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    dance watcher and musician
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  1. The Makarova production reverses the order of the second and third variations from the Russian productions
  2. She could well have standing to sue the institution if its policy, practice and working environment left students vulnerable to mistreatment by their professors. It is for precisely that reason that colleges have policies governing relationships between staff and students (either banning them outright or requiring that any such relationship be declared and the staff member involved be reclused from having any say in the student's results etc.)
  3. An exacerbating factor at NYCB when it comes to cultural change, is that the vast majority of dancers (and many staff), coming from SAB, have never worked anywhere else and have no basis for comparison to determine whether the working culture within the company is "healthy". People can accept the strangest practices as "normal" when they have never known anything different.
  4. This is not always the case. Many of the music abuse cases of the past few years, whether by 'top' teachers at conservatories or by powerful/permanently employed figures in orchestras exploiting deps/casual players, were found to be linked to the aura of mysticism attributed to teachers/performers in the arts space, the dangerous idea of "genius" that exempts people from the usual rules of decent behaviour and the very subjective measurement of artistic merit. Couple that with a massive oversupply of candidates for every job and you have a dangerous imbalance of power. Arguably this is even worse in the US and Russia than it is in Western Europe, because the lack of state funding adds reliance upon wealthy donors into the mix, which carries very dangerous historical resonances, particularly in ballet.
  5. What is vile is arguing/strongly implying that art is more important than humans. It doesn't matter how much "cultural good" an institution does if it facilitates or allows abuse. I'm not saying that is what the company has done here, but that is the argument. It has been very much rehearsed in the context of the various abuse scandals, for example in music schools and conservatories in Europe. Even those of us who love and work in music, ballet or other art forms can believe that artistic or creative excellence doesn't give any person or institution a licence to abuse others.
  6. I agree Sappho. No one is covering themselves in very much glory in response to all this.
  7. They would likely be made subject to protective (i.e. limited to counsel, judge, court clerk etc.) discovery. I don't think any decent person who doesn't need to see them should have any interest in doing so. It may be that, if the respondent does not dispute their existence, there will be no need to disclose them at all.
  8. I think we should accept that it is a matter of fact that these messages were sent. If that were not the case, the company and the named individuals would be shouting from the rooftops that she is a liar. That being the case, any dancer, other employee, donor or other individual who did not ask to be taken out of the discussion when they received the pictures has violated this young lady. And those who responded by asking for more pictures or sending pictures of their own behaved in a thoroughly egregious manner.
  9. NY has far more than its fair share of the young monied and the middle-aged-pretending-to-be-young monied. The measures the company has already taken that Balanchinefan refers too sound good on paper but, in my experience, “listening tours” are irrelevant where company members understand the real unspoken power dynamics at play and the career limitations which will almost certainly follow for anyone who rocks the boat. There seems no doubt (in the absence of denials from everyone) that these conversations occurred and that pictures were shared not just of a young student but also of company dancers without their consent. And the company response has been a bloodless legalistic expression of the limitations of their responsibility. If I were Ashley Bouder right now, a principal dancer who has nothing to fear in career terms from sticking her neck out and who has gained considerable praise for her public feminist stance, I would feel absolutely morally obliged to call out the company on this and to demand a safe and private space with independent listeners (who may not disclose anything said to company management) to let any dancer in the company know if pictures of them formed any part of these disgusting exchanges and to let them know which of their colleagues was party to such exchanges. She (and other principals - male or female - who could easily get work elsewhere) owe it to the junior dancers who have much to lose by “making a fuss”. And that should just be the start of the overhauling of systems. This is an institution rotten to the core.
  10. The continued playing by the attendants is Scarlett. In previous productions with the Ashton dance the attendants caught the tambourines and walked straight off stage.
  11. variated

    Steven McRae

    I think that, amongst some RB fans, there is still an element of sniffiness about 'colonial upstarts' and 'pushy Australians' that has worked against McRae. I'm a reasonably regular attendee and he has grown on me over the years - the amazing technique was unquestionably there from the start but his initial 'tits and teeth' approach to all roles has softened to include some decent acting of late. I would always be happy to see him in bravura roles like Don Q or Fille. However, I do find his incessant use of social media, including some pretty obvious brand promotion and the constant inclusion of his very young children to be a little unwise and offputting. But he's far from the only dancer letting us watch as he admires his body in the mirror each morning.....
  12. I would say that Osipova’s roles are “never knowingly under acted”. In high camp ballets like Sylvia that is an absolute treat.
  13. I wouldn't say that Song of the Earth is in much danger - it gets danced every few years and is in the repertoire of other companies also. Nor is the Royal the only, or even the primary, keeper of the Diaghilev legacy in the same way that they are the primary 'guardians' of the Ashton/Macmillan works - one might easily argue that the the Russian companies are better protectors and preservers of ballets like Les Noces. Having come to ballet watching as an adult a mere 20 or 25 years ago, I have had years of listening to people bemoan lost 'masterpieces' which, when they were finally revived, I didn't think were anything of the sort. I believe there is such a thing as "justly neglected" work. If Ashton had made another piece as good as Fille it would never have left the repertoire for long and other companies would have clamoured for the rights. It is the same with classical music (in which I have a professional interest) - people are always trying to push the "overlooked" composer who would/should have been greater than Beethoven - usually it is no more than an attempt by that person to demonstrate that they have more refined sensibilities and sharper insight than the average person. Edited to add: Which isn't to say I don't have any issues with the directorship at the RB - I think some commissioning and casting decisions need a serious look from an ethical perspective, especially with regard to casually misogynistic choreography and lazy racial sterereotyping (I don't think there is a dark-skinned dancer in the company who hasn't danced the caterpillar in Alice). However, I think accusations of jettisoning the heritage are misplaced.
  14. I agree with Mashinka. O'Hare (and Mason before him) have never failed to programme at least one of Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake and Giselle each season. Sometimes more than one of those and usually Nutcracker also. Other 'warhorses' like Don Quixote and Bayadere, with their requirements for classical technique also crop up from time to time. So while there is room for debate over whether the balance between the MacMillan and Ashton full lengths should be better managed or whether we need to see quite so much of the Wheeldon full-lengths, I think it very unfair to accuse O'Hare of having "only limited interest in the great works in the company's back catalogue". Indeed, there are some who would argue that his recent revivals of works that the "regulars" have been agitating about for decades, such as Two Pigeons, The Invitation and Anastasia have been less artistically successful than many of the new commissions.
  15. Well Osipova's debut was quite the evening. First I should say that she is one of my favourite dancers to watch, but I'm not sure that this was her very finest hour. Of course the jumps on the first entrance were amazing and her technique in the difficult solos entirely secure, but the combination of a very silly high camp ballet and Osipova's customary very fast, very dramatic style made for some amusing moments. The diva-ish draping over Orion's shoulder as he carried her off to his island was what the kids would call 'iconic'. The partnering wasn't great - Bonelli was not having his best night either and the descent from the "torch lift" at the start of the pas de deux was pretty rocky. And Osipova doesn't (yet) have quite the Ashtonian bend and upper body style that Nunez manages. But I would happily watch Osipova wait at a bus stop and if you are up for an evening of the very highest drama, I would highly recommend her Sylvia and advise that you sit close enough to fully appreciate her range of facial expressions. Supremely entertaining!
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