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Posts posted by Helene

  1. 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. 

  2. In her interview with Megan Fairchild, Ashley was pretty clear about how she needs to take care of her body and also spend time with her husband, who is older, which is significant at their ages.  She gets to live her life after dedicating so many years to the ballet world.

  3. 2 minutes ago, On Pointe said:

    Ramasar is a good dancer,  but he's not some supernova to be indulged at all costs.

    Except he's been treated by NYCB as if he were.

    He was after my time, so I didn't get to see him often, but when I did on visits, I usually ended up watching his partner or other people on stage.  I was trying to understand why he was cast so prominently, but he never held my attention for long.

  4. I have no idea who the actual candidates are, but given the dearth of POC who are connected to SFB in any way, they must be from outside SFB world, at least since the time of being in the school, which I would assume from the known candidates from all other companies except NYCB in North America being from outside whatever company is hiring, especially for one of the major companies.  When PNB hired Peter Boal, only former Principal Dancer Benjamin Houk, who had at most a few years experience as an AD for smaller companies, made the final cut, and Patricia Barker, who has had a more illustrious career as an AD since, was cut after the semis.

    While the tendency is to look at all of the current and former Principal Dancers of a company as the most likely suspects, that hasn't been the case for the majority of AD hires, even if the eventual hires were Principal Dancers somewhere.

  5. Great opportunities at every level in a story ballet, with multiple starring roles and multiple "best supporting" roles, kids in the production, so chances for stage experience and intense engagement, plus relatives and family friends buying tickets, beautiful sets and costumes, gorgeous music, comedy and pathos, What's not to like?

  6. I fixed the dates for All Balanchine, which is in March (24-27) at the Orpheum Theater.  It's sad for me that since BA lost a performance, and All Balanchine moved from June to May  that they lost live music for it, even though it remained at Symphony Hall until this coming season. (I'm not sure if this was co-incidence or because of the schedule change.).

    Now it's moved to the smaller Orpheum, and it's rare to have live music at the Orpheum.  I once heard a pianist play for Andersen's Shostakovich work, and they may have had a few musicians p!ay, which I thought worked really well for PNB's digital season, but it was Bouree Fantasque at ABT was what grabbed me for Balanchine.  I was in college when the PBS series aired, or it would have happened before, but La Sonnambula just didn't do it for me as an intro.  The rare live performances I saw growing up were at ABT, but mostly full-lengths, and I'd never seen Theme there. If I feel safe travelling next March, I'd go to Phoenix just to see that ballet again.  The world premiere in May is a draw for me, too.

  7. Charlotte Ballet's AD Hope Muir will become the next Artistic Director of National Ballet of Canada on January 1, 2022, according to Michael Crabb's article in The Toronto Star:


    (Many thanks to a Facebook friend for the heads up :flowers:)

    It wasn't even her idea to apply:


    She was invited to become a candidate after being suggested to the National Ballet’s search committee.

    According to the article, she's got a lot of experience as a performer in modern/contemporary dance, as a member of Rambert Dance Comipany and Hubbard Street and is expected to expand the contemporary rep at NBoC.

  8. 5 minutes ago, On Pointe said:

    As for the solo roles that could be danced by a man or a woman,  there's bound to be resentment if the new hire who's still an apprentice gets cast in them,  leapfrogging over dancers with greater seniority just because he's gender fluid.  In a ballet context,  what does gender fluid even mean?  Based on their description,  in theater terms,  those roles are gender blind,  not gender fluid.

    Since none of these roles are programmed for the coming season, he wouldn't be an apprentice if he were cast in them in the next few years.  Dylan Wald got The Calling solo very early in his career at PNB, and other dancers thought what they thought.  I don't know if Edwards will be fast-tracked, but there are certainly other dancers who were cast far above rank until they were, eventually, promoted.  One way to test the audience acceptance could be through gender blind roles, although the Fenley is more than The Calling, with the huge skirt that is hugely suggestive of gender, more gender bending than fluid.

    I don't know if Peter Boal will start out with casting Edwards in pointe roles or the female corps in the upcoming season.  Nutcracker and Swan Lake are the big neo or classical corps ballets that need far more women than men and usually rely on PD's to fill out the corps.   To me, the corps in Romeo et Juliette are a bunch of people wearing lots of fabric and just trying to differentiate the clans is hard enough, and everyone in the corps blends together.  Tharp controls everything about her work, so it would be entirely up to her.

    We'll certainly see this season.

  9. One example of discussing the discussion, as I pointed out earlier, is:

    2 hours ago, PeggyTulle said:

    Why is lack of gender inclusiveness here not allowed to be discussed

    Aside from this statement being not true, I'm quoting your post that I'm using as a descriptive example.  Other examples are when people talk about how they don't like the way the discussion is going, or that the subject is inappropriate.  In all cases, if you feel that something violates a rule or policy, report the post, and we'll review and decide.   We don't expect everyone to like or be comfortable with every opinion that's posted.

    Arguing about the rules on the board instead of by contacting us directly is another example.  We know that our rules curtail certain ways of having discussions, although not subjects that are on relevant forum topics, but everyone who creates/maintains a site gets to determine its own communicty standards that people can accept or pass on., since participation is voluntary.  It is rare that these aren't removed, but sometimes, we need to make a point.  If this still isn't clear, I don't know how else to explain a concept that has, for the most part, been understood and followed for over two decades.

