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Everything posted by kfw

  1. Lots of jazz, mostly contemporary at the moment: the bassist Linda May Han Oh, the tenor saxophonists Melissa Aldana, Joe Lovano, and Charles Lloyd, the cellist Tomeka Reid, the multi-instrumentalist Roscoe Mitchell, the pianists Craig Taborn and the late Geri Allen. The guitarist Bill Frisell, and many more. Also Miles Davis’ great mid-60’s quintet, recorded “Live at the Plugged Nickel.” Lots of opera, especially Strauss and Wagner, including a recent Walkure in Chicago. The Met when it’s live on Sirius or NPR. Historic recordings on You Tube. Late period Dylan. Christmas music of all sorts, especially Robin and Linda Williams’ The First Christmas Gift.
  2. I agree. I don’t think the DUIs should have anything to do with it. While it’s true that most people go through life without even one alcohol-related run in with the law, much less three, it’s also true that his have taken place nineteen years and six years apart from each other, and that this last occurred at a time of undoubtedly great stress. To me, that doesn’t signal that he has a problem that’s out of control. Even if it did, if alcoholism is a disease, he shouldn’t be fired for manifesting that disease off the job. The abuse is another issue obviously, but I feel for the younger dancers who see him as a father figure and haven't seen him act badly (possibly because he'd reformed).
  3. Does one rarely seen ballet really perpetuate any kind of stereotype? To whom? Who in 2018 is really so unintelligent as to think less of Asian women having seen Bugaku? Unfortunately sometimes it's precisely the insistence, well-intentioned as it is, on having serious conversations monologues in which one opinion alone is considered respectable and others are labeled shameful that makes the people most in need of education turn away. Some are racist; few are stupid.
  4. It's a factually incorrect statement. One cannot lead from point A to point A.
  5. "To"? That's very odd wording. Martins has maintained the prominence and artistic achievement already existent in the institutions he inherited.
  6. We watch it every year. Three hundred and sixty-four days of the year, it's the other Strauss I love, and I never listen to this one. On New Year's Day, coming from the Musikverin, I find this one delightful. Except for the dancing which strikes us as . . . kitschy?
  7. The The company's rehearsal of the second movement, originally on Facebook live, is now on YouTube.
  8. kfw

    Gomes and ABT

    Is she really accusing a 21st century ballet company board of a homophobic presumption?
  9. There is much else in that review of course. But yes, canbelto's reviews are excellent.
  10. kfw

