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  1. I saw the Saturday night program in Broward. I saw the program in Miami in January and I actaully enjoyed it more the second time around. I appreciated Mercuic Tidings and Nine Sinatra Songs. Symphony in Three Movements was as good as the last time. There was a last minute casting switch for the first couple. It was supposed to be Natalie Araja. I still enjoyed the ballet immensely and I understand the hype. The only issue I have still was the progrmaming. I enjoy each ballet, but all three together did not make me feel like I went to the ballet. I will be at program three next week. Should feel more like the ballet with Carmen and Allego Brillante.
  2. I enjoyed Symphony in Three Movements. Compared to the clips it looked better this year. I have never seen it peformed by NYCB. Is is signifigantly better? I didn't dislike any ballet I saw on Saturday, just the programming. For the short time I have been in Miami, I think the company may actually benefit from doing some more classical works for ticket sales. People in Miami unfortunately are not as cultured as other places. Their idea of going to the ballet is Nutcracker, Swan Lake and pretty much ends there. Personally, I would be content with mostly Balanchine programming. Amongst my co-workers (which all have graduate degrees in my field) only one had even heard the name Balanchine. When they heard I was going to the ballet they could not get past that there was not plot and no tutus involved. I know MCB did Jewels several years back. The company is at 50 dances now, is this a possibility next season?
  3. I saw the Saturday 8pm peformance. There was a fair amount of attendance, but no where near full. Is this normal for Miami? I enjoyed Symphony in Three Movements enormously. Mercuric Tidings was fine and I actually enjoyed Nine Sinatra Songs more than I thought I would. The company an orchestra were all on point, but the programming was confusing to me. I am not sure if this is some pointe shoe-saving strategy, but I dislike that there were two non-ballet ballet pieces. Between Symphony being so modern, Mercuric tidings barefoot, and Sinatra being not realted to ballet at all, I did not feel like I really went to the ballet. I also failed to see how Sinatra fit into the "hear the dance" theme. There are a dozen other ballets that could probably have been a better fit. Does anyone know what goes into the programming decisions? I am new to south Florida, does MCB always focus so much on modern dance? It's not that I am opposed to Tharp and Taylor pieces but it was too much together.
  4. There is no excuse for racism and I am sorry she has to endure this. I have watched a few of her clips on youtube just now, but my eye is not trained enough to really critique her technique. I do sense a lack of turnout, which may also be an issue for her. I think the article is painting a picture of a brilliant dancer being overlooked solely due to her race. I don't doubt she is experiencing racism but I am not sure if there are technique issues going on as well.
  5. Let's not forget the first American that trained at the Bolshoi in 1989, Michael Shannon: http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20121005,00.html http://articles.latimes.com/1989-11-18/entertainment/ca-1313_1_bolshoi-ballet One of the interesting things he states in the People article is: "But onstage he tries not to stand out among his Soviet colleagues. "My life goal is to dance like them," he says. "The greatest compliment of my life was when an impresario saw the company dance and couldn't tell who the American was."" I am not sure how this happened in 1989 considering the political climate. It is pretty incredible he was able to be accepted back in a time when I am sure not many Americans were in Moscow. Has anyone heard of this dancer? It is strange how no one mentions him when Halleberg or Womack is talked about in the media. Back to Joy, I agree that when one is quitting a job, one must try not to burn bridges. I am worried that since her colleagues seem to be taking this all quite personally, how will this affect her new job? The ballet community isn't that big.
  6. I wondered the same thing. The only thing a google search shows up is on her springform site; she states that she got the red diploma and goes on to state that Nastia Limenko also received a red diploma. She also states that Nastia Limenko went to the Stanislavsky. The Academy's Facebook page doesn't seem to list the graduates or honors for them but there are several entries from a Womack- dad? with photos and videos of her performing what looks like the lead in the school's performance of Paquita. Perhaps someone who understands Russian or has access to the school announcements from JW's graduating class could confirm her statements but a simple google search only shows statements in social media. Joy's facebook has photos of her red diploma. Her name is printed inside. I don't doubt she received one. I was surprised they were so rare that only two girls got one in her year. I know she has stated multiple times that she was the only on taken from her graduating class. Does the Bolshoi routinely take on no new dancers from a graduating class? She apparently was a late hire, so when the dancers were hired no girls from her class were on the list, according to her. I think the Bolshoi reality did not meet the fantasy. Things like this happen in a lot of professions. A first job isn't always a good fit but it does not have to determine the rest of your career.
  7. That's no problem, Helen. There is quite a lot going on at the Bolshoi. Is it common for teenagers to marry in Russia? I understand Joy needed a visa, but Smirnova is obviously a Russian citizen. Here is the latest interview with Joy: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/culture/la-et-cm-bolshoi-ballet-bribe-joy-womack-20131120,0,7437189.story She seems to clear up some things. It has become apparent to me that the adults around her were leading her on. Some were trying to be nice (letting her dance on her birthday) but they could not shield her from the harsh realities of the theater. I agree that if Bolshoi were a law firm, it would be a top white shoe law firm. However, it is not necessary to work in one to be a great attorney. Same with Joy, she can find success in a different company. She seems very resilient and I am sure she will find her place. What a person wants at 18 is usually not what they want at 25. This is a huge blow for her but I think in the end it will work out. ETA: Her version of her Nutcracker solo is that she did well, some reports are that she did not. We'll really never know unless we can find an uninterested witness.
