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Tapfan

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Everything posted by Tapfan

  1. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    I also would be willing to bet a month's salary that Calvin Royal and Courtney Lavine aren't angry at Misty for highlighting ballet's lack of racial diversity. Courtney has done this as well, albeit on a much smaller scale. In fact, everything I've read so far, indicates that Misty gets on quite well with her co-workers of ALL colors. In fact, in interviews, she comes across as incredibly sweet and cheerful despite knowing about the deep anger and resentment some folks feel towards her.
  2. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    Tiler Peck has also been on one of those dance reality TV shows. Nobody in classical ballet goes on those shows for artistic credibility.
  3. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    Is it really a controversial notion that when it comes to the advancement of black dancers in classical ballet, things are particularly challenging for black women? Or do people genuinely believe that them liking Calvin Royal means everything is fine? Because every single time Misty is discussed, people imply that liking black male dancers means the substance of their unending criticism of Misty Copeland has to therefore be logical or fair.
  4. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    Misty's been a soloist for eight years. She's been marketing herself aggressively for at least five of those years. If she was was so effective in gaining supposedly undeserved opportunities, shouldn't she have more to show for it? It took her 8 years to get Swan Lake and Romeo & Juliet leads. She has never danced leads in Giselle, Don Quixote, Le Corsaire, Manon, Nutcracker, T&V, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, La Sylphide, Gaite Parisienne or practically any of the other ballets in ABT's rep. Just what is she stealing from Stella and Sarah?
  5. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    Not all criticism of President Obama is racially motivated. But some of it most certainly is and unambiguously so. Same with Misty. One need only read the comments section of some articles about her to find blatant, unmistakable racism. I've never felt Copeland or any other artist is above criticism. Heck, I've criticized her. What I have a problem with is the substance of much of the criticism aimed at her. It's just so over-the-top, IMO.
  6. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    Let the church say, "Amen!"
  7. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    What could make people dislike her? Them feeling that she's hogging attention that they think belongs to someone more deserving.
  8. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    Thick is NOT a derogatory term. At least not as I use it. Her limbs and torso are not as thin as most Balanchine dancers I've seen. But that doesn't mean she's overweight, out of shape or has an unattractive body.
  9. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    That was my point as well, all things being equal, subjectivity still comes in to play more times than not. Even at sainted NYCB.
  10. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    Actually, I've NEVER stated that I thought people who dislike Copeland or her PR tactics are racist. Not once. Misguided, culturally myopic, defensive and over-the-top, yes. Racist, no.
  11. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    Well do you disagree that different balletomanes can view the same dancer and totally disagree on her worth as a dancer? That's my point.
  12. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    They must be considering the fact that they have on occasion, hired dancers that weren't trained in the method. Violetta Verdy and Sofiane Sylvie come to mind. Sofiane is pretty thick. No way her body is a Balanchine body.
  13. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    I'm being totally honest when I say that I'd love it if other deserving black female classical dancers were better known. But practically all such women are either in the corps de ballet of major companies ( Precious Adams/ENB, Michaela DePrince/DNB, Olivia Boisson/NYCB, Courtney Lavine/ABT, Kimberly Braylock/SFB and Christina Spigner/MCB) and are thus out of the limelight, dance with regional companies which don't get much national attention (Kayla Rowser/Nashville Ballet, Katelyn Addison and Gabriel Savatto/Ballet West, Whitney Huell/Kansas City Ballet) dance in companies with no dancer rankings ( Dara Holmes/Joffrey) or dance with companies that critics don't take seriously any longer like DTH. It's practically impossible to follow the careers of these women.
  14. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    Meritocracy in ballet is largely subjective. That's something that's been discussed at length on this very forum. When I asked why NYC Ballet didn't have more dancers of East Asian descent when many other major companies did, nobody dared suggest that there were no qualified east Asian dancers available. Instead they pointed to other factors like lack of Balanchine-specific training, or things like height and a company's specific needs at the time. In other words, at the elite level, the smallest things that have nothing to do with ability or race or ethnicity, can land you in or out off a company. Also the same people who are quick to hold up Virginia Johnson as a great talent and a font of wisdom on many things concerning ballet, conveniently ignore the fact that she has said repeatedly that she thinks Misty deserves to be promoted to principle based on her ability NOT her color. Why is this woman who is thought to be so wise about other things in ballet, so wrong about Misty? And VJ isn't the only person in classical dance circles who feels Copeland deserves to be promoted. Yet Misty's haters speak as if their own particular opinion of her qualities as a dancer are universally held and the only opinions that matter. Finally, if Stella or Sarah were so vastly superior in every way to Copeland as some folks continually maintain, none of Copeland's relentless self-promotion could possibly hold them back because the cream always rises. Sarah even had her own PR opportunity to exploit with the whole Black Swan movie dance double controversy. That was surely enough good publicity to give the AD a chance to promote Lane if he so desired. Yet despite all Lane's supposed superior skill and the publicity she got for not being properly credited for her work in that film, she still wasn't promoted. Instead , Isabella Boylston sailed past Misty, Stella and Sarah to the principle ranks. But for some reason, only Copeland is resented and blamed for Stella and Sarah's lack of career advancement. Huh? If Misty and her several-years-old PR juggernaut was as all powerful as her detractors maintain, why has all this time passed without her being promoted? If all this publicity was for no reason other than to get her to the "undeserved" principle rank, then she's definitely wasted her money.
  15. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    Why do people keep bringing up black men? Liking black male dancers doesn't mean you notice or like black female dancers. It's easier for black men to make it as classical dancers because there's always a shortage of men. Also, brothers are helped by the fact that black men are associated with great athleticism and hyper-masculinity. And Tai Jiminez has been retired for several years. That's what I mean when I say that black women aren't even in the conversation about classical ballet. People always have to go back several years to some long-retired ballerina to even speak on the subject. What about today?!