    As far as not discussing each other,  using "you"/"your" to reply to a post, aside from "I agree with you"/"You expressed it better than I ever could"  or "I disagree with your post," can guarantee that it will follow will be a type of personalization, characterization/mischaracterization, or assumption that is in violation, hence the general rule against it.  The sentences I edited out did exactly that, and, from my experience, would have been reported by the morning, if I hadn't caught them first.

  10. I have removed an entire response that is inappropriate, because we don't argue about the core rules and policies that we've had since the site's inception, the ones that everyone who signs up agrees to follow, even if they don't read them.  No one is forced to participate on this site: there are plenty of places on the internet to have different kinds of discussions if you prefer.  But those who choose to are subject to our rules, and, for the vast majority of the time, our members do.

    The way to not discuss the discussion is to state your opinion on the subject, in this case your opinion of inclusivity, without discussing anyone else's opinion.  Everyone here can read and can come to their own conclusions.



    36 minutes ago, PeggyTulle said:

    I have asked this before with no response. What does this mean? I have looked through the guidelines and such but can't find examples. Googling leads me nowhere, too.

    It's in our Rules & Policies under two separate bullet points:

    • Write what you think of the subject, not other posters, i.e., no ad hominem attacks, characterizations, or psychoanalysis.
    • Don't discuss the discussion.  Do not discuss each other.

      If you have a problem with a post, click the "Report" button at the bottom of the post, and the Moderators will review it

    I don't think we're important enough to Google for this to come up easily in search results.


    31 minutes ago, PeggyTulle said:

    Why is lack of gender inclusiveness here not allowed to be discussed? It's a central part of the issue and it seems the preferenceis to dance around it.

    You can discuss the lack of gender inclusiveness on this site by stating your point of view. You cannot discuss what other posters think about gender inclusiveness or tell them what they must or must not be as a result of their opinion aside from "I disagree" and then explaining your opinioin.

    31 minutes ago, PeggyTulle said:

    Also, why was my post edited without any note about it? 

    When we find a violation, we have the choice of removing it altogether, or leaving what isn't in violation of our rules and policies.   

    Which is in our Rules & Policies.

    Why did your post/part of your post disappear? It contained

          [list of policy violations]

    We generally don't put a note that we've edited a post, because that's like holding up a sign that says that you've violated policy.  Admin notes can refer to deleted posts, not necessarily the last post before the general warning.  If you prefer us to remove it altogether, then you can "Report" the post, PM me, or use the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of each page and ask for what remains to be deleted, and you wouldn't be the first.  You can also contact us if you have a question about a policy.

  12. I can't imagine the Edwards won't be useful in the current PNB rep, which includes some gender non-specific solo roles, like Fenley's "State of Darkness," danced by Jonathan Porretta, James Moore, and Rachel Foster.  (Noelani Pantastico was originally cast, but didn't perform). Also Jessica Lang's "The Calling," performed by Carla Korbes, James Moore, Dylan Wald, and Leah Merchant.  There is all an array of contemporary works which, like the other two, don't all have pointe work, although Crystal Pyte's "Emergence" does, and he could dance any of the roles.  Possibly the Dove rep, depending on what's in cycle and if PNB still has the rights for them.  There's new work coming in all the time.

  13. The trend in the choreographers that Peter Boal is hiring and the direction that the rep has been heading suggests that choreographers will be able to use Edwards as they see fit.

    If this happens, Edwards would not be the first young man, PD, apprentice, or corps member, who gets many opportunities from his peers or outside choreographers above rank.  There are also other opportunities beyond the McCaw Hall stage in which PNB dancers perform and choreograph, some fully or partly sponsored by PNB and others independent.

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  15. 27 minutes ago, Phrenchphry11 said:

    The group demands that 3 out of the top 5 AD candidates identify as black or indigenous people of color.  The other AD thread has a list going of likely SFB candidates, and very very few of them are people of color.  I think the best we can hope for (realistically) is a strong ally who will fight for representation and diverse choreography commissions. But that may be defeatist of me.

    I actually get why they're going for a majority of finalists: the optics would be atrocious if all three were bypassed, especially since there's not a hugely obvious candidate, like a Bernstein or van Karajan of the Executive Directorship world.


  16. 50 minutes ago, pherank said:

    I believe NYCB, PNB and MCB all need more representation from the Asian cultures and the Asian-American community.

    PNB has nine, possibly ten, dancers of Asian/Pacific Islander descent or, like Yuki Takahashi, is from Japan.  That's over 20% of the company.  I don't know any of the incoming dancers -- four -- and whether the company will hire another three dancers to replace the seven who have left.  

    The number of Hispanic dancers is low -- and we just lost the beautiful Angeli Mamon, sigh -- and PNB's history of hiring black dancers is dire.  (And, no, Amanda Morgan doesn't count for ten because she is a Black ballerina.) But I don't think the company is underrepresented by dancers with, at least, Japanese, Hawaiian, and Filipino descent. 

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