  8. And a documentary all about your love doesn't hurt: http://searchingperfection.com/ I hope for the boy's sake he was in on the ruse She's blown her cover now, but maybe it doesn't matter as much under Russian law (US law has no statute of limitations for prosecution of immigration fraud, let's hope this is not the case over there). This whole situation is puzzling. I had no idea it was the son of FIlin's assistant. So does this mean she is aligned with him? I thought was was on the Tsikaridze side. I can't keep up with this.
  9. And while we are speaking of ethics, she admitted to entering into a sham marriage. Not as bad as demanding sexual favors or bribes, but it seems like she was willing to take extreme steps. As a side note, under US law entering into a sham marriage to obtain legal status is considered immigration fraud and is a federal crime. I don't know anything about Russian immigration law, but I am concerned that she is advertising the fact that she entered into an marriage for the sole purpose of obtaining legal status.
  10. Gosh, does any first year in a big firm do anything other than review documents in a conference room or sit in a library doing research? Who on earth would expect to let a first year, untrained and billing at the lowest rate, conduct a trial? I can't even imagine wanting to do such a thing. All of the dancers in that company bust their butts day after day, year after year. The reality is the vast majority of dancers will spend their entire career in the corps. Dancers that were all likely the star of their own graduation performance. That goes for every single company in the world, big or small. Is that fair? no. Is it wrong she desires solos? Not at all. But there aren't enough roles and too many dancers.
  11. I wouldn't say it was greed, but it was unrealistic to think any dancer would get lots of solos and prominent roles at 19. Yes, there are exceptions, but most girls her age in any company in the world are in the corps. I don't blame her for what happened, in fact I believe the school and the adults in her life led her to believe something that may not have been true. If they didn't see potential then it was their duty to have a serious talk with her about it, not let her enter into this toxic environment. She may have not know what was up at the theater, but her teachers and the people who let her in sure as hell did. It may have been unwise to let her start down a path if she was that naive. I don't doubt she has been through a lot, and I think she is obviously a very strong person to withstand it so far. Dancers should not be subject to the conditions you describe. However, I was pointing out that she is obviously not the only person in the company who is subjected to this maltreatment. And she is not first dancer in the world to not be getting the roles she feels she deserves. All sorts of professions have this same type of problem. Take a big New York law firm for example. Every attorney there would have been top of her class at an Ivy league law school. You think she's going to be doing high profile trials after her first year? That doesn't mean she isn't smart or has the potential to grow, but it means she is a first year and will be treated like all the other first years in the firm. Clearly the Bolshoi is not for the faint of heart. I have no doubt she will excel, but this may not be the right fit.
  12. I am thinking this is more how the conversation went down. She inquired and they said she probably would not get roles without paying, given her inexperience. I do not think this rule applies to primas, but to those who just want buy a role even if they are not ready. I am confused as to why at 19 she would think she would get solos. Absent a few prodigies like Smirnova and Vishneva, very few dancers start out with solos in their teens in ANY company, let alone a great one with 200+ dancers. Perhaps the comment was just the straw that broke the camel's back and her leaving was a long time coming. I hate to make a sports analogy, but this reminds me of Tim Tebow, an American Football player. An athlete that does well in school, but not in the pros. When in school, he only has to compete with the best school-aged players. In the pros, he has to compete with all athletes that were the best of their schools. Every person in the Bolshoi, even the lowest corps member, was the top of his or her graduating class. Now she has to compete with 100 female versions of herself, some who have been dancing with the Bolshoi and improving for 10 years or more. She may have had her confidence built up too much in school and not realized this.
  13. I recently read the biography of Monica Loughman, the first westerner admitted into the Perm State Ballet back in the 90's. While she had a lot of difficulty with the theater and some pay issues, she was given a lot of roles to dance and was not asked for sponsors. However, this may be because the theaters were enjoying more state support back then. I always find it odd that there is so much resistance to Womack, but Loughman was given a lot of corps work, taken on all the tours despite visa issues, and even eventually given solos. I am not sure if this was because she was from Ireland and not the US, but I find it strange that she was accepted more easily back when the country was less accustomed for foreigners. Either way, I think Womack is dodging a bullet here. The theater seems to be going through some serious issues and she should dance somewhere she is appreciated.
  14. Here is an interesting interview Sara Means gave. She stated she had struggled with weight before, however, I feel that dancers with her body type are often unfairly stereotyped as being overweight. It am always amazed that any professional dancer could be described as overweight. I was also surprised to read that she was almost let go after her first year at NYCB; allegedly it was due to her weight. But she persevered and didn't let naysayers get her down. Hopefully she will not be deterred by criticisms like these. http://balletshoesandbobbypins.com/interview-with-new-york-city-ballet-principal-dancer-sara-mearns/
  15. It's about time there were some promotions! I'm surprised Peck was not promoted sooner given his choreographic talents. I am relieved that the Pazcoguin was not prejudiced due to being named in the Bushnell complaint.
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