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Everything posted by jkr3855

  1. And further more, obviously sexual harassment and physical harassment are not the same thing, and they are being conflated by the times article that you've been discussing here. If not directly conflated, then the NYT is inviting readers to conflate the two issues in their minds. It's a devious and unethical strategy. Peter Martins may have dragged Heather Watts up the stairs, therefore he may have forced a student to have sex with him in exchange for a role. I'm pointing out that fallacy. I thought that was obvious, as well.
  2. I'm stating what I believe is relevant to the legal issue that we are discussing on this thread. I don't know what's of personal interest to you. This is what is of interest to me. I thought that was obvious when I made my post.
  3. I think I noticed Ratmansky's name put forward somewhere as a replacement and I just wanted to formally and officially register my amusement at that idea Heh. I can't find the quote but the dancer/student who said that Martins said she needed to be noticed to get a promotion, and who interpreted that as "you have to sleep with me"-- I wouldn't say that's twisting his words, but it is absolutely interpreting them, rather than a straightforward understanding of his meaning. That in itself is not evidence of sexual harassment. There would need to be a great deal more corroboration than this dancer's statement, IMO. If I sound too harsh--in my university and I believe every work place I've been in, there's been demonstrated, highly publicized sexual harassment claims that were substantiated and the men involved were indicted. It's not that I don't think this happens. It happens all the time. I just don't see evidence at this point that it has happened with Martins at NYCB.
  4. I haven't caught up on this topic and obviously there may be more to the story than has yet been reported. But this: "Kelly Boal, a former City Ballet dancer, said in an interview that in 1989, Mr. Martins had “grabbed my shoulder and pulled me out into the hallway...." is not sexual harassment this: "Several dancers interviewed also said they saw Heather Watts, a former City Ballet dancer, walking around with bruises..." is not sexual harassment, is hearsay, and I'm not sure how many dancers walk around without bruises, and this: "Two dancers said he had a bad temper and could be physically rough on occasion, pulling dancers around by the neck during rehearsals" is also not sexual harassment, and I'm not quite sure how to parse this. Being pulled around by the neck seems quite often to be part of the choreography. This is the lede, as far as I'm concerned and the only real item of interest: "Martins is known for sleeping with dancers, some of whom received better roles because of their personal relationships with him." So. However. 1) This is exactly how it worked under Balanchine, and let's not have any revisionist history about that, and 2) This needs to be substantiated. He cannot just be "known" for this. unfortunately, a lot of college professors are known for sleeping with their students. But also unfortunately IMO, according to some university's codes of ethics, this is allowed. The only question of relevance it seems to me is, did Martins coerce any one into sleeping with him? Or promise a role in exchange for sleeping with him? Or either implicitly or explicitly threaten to damage anyone's future career in exchange for sex? Having affairs with one's coworkers, even if they are subordinates, is not necessarily sexual harassment. IMHO, I think it's unethical and immoral. but I don't like this article so far--I'm not really seeing at this point that he's done anything criminal.
  5. I'm also interested in everyone's reviews of nutcracker, as I will add to others' comments here, if any NYCB PR people are reading: The prices are too f#%$#ing high. It's admirable that they have a performance for public school children, though. But 100+ for 4th ring is ridiculous.
  6. I never saw Heather Watts dance in real time, but Tiler Peck is not the kind of dancer who needs to be coached to fall off pointe. I meant to write about her (Peck's) Dream divertissement last summer but never got around to it--a living. present day classic performance that should go down in the history books as one of the best. I won't say flawless bc I don't think that's the point of dance, but as far as getting at the spirit of that particular piece, I don't think anyone has ever done it better. I've seen ballerinas do it as though the stage were a music box and they were the figure on top--the music lends itself to that interpretation, a mixture of tinkly and ethereal. It's pretty. M Fairchild does it this way and it's not bad, it's certainly not terrible, it's pleasant to watch and listen to. But Tiler Peck's interpretation is on another level--she's incredible. I love that piece of music but I forgot to listen when I watched Peck, I could see each phrase manifesting itself before my eyes. She's like a writer delineating her argument, shaping each phrase so subtly and interleaving them so that the whole paragraph becomes a seamless construction. Every single movement she makes, large or small, is part of a coherent whole; she has a unifying principle to her whole dance, as every well-constructed piece of writing must have--but it never feels overly rehearsed. She speaks through her dance so naturally and without artifice that you don't realize she's leading you towards a conclusion until she gets there. Each phrase is perfectly constructed -- Some dancers hit the high points of their phrases too hard and it's a bit jarring. Peck doesn't need to do that. She has no extraneous movements, like an expert writer has no extraneous words (and speaking of which I will stop rambling now) Lets please don't tell her she needs to fall off pointe. good lord. I think Heather Watts had her good points, mostly including very long legs and great lines, but she was a bit eclectic in her style, if recordings are any judge. Tiler Peck is definitely not eclectic. I'm sure Watts wont try to make Peck over in her image, but some coaches are more suitable as friends or in loco parentis than as coaches.
