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Everything posted by Fraildove

  1. Hi Gianna’s daughter. I remember reading so many of your mom’s comments here at Ballet Talk. She is definitely missed! I direct a small, pre-professional Ballet school and we have a library for our dancers containing both books, old copies of Dancemagazines and video and DVD’s that they are allowed to check out. After you give items away, if you have anything left over that you can’t find a home for, I know our young dancers would love to have access to some new/old material. I hope that you are able to give your items to your mother’s contacts, but if you can’t get rid of everything I would be happy to pay any shipping costs. If you would rather stay local, I’m sure many other Ballet schools also offer the same. Best of luck, and I wish you well in your journey to find out more information on the wonderful art that is ballet!
  2. There is another dancer that recently left the Trocks, Alberto Pretto. On his Facebook and Instagram he went into more detail about the outside expectations that are required of the dancers. Alby as well as some of the other dancers wanted to dress more feminine, leave their hair pretty long, and dress in soft chiffon skirts and more feminine dance attire for classes while on tour. This was forbidden by management for the very reasons outlined above: they want their dancers to be identified as all male, and that includes the image they portray wile on tour. He mentions that he felt it was done more selectively and the same rules didn’t apply to everyone. If anyone is interested, you can go back and watch his videos from around Oct/Nov of 2019 (my dates me be off slightly) to hear more about what management enforced. Alby is now transitioning to female and also talks about the difficulty he has had on that journey and how he misses performing onstage and the relationships with the cast of Trocks. I remember in Chase Johnsey’s videos when he quit he says much the same thing. Alby cites that as the number one reason that he left. If I can find the video, I will post the link. I believe he is listed as Albie Pretti on Facebook. He makes and sells custom leotards, skirts, and tshirts on his Facebook and Instagram site AlbyPretty. He is a friend and I wish him and Chase well.
  3. From my understanding of most AGMA contracts, regardless of rank, a company never has the obligation of renewing a contract. Case in point, Veronika Part. Or Dvorovenko and Herrera. If there is a male soloist that they want to promote to Principal and they need an open contract, they have the right to not renew. And I hope that no one will take this the wrong way but Ramasar is the same age that I am, 38. That is nearing the retirement age for most dancers anyway. So if there is a young, up and coming soloist that they want to promote I think that they could arguably say so with the mention of the WSS contract as another consideration. I’ve never been on the other side of it where AGMA recommends a company to renew, but if it was recommended, would the company be beholden to the recommendation? companies don’t usually update their rosters unless it’s a promotion or at the end/beginning of the season. If Ramasar’s contract isn’t renewed, but he is still under his current contract then he would still be listed as principal dancer. I have no idea if his contract has been or will be renewed. Just offering a different perspective. 😊
  4. Hi Veya, definitely check out Ballet Talk For Dancers. In the meantime, yes you can perform the same variation at multiple regionals. Most people do. Best of luck!
  5. Awkward in the extreme!!! And I will report back!
  6. No, traditionally the fish dives are not done in Sleeping Beauty in the Major Russian Companies, and even in the US they are usually not done if it is being staged by Russian dancers. i will say that the position in the photo of the newly discovered notes is not ‘pretty’ but it looks like it will be incredibly hard to execute from a technical standpoint, especially if the follow the pirouettes. The fish dives require timing but are not all that difficult, especially from the ballerina’s perspective as the just use force and gravity. This new pose will require quite a bit of ab and back strength from the female in order to keep from rolling out of the position, a major balance point adjustment, and quite a bit of force exerted on the standing foot. I don’t envy any of the dancers that will have to make that adjustment. Granted this is going by the photo and drawings, so it will be interested to see how it plays out. I’m tempted to play around with that in the studio next week after I finish teaching. Hopefully my husband will agree to experiment with it as well! 😂 Please report back on how it visually appears as I, sadly, am too far away to actually attend any of the performances.
  7. Reviving an old topic. Wanted to let everyone know that Henry Danton celebrated his 100th birthday on March 30. He is still teaching almost daily, still travels on his own, and is as sharp and witty as ever. He is an amazing man to know and am grateful for the time I’ve been ablet to spend with him, talking and learning about both ballet and life in general. Such an inspiration!
