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Everything posted by kylara7

  1. I placed a hyperlink to her bio/webpage when I wrote the original post, and the interview addresses her personal connection.
  2. I was delighted to find that writer/journalist Chloe Angyal has written a book on the current state of ballet (due out in spring 2021) and has started doing interviews. Her first was with ABC radio (Australia's version of NPR or CBC radio). After a short chit-chat with the host about her mandatory 2-week hotel quarantine after returning to Australia from the US, she gave a succinct summary of how the current state of ballet (and the arts in general) is clashing with the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement, revealing the deep issues in the underlying systems and woven into the larger cultures (she specifically mentions the US, the UK, and Australia). I'll be looking forward to reading her book! https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/drawingroom/turning-pointe/12486726
  3. I've been watching/listening to many of these podcasts too! I really like the casual "chat between friends" aspect of each episode...it gives a peek at another more personal side of the guests and many humorous moments
  4. I thought this op-ed by Theresa Ruth Howard in Dance Magazine was very good and summarized many of the calls for actions on racism that are going around in the arts: https://www.dancemagazine.com/dance-companies-black-lives-matter-2646141415.html
  5. I watched the initial videos that Nicolas Rose posted and have followed most of the ensuing videos and discussions that are ongoing, mostly thanks to a younger extended family member who is more plugged into the social media scene. Rose was one of many Black voices in the arts calling out for "less talk and more action" when it comes to the pain felt by so many after the tragic killing of George Floyd--and linking it to the overarching problems of a lack of valuation, representation and opportunities for Black people in many aspects of their lives. I felt that Rose was eloquent in honest sharing of his own experiences, not only at NBoC, but at several schools where he trained, and in his willingness to let his emotions show; many other dancers and dance students were doing the same (and still are). Thanks to social media, I've watched many such outpourings that have come out in the arts, media (broadcast and print), industry, academia, and other spheres all across North America because the "soft racism" that works against Black people has been too long dismissed by those that don't want to see it or downplayed as not that bad compared to more blatantly racist actions. I don't see it as just a Nicholas Rose problem or just an NBoC problem. Systemic problems like racism require systemic solutions and participation from the greater society. I hope that the arts--including fans, patrons, and donors--can embrace this call for change in terms of action and practice and not just in terms of rhetoric and PR strategies. Times are changing and for the better, IMHO! But the process is uncomfortable for many who are/were very comfortable with the status quo. Also, thank you to On Pointe for sharing your input and experiences here; I appreciate your willingness to engage in this emotional and personal labour (and probably for the 64,000th time with yet another group of people).
  6. I came back here to recommend this production all over again! I revisited it recently and found the Nutcracker portion to be a perfect pandemic watch (I skipped the opera again). I felt that the familiarity of the Nutcracker score and the oddness/darkness of this production mirrored the decontextualized aspect of life during the pandemic/under quarantine...the coexistence of the familiar and mundane in our suddenly more constrained and quotidian "home life and work" routine and the infinite strangeness and vaguely threatening swirl of the pandemic and world events raging just outside and all around. This time, the art was validating and comforting and unsettling to me all at once.
  7. On the positive side of this issue, organizations like Final Bow For Yellowface and the companies that work with them are changing their approaches to motifs in ballet that have not aged well, with support and input by art and ballet historians and cultural experts. Linked below is recent example posted on Ballet West's social media. I really like their phrasing of "moving from caricature to character". Seems like a well thought-out and much needed effort.
  8. I've set a calendar reminder for myself so that I can watch the archived versions of the main streams (Australian Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, and Royal Ballet) within the 30-day period that they are up on YouTube. I wasn't able to watch on the actual day, and I'm increasingly unwilling to search out the mishmash of individual streams and their locations. The YouTube streaming quality is still so much better than the "Facebook live" version, which is not reliable. Watching the company classes and rehearsals is my favourite part. I could do without the cheesy commentary and marketing bits, but I see where they have their place in the wider outreach effort. Still, it seems like more and more companies are offering "inside looks" via livestreams of rehearsals throughout the year, which is wonderful
  9. I've never see The Fog, but now I'm going to seek it out based on this discussion I noticed that TCM Canada (no commercials!) has a bunch of classic "horror" films lined up for the week of Halloween. I really like those black-and-white Boris Karloff/Bela Lugosi/Vincent Price films at any time of the year, but especially in October.
