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JanLevNYC

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About JanLevNYC

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    Former Freelance Photographer of Ballet Dancers
  • City**
    New York
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**
    NY

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  1. I just finished reading Twyla's new book and I throughly enjoyed it (maybe because we are almost the same age!) - I love her perspective, her approach and honestly her sense of humor. She is a gift in so many ways. What a legacy.
  2. I do wish I could attend one of these performances! Enjoy, Costa Mesa!
  3. Tiler Peck and Sterling Hyltin are always my favorite SPF. And of course Indiana Woodward can dance anything beautifully. A little too soon to know about the debuts but I also HOPE to see Laine Habony either as Dewdrop or SPF (with Preston Chamblee would be my pick) this year - I see she is opening the week as Hot Chocolate. And she does remind me of Darci Kistler as well (which I also know to be a complement). Very happy to see Alston McGill as Marzipan in the first week. I would like to see more of Jacqueline Bologna - Marzipan, Dewdrop, Chocolate. Daniel Ulbricht is a treasure as Candy Cane but I hope we get to see him as Cavalier again this year. I hope we see Olivia Boisson and Harrison Ball again soon!
  4. I will miss Lydia Wellington on stage at NYCB and wish her all the best on her new adventure in France. What a gift it has been to watch her all these years! I believe she performed Concerto Barroco in the 2019 Workshop.
  5. Thank you so much for responding. Please help me understand. Professional dancers begin their journey sometimes as early as age 3. Their parents are in charge of their lives until ages 14+. Most professional dancers then leave home. How does that child make a decision about its privilege or skin color? It's doesn't. I firmly believe dance is unique in this discussion on diversity. No child /dancer picks its privilege or skin color. So how can they be in control over their inability to rely on privilege which is something they had no control over from the start? So are you saying talented, hard-working dancers should be punished for their parent's financial successes? What about poor white dancers? Poor European dancers? What about rich African-American dancers, rich Latino dancers? What about the middle-class family of any color that sacrifices all to send their dancer from home, knowing it is the only chance for them to do what they love and are called to do? I am confident the majority of the dancers at SAB are there on financial assistance - and what a blessing for those dancers - so I dont believe privilege is the issue in this day/age. The reality is there is still a pool of students at SAB year after year. You cannot force more people of color to bring their children in for auditions, pay for classes and keep it up just to have more color on stage. I celebrate the organic growth of diversity in dance and look forward to more. But I do applaud PNB on all accounts! It's an amazing company in an amazing city with many great successes! You are very lucky to be there with them !!!
  6. Thank you so much for responding. Agree on all points! Forgive me for playing devil's advocate. Just share with your sweet daughter that there are currently dancers from Australia, Spain, France, Italy, and truly every ethnicity has been and is also represented as well - Indian, Asian, African-American, Latino, European, American Indian, Caucasian .... I have loved NYCB for more than 40 years and I just believe they are doing all the right things regarding race - call me an honest loyalist. Enjoy your day and hopefully you will get to enjoy more ballet. Best wishes.
  7. Leah, I love it that you responded and shared your opinion, as well. I also think Chamblee and Farley are amazing dancers and truly hope they receive promotions one day but not because they are half-African American - but because I love to watch them dance and believe they are hard workers. I do know both have had injuries and missed stage time over the course of their careers. But I do not believe they were passed over because of skin color. Goodness, I think it would help them these days (which is sad). Sebastian V-V was recently promoted and he is from Puerto Rico, of Latin descent. Does that not count as non-white? What about Jovian? Daniel Applebaum is half-Asian. Aaron Sanz is Spanish/Latin. Sean Suozzi is Italian. Do they not count toward the 'not white American male' box everyone is so intent on having? They do. But again, that box needs to be thrown away. Regardless, each dancer has a journey and despite how amazing they are, their lives are dictated by subjectivity. There is no perfect formula. To promote or even hire someone because they are not-white is a disservice to all people who came before who worked hard and grew on merit. And honestly, the dancers in the company feel a ton of pressure from this on-going social pressure when all they want to do is dance their best and be picked because of merit and nothing else. My goodness, they just got out from under the threat of presumed favoritism from Martins and all those