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Tapfan

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Everything posted by Tapfan

  1. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    Are there any other black women in predominently white companies who have advanced past the corp de ballet? I know that Tanya Howard at National Ballet of Canada is a soloist, but I'm not sure she identifies as black. Also, all the relatively well-known female, black, classical dancers seem to dance for Dance Theater of Harlem. As I've said many, many, MANY times, it's not that black folks who like concert dance are just madly in love with Misty to the exclusion of any other black female dancers, it's just that she is the ONLY one with any visibility. And even her visibility wouldn't exist if she didn't market herself so relentlessly. Ballet has a PR problem if the only way they get attention from the mainstream press is when an AD at a major company gets acid thrown in his face or a black woman dancer continually points out that not a single black woman has ever been a principal dancer at one the most famous companies. It makes ballet sound like this weird little cult.
  2. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    I think the election and reelection Of President Obama has revealed both advancements in race relations AND the existence of stubbornly outdated racial attitudes. The fact that the president's very citizenship has been and continues to be questioned, shows that some people are simply unwilling to accept him as the legitimate Leader of the Free World. Such attitudes have an effect on the ballet world because no art form, not even ballet exists in a vacuum.
  3. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    I really wish there were more high profile female African American ballet dancers. I appreciate that Misty is turning many black girls on to ballet but I want to hear from other black women. I also want to hear from them as they speak about the art and not about being a black woman in that art. Trouble is, there are so few and none have senior positions at major companies. So who cares?
  4. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    There has been plenty of criticism of Copeland not just about this photo issue, but also along more race specific lines. I brought up racism here specifically in response to KFW's cries of woe is me, people are trying to paint me as racist and sexist. Also it may be picking nits, but let us be accurate. The photo is risque, you can see nipple, but it is not a topless photo: http://cocoafab.com/new-show-alert-misty-copeland-to-mentor-future-ballerinas-on-new-reality-series/ I guess I have become desensitized to things that many people find offensive or just tacky. Living in a world with Miley Cyrus, Nikki Minaj and Kim Kardashian can do that to ya. I think the photo is beautiful and sexy in a tasteful way. YMMV.
  5. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    I co-sign your post re the Beyonce of ABT. There have been more, eh hem, prurient photo spreads of dancers. For example, I remember Guillem's full nude split pose in French Vogue when she was in her prime, and the discussion that prompted at the time. I think that the culture as a whole is becoming desensitized, where nothing shocks anymore. As far as Misty's artistry is concerned, no amount of skin exposure can back that up. Misty isn't another Stephanie Dabney or Virginia Johnson, two pioneering ballerinas who were indeed role models for their race. "Role models for their race." Yikes. That sounds pretty retro. I don't think there can be such a thing as a one-size-fits-all role model for an entire race. Is Tiler Peck a role model for all white classical dancers? Misty gets most of the attention because she pursues it. HARD. But there's room to notice other black female classical dancers. And the importance of modesty in a role model, is quite subjective.
  6. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    I wish interviewers would ask new and more interesting questions. We've been hearing the same things from Misty for ages.
  7. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    Misty has been appearing at dance festivals for years. This is nothing new. And I dare say that she has white fans who want to see her not because she's some unicorn, but because they like her dancing. Also, most black people are middle or working class. Not everyone lives in the ghetto and not everyone depends on public transportation.
  8. Why are they putting away this version of the Nutcracker?
  9. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    Squires is also on the advisory board to Project Plie'.
  10. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    Well it wasn’t coming from me, because I stopped listening to contemporary pop years before their time. Also, where’s the “outrage” about Misty Copeland? OK, to be fair, I’ve seen it on another site. But not here. Prove? Maybe they just didn’t like that much black pop of that era. Is that racist? Did black critics like second and third tier white stars? I have a white friend who was so upset when Michael Jackson died that he couldn’t go to work the next day, but give me Otis Redding or Miles or Monk or Muddy instead. Or Eric Owens. Appreciating diversity doesn’t mean loving everything equally. No one does that, or can – or should have to. Diversity entails accepting diversity of taste too. I think that’s the ideal. I don't think they were saying these white critics were racist. I think they were implying something far less sinister. They were implying that they were artistically and sociologically myopic. Black critics were annoyed that white critics could find time to cover the most obscure and marginally talented or relevant white male bands if those bands had an indie cache, but they couldn't be bothered with anyone else. Some black critics felt that excessive praise of Prince and MJ was being used to mask that fact that some of those guys had a very narrow appreciation of pop music and couldn't be bothered to notice anyone else. Being a pop music critic that only cares about certain types of pop music, is like being a movie critic who hates certain types of movies. How can they be expected to judge fairly?
  11. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    I can appreciate that someone can dislike Misty's dancing and it have nothing to do with her figure or race. The problem is that for various reasons, there aren't more female, black classical dancers who are well known. Miss Copeland has become the symbol for all black women in classical dance. So she gets all the attention even if there are other black women who may be more deserving of the high profile Misty enjoys. While I am thrilled to see Misty bring new audiences to classical ballet, I want to see and hear from other black women. Right now in her interviews, Misty is just repeating the same things over and over. The mainstream media has a bad habit of concentrating too much on just those black celebrities with the most buzz, while ignoring others who are worthy of notice. When Michael Jackson's Thriller and Prince's Purple Rain were topping the record charts, white popular music critics couldn't get enough of either guy. But some black critics pointed out the fact that they were paying so much attention to these two artists because they wanted to prove that they actually cared about black musicians while, they proceeded to ignore 99 percent of them. The same thing was said by black entertainment writers when some white folks went out of their way to gush about Halle Berry after her Oscar win. You'd think they'd never seen a beautiful black woman before. My point is that really appreciating diversity means knowing there's always more than one. And when I say there's always more than one when referring to ballet, I DON'T mean only retired black dancers like Alicia Graff, Lauren Anderson and Virginia Johnson. There are black women dancing today that are great and ignored.
  12. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    Although he is very talented, I think Eminem got more attention because he was a white rapper in a field dominated by black males. Same thing with the Beastie Boys. Where was the outrage about the attention paid to these artists? The fact that they were white undoubtedly added to their appeal and the ability of white audiences to identify with their music.
  13. Tapfan

