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Drew

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About Drew

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  1. I was responding to your comments about about toxic masculinity in adolescents--I believe we are all agreed here that Finlay, Catazaro, and Ramasar are not adolescents. I wasn't referring to them in that sentence at all, though reading my post over I see how it could be construed as directed at them. That said, based on what we know so far (which may be missing information) I don't think Ramasar and Finlay treated Waterbury with respect; and I don't think joking about raping (or even "double teaming") a colleague is exactly respectful either. The fact that Waterbury is not a work colleague and that the joke was outside the workplace (assuming that gets confirmed) may save their jobs--Ramasar's and Catazaro's that is...What it says about New York City Ballet is, to borrow Lovette's word, less "transparent" to me. I mean that exactly--not that I know the answers, but that it's not clear. (Edited to add: if it turns out that they circulated sexually explicit photos of dancers in the company without their consent...that, too, I would find disrespectful. Perhaps I should save "appallingly" for worse things--but circulating such photos of fellow workers without consent would be bad enough.) By the by, here is Marina Harss's recent piece in Dance Tabs--it's a review that also discusses the current situation and mentions transparency in a slightly different sense: http://dancetabs.com/2018/09/new-york-city-ballet-jewels-all-balanchine-4bill-new-york/
  2. You are right--the issue is NOT and should not be pre-crime which would be at once tyrannical and absurd. Also I rather assume the two men were joking however unpleasantly. But once these words became public, are they a non-issue for Catazaro's fellow dancers and his place of work? NYCB seems to have decided otherwise. On the face of it, it's not clear to me that that is automatically the wrong decision. Was the firing over-reach? Well, the union thinks so and arbitration will decide. (Lauren Lovette spoke about safety in her instagram post..."we are speaking up and working every day to make our work environment more safe and transparent.")
  3. Oh I was actually just editing my post to get rid of the word criminal--so point taken! I don't think joking about rape is a hanging offense. I don't care for it either and think it can be destructive in the workplace. Fairly or unfairly, Catazaro's words are now known to his fellow workers. Finlay, Catazaro, and Ramasar are not adolescent boys. (And not all adolescent boys behave with appalling disrespect to women. By a long shot.) Men from every walk of life have done what Chase Finlay is alleged to have done or something like it or worse. Yet some workplaces are worse when it comes to such things than others. Consistently. So things can be done to influence how people conduct themselves towards one another without veering off into thought control and fascism. Has NYCB done all it reasonably could have done over time on these issues? I've already said that I don't believe so. That "ballet" generally shares in problems pervasive in our society is hardly a reason for people in the ballet world not to try to address those problems. Though it may be a reason to realize there is a limit to what can be done in any one given sphere without larger social movements. And I'm not yet prepared to give up on positive change altogether.
  4. These are serious concerns--I mostly wanted to indicate my strong conviction that a joke about giving a women "no choice" in matters of sex is a joke about rape not about "convincing." Still, it is worth remarking that these are not thoughts, but words. And words that however jokingly refer to a potential crime. Still, as you say, private words--at least as far as we know from the case so far.. But these private words became public because of specific actions one of the two parties to the conversation is alleged to have committed. Having become public they impact the company and its employees, and the company might reasonably feel a need to address them. In this case they decided to do so -- first through suspensions then firing; the union (and others) are arguing the last is over-reach. That will be determined in arbitration. As far as Waterbury's suit goes, likewise the courts will determine ... But yes, when one (purported) crime/wrong is investigated (Finlay's actions in this case) other stuff, that might not be expected to come out, comes out. (And given that the point of her suit against the company is to argue that this case isn't just about Finlay, her case then has to show just that. Though I continue to think that a suit against Finlay alone would still raise issues for the company. If she were suing ONLY Finlay, would his exchange with Catazaro never have become public? I think it might have.) And once something like these emails do come out (for whatever reason), that has consequences. And can raise red flags which, even if the courts decide don't rise to the level to justify a suit against NYCB or Catazaro might be worthwhile for NYCB to address. Barry Kerollis discusses these issues in general terms regarding the ballet world and talks about what he thinks it needs to address -- not the specific case -- in the podcast Helene and Quiggin mentioned. In terms of public perceptions, I will add that given that these words became public Catazaro's unwillingness (so far) to express any kind of regret or humility (as Ramasar did in his second public statement) is all the more puzzling to me, especially if he is trying to save his career. I imagine that if you said something about co-worker that came out and caused "awkwardness," as in the scenario you invoke in your post, you might apologize EVEN IF you were pissed off that something you thought was private became public and you didn't think it should have. Perhaps you would not, on principle, but I have seen one similar scenario at my workplace and apologies were made. And of course perhaps we will see them made in the future. (I don't think apologies are some magic panacea--especially if there are systemic problems...and I know they have to be worded carefully when one is being sued. Still, it's just one of the things I have noticed with surprise in some of the statements made as this case unfolds.)
