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Tapfan

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Everything posted by Tapfan

  1. I disagree that a great many Asian and Hispanics in classical ballet have very dark skin. Most of the dancers of Asian descent are as fair or fairer than many Caucasians, as are many of the Latin dancers who consider themselves to be "brown." And of course many Latin dancers ARE Caucasian like Tamaro Rojo and Angel Corello. And you might be surprised to know that some of us who champion the ideal of racial diversity in ballet, aren't about greater black representation only. I'd like to see more people of all races and ethnicities in major companies. And I truly believe that artistic integrity need not be compromised to do so. Seeing an encouraging number of Asian and Asian American dancers in companies in Western Europe, the Antipodes, Canada and across the U.S., led me to ask in this thread, why there wasn't better Asian representation in NYCB. Not because City Ballet should want to look politically correct, but because people of Asian descent are over represented elsewhere.
  2. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    But isn't it possible to like Courtney Lavine as a dancer, want to see black female principles and still be too hard on Copeland? It's not that I think Misty or any dancer is above criticism. It's that I see much of the criticism directed at her as being excessive when you take into account to what she's actually doing. Yes, she is a tireless self-promoter whose hardscrabble story has grown bit stale for anyone who's been paying attention for any length of time, including me. But........... 1)To me, the accusations that she's constantly crying racism, are greatly exaggerated. She doesn't speak about racism any more than any other black person who finds themselves in an occupation with few people that look like them. 2)The accusations that she's taking opportunities away from other dancers, is bizarre when you consider the rent-a-star business model of ABT and the fact that despite her heavy self-promotion, she's still a soloist. 3)There's the fact that by no means is she universally viewed by dance writers OR balletomanes as being technically and artistically lacking. But to hear her detractors say it, you'd think this idea was a measurable fact that everyone agreed was true. 4) The implication that her co-workers hate her and are always talking smack about how much they hate her. With the ubiquity of social media, how could this even be possible nowadays and we not constantly see it?
  3. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    "and there are many" The truth is that MOST people in the U.S. don't follow ballet or any other classical performance art. And most don't feel they are missing out on anything when they don't. As to Misty making principle, she says it's still her goal, but even if she doesn't make it, she says she's found that her mission in life is to expose more girls of color to the art form. No matter what happens in her career, that will always be her biggest accomplishment and I think she now realizes that fact.
  4. Yet arguably, the three greatest ballet dancing legends were men. Nijinsky, Nureyev and Barysnikov.
  5. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    Excellent point.
  6. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    NYCB not a dancer's first choice? The devil you say?!
  7. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    I'd prefer they give it to San Francisco Ballet. Or The Joffrey. Or PNB. Or Houston Ballet. Let's face it. Almost all ballet companies in the U. S. have international rosters. But most allow consistent advancement from the corps de ballet, except for clunky ABT.
  8. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    Yep, trained at SAB and passed over by NYCB .
  9. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    Preach! Their marketing is an abomination. They seem to think people should come to see them just because they're an institution. And those stars they count on so much to fill the Met are famous mainly because they've made their names elsewhere.
  10. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    True, but Tai was trained at SAB and she danced at a company that was heavily influenced by NYCB. She's not exactly foreign to the Balanchine style. While training at SAB doesn't mean you'd automatically be a good instructor, it's not like her skills as a teacher and coach were completely unknown. She'd been doing both long before injury ended her dancing career. I suspect many people wonder, why are they interested in her now? Why'd they let prestigious schools in the Boston area scoop her up? To those who already view NYCB's so-called outreach with a suspicious eye, waiting 10 years after her retirement to ask her to sit on some committee, smacks of an organization that intends on tinkering only around the edges of the diversity issue.
  11. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    Seems unfair that Martins should be given the benefit of the doubt about his motives but Misty frequently isn't. Copeland is constantly being accused of playing the race card to steal other people's opportunities and get unwarranted attention.
  12. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    Well, the frequently mentioned BA favorite Virginia Johnson, feels that quality of movement trumps body type almost every time. She also feels that slowly but surely, that attitude is taking hold across the ballet world.
