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Everything posted by FireDancer

  1. Sasha was beeeautiful in Etudes! And yes, lovely in the Sylphide section which I don't usually enjoy as much.
  2. There's also the issue of tan (or worse sunburn) marks. These can often linger for months...
  3. Oops! That's highly surprising... You definitely shouldn't go in the sun around performance times...
  4. Understood. I just really love that character 😊 Maxim Izmetiev was particularly wonderful with the Mariinsky this fall in Berkeley!
  5. For the record, the lead fakir's name is Magdaveya.
  6. Sorry I was unclear- I was talking about their arms and legs etc I'm not sure about their faces as the picture is too far to tell exactly. The Shades actually have lightened skin, like most corps de ballet roles of the sort (think Swans, Wilis, etc) You can see a corps de ballet member being yelled at for not having enough white powder on in Swan Lake here:
  7. That was exactly my point. She could have had an interesting conversation with them and opened their eyes to what the costumes bring up for her and others. And even though the girls have no say about what they wear, they might have become more sensitive about posting pictures and if any are in a position of power or influence later, changed the costumes if it hasn't happened yet. Yes! Yes! Other characters definitely have skin-darkening makeup, some very elaborate with Shiva marks on the fakirs. I actually really enjoyed what felt like a very authentic Lead Fakir in the Mariinsky production last fall. Obviously, what the kids wear is not makeup, as I'm sure you already knew.
  8. No one suggested they were in trouble however, what a traumatic experience!
  9. Agreed. There was a suicide at the Bolshoi Academy last year- let's hope there's no repeat! 😢
  10. For me, it's about how, in my opinion, Misty handled it poorly for the many reasons I stated in my previous comments. I agree that these costumes could be changed without negatively affecting the ballet. In fact, when the Mariinsky was in Berkeley, I enjoyed the D'Jampé girls performing in their Act I costumes with the Golden Idol more than the little kids. I hope the conversation can continue but the way it was started (this as well as the way Berkeley Ballet school refused to wear those costumes at the last minute last fall- what were the company going to do? Make new ones right then and there?) leads me to believe it may be some time before the Bolshoi and Mariinsky are open to even discussing change. I hope I'm wrong as it's an important conversation, but like all sensitive subjects, it needs to be broached the right way... I so agree with all of this.
  11. I obviously can't be certain as I don't know these kids personally, but from personal experience, when you're training in these types of school, your whole life is BALLET. The internet has definitely changed the world (case in point, these girls getting harassed like this), but it still may very well be that the girls had no idea the costumes are controversial as that conversation is not part of their reality. And there's no way they would willingly put themselves in the line of fire- why would anyone do so? However, imagine receiving a message from a famous dancer wanting to talk to you about your photo... I can only imagine they would have been thrilled!
  12. How many people follow random students of the Bolshoi school? Exactly.
  13. Not explicitly, sure...
  14. PLUS, just think about what a great opportunity she had to educate those girls about how seeing these pictures made her feel... And then the ripple effect from that.. Misty absolutely could have made a difference for the better if she handled it differently.
  15. It definitely is on Misty for having kept the text with all their Instagram handles on her repost, instead of the picture alone. As far as I could tell, all but one have deleted their accounts. She could have tried to start a dialogue with the Bolshoi instead of just shaming these kids (and in turn sending the masses to do the same and more- death threats? How insane is that?!) who most likely had no clue those costumes were offensive in another culture.
  16. To the little girls, these pictures are not offensive. They were celebrating that they got to perform in what is most likely their dream company's production. Nothing more, nothing less. There was no ill intent.
  17. You can't take context, culture or history out of a situation. Russia is so different than America, hence this situation can't be handled the same. This was a completely ineffective and uninformed way to try to change the world. If Misty wants to make a difference, she should take some courses in Nonviolent Communication... The way she went about this ensured the other side would not hear her and would respond antagonistically. Lastly, including the children's Instagram handles was horribly wrong. She should realize her mistake and apologize but from my understanding, that has not happened. --- For those interested, more about nonviolent communication that speaks right to this: NVC is a consciousness based on the intention to create positive connection — recognizing that mutually enriching outcomes will emerge from the quality of the relationships. Rather than be motivated by fear, guilt, or any coercion, people give freely and happily when they feel good about each other and trust that their needs matter to the other person. NVC can help you create these kinds of relationships, personally and professionally. NVC recognizes that how we interact with each other is driven by core human motivators also known as universal human needs. By using NVC in our daily lives, we can identify and transform deeply ingrained "violent" communication methods that get in the way of having satisfying relationships (Key Facts About NVC). What is Violent Communication? The basics of Nonviolent Communication involve expressing ourselves with clarity, compassion, self-responsibility, empathy, and the common good in mind, which is the exact opposite of what violent communication is. Violent communication involves threatening, judging, dehumanizing, blaming, or coercing others in order to get our way in a situation. Violent communication creates misunderstanding and frustration, pain and disagreements (Violent v Nonviolent Communication). What violent communication is, in everyday desired relationship terms, is a way of thinking and speaking that gets in the way of the quality of connection for which we are looking. It can also lead to anger, shame, guilt, depression and, in extreme cases, emotional or physical violence. Many of us are taught to express our feelings in terms of what another person has "done to us." Unfortunately, we are not taught to take ownership of our feelings and needs in order to ask healthily for only what benefits and is fair to all parties involved.
  18. Agreed entirely on the communication! He is someone who never danced but studied teaching later in life.
  19. I actually have to say parts of this video and his comment is the ONE time I've agreed with him.
  20. I just saw the Mariinsky perform in Berkeley last weekend and their interpretation was very clear. The gift is from the Rajah as he tells Aya, the slave, to go get it. She tells Nikiya that it's from Solor. Nikiya is thrilled to have a sign that he still loves her and in that moment, is most likely not thinking further ahead than that hence the "happy dance"... Solor realizes that something is amiss but can't really do anything about it. Meanwhile, Magedaveya has followed Aya and procured anti-venom in anticipation of the snake note which he gives to the High Brahmin. It made perfect sense
  21. Did everybody see the article posted in the other forum: Berkeley Ballet says dancers disinvited from performing in show after concerns about brownface
  22. I'm just fascinated by this stuff... I really do think they had done their homework and if not, it was certainly a divine accident! 💜 In reading the original 1877 libretto, the Lead Fakir's name was Madhavaya, which has to do with Krishna (mādhava). Krishna's qualities include devotion and love... Apt for a character who tries to help Solor and Nikiya with their love story and is devoted to them. In looking up Nikiya, I found out that the Sanskrit word nikāya translates to Supreme Being (among others- Sanskrit is VERY complex). And Hamsati: in Arthur Avalon (Sir John George Woodroffe's pseudonym)'s The Serpent Power, it says "Hamsati is the union of prakṛti and purusha ". As per my teacher Christopher Hareesh Walli's book Tantra Illuminated: "prakṛti, sometimes translated as "nature", sometimes as "materiality", really refers to the entire physical universe of matter/energy." (There's a whole lot more on it...) "purusha, the knowing subject, the Self, the witness, pure consciousness, the embodied knower of the field, (...) contracted form of the Universal Consciousness. It is individuated consciousness" I'm a geek, I know 😛
  23. You're right: the High Brahmin is committing a huge "sin" (way too Western of a word but you get my drift) so to speak by having fallen in love with Nikiya as she points out to him. I really don't see the Fakir as loving Nikiya in a non-platonic way. Does anyone else have any thoughts about this?
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