  10. My general reaction is “meh.” I’m pretty checked out with respect to NBoC, and my personal thoughts/reflections on the company and its leadership problems are documented on other past threads. I always perceived “AD Karen Kain” more as a useful figurehead than a dynamic leader, and the company programming during her tenure has been average to dismal. “Dancer Karen Kain” is a beloved figure in Canadian arts history, and the company has certainly leveraged lingering nostalgia for the golden age of ballet and Kain’s dancing career in their marketing and fundraising. It remains to be see whether changing the AD will have a significant effect given the other leadership and influences in the company. Will they conduct a wide, deep, and creative search for an AD that can shepherd NBoC into the current/future era and its challenges in terms of shoring up an aging audience, nurturing new talent (dancers and choreographers), and dealing with the ever-present issues of shifting funding sources? Or will they choose a placeholder or crony in service of the current leadership and its priorities? *If* NBoC does pursue that wide, deep, and creative search in a sincere effort to attract new and dynamic leadership, how many potential candidates will bite and how many will be leery of the steep challenges involved and known issues with nepotism and donor influence? I’m thinking of a recent example in my professional circle of a once-shiny but now deeply troubled business entity that has struggled for nearly a year to attract a new CEO, despite offering unusual monetary/other incentives, because under the “business as usual/everything is fine” image, the word is out in the industry that there are hidden problems in the organization and no one wants to come near it, much less be “in charge” when/if the house of cards collapses. I’ve given my input, in terms of words and voting with my feet/dollars (I’ve not been to see any of their productions for quite a while now), and speaking only for myself, it would take a lot at this point to win me back. I guess I’m at that point of no emotion other than indifference and maybe a bit of curiosity as to how the next steps will play out. In the end, I hope that they can stage a comeback, because I retain a small bit of my idealism and want to see Canadian arts flourish.
  11. Congratulations! I'm bookmarking for tomorrow's reading
  12. I appreciate your post-performance thoughts and impressions, Dreamer, especially as you saw such a range of Auroras...I'm envious! Your descriptions of them filled in my impressions of Rausch, Biasucci, and Generosa from what I've been able to glean from PNB's video clips and rehearsal streams. What a wonderful ballet buffet
  13. Honestly, I feel that it’s a better season than I expected, given the last couple…I’m very interested in the new Pite, Etudes/Piano Concerto/Petite Mort, and Marguerite and Armand. I could do without yet another round of Chroma and Romeo and Juliet, personally. I’d love to see Balanchine’s Chaconne, but not not in that program. Giselle I could take or leave at this point. I’m glad that Nutcracker is the one and only “kid and family” show. My feelings about the questionable nepotism situation and the Binet work are well documented in other threads, and unfortunately, this announcement further leaves a bad taste. I don’t like the past work, I have zero interest in seeing more, and I wish we could see other talented young choreographers instead of a continual force-fed diet of bland Binet. In my opinion, this season comes off as overly contrived to “sell” us on more of the same, i.e., 1. Pairing another Binet piece with Balanchine (a known draw) 2. A “new” Swan Lake (another pretty safe bet/known draw). I have so many (rhetorical) questions and so many reservations. Is it “new” or is it a revival/reboot of the Bruhn choreography? Unclear. It’s allegedly a big deal that Kain is “directing” it; but what does that *mean* in terns of what hands-on role(s) she will have in this creation (other than as the artistic director, obviously)? Is she co-creating/staging/choreographing/managing the day-to-day creative process in the studio (has she created/staged/choreographed before)? Is she simply commissioning it? Christopher Stowell is also listed as a co-creator…as a stager, a choreographer, a dramaturg? Unclear. How much is “new”? How much is Bruhn’s work? So whose work IS this going to be in the end? Who will get the credit if it’s a success? Who will get the blame if it isn’t? Further rhetorically, I keep wondering…If the hometown hero is such a major leaguer, why does he have to be propped up with all-stars and handlers? Why so much effort to lob slow underhand pitches when it’s his turn at the plate?
  14. I wish I could have seen a performance...thank you to all for your descriptions and impressions! I watched several of the online clips and the rehearsal stream, and it strikes me that PNB seems to have quite a wealth of highly talented and very different dancers and that Peter Boal is encouraging a healthy working atmosphere with room for individual development. Personally, I like the different "looks" and the athleticism of the dancers.
