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altongrimes

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About altongrimes

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    avid balletgoer
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    santa barbara
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**
    California

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  1. altongrimes

    Color Me Blue

    You are right. I wrote that several months ago, when it seemed that such an observation appeared correct. Accusations seemed overabundant at that time amplified by what appeared to be a rush to judgement. I was simply delighted that Jane responded to my initial thought with such care and deliberation that in my enthusiasm, I threw something of a "wild gourd" into the mix.
  2. altongrimes

    Color Me Blue

    What a fantastic response. Thank you, Jayne. Wonderful to receive this. "And more care will be given to the professionalism backstage" is the desperately needed imperative that needs to be implemented. And as I ponder your words: "men who are tempted into this kind of behavior", I recall myself at twenty five being greatly distracted by a libido that sometimes threatened to act as a "runaway train". Even so, this is no excuse for behavior that is clearly beyond the pale of acceptability. Perhaps, we the people have yet to plumb the necessary depths in discussion relating to human sexuality? Finally, your words: "the difficult thing about social media is the impossibity to divine the true intentions in ... their words". In this regard, I wrote the following. I hope you find it relevant to your above thought. "By the time our sometimes unprincipled media finishes with its clever spin on "sexual abuse",the accused has already been ruined. Even if due process of law has had opportunity to gain traction, it's often too late. The damage has already been done. I would submit that to the extent we are yet pawns of the media and it's machinations that we are no better than a lynch mob. While I wholeheartedly applaud the new found freedom that women are finding in this matter, I am vehemently opposed to "guilty until proven innocent".
  3. altongrimes

    Color Me Blue

    The spate of news relating to sexual misconduct within the dance community brings a certain sadness with it. At least for me. Clearly, some of the accused have brought the art form to us with great power and grace. And while I would not diminish the seriousness of sexual abuse, I will sorely miss those magnificent artists whom I may never see perform again.
  4. While perusing YouTube, a very brief clip of Anastasia Smirnova appeared. Something so wonderful about this young artist that keeps me coming back for another look. Would anyone care to volunteer background information about her? Apparently, she is so new to the horizons of dance that a brief video or two is all there is.
  5. While perusing my cache of favorite dance videos (clips), I encountered Nikolay Tsiskaridze dancing as the Blue Bird in the Bolshoi's Sleeping Beauty of 2000. How my eyes opened in some greater way to the extraordinary talent of this artist ! I was stunned. I don't believe that I have ever experienced such an extreme degree of suppleness - I hope that's the correct term - in a male dancer. In my excitement over this discovery, I put the video on pause and hurried over to my computer to share this new found artistic joy with the members of Ballet Alert ! And from this discovery, a question arose within me. Would it generally be true than the women participating within the art form could be expected to exhibit that beautiful suppleness of movement more than their male counterparts?
  6. altongrimes

    Those Diamond Earrings

    Thank you to MadameP for your gracious and generous response ! It must have been magic for you to have been in that audience at Mariinsky 2 and to have witnessed the synergy between Ulliana, Shklyarov, the dancers and the great Plisetskaya ! Surely, the price of admission and the sometimes Herculenian effort required just to get from the airport to the theater ontime is often more than justified by moments such as these that fuel and sustain our drive for the art form.
  7. altongrimes

    Those Diamond Earrings

    Perusing the internet for ballet images as I so often do, I encountered a fascinating image whose inscription reads: "Maya Plisetskaya giving Alina (Somova, of course) her diamond earrings after a performance of The Little Humpbacked Horse". How I remain riveted to this photo ! What a thrill it must have been for this young artist to have received such a gift from the hands of a master ! It's one of those off-stage moments that is, for me, a thing of pure inspiration. I wonder if anyone out there on Ballet Alert can recall a similar ballet moment that they also treasure as I do this timeless encounter between these two wonderful ladies?
  8. altongrimes

    Gomes and ABT

    Well, I stand corrected in this matter. Thank you for your illuminating response. I suppose at the root of my flawed response is a sense of profound disappointment at the loss of an artist so heavily gifted. I will never forget the power of his onstage presence. A magnificent performer capable of attracting "the lightning". And so he did. Many times.
  9. altongrimes

    Gomes and ABT

    I add my wholehearted agreement to your train of thought. Why are mere allegations sufficient to elicit such a response from ABT? I find this news deeply troubling. Why and by whom has society now been given license to ruin reputations and lives by mere words? I am repulsed by this rush to judgement.
  10. altongrimes

    Degas

    Thank you to "dirac" for bringing to light this intriguing initial reation to Degas' Little Dancer. Fascinating.
  11. altongrimes

    Degas

    I couldn't help but share this bit of delightful, albeit sobering, prose and ballet education from When Ballet Became French by Ilyana Karthas. " Ballet dancers were seen primarily as workers and minimally as artists. Degas depicted the ballet he observed in the 1880's; it was primarily a working class profession and art form in decline. In his work, the ballet dancer was not a metaphoric symbol of nobility, grace or poetry, but first and foremost, a sexual being, a worker and a titillating subject. To the French public of 1881, the ballet had come to represent a modern space of cross-class sexual exchange, a world of display and male possession, and an eroded French art form. "
  12. altongrimes

    Peter Martins Sexual Harassment Allegations

    I applaud that the heretofore sacrosanct inscrutable realms of entertainment, finance, etc. are now showing cracks in the wall and that those who inhabit those realms are, in some measure, beginning to be subject to the full import of the law. My only concern is that if the media in its often slick manipulations can destroy a man's reputation long before due process of law has had opportunity to take effect, then my final applause for this worthy cause is at best tepid.
  13. altongrimes

    The Corps and The Principal

    The answer to the following may appear obvious, but upon further reflection, I am not so certain. Concerning the women in any given company, how would one describe the differences between a member of the corps and those who have attained the rank of soloist or principal? Is it simply a greater mastery of technique combined with a more developed theatricality?
  14. altongrimes

    Polina Semionova

    I wonder if anyone would care to venture a guess as to why Polina Semionova's "star" seems to have virtually disappeared from the world stage? Of course, she has started a family but so have other prominent ballerinas without any apparent loss of visability. Apparently, Alastair Macaulay was less than gracious in his reviews of her performances in New York. (Could The Times please bring onboard a bona fide dance critic). A few years ago, I moved heaven and earth to see Polina perform in an ABT Swan Lake. So completely astounded was I by her power and grace in that performance that I felt in a kind of creative trance for days.
  15. altongrimes

    Another Star ?

    I am simply wondering if it is possible for a dancer to fall out of favor with the dance world when he or she - for whatever reason - takes a break from the art form ? Throughout the last several years, I have harbored a great passion for the greatly gifted Polina Semionova, but since her absence from the stage, I naturally don't "feel" the excitement and power of her gift in the way that I once did. Perhaps as she now returns to the stage, she will quickly recapture and continue to build upon her previous artistic momentum. Or is there occasionally a kind of fickleness about the dance world that has little patience for the "human side" and quickly moves on in search of the next star?
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