  8. Like I said, I totally disagree on the delivery and cannot stand the man’s ego. As to your comment of griping, Firedancer, I agree, you should not grip. But I’m taking it to mean engage, and yes the butt has to very much be engaged at all times. My husband als was a principal dancer in the old Soviet system at a MAJOR company and went through the 5 year pedagogy program, not GITIS, but a sister program. He also teaches the full engagement of the muscle and it in no way means gripping. Maybe I missed it but I never heard him call the position she is standing in as 1st. When I went back and watched a few of his other videos, the excessive where she is standing in second and working not to shift her weight was indeed called 2nd. I’ve had a single teacher try something similar with me many years ago and the excersise really made me feel my hip flexors and hamstrings. I have no idea if he intends her to actually dance like that, hopefully not because it isn’t really possible, but can understand when done in isolation to find certain muscles. Like I said, it is very unorthodox. And I said from the beginning that I don’t agree with how he is training the hyper extension. I have very hyper extended knees and it took me a long time to understand how to straighten them without locking. And standing in 1st with heels together was not what taught me to straighten my knees. On the contrary. And I’m referring to when I started at age 9. It was a teacher who really got into how to work with hyperextension and a phisio that allowed me to finally control the hyperextending. Yes i donstand at the barre with my heels in 1st, and expect my dancers to as well, but not at the expense of them relaxing their knees thinking that they are straight. He is very unorthodox and leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but some of what he is saying is correct, even if he is saying it badly. And yes, it’s ok to have a different opinion. There are many ways to teach a dancer. I have several of my own students working in professional companies so something we are doing works 😊 I sincerely hope this works for Misty. I hope that she is able to pick apart what he says and make it work for herself. I wish her the best!
  9. One of the greatest teachers that I ever studied with never danced. She went through the 5 year pedagogy training at GITIS in Moscow, same as this guy. And she recognized thing in my body that no other teacher or coach ever picked up on and I was the better for it. I cannot stand this man, the way he talks and his very high opinion of himself. But much of what he is correcting Misty on is absolutely accurate from my perspective (former professional and now teacher and coach). It is very different than what is taught here in the US, I don’t agree with all of it, but a good deal is right on target. He is literally retraining her understanding of how to utilize her turnout and her back. In every performance video of Copeland that is what is so weak. It takes a huge amount of courage on her part to really relearn what is so fundamental, disregarding the hyperextending issue. And by the way, she is standing in a true Vaganova 2nd position, with the heals placed only as wide as her hips, not 1st. I don’t agree with having her sit in her knees to that degree, but I would be guessing that he is trying to get her to understand how to actually straighten her legs, as opposed to locking back or relaxing. Once she figures that out she will not need to sit back that much. It is unorthodox in the extreme, but so far what she has been doing isn’t working. I’ve gained a lot more respect for her in trying to retrain a fundamental element of her dancing so late in her career, even if I dislike the messenger. What he is saying isn’t the ‘secret’ of ballet, and for goodness sakes he isn’t the only person who knows what her is doing. There are many teachers that have studied true pedagogy, many with a long history of producing phenomenal dancers. Yes, he actually did teach at the Bolshoi, yes he actually did graduate from GITIS, and yes there are things that he is teaching that are accurate and correct. Doesn’t mean I agree with how he presents it. I’m curious to see how it all plays out. I hope for her sake the gamble pays off and she doesn’t get so discouraged that she gives up on the retraining of fundamentals. But for her sake I hope it works for her!
