Jump to content

Tapfan

Senior Member
  • Content Count

    341
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Tapfan

  1. I forgot about the Waterbury protests. From my vantage point, they seemed to be sort of puny. But of course, I wasn't on site to observe the number of participants nor the length of time they demonstrated. But yes, yes, yes. Ballet has a massive PR problem that the art's gatekeepers seem at best, unable to tackle and at worst, seem indifferent to. The Russian guardianship seems to be particularly static and proud of it.
  2. The descriptor Latinx is tricky to define even by members of the community itself. But doesn't it generally refer to an ethnicity or culture more than a race? After all, many Latin dancers look and self-identify as white. I'm happy to see so many black students - especially females - in the upper levels of SAB. But I'll believe real change has come when substantial numbers actually get hired by the company and aren't just used in photos for the school's brochure. Such a pity that American National Ballet theater went down in flames. It would have been nice to see a company built specifically with diversity in mind.
  3. I doubt that ballet has a high enough profile for most people to bother. I'm constantly surprised by the number of people who one would consider to be culturally expansive and sophisticated in their knowledge of art, who don't give a flying fig about ballet. I suspect this may be because classical dance in even its more esoteric forms isn't totally inaccessible. But the culture surrounding ballet frequently is.
  4. I knew Tanya Howard was mixed-race but I had no idea that Jordana Daumec was biracial until she showed up at Theresa Howard's Mobballet symposium in Philadelphia. I thought Jordana was a curly-haired Caucasian. Serves me right for being so smug about what I thought was very accurate racial radar. Anyway, NBC is like most ballet companies, not so much racist as culturally myopic and indifferent to social changes because few things can pierce the bubble of classical dance. Someone always has to show out to get their attention. This is so weird and self-defeating when you consider the fact that the ballet establishment is always saying it wants to expand it's audience.
  5. I suspect that most people in positions of power simply don't see lack of representation as a problem, especially since they can always double down on the lie that no qualified black people are out there. And THAT is the problem. As has been said before on this very forum, AD's don't have to justify their preferences which frequently exclude black dancers.
  6. Although it's gotten better, ballet was and continues to be a very conservative and insular world. Some of the art form's gatekeepers, taste-makers and biggest supporters like it for those very reasons. The fastest way to make people lose their minds when speaking about classical dance, is to mention race and representation - especially black female representation. According to the powers that be, predominately white companies in the West are always justified in their lack of black women because black women are always too something. Too muscular, too lacking in refinement and talent, too under-trained or too distracting in white ballets like Giselle. Of course, prominent black ballet talents tend to strongly disagree. And the current national mood sees black ballet folks emboldened to speak openly about a system that they feel is sorely in need of major change. They've had it with self-congratulatory baby steps at schools that lead nowhere or with endless excuses about the supposedly limited talent pool. They see it as so much bull excrement.
  7. She's a huge favorite at Theresa Ruth Howard's Mobballet Instagram site. She's so beloved there that they have something going called "Fogo Fridays" where they post videos of her dancing almost every Friday. She's has killer technique, superb musicality and is hella charismatic. I'm betting that Manuel Legris hates losing her. Also, she becomes just the 2nd woman with black ancestry to make it to the rank of principle in one of America's "big three" companies. She should be a major draw for black audience members.
  8. If authenticity is so vital, why dance La Bayadere at all? Most dancers in Russian companies aren't South Asian. Doesn't that make their portrayals inaccurate? But they allow themselves that amount of artistic license. They should take a cue from film director Mike Leigh who knew better than to make up his white actors as Asian when they were performing the Mikado in the film Topsy Turvy. Yellow face would have been a historically accurate theatrical practice during the film's setting but was NOT used. The N-word was also omitted from one of the Gilbert and Sullivan tunes performed. Yet doing so didn't affect the verisimilitude of the story at all.
  9. I don't take that to mean that she is sanctioning picking on teens. I took it to mean that the Bolshoi has retrograde racist attitudes that they excuse by calling it tradition. I hate I brought this up because I truly thought this would be a non-controversial topic on which even the most conservative and traditionalist of ballet fans would agree. But the topic seems to have been hijacked to focus on the topic of online bullying. Bullying is wrong. The people who bullied those teens are wrong. I even agree that PERHAPS Copeland should have been more careful not to make it easy or easier for SOME of her fans to harass teens. BUT the issue of blackface WAS pushed aside.
  10. Michaela DePrince doesn't speak constantly about racism. No black classical dancer does, not even Misty, although many of her critics may think otherwise. But Michaela has spoken about race from time to time. She said she was told by a teacher that they don't spend much time on the "black girls" (ballet students) because they end up getting fat. She also said that after graduating from JKO, she secured an audition sight unseen - at a ballet company on the west coast but was denied entry to the audition when she showed up even though she had I.D. Precious Adams has also spoken about racial issues in the classical dance world. But she has indicated that she is reluctant to do so because her feelings are evolving, there is a downside to being outspoken and because she isn't as brave as Misty. She recently commented on the Bolshoi blackface issue on her instagram account. My point is that many black female dancers - especially those with darker skin - have experienced additional hurdles that have nothing to do with their ability or work ethic. And yes, things are changing for the better.
  11. Who defended the harassment of innocent girls?
  12. For heavens sake. If the Bolshoi is that much of a pressure cooker, they have major problems that have nothing to do with what Misty says or does. Also, the powers that be at the Bolshoi haven't missed a single opportunity to express how right they feel they are about their artistically vital blackface-loving tradition, so none of the girls are in trouble with management for Copeland's remarks.
  13. I don't expect Russian students to protest blackface or yellowface. I do expect major ballet companies like the Bolshoi and the Mariinsky to know better and to do better. And as was stated in the linked article, the Bolshoi's excuse that it was tradition, was beyond lame. They responded as they did out of arrogance, like dare I say..... spoiled teens.
  14. Copeland instructed her followers to harass teens? That's a pretty serious accusation.
  15. I was the person who originally posted the link of the article that defended Copeland. I stated that I didn't see why pointing out that blackface is wrong was controversial. Someone immediately stated that the reason the subject was controversial was because it led to bullying of teens. I'd say that's a pretty definitive statement that the controversy wasn't over the wrongness of blackface but the wrongness of supposedly picking on teens. The original issue was shoved aside to point to how horrible it was that some people picked on teens.
  16. So the controversy is only about the girls being bullied? Come on. I'm not buying that. With the ubiquity of American culture seeping into all corners of the world, Russians are pretending that they had no idea that blackface is repulsive. And since when is something offensive based purely on intent? Also, there's proof the Copeland instructed her fans to hound the students? And she should apologize for what her fans do? In what universe?
  17. A dance studies scholar makes a strong argument in support of Copeland's criticism of Russian companies for continuing to use blackface. https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2020-01-12/blackface-bolshoi-copeland-twitter-tweet Why this is controversial is beyond me.
  18. Reverse discrimination at NYCB that victimizes white ballet dancers? Well, the powers that be surely do a bad job of it seeing as how their roster hasn't exactly been flooded with non-white dancers these past 20 years. Nor at any other time for that matter. And that includes dancers of Asian descent who are prevalent in nearly every other company in North America, Europe and the Antipodes, but NOT NYCB. Lack of racial diversity at NYCB is an issue that the organization had handled poorly in the past and one that they were working hard to remedy according to AD Stafford in an article in Dance magazine. Geez, Making a monumentally wealthy and connected institution like City Ballet out to be victims of pc bullying is enough to make Theresa Howard's head explode. And anyone who doesn't know who Theresa Howard is, should learn.
  19. Tapfan