  5. If a date told me s/he was going to give me "no choice" about sex, I wouldn't assume I was in for a lot of great poetry; I would call a taxi...or, in some situations, 911. In other words: "Leave them no choice" when the subject is sex? That's language referring to rape. (Uh...if it was a joke, then its being a joke argues in favor of the more obscene interpretation as much as ordinary usage-in-context does.) I do tend to think the men in this case were joking, but...well...let's just say that if I had a colleague at work who made a joke like that about me and I found out about it, I would look into filing a complaint. And I probably would not feel comfortable working with that person. The dancer at NYCB may feel differently--though I kind of doubt it--but that doesn't make that kind of joking the least bit less problematic for NYCB as a workplace for women and, indeed, for men.
  6. Alessa Rogers reports on her blog "The Expat Ballerina" that she has joined the Royal Swedish Ballet -- currently directed by Nicolas Le Riche. Actually she posted this over a month ago, but I only saw it this morning. When she was with Atlanta Ballet her dancing was one of the highlights of any performance in which she appeared. I find Rogers a magical dancer and also...The Expat Ballerina is quite an entertaining blog: https://www.expatballerina.com/my-big-news/
  7. At the same time, they might be wise as well as compassionate not to be seen as attacking Waterbury or taking her suffering lightly. As an aside I can't help reflecting that if I were Finlay I would rather be sued than face criminal charges that could land me in prison. But that's just me. As far as your point goes--yes lawyers take these cases for money and NYCB has money. As it happens, in our society anyway, money awards in lawsuits and/or settlements have proven to be one way to get institutions to look at themselves and change...in this case it may be a non-issue if the case is thrown out and/or a case goes forward and shows no change is needed. But it might not be and statements made by Bouder and Lovette, as well as the company's decision to fire Catazaro and Ramasar (however that gets resolved) suggest that not all the dancers are treating it as a non-issue even if they want to defend the company as an institution, which they surely do. In any case, in our system of law wanting to "get money" is a legitimate way of seeking redress, even as saying someone wants to "get money" is sometimes used as a way to discredit them. To me it's more than believable that Waterbury sees her case as a case about NYCB and not just Finlay even if she is wrong. And cases involving sexual issues are incredibly painful for victims to go through. The vast majority of victims in these cases do not take any legal action lightly or merely greedily--it's just too hard and too humiliating. In fact I assume motives in most lawsuits are complex -- I said that above...and I have no problem with that. NYCB in all this? I just don't share the view that several have expressed that it's obvious they bear no responsibility. Even if it's not a legal responsibility (which courts will decide): if an organization does an in-house investigation and finds that THREE of their top people are involved in behavior that is judged to be problematic, then I own it's very hard for me to take it as simply given nothing more is going on... that, say in this case, it's no more than one bad apple plus two slightly oxygenated ones... Fraildove posted just as I was wrapping up my typing...I think s/he puts some of these issues more eloquently than I do, but I will go ahead and post...
  8. One person's revenge may be another person's justice. Or her self-affirmation in the face of mistreatment. In any case, Waterbury didn't create this situation and has every right to seek redress for what was done to her from whatever parties she thinks bears responsibility. For whatever motive. That is, unless it was established that she was a liar, her motives seem to me a non-issue, and the company's own investigation confirms that they found her concerns to have some basis in truth. (Though the details of what they confirmed remain confidential, and that's a very different matter from confirming all the things alleged in the formal complaint.) Her lawyer thinks there may be a case against more parties than Finlay. The courts may well decide otherwise--NYCB obviously thought and probably still thinks so, as do many here. But her suit is a response to things done TO her and around her; the damage to NYCB's reputation was done by others. (I'll add that the idea that NYCB's reputation wouldn't be hurt if Waterbury only sued Finlay seems dubious to me--of course other names and stories were going to be part of the case against him. He was sharing photos and video with other employees at NYCB--Ramasar at the least, and Ramasar also happens to be one of their biggest male stars. How was NYCB's reputation NOT going to take a hit on the basis of the case against Finlay alone?) Anyone can think what they want about Waterbury, but if NYCB or its dancers, for example, were to take the position that SHE is the source of their problems, I suspect their reputation would take another hit. I find turning the case into an excuse to bash Martins for everything from firing Suzanne Farrell to not having Balanchine's gnomic wisdom to be absurd. (Bash him FOR firing Farrell if you like--that's a different matter.) And the implication of pieces like Bentley's that in Balanchine's day all was high-minded self-sacrifice and that in Martins' day all became narcissistic self-glorification seems to me itself a piece of narcissism and disrespectful of many great artists. But that's very different from simply giving the company a pass on everything that has happened while insinuating and/or stating that it's somehow Waterbury's fault.
  9. Drew

