk away and say it was all her fault. For this reason, I still can't understand the threats made in the press. They could have said she did not fit in the corps or soloist position or pay her dues yet.

  17. Helene, I don't understand how her telling the truth renders her lacking in "credibility." The need to threaten her lends credence, which is why I don't understand why the theater's lawyer did it publicly. Her leaving and saying this is what happened to me is enough warning. Her $100 a week (when they remembered to pay her) is not the incentive you make it out to be.

    Several people discuss "inconsistency" in social media. Chatting on facebook/twitter/boards (if it is her, which some people here deny) is not a statement under oath and penalties of perjury. Who knows the context, whether she was joking, misinterpreted, putting something out there to see where it turned up, promoting something, saying something in shock or anger, ...?

    I don't read Russian and have a hard time with Google translate so I don't know what, if anything, was said in Izvestia (which Catherine and others say is one-sided, political anyway). I don't know if it was an "interview", but I have not read any Q&A, just some articles with some quotations (if they are to be believed).

  18. One more thing: She begged to be given the lowest corps contract but at the same time she put her legs too high and did her steps with too much emotion? This doesn't fit together. The dancing of the corps is based on the abilities of its weakest link, only this will create unison. You cannot fit into a group if you try to stick out. And those who have never learned to follow, will hardly ever be able to lead - that's at least what teachers used to say when I was a young dancer.

    How does it not "fit"? It just means that she failed as a corps member, and should have been let go. It is entirely believable. Then she would just have been a fired dancer who did not have skills to dance in the corps, and was not good enough to beat the competition (through gamesmanship or talent) to dance as a soloist. If they had not threatened her publicly, and privately, then she would not have felt a need to seek protection herself or warn others.

  19. It's amazing to me how much media attention this is getting. Don't the LA Times and the NY Times have more important Arts news to fill the paper.

    1. I think the press may have been interested because of her being the first in, and her being the first out. Certainly, the theater wanted to promote her arrival, to attract students.

    2. She said she felt an obligation to warn the people who might have followed in her footsteps (which had been publicized by the theater.)

    3. I think the open threats by (a) Filin's lawyer and (b) two high level people in the theater, according to the yesterday's article, may have kept the press interested. (further supporting item 2 above)

    4. If you were threatened by high level powerful people, really, how much career do you think you would have anymore, anyway, and would you even care?

  20. ... Those who should be protecting her have only made her more vulnerable. As I've said before, someone with maturity needs to counsel this girl to be quiet now. The ruckus would die down in due course and she could go on with her career.

    ...That I agree

    ... Those who should be protecting her have only made her more vulnerable. As I've said before, someone with maturity needs to counsel this girl to be quiet now. The ruckus would die down in due course and she could go on with her career.

    ...That I agree with too. However, I suspect that she and those around her think the "ruckus" will help her career (outside of Russia at least)--they may be wrong, but...they may not be.

    Her career, or their investment?

  21. This recent quotation exemplifies why I discounted as convenient, facile, or insufficient, the suggestions that her ego and demand for solo roles, and her inability to deal with being a small fish in a big pond:

    "I begged to be put in corps de ballet just to be able to dance on the stage. 'No', they would say. 'You are sticking out, you are too different, you raise your leg too high, you do it way too emotionally.' She had to live on less than $500 a month in Moscow, one of the most expensive cities in the world, trying to eat her meals at the theater's canteen to save money. And even then she didn't always get paid. 'They even forgot to pay my salary on time and would sporadically pay me something in cash when they realized I was there,' she said. In March, Womack persuaded Galina Stepanenko, then the acting ballet chief, to watch her dance her Cinderella rendition for "The Sleeping Beauty," which had a four-show vacancy for the role. Stepanenko told her she was 'charming' and that the part was quite 'fitting' for her but the role suddenly went to a friend of Filin's wife, Womack said. 'I was frustrated and really desperate,' she said. 'Never on any cast list. I was always on the reserve showing up for performances and sitting in the wings. Dancers and teachers started making jokes about her. 'Someone said that I was an American cheerleader with the company, dancing and noiselessly screaming 'Yeah! Yeah!' in the wings," she recalled, her brown eyes tearing up. 'It would have been funny if it were not so sad.' One teacher said he couldn't stand watching her doing nothing and managed to arrange for her to appear in the corps in "Ivan the Terrible" on April 20, her birthday. That was a birthday gift she would never forget, she said. In the year that she was with Bolshoi, she danced the "Nutcracker" part once and made seven appearances in three different shows with the company corps. ...'She was such a hardworking young woman and real fan and patriot of the Bolshoi from the very beginning, said Vyskubenko, who Womack said helped her get her bearings in the theater. 'She was ready to do any work, to dance anything, but she was kind of lost and little noticed from the very start. Soon she practically turned into a kind of ghost on the premises.'"

    She never seems to indicate a dissatisfaction with being in the corps, but rather, a desire to be in the corp. Her complaints to Sergei Filin also don't seem to be in that vein, either:

    "'When I finally approached him with pleas to give me the lowest corps de ballet contract, he said to me: 'You must be smarter, Joy. You must be sneakier. You should talk with other dancers and find out how it works here and what is the best way for you to be here,'" Womack said. She quit the next day."

    I am not saying she deserved to dance, to be in the corps, or to be a soloist. I just did not read any interviews that made me think she quit because of grunt work or a sense of entitlement.

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