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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
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    San Francisco
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  1. But this wasn't just about knee squeezing – and knee squeezing, and what Matt Damon referred to as just a little pat on the butt now and then, eventually becomes a kind of sign meaning "I own you." But this was also about sex, the compete works, in exchange for being able to keep your job.
  2. Why didn't he just say, here's something to pay for parking with. Why did he bring the word "prostitute" into the picture? A bit of a Freudian slip I would think as far as what he really thought of his "consenting" partners.
  3. Yes, absolutely. But there is something in us that tends to want look the other way when everything else is going so well. Sometimes an authority – say a director – will say I won't have any of that in my theater and everyone breathes a sigh of relief. I think when it happens at the board level, it's inexcusable. The strangest thing, and what blows all of Domingo's "alibis," is when he put $10 on a dresser and said it was just enough to pay for parking but not enough to make his partner into a prostitute.
  4. The Times is $15.00 a month – 50 cents a day. Single articles elsewhere start at $3.00 or $4.00 and on up. The Times and the Wall Street Journal are the only US papers left really keeping an eye on lots of dubious things and acts on a day to day basis. Even if I don't read all the national articles, I figure in some way I'm voting for good government by subscribing (at least to the Times). Yes, a vote for Marina Harss per Marta and Kathleen O'Connell's links, most recently her well considered Dance Tabs Bournonville review.
  5. I'll miss Ulrich's reviews which seemed strong and just. He knew the music as well as the choreography. His championing of San Francisco Ballet's production of the "Shostakovich Trilogy" helped get it a full, not partial, reprise in the following season. From the initial review in 2014 -
  6. I'm just catching up on this, too. Wheeldon uses the dubious term "balance" several times in the interview. Balancing dark forces against rational and light ones doesn't really seem to work – and we can see the results of twenty years of such attempts in the political arena. Wheeldon: Another biography problem: While I've never followed Jackson's music and career that much, only the effect on its fans, I did find his surgeries and skin whitening treatments very disturbing. Who did he want to be, to represent? What was his attitude towards his black heritage? Who did he become? From a 2009 Rolling Stone article on Jackson's legacy: https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/michael-jackson-black-superhero-71199/
  7. When I worked in a law firm library, we kept everything in date order, the most recent memo on top (we were very old fashioned). If I were as organized at home today, I would keep all the cast lists of a company in one folder in such a date order, with colored sheet of paper between seasons. I'd put occasional tear sheet from programs in another. If I put them in my computer, they would lose a lot of their "tangible" value, though you could probably do a lot of Nate Silver/538 like statistics and charts with them. Anyway I've even kept the ticket stubs nestled in the casting sheets of my San Francisco Ballet seasons – when the dancers I most liked were still in the company and they were regularly doing Balanchine and Ratmansky – as a kind of stamp of authenticity. Some of my old City Ballet programs still contain those little slips of paper that indicated a very nervous-making when you first saw them, last minute casting change.
  8. Reading the Wikipedia entry on "West Side Story" gives some interestingly crazy, slightly bad faith, background – which could be a play in itself, if not a musical. Originally WWS was a Romeo and Juliet story (Jerome Robbins's idea) about a Jewish girl and Roman Catholic boy set on the Lower East Side ("East Side Story"). The Jets were Catholic and anti-Semitic, the girl a survivor of the Holocaust. Later the musical was to be set in Los Angeles among Mexican American gangs on Olvera Street. Arthur Laurents. who wrote the book, said he was more comfortable setting the story among Puerto Ricans whom he was more familiar with – though he ended up coining their slang words rather than transcribing them (so that they wouldn't date). Jerome Robbins was happy that the musical had a "Latin beat." Stephen Sondheim originally wanted to write the music as well as the lyrics, but Laurents wouldn't go for that idea. Bernstein wrote some of the more florid lyrics but most of them were eventually dropped. (Bernstein was writing 'Candide' at the same time and some of songs were shuffled back and forth between the two works.) The credits were all over the place, Bernstein given the nod for some lyrics, Sondheim not wanting to be associated with them, Robbins claiming the concept – and no one speaking to him by opening night as a result. Rita Moreno was the only Puerto Rican cast member. So maybe it's alright that the afterlife of West Side Story continues on in a like manner.
