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About Helene

  • Birthday January 1

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  1. For the last time*, keep the conversation to how vaccination/masking/testing policies apply to dancers, companies, and audience. *Re: posts just removed
  2. Again: keep the conversation to how this impacts performers, companies, and audience.
  3. Keep the discussion to policies and how they affect you and the performers.
  4. I just got an email from 92Y announcing that Misty Copeland would be receiving the inaugural Inspiration Through the Arts Award as part of its Extraordinary Women Awards on November 17 from 6-7pm EST. Other recipents will be Elizabeth R. Leber (Landmark Award) and Dorothy Tananbaum, Zoe Bernstein and JoBeth Abecassis (Legacy Award in memory of their mother/grandmother, Esther Peterseil z"l). 92Y has long been a supportive venue for the arts. Congratulations to her .
  5. It arrived today, and it is delightful!!!! I knew I recognized Robin Preiss (Glassner)'s name, but not just from rosters. Then I looked at the cast lists for a performance I saw when Pennsylvania Ballet performed at BAM, and she was Madge in "La Sylphide"!
  6. I actually wouldn't be surprised at all. I think too much gets swept into "All dancers and athetes have some kinds of injuries all the time." Plus having to deal with the "suck it up" attitude toward mental illness and the no-man's-land of illnesses that are the perfect storm of mental and physical issues, like anoexia and other eating disorders and disordered eating.
  7. I've been attending the online San Francisco Dance Film Festival this week, and I didn't realize how much of a palpable relief I've felt watching the Ailey and Bill T. Jones documentaries and seeing such diversity, including in body types.
  8. This may be the case, and it wouldn't surprised me if it were true, but interviews with a select group of people plus dancers willing to go on the record in social media, blogs, etc. are not a journalistic investigation or scientific study or proof that this statement applies to a "very high percentage" of dancers. Part of the very small funnel self-selects for people who either have the specific body type naturally -- in Russia, the schools look at families when they choose children for their elite schools, believing that their adult parents are indicators of future physique, and that is a significant factor in determining in which children they will make a significant, long-term investment -- or who can do what they need to sustain it over a very long time, at least half of their lives by the time they reach 30. I cannot for the life of me remember the name of it or find this in searches, but there was a book on School of American Ballet -- maybe 30 years ago? -- that documented the damage along the way how many student bodies were damaged and left aside on the way to a professional career, similar to the book "Pretty Girls in Little Boxes" about figure skaters and gymnasts. I'm not sure if it were proven that 85% (to take a stab at a very higher percentage) of professional dancers have eating disorders or disordered eating that this would give pause to aspiring dancers/students, as long as that look is demanded by the people doing the hiring. It's not a look I prize.
  9. Most of the vaccine discussion has been moved to the "No vaccine, no show" thread:
  10. Persuasion is by far my favorite of the Austen novels. I've never read Mansfield Park, but I should give it a go.
  11. And it will have consequences for what happens to performing arts organizations and commercial performances. We just don't know exactly how yet. Things don't "have" to happen, because there are alternatives to everything but death, but things "will" happen.
  12. He promoted her up the ranks despite not being ready at the very beginning of the season. Artistic Directors make accommodations regularly, if they think the talent is there. The Artistic Director's job is to give the audience the best possible show. Sometimes, like by the middle of every Spring season I attended over a couple of decades when I lived in NYC, the Company was so decimated by injuries and illnesses that cascading substitutions were the best that the AD could present. Opening Night, not so much, unless almost the entire Company was out with food poisoning, and the outcome was pretty predictable. I do remember from Merrill Ashley's book that she and her boyfriend-turned-husband used to go to Hawaii for vacation. She stayed in good-enough shape by giving herself barre and taking long ocean swims, and then she was is ready shape when rehearsals began. Except for one year, when she scraped her feet on coral and could wear shoes. That was the year she was promoted, and Balanchine started everyone with hops on pointe, because he was choreographing Ballo della Regina for her.
  13. They either all don't, or they are coming from other gigs where they are in shape, or they get into shape ahead of time doing other things. Ringer said -- maybe in her book or maybe in the interview she did with Peter Boal on her book tour -- that the way she got into shape was through rehearsals and performances at the beginning of the season. Martins knew he had a dancer with a history of not being ready that early by her own admission, yet he cast her anyway, and he didn't withdraw the casting with her in less than optimal shape at the time. It doesn't matter what his intention was: the buck for casting stopped with him. If that were the case, men in dance (and judged sports like gymnastics and figure skating, aside from those where making specific weight is required) wouldn't have eating disorders.
  14. And Maria Kowrowski has a new job, as Acting Artistic Director of New Jersey Ballet https://www.njballet.org/maria-kowroski
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