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sidwich

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Everything posted by sidwich

  1. Well... probably not. I don't think that that statement was advisable at all. They really have to put out the "We are being open and transparent/Abuse will not be tolerated," message, and saying that he hopes that Martins can come back is obviously at odds with that. Frankly, Martins will be out. The question will be whether anybody else's head will roll. Again, it's a question of protecting NYCB/SAB at this point, and hoping no major lawsuits arise when all is said and done.
  2. I think any remote hope that Martins' job could be saved are long in the rearview mirror. With what is out there, there is just no plausible deniability that the Board could not know there there are significant issues with Martins' management style, and the potential liability going forward is far too great. There is just no way that they can risk putting him in charge of minors at this point. At this point, it's all about saving the institutions of the NYCB and the SAB, and the risk is real. A multi-million dollar lawsuit from an alum could probably cripple the institutions for a generation.
  3. Generally, "sexual assault" is distinct from "assault" in that it usually does require actual physical contact. As an aside, "battery" does not necessarily require infliction of bodily harm ("offensive contact" can usually suffice), but it does require physical contact with the person or something closely associated to them. So for example, If A threatens B, "I'm going to beat your face to a bloody pulp!!!" and then proceeds to knock B's hat off their head (but not come in contact with B themselves), the threat would be assault, and the knocking off of the hat would be battery. I say "generally" because criminal law is different from state to state, so it always depends on the state in question. Re: the question of the Martins investigation: I think it's important to keep in mind that what is being reported in the media is probably a small fraction of what Barbara Hoey and her team at Kelly Drye are finding, both positive and negative. I suspect there are plenty of folks who would not be willing to speak on record to media, but would cooperate with an official investigation. And I think it's extremely likely that we will never know the full scope of what they uncover. That's basically what happened when Paul Weiss investigated the Gretchen Carlson/Roger Ailes/Bill O'Reilly situation, and I don't expect that it will be any different here.
  4. The article states that NYCB and SAB have started an investigation "in the wake of a sexual harassment accusation." It does not state that the investigation is ONLY concerned with sexual harassment. With the way that the official statement was worded around "safety and well-being", I think it is very clear that Kelly Drye is taking in any and all behavior that may be considered abusive such as physical assault. Hmmm... well, now I believe that you are conflating the legal and lay definitions of "hearsay." But let's go with the lay definition of hearsay you start with: "information received from other people that one cannot adequately substantiate." Actually, I would say that the fact that Heather Watts was walking around with bruises has been substantiated. From the description in the article, multiple dancers personally saw her walking around with bruises so there is more than one report of it, and I would say that was substantiated. HOWEVER, the conclusion, Heather Watts was walking around with bruises, therefore Peter Martins must have been beating her... eh... as you say, there are multiple reasons Heather Watts may have been walking around with bruises. BUT, the LEGAL definition of hearsay is "an out-of-court statement offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted," and this in no way fits that definition. As I said before, the dancers personally saw Heather Watts walking around with bruises and would be able to testify that that is what they saw. This is different than say, to use a famous example, when the prosecution tried to use Nicole Brown Simpson's diary entries as evidence that O.J. Simpson was beating her. Because, again, out-of-court statement (the diary entires) offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted (Mr. Simpson was beating her), so the diaries were inadmissible.
  5. I'm not sure that that's what the NYT is doing. The NYT is reporting that there is an investigation into Mr. Martins' conduct due to the anonymous letter, and the official statement emphasizes that the (official) priority of the SAB is the "safety and well-being" of the students. So I think it's pretty fair to say that anything the investigation turns up that pertains to "safety and well-being" is going to be fair game. I think it's also important to keep in mind that due process like free speech has a very specific legal definition. In most cases, employers can and will fire employees for any reason both significant and trivial, and I'm sure Mr. Martins' contract includes a long list of reasons for which it can be terminated that do not require anything approaching a legal due process. Uh, actually that's not hearsay. It's an eyewitness statement (The dancers personally saw Ms. Watts walking around with bruises). If Heather Watts had told someone that Mr. Martins hit her, and that person then said, "Heather Watts told me Peter hit her," THAT would be hearsay and (generally) inadmissible in court.
  6. I agree with the others who have commented that Lane's debut in SL was going well until the fouettes. I have certainly not been her biggest fan in the past, but I was really impressed with how the performance was going until that point. The fouettes started strong, but my sense was that with the lack of experience and rehearsal, Lane seriously misjudged how much she had left in the tank to complete the sequence in the midst of a full-length performance. I have no doubt she can complete the 32 bars on their own. Irina and Max were sitting a couple of row ahead of me at the performance, and they got up very quickly after the performance, I'm sure to go speak to her.
  7. A number of years ago, when I was grappling with a career transition, I spent some time going to a career counselor who also a licensed therapist based in Manhattan. We went through a number of exercises as I tried to figure out what direction I wanted to go in, and in the course of that, she mentioned that BY FAR the group she worked with that had the hardest time making that kind of transition was professional ballet dancers. Most of them have been extremely focused on one path their entire lives since very young. It can be genuinely emotionally wrenching when that path comes to an end.