    New York City Ballet Fall Season

    The solo for the ‘second’ Emeralds ballerina is pretty much one of my favorite solos in all Balanchine and actually in all ballet. Love reading about Phelan’s debut and also Laracey in the role....
  10. Regarding the Steichen...I wish I had known about Holly Howard when we had a thread/discussion going back and forth about just how courtly, romantic, and idealizing Balanchine’s relations to women really were....
  11. Drew

    Arthur Mitchell has died

    Very sad news--but what a great life he lived! Rest-in-peace Arthur Mitchell....
  12. Drew

    Yulia Stepanova

    Going with an open mind to any performance is important. But actually enough financial and sometimes health stress is involved in my ballet travels that I tend to attend performances with a predisposition to find something to admire and enjoy. But I have seen this particular production in the theatre (not just broadcasts) several times with different casts, though of course I don’t get to see it as often as some others on this website. Perceptions can change over the years with different performances and having learned new things etc, so maybe that will happen if I see this Swan Lake in 2019. But this production is not an unknown entity or new to me. (I also saw Grigorovich’s earlier production in one of the most thrilling performances I was ever lucky enough to see—with Semenyaka.) And the measures of Tchaikovsky’s score that the current production cuts have also always seemed to me among the most transformative and moving ever written for ballet.... I am not sure why seeing a lot of ballets on bare stages changes the fact that one can prefer some sets and costumes to others. (Even with bare stage ballets—some seem suited to the bareness while others definitely feel as if something is missing. I have often wished I could see Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto no, 2 with its original Ballet Imperial drop which showed the citiscape of St. Petersburg with the Peter and Paul fortress.) Anyway, if I am fortunate enough to make it to London to see the Bolshoi (as I am going to try!) I am hoping to see Stepanova in either Swan Lake or Bayadere, but certainly the one production I most hope to see this summer in London (and spitting to ward off the evil eye) is Bayadere...
  13. Drew

    Yulia Stepanova

    I prefer the traditional character dances of Sergeyev’s version which I think the Bolshoi could dance fabulously. Mileages do vary...for me, the amount of time given to Siegfried dancing with the evil genius, at times almost as if being manipulated by him and other specific quirks of Grigorovich’s production lessens the sense of the prince’s and Odette’s agency But you surely might convince me that I just wasn’t following what was intended, and need to interpret differently...I still doubt I would ever love this production with its grim, sometimes sour-toned visuals and missing measures of Tchaikovsky final, trancendent moments. As sometimes happens at the Bolshoi, I still look forward to the dancers even when I don’t care for a production. I am most excited to see the Bolshoi dance Bayadere and hope I am able to do so!
  14. The commoness of photo-sharing of “all kinds” is also one reason there are new laws against certain kinds of “sharing” —- eg of intimate photos/video shared without consent, revenge porn etc.
  15. Let's just say if an employer didn't seriously discipline someone who had circulated illicit/illegal photos of a fellow worker I'd wonder if that wouldn't be potentially problematic even if the particular worker forgave the person who circulated them. Why? because of the creation of a hostile workplace for others who might feel very differently should it ever happen to them or indeed even have concern about being in a workplace where illegal behavior was tolerated. To say nothing of the moral pressures it places on an individual to pretend they don't care when they do ("oh if you didn't make such a fuss poor X wouldn't be losing his/her job"...) The situation here doesn't involve an employee, so it's different. But the allegations in the complaint suggest employees may have been victims as well. It's an allegation--it may just be based on rumors; it may not be true. But it's a serious one and it seems to me a very mild position to hope the company has been looking into the matter to see if there is anything behind it. (To say nothing of some of the other allegations.) Even the most minimal respect for all the dancers--male and female--and their status as professionals would suggest it shouldn't be blithely ignored--and even if fear of future lawsuits wasn't yet another issue.
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