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About Helene

  • Birthday January 1

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  1. Will any acceleration cause opponents to claim that the resulting full authorization is not really full authorization? I think the number of people for whom the difference between emergency and full approval and who don't have to give up their school or job is relatively small, even adding in the people who can use the distinction to save face, compared to the number of people for whom the vaccine will be mandated to attend school and/or keep their jobs once there is full approval. In France the government decided to impose resrictions barring entry to cafes, restaurants, shopping malls, and train for the unvaccinated starting next months, and appointments for vaccines soared. It will be interesting to see if people want to see "Hamilton" or go to the ballet enough for the new restrictions to be an incentive, with or without full approval.
  2. Nor does the announcement apply to Nutcracker. Do the kids in the ballet -- they are a combination of 12+ and under 12 -- start rehearsals early? (I thought they were all really young, but Merrill Ashley wrote in her book that when she was 13 or 14, she was the first Candy Cane out, and she was already in the pre-professional division.) Biden said that vaccines for kids under 12 might be available in the next few months, which would be after school starts, but still Fall. Since the virus variants have changed the landscape pretty rapidly, I wouldn't be surprised to see policy changes even without under 12's being vaccinated, but perhaps they are waiting until the Fall to get anyones hopes up or dashed about Nutcracker, and before they have to start to issue a lot of refunds. Booster shots are already being tested, especially among the non-Nutcracker demographic. (My arm is ready anytime.) Israel is offering third shots to those over 60 starting Sunday. There has also been talk about full FDA approval for the vaccine, but between now and January 2022 (the deadline) doesnt help much for Nutcracker plans now, nor does "sooner than January 2022" and that's just for Pfizer, which has completed its application. Also according to the following article, Moderna has submitted parts of the application, and Johnson and Johnson expects to sometime next year: https://www.poynter.org/fact-checking/2021/when-will-the-covid-19-vaccines-get-full-fda-approval/ Once there is full FDA approval, there will be mandates for the military, and likely more in various government agencies, companies, universities, and schools where the population is eligible/for which there is full approval. (I haven't seen articles that say whether the military mandate will include staff and anyone living on base or will be limited to those serving.) It will also give a lot of people a graceful way of getting vaccinated or admitting that they got the vaccine. All of these factors hopefully will increase the number of vaccinated people who, even if we can spread COVID-19, at least the Delta variant, are less likely to, at least from what has been disclosed so far.
  3. This isn't off topic at all: it's official news about ballet professionals.
  4. Requiring a mask in addition to a vaccine or negative test for those under 12 has nothing to do with those who aren't vaccinated: it has to do with the science that shows that vaccinated people can carry viral loads even if they are unsymptomatic and can spread COVID-19 to other vaccinated people. It will be interesting to see how NYCB acts in the face of science, all of which could change by Nutcracker season.
  5. This article in Harper's Bazaar is about different dancers' reflections on the impact of COVID-19 during Black Lives Matter protests and talk about the lack of diversity in dance, but, being Harper's Bazaar, the visuals are all about fashion. I wished they hadn't gone with the blurry shots, but you can see the clothes more clearly and the dancers in motion in the video: https://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/features/a36962917/dancer-portfolio-august-2021/?utm_source=The+Dance+Edit&utm_campaign=7d30d4e8e7-TheDanceEdit20201119_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_71d672be74-7d30d4e8e7-69902614 They feature: Stella Abrera, Kaatsbaan Tatiana Desardouin, Passion Fruit Dance Company Vinson Fraley, Jr., Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company Tiler Peck, New York City Ballet Calvin Royal III, American Ballet Theatre Lloyd Knight and Xin Ying, Martha Graham Dance Company Misty Copeland, American Ballet Theatre Melissa Verdecia, Ballet Hispánico Savion Glover Courtney Celeste Spears, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
  6. I guess I've seen too many ballet performances with kids where the applause is disproportionate to their technical quality. Of course, a lot of audience members are the family and friends of child performers -- can be in A Midsummer Night's Dream or "Hours" in Coppelia or the kids in Harlequinade as well -- and part of the thrill is seeing and cheering your own. I haven't seen that much Broadway, but, where I have, and in other professional theater, the kid performers are a lot more skilled than their ballet counterparts until most dancers have a are in their mid-teens and training pre-professionally. Company dancers, unlike freelancers, who are generally appreciative of the bundle they can make dancing Nutcracker, aren't signing up for one show. It's a trade-off to dance other rep, get a salary, etc. They don't always love everything they dance, and the Nutcracker schedule alone is a grind.