  7. I'd say this is actually worse, since in the world created by the choreographer, there is potentially nothing the woman he puts on stage wouldn't object to and nothing that's out of bounds--the male choreographer can recreate any kind of pornographic act he pleases and present it in such a way that the actress or ballerina "isn't bothered by it." This is at the heart of the problem with using only or predominantly male choreographers--or writers, or directors, or any other thing you care to imagine--some of them treat the dancers/actresses they work with like blow-up dolls. what ballerina would risk her job objecting? Dancers/actresses always say the same thing about this issue--"he's a joy to work with! I was empowered! he's pushing boundaries!" I can't blame them for this, bc honestly, what else can they say? I always disregard these kinds of statements, sometimes the actress may actually believe them and sometimes they're required to say it for publicity, but they're always made under a *kind* of duress, anyhow. "Until mankind is peaceful enough not to have violence on the news, there's no point in taking it out of shows that need it for entertainment value" -Cher I find it predictable that Macaulay is arguing the same point, with about as much validity, as the titular character in Clueless (an aptly titled movie and character)
  8. Edited because the post above was insanely long ...I do know that others should at least have a chance to prove themselves, and the HereNow programming seems very narrow to me. I'm not saying it was the worst idea at NYCB since those terrible Valentino costumes, I'm just saying, it was a trifle misguided. Balanchine's foray into Broadway is a favorite topic for some and used to justify all kinds of career side-trajectories, but I'm not sure many understand what he was actually doing and learning there. Peck is American, born in America, trained in America, he doesn't need to venture into Broadway to get a sense of American dance or culture or sensibility--in any case, I hardly think the freshest ideas and new strains of thought in dance are to be found on Broadway, at this point in time. It was different in the 50s and 60s.
  9. a few points 1)I'm around Justin Peck's age, so I think it's a bit silly to cast this as a generational divide problem 2) It's not an either-or question: either NYCB is a museum or the HereNow festival is the way to present new choreography. This is the way the question is always presented in NYCB marketing materials, and in the press as well. Don't buy into that. Does anyone actually believe ballet is dead? What does that mean anyway, it's just words. 3) I don't want to see only Balanchine--in fact, I don't need to see Balanchine performed exactly the way he was performed five decades ago. I've seen some archived tapes of, say, concerto barocco in which the female dancers looked a bit like Vogue models of the same era--their stance, their expression, some other indefinable quality of the time. That's not necessary, we don't need to keep that. All that--conventions of the time period, anything excess--that should go. And obviously, any conventions of our own time period should go as well--this is what makes work shallow and dated, IMO. I don't know if Peck is able to transcend his era. I don't know if he's the kind of choreographer who can see what is excess and what is necessary to the work, sometimes I think he is, sometimes I think he isn't...
  10. Didn't make it, but I have to note, without having read it, that Macaulay's review seems (from the headline) suspiciously timed given the recent controversy regarding NYCB's choice of choreographers. He'd (Macaulay) established himself as having a stake in Peck's being the next Wonder Boy (SuperBoy? Batgirl? whatever) at NYCB, through his excessively vigorous championing of that cause, and I think he'll now continue to argue that case, regardless any other considerations. ie, how very convenient that Peck turned out to be heir of Balanchine, since some people recently were not too happy with the line of progression being drawn this way. for the record I don't like every piece of music Peck has chosen, but I do like his use of Martinu, and I think he has talent. I'll probly see it at some point but I'll take the opinions of Decalogue stated here over anything in the NYT. so I'm interested to hear that some, at least, did not see much in it. Things can look different by the light of a new day, of course.
