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bluejean

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About bluejean

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    former dancer, teacher, balletomane
  • City**
    Houston
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**
    TX

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  1. Looking back, it's pretty impressive how much she danced this past spring (including several debuts, if I'm remembering correctly) while presumably dealing with the usual fatigue and nausea that accompany the first trimester of a pregnancy. And twins! Wow!
  2. Speaking of technically demanding: I watched the first movement on this video (thank you, @canbelto!) and found myself thinking - not for the first time - that Balanchine's choreography was too tough for the dancers he created on. We're fortunate so many of his ballets have survived and truly shine on the dancers of this generation. Just my opinion, and of course I mean no disrespect to the dancers in this video, or at any time between now and then. I was one myself, and had the joy of dancing the first movement of Western. I'm simply saying these steps are hard as the dickens and tough to make look polished and clean.
  3. Not sure if this is a terribly legitimate news source, but this article mentions that Peter Martins has been working with the Mariinsky Ballet in St. Petersburg. https://pagesix.com/2019/04/17/disgraced-ballet-master-peter-martins-hiding-out-in-russia/
  4. Such a heartfelt video. She honestly does have an incredible story; I can't think of another like it. I hope she'll go on to have a long, happy career at MCB.
  5. I'm happy for her, but a little surprised I guess. In watching her YouTube videos, I see that she's lost weight and has been working on getting back into shape. But I hadn't yet had the thought that she was ready for employment in such a strong company as MCB. I am glad, though, to see her professional journey continue. She's certainly an inspiration to many!
  6. I think you're referring to "Caught," by David Parsons. I first saw that piece performed by the Alvin Ailey company during a tour in Texas, and I was blown away. I've been dying to see it again ever since. Here's the link to the article in the Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/goingoutguide/theater-dance/its-hit-or-miss-for-new-york-city-ballet-in-first-kennedy-center-program-under-new-directors/2019/04/03/6125114e-5633-11e9-a047-748657a0a9d1_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.f327984f518e
  7. @BalanchineFan, thank you for posting! I was starting to get severe "Ballet Alert NYCB board withdrawal!"
  8. Somehow this pairing seems like a really logical and "safe" choice... and yet, it never crossed my mind. I'm so interested to see how this works!
  9. Having been a dancer who also choreographed a bit, I never considered casting myself in one of my ballets, although I did step in for an injured dancer once. I never felt I could adequately set and clean the choreography while simultaneously worrying about my own dancing. How do you watch rehearsal if you are participating in rehearsal? But I'm sure there are some dancers who wear both hats with ease.
  10. Thank you for sharing your perspective, Traveling Ballerina! Your story led me to https://www.yellowface.org/choreography where people seem to be pondering the same questions I am. The website gives some interesting historical perspective and encourages companies to reconsider the choreography, makeup, and costumes used for the Chinese variation. There are more questions asked than answer, I feel, but they do post a video of the San Francisco Ballet version to demonstrate how Chinese can be done with less stylized makeup and movements. The suggestion on the site is that we must understand the difference between between "caricature and character," which seems wise. I can certainly now understand how the use of a particular style of makeup might be offensive to some. And yet, I have more questions than answers. I find myself thinking back to years and years of dancing Spanish, using eyeliner to draw spit curls onto my face per my company's direction. Did some consider that offensive? I've also performed Arabian a number of times, with greatly exaggerated eye makeup in an attempt to appear the true "Arabian Princess." Was that an offensive choice? I'm unsure. This isn't an ethnic issue, but what about the makeup and movements used to "age" dancers playing older characters? I'm thinking of the grandparents in The Nutcracker. I, myself, was cast as Berthe (Giselle's mother) and Cinderella's Step Mother in my late teens, during a time of injury and being unable to dance other roles. I remember being coached to use makeup to give myself wrinkles. Was that offensive to some? I'm unsure of that also. I have more questions than answers, but surely this will become an ongoing discussion in the ballet/opera/broadway worlds where, in a sense, we are always creating a caricature of someone.
  11. I just read this article, which was mentioned on the NYCB board: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/13/arts/dance/nutcracker-chinese-tea-stereotypes.html?action=click&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage&section=Dance and it's got my wheels turning. I've never found the highly stylized makeup, costume, or "pointy finger" used in the NYCB version (and many others) to be insensitive or inappropriate. In fact, I have considered them an important part of the ballet, though perhaps only because I've seen very few versions (maybe none) that don't include them. I don't find the stylized movements/costumes/makeup of the Arabian, Russian, and Spanish variations offensive either. But I understand that others feel differently. I'm curious about the future of the many treasured classical ballets that contain dances, or roles, based on particular ethnicities. Do people feel that other ballets are in need of similar "toning down," which was the phrase used in the article? I'm wondering about La Bayadere, Le Corsaire, Swan Lake, Raymonda, off the top of my head, but feel certain there are others that might trigger such feelings? Is the solution to make all characters in a ballet ethnically ambiguous? How does a production best celebrate a particular country or ethnicity without offending anyone? I have tried to be careful and respectful with this post, while asking questions that come from genuine curiosity. I hope my words will be read that way.
  12. Posting this with caution, as I know emotions are strong on such topics. But I've never found the highly stylized makeup, costume, or "pointy finger" used in the NYCB version (and many others) to be insensitive or inappropriate. In fact, I have considered them an important part of the ballet, though perhaps only because I've seen very few versions (maybe none) that don't include them. I don't find the stylized movements/costumes/makeup of the Arabian, Russian, and Spanish variations offensive either. But I understand that others feel differently. I do wonder about the future of all character roles in classical ballets, but perhaps that's fodder for a new topic elsewhere on the board. Looking at the before/after pictures posted in the article, I find the new costume and lack of characterized makeup to be dull. But that's just me and as I said, I understand others feel strongly that these changes were needed.
  13. Agreed on the lovely wedding dress! I'm scratching my head over this line in the NYT, though: The groom’s previous marriage ended in divorce. I've never seen the like in a wedding announcement. Is this type of pronouncement common, and just something I've missed?
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