Follow-up to Sugarplumgate in Writings on Ballet Posted 10 hours ago · Edited 10 hours ago by Quiggin 14 hours ago, BalanchineFan said: I just had to stop. It's not about him. His voice is not what has been missing from the conversation. He really doesn't understand. I read the whole thing and have highlighted some of it below. I think he makes the whole matter worse. Macaulay should simply say he was trying to be witty in a way that no longer has much standing and that he's learned to move on. Quote I learnt my critical style from such exemplars as Clement Crisp, Arlene Croce, and Pauline Kael, all of whom were in their prime when I began in 1978. Crisp: “Béjart and Stravinsky is one of those fabled partnerships, like Romeo and Goneril, or bacon and strawberries.” Croce: “On a grim evening in Stockholm you can throw yourself in a canal or go to the Royal Swedish Ballet.” My own use of sarcasm has varied in quantity more than a few times over the years: I remember paring it away in the early 1990s only to find it burst out not long afterwards... There have been also several times when I’ve written a review with the deliberate intention of causing a furor. A critic is useful when she or he provokes debate ... I ... meant merely that her weight looked a single sugar plum beyond some ideal. How big is one sugar plum? As it happens, I’m not keen on the super-thin kind of ballerina; it’s well known that, when I came to ballet in the 1970s, I was wild about Lynn Seymour, whose weight was surely greater than Ringer’s. Nonetheless my “one sugar plum too many” words have led many to assume I’m on the side of anorexia. I’m not, but that’s how many now will always see me. As it happens, my close friends included some women who’ve had anorexia and other women who’ve tried to deal with obesity, in some cases consulting doctors. I’m sure I often said the wrong thing, but, in the case of one anorexic friend, over thirty years ago, I visited the doctor we both shared to ask advice on what I should or should not say to help matters if I could. It’s a long story, but that friend recovered from anorexia, and our friendship grew closer. As for obesity, I shared a house for five years with one large lady who ran a group of other women addressing the weight issue; I often opened the door or answered the phone to other women who were dealing with the problem. I’m aware that some male dancers suffer from weight problems and eating disorders too. Nonetheless, ... To be specific, I’ve criticized Mark Morris’s weight in both 1992 (in The New Yorker) and 2001 (in the Times Literary Supplement), on one occasion using the word “obese”. In the New York Times, I singled out New York City Ballet’s Nilas Martins (son of Peter) as “portly”. For many readers, it’s clear that there are rights and wrongs in this story. But are there? Nobody has ever complained that I had written that Nilas Martins was “portly”. Nobody has been outraged retrospectively that one Russian critic in 1892 described the original Sugarplum fairy as “pudgy”. While I remained at the New York Times ... several readers would write to me when they wanted me to criticize a dancer’s weight. Others told me to do so in person, though under their breaths.