  11. ^^^I have also been studiously avoiding a work deadline this week :) same I just don't see pretending that any of these guys has a talent on the magnitude of Balanchine's. for me Wheeldon has always lacked substance; Peck maybe, but I think he's better served on a program with Balanchine. Haven't really seen enough Ratmansky to judge-- of the three, though, I think he's perhaps the only one that can genuinely pull off an evening of solo programming I would love it if we had another home town NYC talent like Balanchine who could reinvigorate American ballet and beyond. Not quite sure yet that's Peck, though. There's too much advertising there. Too much the boy wonder still. Time will tell
  12. ...I dont know about that, most people will just read the quote which is all over twitter, and anywhere else one cares to look, and not go to the NYT article. (Also, that paper needs something more than 10 or 11 extra clicks on a ballet article to save it) Wheeldon's and Pecks's Twitter and Instagram are probably getting a little extra traffic though that is a happy accident for them, probably not a deeply laid strategy for internet publicity I'll look for Luke Jennings work after this, but if he wanted to adopt a pose to get more page clicks, he could have chosen a less byzantine route
  13. I have a morbid curiosity to see this as well--I'm assuming it was never archived. There must be a bootleg copy somewhere. More constructively : ) , it's useful to watch lesser works of a master and compare them with his greater works--kind of like erasing an artwork pencil stroke by pencil stroke to see how it was constructed
  14. I'm not sure that they all three do agree. Could be true, but if so they expressed themselves very poorly. Peck seems to think that women should be, shall we say, educated at an earlier age which will result in more female choreographers gaining important commissions, while Ratmansky doesn't think it's a problem. Two contrasting opinions right there. Wheeldon notes that there's an "imbalance" along gender lines, but shifts the responsibility away from directors, noting that they "love to present the work of female ballet choreographers." Those are actually three somewhat disparate responses (I agree with dirac, Peck's is the most promising.) If they do agree, it's not reflected in what made it into the article. Ratmansky still seems unable to acknowledge that there's a problem at all. I'll give Wheeldon credit for acknowledging it's an "important topic" and that he "supports his female colleagues." I can't really give too much credit to any of them taking for some heat, though, as 1) they're not taking that much heat (and the supportive comments on Ratmansky's page are exceptionally stupid. there's also a supportive comment from Wheeldon himself, so make of that what you will) and 2) This won't actually affect any of the three of them, in terms of reputation or profit margins. They may have a bad couple of days (probably less, hours), then they'll tell themselves they're martyrs at the hands of radical feminists, and this won't even come up in a google search for their names. It won't affect how much work they receive or how any ADs treat them or how any dancers interact with them. It won't reduce their annual salaries. I'll wager it won't even cost them a night's sleep. So call me coldhearted but I'm not crying for these three guys. To be clear these three are obviously not personally responsible for a couple hundred years of inequality in the profession, and (obviously, again) I don't think any of them should be vilified in terms of their character, or blacklisted or harassed. They can and should be criticized, as should anyone, for not understanding a basic reality of a profession they've spent their lives in. (ie, I certainly don't think it's just or fair to roast these guys at the stake for their words, but neither do I think they are in fact taking much heat)
  15. TBF, regarding Peck's answer he at least tried to answer the question, it was just a trifle patronizing. But I thought his answer alluded to something which I agree is part of the problem, that women are primed to see themselves as the inspiration for the choreography, rather than the impetus. And, in terms of examples for them to emulate, in the past when they have been the muse, rather than the choreographer, there is ample precedent that this can skyrocket their career, while trying to be the choreographer will likely end in frustration and a dead end. [It's a problem not just in ballet: women who choose to be the object, rather than the subject. I'm no expert in semiotics or whatever of art history, but I think very recently there's a school of thought that proposes that the object, or the woman who is being objectified by the camera, is able to wield her power from behind the camera, equal to the person taking the picture. (As I say I'm definitely no expert but I think this argument is similar to the one that says a woman is most powerful when she is using her sexuality as a tool to get men to do what she wants). From what I can gather this argument doesn't make a hell of a lot of sense, to me at any rate.] Peck's answer didn't acknowledge that there are plenty of women who do not see themselves as muses, or who have already "trained" that side of their brain (lol), and they still struggle with the systemic bias of the profession, or unconscious bias from men who are selecting choreographers for a prestigious commission. It's not that Peck is supposed to singlehandedly solve the problem and create world peace, it's just that as an artist, he should be aware of what is happening around him--I do think one main responsibility of any artist is to observe, accurately. TLDR his answer was not as awful as it might have been it just left out some rather important points
  16. Lol ok now I don't know what the heck he was responding to, as it's true he may have been referring to the comments from writers at the Times after the fact...Idk but regardless, his petulant tone is really doing him no favors. Guys, this wasn't a trick question, all you had to do was say, Yes, it's a problem. No I don't know how to solve it, it's quite an intractable problem that doesn't just exist in ballet. I don't like this attitude that seems to say "men just can't say anything right"! or "whatever we say we're screwed, so we better not say anything to upset the ladies"! The fact that it put them all immediately on the defensive is part of the problem. They seem to think if they acknowledge the sexism that's prevalent in the industry, it invalidates their own success. So they pretend it doesn't exist I normally avoid instagram (like the plague) but I went to Peck's instagram to see if he had any kind of response to this, as he's normally pretty diplomatic on instagram, and he's (obliquely) posted an account of the obstacles and difficulties he's faced to become a choreographer. no one is questioning that he's worked hard and that he's faced difficulties and that he has a kind of talent that history will ultimately be the judge of. Not the point in this particular discussion. I think this defensive attitude prevents them all from seeing that women will still have to work 10x harder to get the recognition they themselves get.