  16. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    I have no trouble believing that there are and were other black women who are just as if not more deserving of being made principle as Misty. But Jackie Robinson wasn't generally believed to be the best black player available to integrate Major League Baseball. He was one of the best but not the best. The absolute best was probably Satchel Page. However, Robinson did have advantages that other black players didn't have. He was a college graduate AND he was lucky enough to be on the minor league farm team of an owner who was ready to take the big step of integrating the sport. Somebody has to be the first. And while Misty may not be to everyone's liking, who exactly would be? That superballerina that everyone loves doesn't exist in ANY color. We'll all be dead waiting on that woman to come along. Not liking Misty is one thing. What I don't understand is those ballet fans who behave as if every principle female dancer was as skillful a dancer as Meryl Streep, Maggie Smith Or Judy Dench are as actresses, while implying that Misty is on par with Megan Fox or January Jones. That dog don't hunt.
  17. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    It's not that I think Virginia isn't worthy of praise. Quite the contrary. She was an extremely talented and important artist. It's just that I agree with the premise put forth by Ms. Howard in her article. More than one major black classical artist can exist at a time. Yet in an effort to prove how free they are from racism, many people praise her as if she was the only one. The fact that Virginia is usually the only one mentioned when talking about black ballerinas who aren't Misty and Michaela, calls in to question how much the so-called informed fans actually know about female classical dancers who happen to be black.
  18. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    I feel so cheerfully smug because I actually had heard of many the people listed on the roll call. Yay! But gosh, did it ever take some effort to acquire this knowledge. Information online about black ballerinas past and present, is sparse indeed. When I stated on this forum that I was emotionally invested in Misty's career because she was so high profile and there was so little information out there about other black ballerinas, someone sweetly, and helpfully, mentioned the names of other black ballerinas. Fortunately, I already knew that other black ballerinas exist. I know where most of them are and where they've been. But since few if any are in senior positions in major companies, it's next to impossible to follow their careers as artists. As mentioned previously on this thread, dance writers covering ballet focus mainly on the worthiness of choreographers and the performances of principle dancers. The only times black women are mentioned within a ballet context, is as a problem to be solved. And since the topic deals with the thorny issue of race, too many balletomanes rush to prove how color doesn't matter to them by overpraising Virginia Johnson as if she is the only black ballerina to exist before Misty Copeland. Virginia Johnson is praised by balletomanes, the way that Prince and Michael Jackson were overpraised in the 1980's by white music critics. Excessive praise was heaped on those two because many white, male, music critics who found the time to cover the most marginal white indie bands, couldn't be bothered to find out about or care about any other black artists who were doing great work at the time. But they avoided the label of being culturally myopic or heaven forbid, "racist" by wetting their pants over everything the self-proclaimed "King of Pop" did. (Until they turned on him for being excessively weird.) Some ballet folks are that way about Virginia. Liking her excuses their ignorance about any other black dancers. As for DTH, their coverage by dance critics is spotty and mostly dismissive.
  19. I believe that ABT may finally have some potential superstars in the pipeline who will make them less dependent on imported talent. Aran Bell that engaging little towhead from the First Position documentary is in the ABT studio company along with Prix de Laussanne runner up Garegan Pogossian. Both these two have star quality written all over them.
  20. Oh, I've heard of all these young women. But with the exception of Michael DePrince who has a compelling personal history, because none of these women are principals, it's next to impossible to follow their careers.
  21. But Alicia switched to Modern after DTH went on hiatus. And isn't LCS also a modern dancer? It's not that I think modern is some how a lesser art form than ballet. It's just that it seems next to impossible for black women to break through to the senior ranks in ballet in a non-black majority company. I'd like to see it in my lifetime.
  22. I wish there were other black female dancers with with high profiles.
  23. I think people who go to see DTH would go if Misty had never existed.
  24. How do you know it takes a chance away from other dancers? Isn't it possible that the slot was set up to be danced by a guest dancer from the very beginning? I also find it disingenuous that people around these parts are all of a sudden so concerned about DTH. They've been an afterthought at best around here for as long as I can remember. Nobody bothers to talk about them except for those times when the hot button issue of race in ballet is discussed. And then folks have to go all the way back to when Virginia Johnson was dancing to intelligently comment on the company. They've been back in action for a few years now. Why would anyone have to go back to VJ's dancing days if they were really paying attention? I think some folks who really can't stand Misty Copeland use a supposed concern about DTH and black classical dancers in general as a shield against accusations of racism. After all, how can their strong dislike of Copeland be racist if they talk about DTH and Virginia Johnson? I don't understand the depth of dislike directed at Copeland. But I don't automatically assume it's race-based. I think the lack of interest in black classical dance has more to do with artistic myopia than racism. But that's only marginally better.
  25. The hype doesn't take anything away from any other deserving dancers. Star and rising star dancers will continue to get their props and 99.99 percent of the attention in the dance writing press. This isn't about them. Nor is it about balletomanes who are irked that Copeland attracts fans who are new to ballet, and thus less knowledgeable. This is about a particular milestone that's important to SOME folks in minority communities. This is about a woman who shows the possibilities for a career in classical dance to historically excluded racial and ethnic groups, particularly the women in those groups. Folks who don't like it can have their hurt feelings soothed by music from of the world's tiniest violins. Also, why would the publicity surrounding Misty automatically transfer to more sales for DTH? She doesn't dance for them. Besides, folks are constantly being told that DTH is NOT a major company.
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