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Everything posted by Tapfan

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?
  4. 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
  5. I didn't see Black Swan as reinforcing stereotypes because the Natalie Portman and Winona Ryder characters were clearly outliers. I never got the feeling that the story was implying that all ballerinas are neurotic and sexually repressed. Just these particular ones.
  6. Most people in most professions are focused professionals. But where's the drama in that? I think people are hypersensitive about how ballet dancers are portrayed because there are so few movies made about ballet. Ballet dancers are like underrepresented racial, ethnic, religious or sexual minorities when it comes to film. People get angry because the films that do get made have the impossible task of being all things to all people in the underrepresented community.
  7. He's getting paid and is getting seen by audiences that probably didn't know he exists, but I'm not a fan of the Lil' Buck/ ballet collaborations. Ballet has an infamous habit of exploiting dancers in other dance forms in an attempt to appear more artistically or culturally "woke" than they actually are, or are expected to be. It's an attempt to wear pop culture like a cloak of hipness. And this form of slumming with their so-called artistic lessors gives them an excuse to not bother with actually expanding and advancing their own art form. You know ballet is stuck in a self-reverential
  8. Isn't there a great deal of defensiveness within the ballet community about eating disorders? Whenever it's discussed outside the worlds of major companies and major ballet academies - particularly in pop culture - dance professionals seem to get angry. I think about how pissed off so many people were with the dramedy horror movie Black Swan. It was as if they were terrified that implying that some dancers might have eating disorders was an accusation against all female dancers. The reaction by so many within the classical dance community struck me as over-the-top and it led me to su
  9. Ansel for Tony? Can't see it. Hope I'm wrong but he seems as miscast as the guy who played Tony in the original. Neither guy screams gang member. As for Maria, I hope they find an actual Puerto Rican singer/actress and don't hire yet another tiny English actress which is what Hollywood defaults to when casting everything nowadays.
  10. What you're describing is true of almost all dancers who train in North America and end up at a major company where their feeder school serves as a finishing school. If that training background means NYCB dancers can automatically dance anything, then wouldn't it be reasonable to assume that someone who has come up through the schools at say Houston or San Francisco can just as easily dance Balanchine and get it right? They're all well-trained dancers. Yet merely hearing the name Houston Ballet would have some people saying, "They're going to butcher Balanchine." Once again, I'm not
  11. Sorry NinaFan. I shouldn't have specified your words. I mean to answer the frequently expressed opinion that only City Ballet can dance Balanchine "properly" but conversely, City Ballet can dance anything and everything when they don't want to dance everything nor have they EVER been tasked with doing so. All companies have baked-in and shifting strengths and weaknesses.
  12. I'm not talking about switching from Balanchine to Robbins. SAB trains their dancers to dance both. I'm talking about switching from the NYCB style to Petipa or the more adventuresome contemporary dance makers. It's not that NYCB dancers don't have the ability to dance classical ballet, or to perform really weird stuff. It's that doing so isn't part of their mission, so why would they be good at something they almost never do? And no, Justin Peck isn't really weird stuff. And neither is Ratmansky The average City Ballet patron may hate the way POB dances Jewels - I personally pr
  13. I know they've danced works by other choreographers. My point is that it appears that a substantial portion of NYCB patrons would rather see lesser known Balanchine and Robbins than new pieces by others. Every time a new work by another dance maker is premiered, you hear the deafening howls of lots of City Ballet fans and some dance critics, exclaiming that it's a waste of money, time and the dancer's talent to put these new monstrosities on the stage when the company has treasure trove of works by the house masters that could be presented. The artistic merit or lack thereof of the c
  14. With the possible exception of some pieces by Justin Peck, many of NYCB's biggest fans and financial supporters are always going to be resistant to anything that isn't Balanchine or Robbins. It's as predictable as sand is in the desert that they will resent different work because it means fewer chances to see even more selections from the prolific works of B & R. What's wrong with staying in your lane? It's worked for NYCB all these years. As to the dancers, they didn't become NYCB dancers because they wanted to dance Petipa, Forsythe or McGregor.
  15. Geez Louise. Seems like NYCB has always been Peyton Place. Just another reason for me to hate 'em.
  16. Yes, it's a huge loss. These last few years, I got the feeling that he felt emotionally disconnected from his own marvelous creation, DTH. All he seemed to talk about or at least be asked about by dance writers, was his time at NYCB.
  17. If he wasn't a participant in a high classical art, wasn't from an affluent family and didn't look like a model from one of the old, pre-diversity, Ralph Lauren adds, would folks use so delicate a term as "troubled" to define Mr. Finlay?
  18. Will the resolution of these troubles result in real and lasting change? As is the case with many august arts institutions, when you get outside the nexus of it's biggest fans and supporters, NYCB can seem hopelessly insular and so concerned with the preservation of the Balanchine and Robbins legacies that other issues are given short shrift.
  19. I've always been bothered by the fact that some straight male classical dancers, feel the need to declare how in to women they are and to brag about how much access they have to scantily clad, nubile women. It sounds so defensive and definitely isn't the most mature stance you can project. Will the resolution of these troubles result in real and lasting change? As is the case with many august arts institutions, when you get outside the nexus of it's biggest fans and supporters, NYCB can seem hopelessly insular and so concerned with the preservation of the Balanchine and Robbins
  20. If the management of ABT is smart, they will get out in front on any potential problems they might have with inappropriate work place behavior. Heck, all companies should be taking a look at acceptable standards of behavior.
  21. The fear of languishing in the corps is not a phenomenon that is unique to ABT. It's a problem for many large and even mid-sized companies. Dancers like free agents in sports, move around much more frequently than in years past. And some like powerhouse soloist Derek Dunn formerly of Houston Ballet, now dancing with Boston Ballet, don't necessarily leave because they are unhappy, but because they want other challenges. Also, I believe as surely as the president loves to tweet, that there are pockets of talent, administrative and programming mediocrity that exist in practically all o
  22. I wonder if they'll try to lure Jared Mathews away from Houston Ballet?
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