  17. Oh are you referring to: "if my words were unclear I am glad to elaborate. just don't like reading comments that turn what I meant upside down " I don't think he's saying he was misquoted or that the NYT published the "upside down (read opposite)" of what he meant. He's referencing "comments" here, not the article, so he's alleging that some commenters, somewhere, are misinterpreting his remarks.
  18. ? When did he say he was misquoted? ("opposite of what he texted" can only mean misquoted) I must have missed that. I agree the NYT might have paraphrased his text response rather than quoting him directly. But given the slight inaccuracies in English I would think it's a direct quote. If the article doesn't accurately represent his texted response, he's had plenty of time to post his actual response, or even amend it on further reflection, if he so chooses.
  19. Macaulay never seems able to separate personalities from principles--he bases his judgments on personal affinity with a particular performer and then creates his argument on historical precedents and gut reactions. It might make him an interesting critic but a poor debater I thought Wheeldon's "diversity" comment was particularly infuriating. The implication is that Wheeldon gets his commissions on pure talent, while women get them because directors are bending over backward and making special allowances for diversity hires, out of the goodness of their hearts
  20. Posting his response to a particular question as though it were in response to an entirely different one is journalistic fraud, not an editorial decision. If you think the NYT did this, you might contact them. I think it's totally implausible, frankly. I'm not sure how that responds to my question, "do you really think this happened" I'm also not sure it's helpful or to the point to find barely possible ways to excuse Ratmansky
  21. I'm surprised this got so much attention! but at least that in itself is a sign of progress. [Not sure I agree with Macaulay's assertion that there is no misogyny in ballet. I think there's some evident in the ballets themselves, for one] In any case, I think we need to look to the Fox-O'Reilly debacle, and the pulling of advertisements. I truly think this is the way forward--capitalism and the profit line, rather than these heartfelt discussions with male choreographers. They don't have to believe in equality, and they probably never really will, they just have to believe in the advantageous profit margin. "It's not good enough" is subjective and can be used to argue against female choreographers, masking the sexism of an AD. But "it's not profitable enough" is a clear directive and can be fixed. People like novelty. They might come to see five female neoclassical choreographers. One thing I find surprisingly encouraging: it is Martins' approach toward bringing in the cash flow. The man has a remarkable feel for market fluctuations. he's the Mitsubishi in the Fox-O'Reilly debacle. If he thinks a senseless, amorphuous ballet with a score by Paul McCartney will sell tickets, he'll put it on. If he thinks costumes that look like Mandrill baboons will sell tickets, he'll put that on. If he gets the idea that a festival of five female choreographers has suddenly caught the fancy of the public, I think he would not hesitate to put that on. It's not quite the same as cultivating new talent, but at least he doens't show that reflexively defensive attitude that, I really think, betrays a resistance to women choreographers and which I think is somewhat evident in Ratmansky and Wheeldon's replies (not to single them out, they're hardly the only ones). [ETA: not that this approach is without its pitfalls, of course; allowing the profit margin to determine our principles and standards is always a bit dubious]
  22. sure, but do you really think they asked him a different question, and then published his answer as though it were in response to this particular question?? I know the NYT is declining but even they have journalistic standards to uphold The "comments" he references are, I think, the comments that people are making, after the fact, about him, in response to the interview.
  23. oh please. "comments that turn what I meant upside down" !!! his exact words: "I don’t see it as a problem... I’m sure that if new, interesting talent arrives and is a woman, she will have equal opportunities" hey buddy, there's no way to misinterpret that. It's the old argument that he's not sexist, he just sounded sexist. I'm also skeptical of the facile suggestion that women start "throwing some rocks." I'm assuming these are metaphorical rocks? I was just rereading Martins' (hilarious) version about how he came to be cast in Tzigane. If his account is accurate, he basically accosted Balanchine and politely, then less politely, insisted that he be cast in a new ballet--when Balanchine demurred, he wouldn't take no for an answer and pretty much showed up unasked to the rehearsal, though Balanchine clearly objected and was even angry about it. Can you imagine Balanchine's response if a woman had tried this? Then I'm also reminded of Farrell's and Martins' very different attitude toward taking over NYCB if published accounts can be read as anything approaching the truth. Passivity is encouraged and rewarded (reinforced) in women throughout their careers, in a way that simply doesn't occur for men. Then by the time they're 40 it's just a way of life. Any women who breaks the mold and tries to throw rocks is not going to find herself with a choreographic commission. It's a silly suggestion that reveals a lack of familiarity with the realities of the subtle machinations required in ballet, or any profession. I think it goes without saying that there is misogyny, both overt and hidden, in ballet, and Im totally unsurprised that Wheeldon professes to be unaware of this.
  24. --Obviously. My point was that anticipating promotions proves nothing about how well-trained one's eye is. The board can make mistakes.
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