  13. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    Based on numerous statements made over the past few years in both old and new media by several classical dancers of color, it's clear that fair or not, many see the folks the SAB and NYCB organizations as being at best, indifferent and at worst, hostile to new people and/or ideas. And that this is all done under the guise of protecting a cherished legacy when it's really about protecting their cushy positions. Their supposed unhealthy insularity is seen this way: Balanchine was a genius. I worked with him directly. So therefore, I'm important and I'm above criticism.
  14. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    You can think they are an important part of ballet history with a treasure trove of of important works that have been contributed to the classical cannon and still think that many of their people and practices are far too insular or stuck in a perfect past that never was. The fact that people jump to their defense at even the mildest criticism, indicates that some folks feel that their Balanchine and Robbins legacy means that they can do no wrong.
  15. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    Tai's letter reminds me of Nikkia Parish's assertion that the NYCB /SAB nexus is composed of a closed-off little cabal of self-appointed Balanchine acolytes straining for relevance.
  16. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    With D), I was attempting to say that no ballerina tasked with being the first black woman principle in a world-class company, is going to be good enough to please everybody. There will always be some who say, "She's not good enough. I would have chosen ________ instead." Or why didn't they wait until someone better came along?
  17. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    I agree that people of color other than black women have obstacles to advancement. However, many people of East Asian and Latin heritage are as fair or fairer than some Caucasians with Celtic heritage. But black, Asian and Latin people who are darker are seen by some as interrupting the harmony of the corps de ballet.
  18. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    A) Never mention race/color as being an additional hurdle for women of color in ballet, particularly the darkest women. It makes people feel uncomfortable and everyone knows that race is no longer a factor in ballet because all the people who run it and support it monetarily are political liberals like the Koch brothers. :sarcasm: B) Never appear to be anything less than completely humble about your talent or grateful for your opportunities. Anything less means you think that you and you alone are worthy of attention and professional advancement. C) Don't take advantage of opportunities afforded to you by the AD because you can advance only if you prevent others from doing so. D) Have the good sense to know that just around the corner is Black Balllerina Supergirl who should be promoted to the senior ranks of a major company before other black ballerinas get a chance. It's only fair because all white women in the senior ranks of ballet companies are gifted and universally admired as being beyond brilliant.
  19. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    The few online performances I've seen of Hee Seo, have left me scratching my head. She seemed to be struggling to get through her solos as if she were exhausted and undernourished. But other folks love her as a dancer. I don't doubt they see qualitites in her dancing I have yet to discover. But I don't think she was promoted to fill some quota just because I don't see what's so great about her.
  20. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    Once again, let the church say amen!
  21. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    Precious attended the Bolshoi school. She was never a member of the company.
  22. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    If Lavine is a capable dancer in your eyes, why would you consider her promotion to be a politically correct choice? If ballet is this great and true art form that people go on about, then it can't be something that white people own and are benevolently allowing black people to participate in IF they behave themselves in a manner that pleases some of the art's gatekeepers. It's wrong to think that Jazz is owned by black people or ballet is owned by white people. Instead, both arts forms belong to anyone who can master or appreciate them. Would anyone say that a white musician who made it into say, Wynton Marsalis' Jazz group was a politically correct hire? Or would they assume he must be pretty good to make it in to such an esteemed organization? Yet people with without a trace of irony, will imply that any black female dancer they personally happen to dislike, is someone who is undeserving. Since when did hiring and promoting dancers become like solving a math problem that has one answer? Since when did subjectivity in judging art and artists die? And people keep building their arguments on hypothetical situations. Lavine isn't in a position to be promoted to principle. So the point is irrelevant.
  23. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    Jackie Robinson gets credit for being the first black player in the modern MLB era. His importance is in no way diminished because he wasn't the very first.
  24. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    The newspaper of record is just one of the many sources that have said that DTH wasn't and isn't a major company. And once again, folks have to go all the way back to a long-retired black female dancer to compare to Misty. That's what makes me question how much some ballet fans actually know about classical dancers who happen to black females. Btw, Virginia wants Misty to be promoted and has said so repeatedly. Also, way to miss the point. Nobody, not even Misty's staunchest defenders, compared her skills or artistry to Nureyev's.
  25. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    I know. I think they all are doing it to advance their careers. I think more ballet people should sell out.
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