    Gomes and ABT

    I'm not even a ABT fanatic, but I'm still sad for all involved. "Beloved" is the word.
  11. I would think that his explanations of the Balanchinean style versus what he mostly saw from the French and the Russians would be extremely helpful to someone new to ballet and eager to learn, and they tell us what he did and didn't see in this program.
  12. Not to gainsay the criticism, but I don’t so much not take it seriously as don’t take it. Since I don’t view women that way, I don’t experience the ballet that way. I see those particular women on that stage that way for as long as the ballet lasts. I experience it as a particular story, not a metaphor. Again, I’m not denying what seems to lie behind the story; I just choose not to give it all that weight. But that may not be an option for some other people.
  13. If the Kirkland story is true, I'm sure more such accounts will emerge now. Not to knock her, but given her other troubles she perhaps wasn't the most reliable interpreter of events. Farrell was smart enough to see that Balanchine wouldn't idolize her forever; that's a far cry from feeling she was in a hostile work environment. Balletwannabe, for people to fall in love which each other and treat each other badly when that love is not reciprocated is unfortunately quite normal in the sense of being common. Farrell was the one wronged there, and she apparently had no trouble forgiving him, continuing to work with him, and seeking to work with him again after she couldn't. That says a lot, I think.
  14. I think your second paragraph is plainly true. Balanchine's pursuit of women could have created an environment in which the female dancers were uncomfortable with him, feared his attention, and feared to refuse it. But 34 years after his death, no one, to my knowledge, has publicly said that was the case. By all accounts, they loved him. It's possible that someone will say otherwise now, given all the attention sexual harassment is receiving. But until such a time, the opposite appears to be true.
  15. Not that this is a simple question, because it obviously isn’t, but one thing I at least don’t want to get rid of in any ballet is idealization. It’s not that women are only soft and gentle, or that all are or should be. But love idealizes (for a time), and we need ideals, and behind the ideals is something real.
  16. It’s no justification certainly, but in my opinion the isms are just the easy wrongs to spot and categorize. Every single work of art was created by someone who hurt and wronged other human beings, because every single person hurts and wrongs other human beings. Reflecting on that can help us empathize with rather than other-ize the oppressor, as is our first instinct, and by doing so can ease the discomfort of loving, say, the music of Wagner.
  17. Has anyone spoken out and said so since? Leaving aside Farrell, who it seems never stopped loving him in her own way despite his wanting more, do we know of instances where his attention was unwanted? We know that Balanchine could be jealous of and even vindicative towards male dancers, but his ballerinas all seemed to revere him. Today they might see him differently, but if none did then, maybe they saw him truly. I'm sure he wasn't the only person in the company falling in love a lot. Even his wives never really spoke ill of him.
  18. I don't mean anyone was denying anyone's humanity; I just meant "human nature being what it is . . . " Sorry to be unclear. I think your second clause makes an important point.
  19. Given that (we) men are human beings, I expect some hearts and minds are being changed by all this attention to and discussion of the issue. But I also agree that's it's not possible to completely stop and prevent sexual harassment. Or to put it another way, we'll only stop it when we manage to change human (not male) nature. That's why the zero tolerance precedent finally being set now is so important.
  20. I don't think we can guess that it's sour grapes unless and until we know who made the claims. For all we know, they were made by principals.
  21. Continuation might be too strong a word for what sound like isolated incidents. And as far as we know the shame, or whatever, kept him from abusing Kistler again. Forgiveness should not be offered at the expense of safety, no, but I don’t think it’s clear it was. ETA: I see you've more or less addressed this. We just disagree, but it's possible more will come out and shed more light.
  22. Thanks for explaining. It's true Martins did abuse a NYCB employee, but that neither were at work and acting in their capacities as employees at the moment he did so. I disagree however that this would have sent a clear message that Martins could get away with the same thing at work - because in this case, the victim herself clearly forgave him. Imspear, Martins wasn't fired, but he was shamed. That's the takeaway I would think SAB students would come away with. That and that it's possible to love and forgive someone who wrongs and even harms you. Those are two possible messages, at least.
  23. I don't follow that logic. Apparently the dancers and probably some parents knew he could become violent at work, so it's possible the board did too, but is there evidence to show so? I think all the board made clear is that an incident at home was not a firing offense. Also, not to minimize what had happened at home, but it's possible it was never repeated. It's one thing to stick with a repeat abuser and another to stick with someone for whom abuse is, so far at least, only an aberration. In other words, it is of course possible to love in a healthy manner someone who has acted badly.
  24. But that's the least he could do, and a no-brainer. Likewise, Drew, you make good points of course, but to me what he's done for the Balanchine legacy is only what would have been unthinkable not to do. Also, while Ashton’s neglect at the Royal is a terrible shame, he at least wasn’t the founder of the company and the creator of nearly all of its iconic works (with no disrespect to Robbins; the Royal has Petipa's work). I also agree with Quiggin that Mazzo and others at SAB probably deserve as much or more credit as Martins.
  25. It seems to me that even if Balanchine's ballets had always been well danced since his death, no AD concerned about the company's legacy would have ever barred the door to Farrell and other of Balanchine's own principals and all they have to offer, and how much better the ballets might have looked with their help. For that alone, in my opinion, Martins has been a poor steward. dirac wrote: Having seen every program in the company's history, I'd say far more ups than downs, and downs only because of those limitations. But can you refresh my memory? On whose word had she not always been up to par when Martins let her go? I find that very hard to believe.
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