  10. So here is my 2 cents about Rose Adagio. I have performed it many more times than I care to admit, knowing that regardless of how well prepared you are it really can be hit or miss. It comes immediately after your entrance, so not much time to shake the surge of adrenaline which can make you a bit jittery and can affect balance in a big way. Standing there looking at 4 different men, all of whom partner slightly differently, praying that everything will work, that your muscles will get under your control sooner rather than later, that your partners will be able to sense your balance pointe right from the start, that if they don’t praying that you will be able to adjust in a fraction of a second, Times 10000 other things that it is easy to get in one’s head. Now as a coach i refer to it as the ballerina’s obstacle course! No matter how many times i danced it, by the end my right big toe and my right calf muscle was spent and then you snap back and realize that you literally just began! But you are so relieved in that moment during bows that, at least for me, the hardest part was finished. It takes a tremendously skilled artist to not let any of that register in the upper body or face because it does require an extreme amount of concentration. I am sure many of you know this but when a dancer works in the studio, when you take a balance your eyes will usually fixate on a single spot that doesn’t move. Trying to balance with your eyes closed is hilarious. Seriously, try. On stage, everything moves and most dancers will fixate on one spot on their partner, on a piece of scenery, and unfortunately I’ve seen a few on the floor in order to try and recreate the studio experience. So when you are trying to hold balance and your ‘spot’ suddenly moves away it can seriously throw you. As you Cojocaru, her balances are superhuman. Every single dancer has experienced finding that sweet spot in a balance when you are so secure you can stay for days. As a dancer, it is second nature to indulge your own curiosity and stay just to see how long you really can hold it. And in your head you know you probably shouldn’t, that you should make sure that your movement is within the music and not play with tricks, especially in this supremely classical piece, but sometimes you just get carried away and can’t help yourself. And when that happens it will set your whole heart on fire, and when the audience gets behind it I ant even describe that feeling. Even when you know it’s inappropriate sometimes you just go with it. And you will always remember it. Is it too much, yes, uncalled for, yes, rewarding, you’ve no idea! I was never in the league of Cojocaru or any of these artists I’m sure, but there is a sense of joy every single dancer shares no matter if they are just beginning or at the end of their journey. Sometimes you have to indulge 😊
  11. Was Vishneva taken as a slolost?
  12. I’m curiou about how Polunin performed the role of Rudolph (in Pretty sure he did) If I’m not mistaken in my assumption, did anyone see him in it and what were your thoughts? It seems like he would have been the perfect type to take on the role, maybe a little too much so.
  13. Here is a wonderful book that gives you the definition, and if I’m not mistaken also explains what school the name is from (Vaganova, French, Danish etc). Gail Grant Book And here is one that explains more in depth on the Vaganova method, written by Vaganova herself. This book explains the exercise and has many diagrams to help show the reader what is being discussed. Vaganova Book hope these can help. And never dismiss the idea of going and taking some ballet classes! Also, if you aren’t comfortable taking a class, if you explain to the school director that you are a musician and are wanting to learn more about ballet, they might very well allow you to observe classes. I would.
  14. Those are attitude devant pirouette en dehors with fouetté.
  15. Usually, Russian made point shoes like Grishko’s are shaped in a way that resembles a bell. They are also very hard. Add to this the hollowness of the stage and you get a loud sound every time the shoe lands. With Grishko’s, it doesn’t matter how much you bang them out, they still sound louder due to the bell shape. Many Russian dancers have started wearing Gaynor Minden shoes, made out of plastic, that are nearly silent and last much, much longer. Other shoes, like Freed’s, which are made as a performance shoe and break in immediately, and Bloch can be banged out before going on stage so that they are also silent.
  16. On Pointe, That is really interesting, your background. I also had a friend who transitioned from Principal dancer to Broadway and I think it is very fascinating. I know it is off topic here, but maybe one day you could compare and Co trust your experiences in both areas. I would love to hear about both.
  17. On Pointe, Again, if you reread my post I said ‘maybe in her head’, meaning her opinion. Obviously she feels like there is evidence that makes NYCB culpable. And it is her right to file a suit. It is the court that decides if there is anything in the lawsuit that can move on to the next phase after it is filed. She doesn’t need to prove anything to us. She technically doesn’t need any proof to file a suit although it would be difficult to get an attorney who works on contingency to do so without some evedience. But the key word in my statement was in her head. I never once said whether or not I think NYCB is responsible. This was a hypothetical reasoning like so many of your examples. As I said in my post, if I were in her position, and felt that this happened because of a bigger problem, I would name what I felt to be the bigger problem and try and get some real change in the company. In my own experience as a professional dancer what Ma Waterbury is claiming is not too far out of the norm from what my own experiences were. The enormous power that AD’s and School directors have, the influence that principals have over newer and younger dancers, the feeling that because boys/men are a precious commodity that they could literally do as they pleased without fear of reprimand due to their status where if a female student or dancer was to do anything similar they would be kicked out of the school/company. Just curious what your own experiences were like. And if I misinterpreted in my thought that you might have been a professional ballet dancer then I apologize.