  9. nanushka: Yes, shadings of meaning contribute to clarity (and wit).The Oxford Dictionary on Historical Principles has affair as this: To back it up they cite, among others, Noel Coward: "We could carry on a backstairs affair for weeks without saying a word about it." And I'd add to my own OED: Barbara Pym, from Jane and Prudence: "It was not a very nice book – so often Miss Trapnell or Miss Clothier asked her, ‘Is that a nice book you’ve got, Miss Bates?’ – but it described a love affair in the fullest sense of the word and sparing no detail, but all in a very intellectual sort of way and there were a good many quotations from Donne. It was difficult to imagine that her love for Arthur Grampian could ever come to anything like this, and indeed she was hardly conscious of him as she read on into the small hours of the morning to the book’s inevitable but satisfying unhappy ending." In literature at least, most love affairs are unhappy affairs, while relationships are fairly (teleologically speaking) neutral.
  10. Which Degas faithfully recorded. Link from Robert Herbert's Impressionism which treats the movement as documentary footage for a sociological interpretation. "The lives of Morny and Halevy … are very rewarding for the study of Degas’s own role as a backstage at the opera. The artist’s devotion to the dancers at the opera cannot readily be understood unless we examine the roles of powerful men." Suite of backstage monotypes begins on page 107 – https://books.google.com/books?id=p93wb_p4ndgC&pg=PA169&lpg=PA169&dq=degas+jockey+club&source=bl&ots=GjmyZVbhkI&sig=ACfU3U1Bm3hk0ogs0rmF0k_gUhOEsJ43PQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwit1LCu8K_jAhWDBc0KHaFXAckQ6AEwEXoECAkQAQ#v=snippet&q=jockey club&f=false
  11. I think reading Save Me the Waltz alongside Tender is the Night might be helpful. Scott Fitzgerald of course drew from, and collaged in, some of Zelda's observations and letters into his own work. And she perhaps had the purer Modernist voice, something of the tone he needed to use in his own more traditional stories. From their "co-counseling" sessions as Zelda Fitzgerald was being institutionalized in Maryland in 1933 – Quoted in "Tender Is the Night and F. Scott Fitzgerald's Sentimental Identities"
  12. Two things I'll add to my comment above: On the plus side of the Times Dance ledger is the weekly feature Speaking in Dance, consisting of Instagram clips of a fairly wide variety of contemporary dance choreography curated by Gia Kourlas. It's something we wouldn't have had in the gray old days. One of the most intriguing of the recent postings was a compilation of semaphoring Nijinsky moves from Netta Yerushalmy's Paramodernities, also a clip of Pam Tanowitz's pickup company tapping in "rounds." https://www.nytimes.com/column/speakingindance And sadly Douglas Crimp, whom I mentioned as one of the art world-dance world crossover critics, just died. He devoted a chapter in his recent memoir to his New York City Ballet going years with another October journal writer, Craig Owens. Crimp also curated an important show, with Lynne Cooke, on the gritty urban New York art scene of the 70s called Mixed Use, Manhattan (MIT Press), featuring work by Trisha Brown, Joan Jonas, Chantal Ackerman, Peter Hujar, Gordon Matta-Clark and William Gedney. Crimp's dance writings will be published by Dancing Foxes: http://www.artnews.com/2019/07/05/douglas-crimp-dead/
  13. The Times may be having a difficult time finding the right voice for a lead ballet reviewer. Macaulay was unique in being able to create color and (melo)drama around City Ballet and ABT, always advancing the cause of seeing Balanchine afresh, introducing Ratmansky's new world to the readers and keeping an eye on Cunningham. John Rockwell's short tenure just before AM's did not work out, so maybe it's not an easy position to fill. In comparison, there seem to be three visual arts reviewers at the Times now, Jason Farago joining senior reviewers Roberta Smith and Holland Carter. Together they post on average three articles a week and then, along with two or three stringers, write a group of four thumbnails on what's current. Kimmelman does a couple of non-specialist architecture articles a month, and I hardly notice classical music reviewing anymore. Maybe part of the problem is that in the past more compelling new works came out of the dance world, with Tharp and mid-sized companies more active. In the art world painting-painting has had a big revival and there are lots of ongoing