  15. miliosr, Thank you so much for your program notes on this performance. I'm late to the party, but I was down with a winter virus last week and finally watched Iolanta/The Nutcracker whilst recovering. I have to admit that I fast-forwarded through much of Iolanta because I was much more interested in the dancing, but I enjoyed this version of The Nutcracker more than I expected to. Maybe part of it is just a welcome change of pace from yet another traditional Nutcracker--and far enough into the calendar from the Christmas holidays--but I was intrigued by the staging and the choreography, odd as it was in places. I especially enjoyed Arthur Pita's interpretation of the family party scene, which I usually find to be rather dull. The social dances and interplay between characters had me imagining all sort of back stories and family dramas. I adored the surreal/creepy doll scene by Lock...I couldn't look away. I swear that I have had dreams like that...not really nightmares but rather unsettling and vaguely menacing. The nuclear winter scene, the stagecraft of the forest scene, the waltz of the flowers/pas de deux with the characters of different ages...so much creativity and different interpretations, with enough classical technique for my personal tastes and the lovely score to tie it together. I will definitely watch many more times to pick up details.
  16. I just listened to this and found her explanation interesting, that (for some students) jazz training might give the dancer "permission" to take on the learning of turns and jumps while one is young and fearless (and maybe not yet too caught up in self-editing and perfectionism) and that later on, ballet training/technique can be layered onto that base to build the full package with all the finesse, so to speak. They also mentioned Tiler Peck as an example of a "jazzerina".
  17. Her dress IS beautiful. I adore the colour (so pretty on her!) and the tea length. :)
  18. It's lovely to see former National Ballet of Canada dancers Emma Hawes and Francesco Gabriele Frola getting on so well at ENB They have both been dancing principal roles (as has Jurgita Dronina) in the great rep there (e.g., Manon, Cinderella, Swan Lake, so far). This photo of them for Cinderella is gorgeous!
  19. Agreed...gorgeous photos and what looks like a lovely program. Another company I would love to see in person :) Some day...
  20. PNB's segment was lovely. I'm so glad I was able to see this. Their livestreams are always so well produced, and the lighting in that big studio certainly helps :)
  21. I admit that I'm curious. Although I quite like the original West Side Story, it is a bit dated now. And the story (Romeo and Juliet, societal conflicts) is evergreen, so a modern take that appeals to younger audiences seems like a good bet, artistically and financially. Justin Peck seems like a good pick for this job, in my opinion :)
  22. That link doesn't seem to be clickable. Maybe there is another policy somewhere (offline) and what appears on the those links is copy/paste from a larger policy document? Either way, it appears that they were "encouraged" to show that they had (or recently installed) these policies. I think NYCB and other companies (e.g., Finnish National Ballet) have also beefed up/added official policies on these matters based on recent events. Of course none of this seems to affect the rather unorthodox "family ties" that are already entrenched at NBoC, as we've discussed here and on other BA threads...
  23. I've only seen Fancy Free on video, and I found the scenes with three men harassing a lone woman on the street to be very unsettling, because I have had that experience, and I cannot separate that out while watching the ballet. I would probably not see it performed live for that reason, although I respect the work and the place it holds in the ballet canon. I try to avoid depictions of sexualized violence in other media as well (TV, movies, etc.). It doesn't ask any "new" questions for me or give me any new perspective that I don't already have in this regard. And now that we have the internet at our fingertips, I have options, such as watching clips of the ballet scenes in the movie Red Sparrow (which is all I was interested in anyway) and skipping the rest :) For the same reason, I have not seen James Kudelka's Swan Lake, which includes a gang rape scene (why?!? I fail to see what this adds to the established and well known storyline). It's just not for me, and I'm ok with that. I won't tell others not to see it, but I will completely ignore any attempts to convince me to see it. I did watch Manon once, but I knew what was coming and had prepared for it/decided that this was an important piece that I wanted to see. But I probably wouldn't see it again, lovely as is. I suspect that each of us are making our own considered choices based on a variety of factors.
  24. I didn't get a chance to watch on Tuesday, but I always look forward to catching up by watching the streams that are available after the actual World Ballet Day. I do find that the YouTube versions are much more "user friendly" and high quality/higher resolution than the Facebook videos. I'm glad to hear that the Australian Ballet and Royal Ballet segments are already available...I know what I'll be doing this weekend :)
  25. One of my first mentors when I was entering the workplace advised that company policies, "rules and regulations" and HR functions were about conflict resolution and not about justice or fairness and that "resolution" usually rests in the eye of the company/leadership. It was helpful advice that I have kept in mind ever since. The judicial system could also be characterized similarly, which is why the results are often unsatisfying or fail to tie up all the loose ends of a given case. The union contract/representation is probably much the same. The union is tasked with resolving conflicts between management and employees, and not serving up truth and justice. Whatever happens with this case, I'm sure it won't answer all of the questions or please everyone. I just hope that NYCB can ride out this turmoil and that the #metoo era marks the beginning of deep cultural change at every level. To borrow words from writer Roxane Gay, "I'm not optimistic, but I am hopeful."
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