  18. Thank you, Drew. I couldn’t agree more. As someone who has personally has been through sexual violence, it hurts all over again when I read comments that could be misconstrued to suggest that Ms. Waterbury is the one causing problems. She did not do this. And if she feels that the actions taken by several men at NYCB were a result of an atmosphere that allowed these men to think they were above reprimand then she has every right to sue the company, School and anyone else she feels contributed in some way. This does not mean the court will agree, but she still has the right. She is the victim here as are the other women whose photos were shared without their knowledge or consent. I do not think the lawsuit’s goal is to ‘take down NYCB’. Otherwise the scope would be set quite a bit larger. If we are all now making assumptions on her motives this is mine, as it would be what I would be thinking in her place: in her head, regardless what her attorny’s motives might be, perhaps she is naming both the school and company in the complaint to force a change in the status quo. To finally call out the atmosphere of demoralizing women in order to force NYCB’s hand to make real change and not just do lip service. The one good thing that has come from this is that it has opened some major discussions in ballet schools and companies all across the US. I think that many finally realized just how far this all has gone and really does need to be addressed instead of brushing it under the rug. Finally things are out in the open to the degree that it can no longer be ignored.
  19. Whoever wrote the complaint has so many errors in tense, sentence structure, etc that it made me really wonder who wrote it. When I did read it and it constantly referred to ‘two principal dancers’ and then referred to Ammasar by name and later Catazzaro by name, I inferred that was who some of the quotes were being attributed to. Regardless of the text, I would be hard pressed to want to see anyone sending but just as much asking for photos when they knew it was without consent, as was implied in a few of the details in the complaint. That is inexcusable. Like someone viewing kiddie porn but dismissing it since they weren’t the instigators or ones that took it and shared without consent. an extreme comparison but not when you think of it as a concept.
  20. Are we sure that there are not already policies in place about fraternization? Just because they are not upheld or followed doesn’t mean they aren’t there. I had many friends at SAB in the late 1990’s and given what I saw with my own eyes, this has been happening for many years. Grooming at that time was not a term that was used, but looking back it is so easy to see and recognize. As young 16 and 17 year olds, we were just flattered and a bit infatuated. Thankfully in my own case I did not live in the city and was with another major ballet school in a different city so it never led to anything. The same cannot be said for a dear friend.
  21. The fact that the board had the complaint and felt that all three only deserved a small suspension makes me sick on a whole other level. They clearly have shown that every bit has been lip service and that the safety and respect of the women this involved is worth nothing. I just don’t understand how a board can continue and continue to cover up, hide, downplay, and deny and then expect everything to be ok and wonder why their organization is being targeted. 😢😱🤔
  22. It does t matter to me, male or female. I just hope they hire someone who leads by example, who fosters a safe and healthy working environment for every dancer in the company, and who will truly have integrity when dealing with things from small to catastrophic. Those characteristics can be found in both sexes. At this point in time, given the obvious environment that has plagued city ballet for many years, perhaps envolving the dancers who work there day in and day out in the process of selection would be the best choice all around. There must be a major culture change in the ranks, in most companies and not just NYCB. I’ve just never seen it fester to the degree it has anywhere else. Integrity in this job position is key, but it is also key in regards to board members, faculty and ballet masters, as well as in the dancers themselves. Whoever this person turns out to be, I would imagine that their character will be pretty heavily vetted.
  23. Abatt, I was posting at the same time on the thread about the AD Job Posting and said Just that. Obviously the women of NYCB have been neither safe, protected, or respected in their workplace and I cannot imagine the devistation that the entire company must feel right now. If there is photographic evidence, of dancers who have been photographed or videos without their knowledge or consent, especially being take. In the dressing rooms, I hope that they get at the very least, an apology from anyone and everyone that condoned it and tried to cover it up. And hopefully they will get much more, starting with an environment they can safely work in.
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