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Tapfan

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Everything posted by Tapfan

  1. I saw that at another news site and was tempted to post it. But seeing as how I've been critical of Martins in the past, I figured people would think I was being mean. This whole thing is so bizarre. The story is begging to be made into an edgy indie film or a sensationalistic Lifetime made-for-TV movie.
  2. Precious Adams of English National Ballet has been promoted to First Artist. Good for her. I know she received good reviews for her dancing in "In the Middle Somewhat Elevated." I just hope she doesn't get typecast as a contemporary dancer because she has a lovely port de bras, clean pointe work. beautiful lines and a graceful Russian back.
  3. It's different for men. The fact that men like Acosta - despite lingering bias - have in rare cases risen to international stardom when black women have been unable to do so, has been a major concern for the black ballet community. And yes, there is such a thing as a black ballet community. They meet every third Thursday at secret locations across the Americas to plot their systematic destruction of the evil, Western ballet establishment. I'm their spokesperson ;) Good folks, nobody wants quotas. Nobody wants to see bad black female ballet dancers. Nobody. Yet some of us
  4. City ballet has convinced yet another horse that was peeing into the tent, to come inside. Ford Foundation President Darren Walker who just a little over a year ago, publicly accused NYCB of bias against women of color, is now a Vice-Chair on the board of directors?! I'm truly gobsmacked. I honestly thought the powers that be at City Ballet were largely insulated from criticism and cared little if any what people thought about their lack of diversity. After all, the problem and the grumbling about it from outsiders, has gone on for many, many, years without change.
  5. It's not just the Brits, almost all ballet companies in the West - from the major companies to the smallest regional organizations - have at least one black male. Pick a company at random and check the head shots of the company rosters to see what I mean. While black men definitely have their own race-related issues to contend with in the ballet world, male dancers are harder to come by in the West so it is easier for black men to find employment. Also, black males don't have to contend with their skin color being a distraction when they stand in a line of white Swans or Willi
  6. Well, SOME are. Maybe they are blinded to her shortcomings because they want some black woman somewhere to make to the top. But these people are definitely ballet people with informed opinions.
  7. No worries. I'm not suggesting that anyone should feel obligated to support black ballerinas just because they are black. I suspect that not even the angriest most bitter, old-school black female classical dancer wants or needs that kind of condescension. Copeland's work is out there to be judged just like every other artist. What I don't get is the out-sized - at least to me- annoyance she generates in some folks as if she stole something from someone. All truly gifted dancers are going to rise, along with some who are not so gifted. Isn't that what the ballet establishmen
  8. Maybe, but I have my doubts. Show business, be it pop culture or high art, has always had folks who reached super stardom despite what many felt was mediocre talent. Does anyone truly believe that Madonna became one of the biggest musical acts of all time because she was the best female singer of her era? Besides, it's hardly a universally agreed upon opinion - even by so-called "ballet people" - that Copeland is just average. Copeland's talent is controversial, like Alina Somova.
  9. Luke Jennings. He had praised Misty a few years back when ABT performed in London, although the piece she was noted for was not classical. Over the years, he has used her rising profile as evidence that despite the the nearly non-existent numbers of black women in major companies, some black woman would break through to principle status and that it might be her. This was of course, before the emergence of Miss Hayward. Mr. Jenkins took issue with Carlos Acosta who stated that there was a small, lingering bias towards black women because they supposedly disrupt the harmony of bl
  10. According to at least one British dance writer, Ms Hayward could attribute her meteoric rise not only to her talent, but also to Misty's rise to principle status. According to said writer, a company like The Royal doesn't wish to be seen as being on the wrong side of history by appearing to impede the progression to principle status of any woman of African descent. So Miss Hayward of the Royal and Miss Gittens of the Birmingham Royal were both fast-tracked to Principle status. Is it fair to suggest that they have advanced to principle status for any reason other than their talent?