reasons/accusations. I wish everyone would let these dancers focus on their art and the admin focus on cultivating the talent they have to each dancers best ability. I believe NYCB/SAB is doing the right thing - they are recruiting students from all walks of life, all skin colors, all ethnicities, etc. Once these students enter the program they can begin their journey. If they are able to be successful in the unique bubble of dance requirements of the NYCB and there are slots available/funds available, hopefully they will join the company. That's another thing - money. There is a machine in the background and it has limits. And decisions are made, in the end, because of finances - who knows day-to-day when/if finances say 'yes, promote'. There are 9 male soloists today, 11 female soloists. Maybe they are out of money for promotions - who knows. I think NYCB has so many irons in the fire (new management, casting problems, increasing technique, filling empty seats) and I believe they are doing all the right things about this social call for diversity - by starting at the foundation, cultivating dancers of all colors and ethnicities from an early start. And as everyone knows, just because a dancer goes to SAB doesn't mean they will dance professionally nor does it mean they will dance for the NYCB. And even then, just because you are invited to dance for NYCB doesnt mean you will be cultivated! I have seen quite a few dancers that could have and should have been more over the years. Back to the subjectivity. I think it's naive to ignore the history and numeric statistics of young dancers pursuing professional careers. The world is getting smaller and people are more homogenized (thankfully). Let's be more patient and just have confidence. Me, I believe these social demands by the public for more 'not-white' dancers is not only hurting all dancers but causing emotional stress where there should be none. It's hard enough, I am sure, to navigate their unique pressures. Let's not add to it. ps. My children's father is Japanese and I am white. I believe I can speak with some degree of knowledge. I raised my children very color-blind (30 years ago) and focusing on hard work and things will all work out. I cannot then expect anything less for the dance world. Sorry.
  8. 'And finally - the first thing my middle daughter said during intermission, after the first two ballets, was "why are all the dancers white?" After 3 days of running around Manhattan, and seeing people of every possible skin colour, the lack of diversity was striking. Union Jack was more balanced but right now the make-up of this company does not reflect the city it represents so well.' In more than 40 years as a patron, I have seen more casting OF color in the last two years (even when the DANCER might not be appropriately matched). The majority of the corp men are young men of color. The reality is the in the past, the percentage of fair skinned dancers pursuing a career was a large number. Regardless, I think there is too much attention about this issue. Let these dancers dance and be artists. I do know NYCB has done an EXCEPTIONAL job making sure they are recruiting students to SAB from all walks of life, all skin colors, all ethnicities. If anything, there are dancers that are being left behind because they are TOO white. Which is reverse-racism - it is not that young dancer's fault they were born white anymore than they were born not-white. I applaud all the NYCB dancers and the company for doing out there and working hard and hopefully they are thinking about their artistry - not race.
  9. I wanted to also add that Joe Gordon's hair most definitely reminds me of a young Damien Woetzel !!!
  10. Lauren King has always been a delight to watch! It was a great performance.
  11. That’s been Lauren Kings spot .... why not Sara Adams, Ashley Hod, Laine Habony? All three are beautiful performers and strong technicians.
  12. I agree - I missed both of those!
  13. I was also there and I think the mood of the corp dancers coming out of the Lovette piece flows in the Sym in C - meaning they know they are on stage in a bad ballet and from experience that dampers the mood for their other performances. I was disappointed not only in the down mood but the technique as whole was lacking with the younger corp. Glad to see Ashely Hod back and she shined as 1st movement demi but Olivia MacKinnon was literally in pain or talking to herself the entire time. I am not sure why that continues? How could it not? Sebastian V-V was also amazing and it so great he has also returned from a long injury period. And Indiana Woodward was missed in the 3rd movement due to being in the LIang piece. Let's hope we see Sym in C soon in another program with some new dancers.
  14. It was truly delightful to see them together dancing and they did not disappoint. They are both amazing performers and technicians. What a treat it was!
  15. The closest thing to that level .... 2013 ..... Benjamin Millepied, Angelin Preliicaj But Robert Binet, Miles Thatcher, Justin Peck, Annabelle Lopez-Ochoa all delivered very well under Peter Martins' expectation. To me, the expectation has gone to zero. And you get what you expect.
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