rediscoveries, so reviewing reflects that (and of course all the auction and art fair activity). In the fifties and sixties there seemed to be a big crossover between art and dance via Cunningham, Elaine de Kooning, Edwin Denby, Frank O'Hara, Susan Sontag and Douglas Crimp – lots of bouncing back between art openings and City Ballet. Don't think that's the case anymore (except for the Gala). With the exception of Balanchine, who had roots in the Soviet avant-garde and knew how to combine the traditional and radical, Ratmansky, who has a bit of this magic, the lesser but often good Peck, and the Cunningham revivals, I don't see much outside Vail and Jacob's Pillow clips that seem to catch my eye (though more a visual arts eye than dance one). Trey MacIntyre's work, Body/Poem seemed to translate downtown to the San Francisco Opera House stage quite well. But much of what I see at SF Ballet is not dangerously "highbrow" but more sleepy "middlebrow" where a few downtown ideas are borrowed and softened with generic off-the-shelf semi balletic movements. The works seem fussy and overwrought and unclear. And I find myself less interested in boy-girl, or even retrofitted boy-boy, spurned love stories anymore (except, appropriately, in the 19c classics). I enjoyed Ratmansky's Seven Sonatas because it seemed to be more about a world and a community than about individual cases. McIntyre's work too came from another point of view, the second half of Body/Poem an intriguing dance monologue. (Balanchine I always read as a world, and the boy girl relations and solos – such as in Liebeslieder and Emeralds – not what they first appear.) OT: interesting Schjeldahl review and Yau interview with the rediscovered Stanley Whitney, who easel-painted away, albeit sometimes on the floor with a mop, during the Pop and Minimalist 70s and 80 when it was totally unfashionable. https://fireplacechats.wordpress.com/2015/08/12/stanley-whitneys-gorgeous-color-inventions-on-canvas/ I don't know if anyone reads the Brooklyn Rail but it seems to regularly cover the New York Dance scene, St Marks, perhaps a bit unevenly. Has a sponsor credit. https://brooklynrail.org/
  14. Thanks. Both might be worth owning. Craine and Mackrell seem to use as a basis, and amend, many of the old Koegler entries (though without crediting K.). The new Dictionary updates the "Germany" entry through Pina Bausch but eliminates much of the important pre WWII history, Joost, etc. Since much of visual arts of the fifties and sixties in the US (abstract expressionism and minimalism) seem to be a fulfillment of ideas seeded in Russia and Europe in the teens and twenties, this might be a significant loss of history for dance.
  15. Some dance books I've found helpful, randomly found in used bookstores here in San Francisco: Horst Koegler's Dictionary of Ballet Oxford University Press, 1977, seems to be a sturdy and learned reference book, not outdated, but being unsupplemented might be its weakness. Don't know if there's a successor. John Percival's Modern Ballet, studio vista Dutton Pictureback, is an interesting snapshot survey of dance up to 1970, much of it European. Major companies and currents of the period, some now forgotten. Human – Space – Machine. Stage Experiments at the Bauhaus, Spector Books covers important developments in Germany in the twenties that have had a stealth influence on modernist dance of the post war period, lavishly illustrated. Theatre in Revolution: Russian Avant-Garde Stage Design 1913-1935, Thames & Hudson/San Francisco Fine Arts Museums, has chapters by Elizabeth Sourtiz and Nicoletta Misler about Soviet dance experiments which have had a trickle down influence on modern dance everywhere – and during the late twenties on the Diaghilev company. George Balanchine (New Ballet) was a junior member of this movement. The Ballet Annual, Arnold Haskell editor, published from 1948 to 1958, is a good survey of European and American ballet in the immediate post war period. (I see $5.00 penciled on the inner cover of the copies of my broken set.) Bonus: one of the last issues of Ballet Review has an article by Alexei Ratmansky on the problems and delights of restaging a Petipa ballet: http://www.balletreview.com/images/Ballet_Review_47-1-2_Alexei_Ratmanksy.pdf Always liked this bit of ballet history in Franz Kafka's Letters to Felice: And per Sandik, Horst Kroeger's succinct entry on German ballet in his Oxford Dictionary fills in the background of Kafka's note –
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