  11. What's most remarkable about Ms. Howard's article is the amount of access she was apparently granted to SAB. As this 2010 article from Dance Magazine shows, she's been highly critical of City Ballet in the past. http://www.dancemagazine.com/rant__rave_and_now_a_word_from_the_darker_side-2306875242.html The organization deserves credit for allowing one of its most vocal critics to be allowed to see inside their diversity initiative. And according to their website, they now invite responsible criticism. It's good to see arts organizations not be on the defensive when discussing div
  12. Robert Fairchild and Tiler Peck have split. https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/theater_dance/married-ballet-stars-robert-fairchild-tiler-peck-split/2017/06/19/1bc0c540-5521-11e7-840b-512026319da7_story.html?utm_term=.de863d60bef4 I thought the news pop-up was going to say they had a baby on the way.
  13. In recent years,it does at least seem that many of the ballet students of color that you hear about making it to prestigious schools and/or companies - especially when it comes to black females - are usually the offspring of upper middle class or wealthy parents. Think Precious Adams, Michaela dePrince, Jasmine Perry or SF ballet student Raquel Smith.
  14. I've got to give credit where credit is due. I've been highly critical of NYCB in the past, but they seem to be trying hard to become a more diverse organization. Good on them. As Delores Brown says in the documentary film Black Ballerina, it's about time that American ballet companies started to look like America, especially in a city as cosmopolitan as New York. Even if the numbers of black female students at City Ballet remains low for the foreseeable future, seeing all those adorable little Asian American girls trying out for the children's division does my heart good. Has NY
  15. Judy Tyrus in Creole Giselle. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3kFFzdhV5A
  16. Here's link to an interesting interview with the sublime Debra Austin, former principle dancer with Pennsylvania Ballet. She has really lived the issue of diversity in ballet. I'm also taken with the remarks from Sherry Holmes who remarks that change as far as diversity is concerned, seems to be coming about because audiences are demanding it. http://wunc.org/post/black-ballerina
  17. Sincere thanks for this link. It's so great to hear from someone from the black ballet community other than Arthur Mitchell or Virginia Johnson. God bless those two. They're great people and very knowledgeable. But just as Misty isn't the only or even best black female dancer of note, Arthur and Virginia aren't the only knowledgeable and important black former dancers. Ms. Howard really hit the nail on the head with her anecdote about people from San Francisco Ballet being surprised to see well-trained black students at Sandra Fortune-Green's dance school. As Theresa said, there
  18. Film director Darren Aronofsky of "Black Swan" infamy, said that during the research and pre-production phases for that film, he found the people in the ballet establishment to be very insular. Of course, we should take what he says with grain of salt. He may have simply been disappointed that he and his Hollywood gang wasn't met with what he felt was a suitable amount of enthusiasm for the fact that he was spotlighting their "fringe" art form. But then, too many gatekeepers for the classical performing arts are pretentious and off-putting towards laymen when extolling the vir
  19. It would have been better for Ratmansky to have kept quiet about the backlash. Now he just sounds disingenuous.
  20. It's good to see ballet people other than Virginia Johnson being asked to speak about lack of diversity in the art form. While Johnson is certainly knowledgeable, she's hardly the only person of color with worthwhile opinions on the matter. Besides, the fact that she's practically the only black woman in classical dance that anyone knows about other than the heavily marketed Misty Copeland, means Virginia's comments are frequently used not only as proof of the bias against black classical dancers, but also as an excuse for the frequently whiter than white status quo.
  21. The publicity generated by Copeland's camp that some folks in these parts see as so intolerably vulgar, doesn't hurt ballet in any way. All your favorite performers are still dancing your favorite pieces and are still getting an overwhelming majority of the attention of those people who write about classical dance.
  22. Of course there are basic skills that everyone must master before they can call themselves a ballet dancer. But perfection of body isn't always paramount, Margot Fonteyne would never have had a career otherwise.
  23. We seldom hear from people on this board who like aspects of Misty's dancing. It's nice to be reminded that when judging art and artists, it's ALL just opinion, not fact.
  24. I thought he'd retired as a professional classical dancer and was focused on becoming an actor. If he's fallen out of love with ballet, how good can he continue to be? He has stage presence and loads of charisma. I was looking forward to seeing him try his hand at acting.
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