    Misty Copeland

    Good for her. And good for the Washington Ballet AD for seeing the box office potential of such a high profile dancer. It seems the shows are sold out.
  14. I'm not a fan of City Ballet or its AD, but I commend SJP for trying to make the dancers seem less elitist. (Yes, that's important to some of us.) Also, I noticed that both this series and the one on SAB have gone out of their way to show racial diversity, particularly when it comes to FEMALE dancers of color. That is refreshing. (I don't believe they're indifferent to criticism about their lack of diversity). It was particularly nice to briefly see Olivia Boisson, the only black female in City Ballet AND Jasmine Perry who was a student at SAB and is now with Los Angeles Ballet. City Ballet has frequently looked like the Mariinsky of 60 years ago.
  15. Tapfan

    tempo

    Abatt, I take it you think doing so is unfair. Doing so is unethical only if she implies that she does not make it to principal just because she's black. Otherwise, aspiring to be the first black woman to advance to a position in a profession which was until fairly recently largely closed to women of African descent, isn't seen as a bad aspiration by all people. Some black women would embrace such a distinction, other's wouldn't. Depends on the person. I still don't see why Misty ticks off so many people. They behave as if she's attacked them personally. I don't see all this outrage coming the ballet establishment. They seem to be pretty darned good at ignoring her. Most seem concerned with the same old things, the latest Russian sensation and Balanchine worship.
  16. Tapfan