  8. Sad news, indeed. She was so good in so many projects. More recently, I remember her as memorable turns as the Captain's wife on Monk.
  9. Actually, no that doesn't make any sense to me. By "snap", I mean I don't think she was cutting her turns in enough. It's really not a speed or force thing, although it does result in speedier turns because the energy isn't being dispersed outside of the circle of the turn. It also makes the turns "easier" because it doesn't require as much force to get them around which may have resulted in her tiring before the end of the sequence.
  10. Er... yes, there may have been half chuckles/half gasps to Simkin's leap at the end. I guess if you're going out, you got to go all the way. I mostly agree with Nanushka. As I said before, I thought Lane did an excellent job with the White Swan and a very good one with the Black Swan, one that I hope she has the opportunity to continue working on because I think that it can also be excellent. She has the ingredients, but it's not quite put together yet. (And no, I don't think that that would be realistic considering the last-minute nature of the opportunity.) I actually as concerned when Lane started the fouettes with the single-single-double because honestly, they looked labored to me and didn't have the "snap" that I would want to see with such an attempt. I'm not sure if the conductor actually slowed down to accommodate her lack of velocity in the turns. That being said, she was actually quite close to completing the full sequence. As I saw it, she got through the first two eights with single-single-double, and she held it together for the next eight of singles. But it started falling apart in the last eight with very visible traveling before falling out. I wasn't counting, but I'd guess she got up around 27 or 28. As I said before, I'm not Sarah Lane's greatest fan, but I don't live or die on the O/O's fouettes. I thought she did a really fine job, and I hope to see her develop this role more in the future. Other than that, yes, Lendorf's Purple Rothbart was suitably, slinky and seductive. I actually enjoyed it much more than his Basilio a few weeks ago. You could see why the princesses went so wild.
  11. I'm actually not Sarah Lane's biggest fan, but she looks really, really excellent. My biggest critique of her in the past has been that I've found her musical phrasing rather indifferent, bit that isn't at all the case so far tonight. She's really taking her time and filling the music beautifully. A really gorgeous performance so far.
  12. I liked "La La Land" a lot actually. It's not an old-fashioned musical, and it's not meant to be. The choreography could definitely be better, but I don't think the movie would (for me), if it were cast with professional quality singers and dancers as the leads. And I'm someone who gets very annoyed when parts written for legit singers are played by performers who are not up to that quality. Ryan Gosling did have some dance training as a child performer, and he's continued to take classes from time to time. He actually came to my ballet class once (his close friend came very regularly), and did barre next to me. He was very nice and introduced himself.
  13. To you it may be an 8 minute PDD, but I suspect that at least some of people buying tickets to Misty's performance would say they're coming for much more than an 8 minute PDD. They're coming to see history. This is very much a "You need to see it to be it" moment, and if I were an African-American parent, of course, I would go out of my way to try and take my child. Because the next opportunity to take my child to see an African-American female principal in a major ballet company would be....? There are very few comparable role models. By the way, just taking a quick look around at the research out there, whoever is setting the ticket price seems to have a very good handle on what pricing for Misty's performances looks like. When she joined the revival of On the Town earlier this year, ticket sales more than doubled from what they were selling with Megan Fairchild, selling out the 2,000 seat Lyric Theatre ($395,000 vs. $915,000). Secondary market pricing also jumped more than 20% to an AVERAGE ticket price of $170, and yes, weekend tickets averaged nearly $200 on the secondary market.
  14. Apparently, it's sickening because Misty's fans are poor and uneducated masses who don't understand that they're scraping together their last pennies to glimpse Misty in a ballet. (BTW, according to Forbes in 2015, the Washington D.C. area is home to one of the most prosperous African-American communities in the country. The median income of African-American households in the Washington D.C. metro area is $64,896 and home ownership is at 49.2%, so there is certainly a middle-class, upper-middle class, and upper class population who aren't going to be starving in order to buy tickets.)
  15. I respectfully disagree. If Misty's shows are selling comparably to the other shows at double the price (which is what it looks like on the Kennedy Center site), they are basing it on demand. That means that the number of her fans willing to pay double the price = the number of fans willing to pay normal pricing for the other shows so they have moved the price point to where supply and demand meet which is just higher for Misty's shows than other ones. That is dynamic pricing doing its job. If Misty's shows were selling out, it would be an indicator that supply and demand cross at a higher point on the graph, and price could probably be set even higher i.e. revenue is being left on the table.
  16. I had a business trip to NYC earlier this month, and managed to sneak out for same "Nutcracker" performance as the one cubianmiamiboy attended (Mearns/T. Angle/Peck). I had never seen any of the trio dance live, so it was a real treat. Angle was an exceedingly gallant cavalier, setting Sara Mearns down from lifts more gently than I've ever seen from a cavalier before. However, at the same time, there were a few partnering glitches between Mearns and Angle, noticeable enough that my brother (a non-balletomane) commented on it. To my eyes, Mearns looked slightly cautious. (This was not long after the incident where her shoe came apart while dancing Dewdrop.) Tiler Peck was an extraordinary Dewdrop. As I mentioned, I've never seen her dance live before and her combination of speed, control and musicality was truly eye-popping. In case you were wondering, my brother who gallantly accompanied me did assure me he enjoyed "The Nutcracker." He LOVED Sara Mearns, and exclaimed "She a bada**!" While he's probably not turning into a ballet regular anytime soon, he said it's something he's like to attend a couple times a year, and explore some non-Nutcracker ballets.