  7. Yes, but it never stuck. The original was Francisco Moncion smoking a hookah with four child attendants, changed to the current female solo, one of several bones "for tired businessman." Although PNB never said, Kent Stowell's Drosselmeier-turned-Act-II-Pasha, with his menace, whips, child slaves, and captive (literally) entertainment, was so politically un-correct that, whatever the box office after the premiere of the Balanchine version, some local calls for the Stowell/Sendak version to be revived is a non-starter. I don't know that much about Broadway, but aside from Annie and a few others, in how many shows are the adults upstaged by the kids, night after night after night? Snow -- with the danger of slipping on the paper snow -- and flowers corps can be pretty thankless when you're deeper into your career. But as the counter to that, Peter Boal's anecdote about ex-senior corps member Nancy Casciano as she was leaving at the end of the season was that she wanted to be in every show and turned down offers for a rest. Of course, PNB's schedule isn't as brutal as NYCB's, but I wouldn't be surprised if she had wanted to dance every show when she was at NYCB before coming to Seattle.
  8. Admin note: please keep this discussion to the factual -- what theaters are requiring what, government recommendations and policies, science -- or your personal calculus about attending event in person.
  9. One reason why the CDC decided to recomment indoor masking for everyone where local conditions warranted is because vaccinated people have high enough loads to be contagious: https://wkow.com/2021/07/28/covid-19-spread-from-vaccinated-to-unvaccinated-may-already-be-happening-in-dane-county/ This is a significantly different message that was sent pre-Delta, which has changed the game significantly.
  10. We just received a communication from Patricia Wilde's daughter that the official Bardyguine Family obituary has been posted to the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre website: https://www.pbt.org/the-company/history/company-history/remembering-patricia-wilde/
  11. Here is a direct link: to the Balanchine Foundation's post: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10159433924689819&id=284470914818 I think she is the very last of that golden age generation. Kent and Villella are about ten years younger than Wilde was. Rest in peace, Patricia Wilde.
  12. A lot of organizations are relying on emotional attachment to continue to be supporters after a major disruption in which a lot of people have considered, at least, reassessing their priorities. While organizations are reliant on major donors, they still a lot of us little people to continue to write comparatively little checks and to subscribe. If I weren't loyal to PNB and Seattle Opera, for example, I wouldn't have renewed my physical subscriptions, knowing that I'm not planning to be in the theater until 2022. Other organizations I'm more on the fence about, and if they sent a message like "We've rebranded" that annoyed me they would go into in the "purge" pile for no particularly rational reason.
  13. Many dancers have written or said that dancers with the reputation for learning quickly are the first ones sought for substitutions, if a role needs to be taught. They've also said/written that it helps to be talked through/given prompts for the choreography in performance by their colleagues, since the steps and patterns aren't yet in muscle memory. I think it was Peter Martins who wrote that he learned things quickly [which was helpful in getting cast] but then promptly forgot them.
  14. Being right there to jump on it is considered especially opportune. In her book Merrill Ashley wrote about, in the days before cell phones (and maybe answering machines), how dancers could miss out on substituting because they were walking home from the theater when the call came through, and, after no answer, the company went onto the next possible dancer. Soprano Jane Eaglen told the story on a Zoom interview with the Wagner Society of Northern California last weekend that she got her first role at Seattle Opera, where Speight Jenkins had not yet heard her in person, because the other soprano had her cell phone off, and he needed to replace a singer who had to withdraw. While management can cast (or attempt to cast) Principal Dancers in roles below their pay grade, I've never read or heard about an ambitious dancer to actively campaign for one, outside of a retirement performance. I think when Thomas Lund retired, all of the men were in kilts in La Sylphide as a tribute.
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