    tempo

    If what Copeland's been doing is indeed campaigning for a promotion, it hasn't worked so far. She's been saying she wanted to be a principal since at least 2010. If McKenzie has felt unfairly pressured by what some view as impolitic campaigning for principal by a dancer whom some find undeserving, he's held up well. Very, very well.
  17. I know that City Ballet has one of the most famous productions, but is it the best? Am I correct in assuming that PNB and SFB's are highly regarded? I know that ABT's relatively new production was well-reviewed if not well-attended. Is their version one of the best? How do Houston , Miami City, Tulsa, Washington and Orlando's versions rank?
  18. Isn't that circular logic? Why not give her a chance. They've all been given chances.
  19. I've also read criticisms of her that say her dancing is dull. Clearly Lane's fans disagree. Yet some folks behave as if their opinions are facts. I don't believe that most people who follow ballet feel that the difference in skill among the female soloists at ABT is so stark that Copeland landing leads amounts to some form of robbery. To me, such accusations verge on the hysterical. It's not like Stella Abrera and Sarah Lane are Judi Dench and Maggie Smith to Misty's Meagan Fox. The difference in ability among the three is not that vast.
  20. The other way of looking at it is that Misty is not so vastly superior to Stella and Sarah, so one has to consider what factors tipped the balance in Misty's favor for being cast in SL. The other way of looking at it is that Misty is not so vastly superior to Stella and Sarah, so one has to consider what factors tipped the balance in Misty's favor for being cast in SL. This is ridiculous. 1) This is an art form. Opinions are at least somewhat subjective. The AD thought that she was better suited to the role than they, and honestly given the generally positive views she received and my own opinion of at least Sarah's limited emotional range, I don't disagree. So opinions can vary. 2) It is not like she's been getting all the great leading roles and the others have not. She has NOT been cast as the lead in many full lengths. Certainly in no more than the others. She got this one. In a matinee, on tour. It wasn't opening night in NY... Sarah has been cast in SB, Misty certainly hasn't. Both were in Coppelia. In fact although I believe they were made soloists at the same time, Misty waited much longer for a lead role in a full length than Sarah did. So can we please stop acting like she has been receiving some outrageous favoritism, when there is simply no evidence of any such thing. Some of you simply prefer the other dancers and dislike her. That is your prerogative. A lot of what has been said here, however, is really beyond the pale. When Sarah gets cast "over" Misty do we always need "to consider what factors tipped the balance in [sarah's] favor?" I don't think so. So why do we when Misty is cast? The answer is, we don't. I couldn't agree more. Also, what's so ironic about the criticism of Misty is that much of what she's said about ballet's lack of diversity, has also been said by Virginia Johnson, yet we never hear accusations on this board that she's playing the race card. There have also been complaints by Carlos Acosta about the lack of black women. Is HE a whiner?
  21. But isn't merit really subjective in this case? I have read opinions of others who are not untutored in classical ballet, and they happen to like Copeland as a dancer. I honestly don't believe that if Stella and Sarah were so vastly superior to Copeland, her presence could hold them back.
  22. I've never understood why any advancement in Misty's career is frequently seen as an affront to Stella Abrera or Sarah Lane.
  23. I also don't see how anything happening in her career is bad for ballet.
  24. Several months ago, I was taken aback by a South African-identified BA poster who stated that he/she assumed that the lack of black ballerinas was because most of them (black women) had flat feet that made point work difficult. The ignorance in this sweeping generalization surprised me because I expected more of BA posters. But then, stereotypes have been known to die hard even in intelligent people. Just the other night, I was looking at photos of my mother taken when she was in her late teens. It's ironic that my mum, who grew up as a small town, East Tennessee, basketball-playing, Dolly Parton-like twanging, black hillbilly, actually had a Balanchine body. Five foot seven, skinny, narrow hips, flat-chested, with legs so long that she was teased about them. She even had the extremely archy feet with high insteps. All her siblings did, including the boy. Just goes to show that ballet bodies can be found in the strangest places and that god definitely has a sense of humor. Oh, and she has natural turnout as well. What the old folks used to call slew footed. All those natural assets of a classical dancer wasted on tomboy for whom ballet would have been as unlikely as her sprouting wings.
  25. Precisely, Drew. Racism in institutionalized form is not a question of individual prejudice (although individual action can make a difference in ameliorating the problem, once recognized). So then the institution may be prejudiced even if none of the individuals in the institution are prejudiced. Makes sense to some people. nanuska wrote: I don’t assume no black dancers ever face racism. But I’m intrigued by the logical assumption on which the “black female dancers are held back by racism” argument turns: that in the ballet world we find a phenomenon unobserved anywhere else, people who are racist towards one gender but not another. That’s a logical inference from the argument that black female dancers are being held back by racism. I think the indefensibility of the presumption demonstrates the faulty and over-simplistic logic nature of the argument. In any case, Copeland's Facebook page now has a video with excerpts of an Australian interview, and of her Swan Lake. I must say, she does have a lovely manner. As critical as I am of her in one respect, her face shows real character. I don't think that gender-specific racism is so difficult to believe or for that matter, all that rare. There are racial stereotypes that hinder and help all groups. Black men have been stereotyped as super-athletic, violent, hyper-masculine, criminally inclined, sexual predators. That stereotype no doubt is partially responsible for the higher conviction, arrest and incarceration rates of black males over white males who supposedly commit the same crimes. Black women face discrimination but not necessarily the type that would make them as likely to go to jail as black males. Asian American men are stereotyped as quiet, nerdy, hard working, super law-abiding, science and math whizzes who are so focused on academics that they are practically indifferent to sex. Even though the stereotypes about Asian American men are largely positive, they're still stereotypes that strip men of Asian descent of their individuality. If you want to see high-powered venting by a pissed-off bunch of guys, go read blogs or comments at Asian American interest web sites when the subject of the Hollywood neutered asexual Asian male is discussed. These men feel that Asian American men in the media are portrayed as if they were asexual, almost feminine wusses. And it makes them furious. My point is that gender specific racism is a very common type of racist attitude. When the higher rates of employment and advancement of black males in classical dance is discussed, people in positions to do the hiring always comment that black men are more readily accepted because men are always in short supply in ballet and black men's reputation for athleticism, having athletic frames, and a reputation for masculine classical dancing, works in their favor. Conversely, stereotypes about black women as being too muscular or fleshy, too aggressive, too athletic to control their power, flat-footed, hyper-sexual, vulgar in their carriage and lacking in grace work against them.
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