  17. There's a Q&A with Megan Fairchild in this week's Playbill in which she also talks about the challenges of 8 shows a week: She also comments a bit on her brother: The Q&A is a good read: http://playbill.com/news/article/cue-a-on-the-towns-megan-fairchild-on-her-dance-idols-first-onstage-mishap-and-a-memorable-will-swenson-moment-352680
  18. From my recollection, Veronika Part's "big break," so to speak was Aurora in Sleeping Beauty. And if you just Google "Veronika Part" and "Rose Adagio," you'll see that it wasn't exactly a technical triumph. But I'll let the reports of BalletAlerter's speak for themselves... This was 2007, so in the year leading up to her promotion to principal. And I'm not so sure how much of her promotion to principal was an uptick in her technical abilities, and how much was McKenzie moving away from casting her in pieces to which she was not suited like Sleeping Beauty. For the record, for a long time, I let Part's technical deficiencies detract from my enjoyment of her performances. It was not enjoyable to me to hold my breath, waiting to see if she was going to make it through a variation intact. But I attended a Bayadere some years ago, and realized that there was so much that made her special as a dancer and transcended the technical. I really look forward to her performances now, bobbles and all.
  19. Honestly, my suggestion for the company after this year is that they overhaul their marketing strategy. If there's anything that Misty Copeland should have taught ABT over the last couple of years, it's that a homegrown American ballerina can grow a following and bring a paying audience into the Met. Yes, there are unique elements to Misty's story, but a smart and committed marketing professional could (and should) study the blueprint that's been laid out and see which elements can work for the company and other dancers. ABT's website and social media do look 15 years old. They need a complete overhaul, and there are so many things that they could do to make their basic outreach more appealing to new and younger audiences. If you compare for example, the NYCB's youtube channel, NYCB has made real effort to post content both on the ballets that they put on and the dancers and their story. It actually invites an audience in that might not otherwise be engaged with ballet. I mean, really, what IS ABT's marketing strategy? Are they, like the Republican party, relying on an aging audience that's dying off by the day? Because frankly, that's not going to cut it if it wants to continue building an audience or even maintaining one in the long-term. Re: the dancer websites referenced above. Other than Misty's, those are actually pretty simple websites which were probably built on off-the-shelf Wordpress themes. My guess is that each of them probably cost between $500-$1,000. One of my students could probably knock one of those out in a couple of days. Misty's was probably a custom site or built on a customized theme, but still not terribly complex or expensive. A new website for ABT would inevitably be more complex and expensive than any of those sites (even Misty's), but yes, website design and development have come a long way and are much cheaper and faster than they were 15 years ago when that dinosaur was built.
  20. I don't know about opera, but Broadway shows overwhelmingly have the policy that when an "above the title" performer is out for the show, tickets are refunded on demand. I've also heard of shows refunding tickets when certain "below the title" performers (say, someone who has won the Tony for a performance) is out, but that's not the common policy. I've certainly seen some fantastic performances from understudies, but I do think that policy goes a long way towards ensuring goodwill from the audience, especially considering what ticket prices are now.
  21. Has Hee Seo's sponsorship changed recently? On the ABT website, it still lists the Fords as her sponsors. (I don't know how much clout the Shens have. They've been sponsoring Zhong-Jing Fang for years, and she like so many of the dancers is still struggling to come up through the ranks.)
  22. The Met ushers can be overzealous in tossing people out, though. Several years ago when I still lived in NYC, I bought an orchestra ticket to the POB at the Met quite spur-of-the-moment after a day of walking around the Upper West Side. After sitting down a few minutes before the curtain was to go up, the usher came over to me and demanded that I "go back" to standing room. He was quite miffed when I showed him the ticket.
  23. ​Interestingly, the Best Musical nominees were pretty "arty" bunch this year. Besides An American in Paris and Fun Home, the other nominees were Something Rotten a musical set in 1500s with Shakespeare as one of the main characters and Kander & Ebb's The Visit based on the Durenmatt play. Among the four of them, AAIP was by far the most commercial. Based on touring power alone, I thought it had a very strong chance of winning. Having not seen the other three yet and having had mixed feelings about AAIP, I didn't have strong feelings about any of them winning. (I totally thought that Jill Paice's character was much stronger, smarter, and interesting than Leanne Cope's, and hoped that she would get the guy. But alas!)
  24. Honestly, when I lived in NYC and went to ABT regularly, I rarely bought tickets earlier than the day before a performance. And even though it's a gamble now that I'm only coming into town once a year, I still usually buy tickets on the day of a performance.
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