    Sergei Polunin

    Somewhere, Kevin Heart is thinking, "Is that all the career damage he has to endure?" Boo hoo.
  20. Word. Even if Martins has the right to determine casting, his behavior comes across as meddlesome. What ever happened to the virtues making a clean break? On the other hand, as one of those folks who has always felt that NYCB was like the New York Yankees of ballet - filthy rich, successful, overexposed, condescending, arrogant and really easy to hate, the feeling of schadenfreude at all the recent turmoil, is quite satisfying.
  21. Way to go Precious! Precious Adams has won the Emerging Artist Award at the National Dance Awards in London. She was also nominated for "Best Classical Performance/Female" for her role dancing the Calliope Rag in Kenneth McMillan's Elite Syncopations. I'm so happy for her because she is such a beautiful and versatile dancer whose degree of talent is beyond dispute.
  22. Because possessing a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of American ballet history, is unfortunately, not a priority for far too many of American ballet's AD's, administrators, fundraisers, educators and tastemakers. In interviews, too many of them show a shocking level of artistic and historical myopia.
  23. Bless you for the heads up about this documentary. Seeing all those pioneering black ballerinas is inspiring. Too bad that many of the gatekeepers of the art form in America will never see it.
  24. I thought that merely mentioning the fact that some ballet dancers might have eating disorders, was offensive to many classical dance fans. But how can you work to resolve an issue if you're afraid to confront it?
  25. I'm an outlier myself because I like ballet but didn't like Center Stage. It's so beloved that I figure there must be a special place in hell for dance fans who don't like it. I found it to be impossibly corny, unrealistic and predictable. Also, Aesha Ashe didn't get the credit she deserved for being Zoe Saldana's dance double. On the other hand, I like Black Swan because it's an unconventional horror movie with a ballet setting that winks at it's own preposterous conceits. As to eating disorders in ballet, they may not be as common as they were in the 1980's but they still exist and probably always will considering how important one's lines are in classical dance.
×
×
  • Create New...