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Amy Reusch

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Posts posted by Amy Reusch

  1. There were parts where Ratmansky's genius shone through and parts I found tiresome.  I think part of the trouble is that  we all fall in love with our first production.  I went with some ballet fans some of whom had never seen a Romeo and Juliet (it is a big production to mount) , and others who had actually danced in productions of it.  I missed Cranko's market scenes.  

    I wished he had done something with Commedia della Arte characters for the buffons, but if he did, I didn't get it.

    i kept wanting to see a predecessor to an Entree Grave and a Saltarello, but the knights did not carry for me and there was somehow too much tossing of jumping women for me... but I know nothing reallly of these things... it just did not satisfy my imagination.  There were ideas in it that I liked but it just did not come together.  Almost as if the sound of the swords clashing was not formal enough... though I did like the kissing of the lady's hem finish.

    On the other hand, the part where Romeo & Juliet meet was the best I've ever seen.

    The balcony scene felt like too much, as if Ratmansky worked on the honeymoon scene first and coming up with too, used leftover material in the Balcony scene... it was too much too soon.

    Tybalt was wonderfully rendered, as was Mercutio.   Benvolio... I would like to see more of this dancer, lovely float to his leaps.

    i felt Lantratov was better in some sections thsn others... the bits with the three friends sometimes looked more rehearsed than playful, but he was wonderful with  Juliet... distinct steps dissolved into emotions...

    Kysanova was beautiful.. I liked her more here than in the Corsaire streaming.  She left several in the audience here in tears.  Never did I become distracted by her technique.  The fractional moment of her run made me wish to see her do the run of other productions.

    i wonder what early ABT fans would have made of all the interior landscape acted out.  I thought the Friar was a good actor and I liked the explanation behind the scrim.

    I also missed the lowering of Juliet into the crypt.  

    Now I,d like to watch all the National Ballet Canada footage to compare.



    Who was that who came by & kissed Lantratov during the intermission interview?  He seemed quite struck by it. :)



  2. I would like to see Tharp's  Bakers Dozen done by more ballet companies...    when I was young, I used to find her work too much  "and the kitchen sink", but I've changed my mind.  I think her work may look better in a small frame like a video tight shot than in a big frame like the opera stage... the quick details are harder to catch from the top ring.

  3. Okay, this is addressed generally, not specifically to the Martins situation, but given how widespread the MeToo movement now is:  

    If flirtation is equal to harassment, then aren't there many women who have harassed their male co-workers?  Is showing cleavage at work harrassment?  What about the hemline?  How far does this go?  Are women all going to have to don the hajib at work to avoid harassing the men?    Ask the men you know, has a woman ever flirted with them at work?

    I feel anyone who has been repeatedly "hit on" at work, after indicating a lack of interest, has a different situation than the casual flirtation or off color joke... but...  we are talking about a slippery slope here... and there are whole generations of men who have been taught persistence is a virtue.  There are magazine articles out there advising women to never accept the first invitation for a date because it's a turn-off, makes them seem "too easy"...   There is a tremendous amount of subtext in flirtation, and it is possible to misread it.  Some flirtation is never intended to go beyond a smile.

    I believe anyone who has been forced to have sex to keep their job has been horrendously abused and should be protected.  

    On the other hand, I feel Leonard Lopate should have been left in his job at WNYC, and is a victim of the MeToo movement.

    Peter Martins?  I don't know.  I was not there.   Clearly there is something.  Was that something everything everyone has ever accused him of?  I have no idea.  I just don't like the mob justice situation, it makes me nervous.   One should be able to face one's accusers.  How are we to judge these situations where most of the time someone coming forward long after all evidence has disappeared is telling the truth.  Until someone can assure me that 100% of the time no one innocent has ever been accused...  I'm not in a rush to jump to any conclusions.  Let's hear what the investigation turns up.  In the meantime, he has lost his job and his reputation.  


    I have no axe to grind.  I do not think all situations are the exactly the same.

  4. 7 hours ago, Pique Arabesque said:

    Suzanne Farrell (nearly 40 years younger than him), and her refusal to marry him lead to her departure from City Ballet.

    Agreed, but remember it was Farrell giving Balanchine  an ultimatum over roles for her husband that clinched the departure.... one can certainly understand why she felt she had to make a stand, but dancers do not give ultimatums to artistic directors.


    "Finally one evening when Mejia was not given a role that he felt was his due—Symphony in C, third movement—Farrell issued an ultimatum: if Mejia didn’t dance in Symphony in C that night, they would both quit. To her utter astonishment, Balanchine took her up on it."   


    I am not defending anyone's shameful actions here, but let's not lose the fine lines of history.

  5. 1 hour ago, On Pointe said:

    (My previous answer disappeared into cyberspace so forgive me if this posts twice.)   I only mentioned impotence because it is a possibility.  As a young refugee,  Balanchine  suffered from illness and  malnutrition, and he had only one lung.  According to a poster here ,   he never consummated his marriage to Maria Tallchief,  which may or may not be true.  But Balanchine maintained that pregnancy and childbirth did not harm  a ballerina's body,  and many of his favorite dancers were mothers,  including  Karin von Aroldingen,  who passed  away just two days ago.

    I was distinctly under the impression that Hayden, Kent & Von Aroldingen were the exceptions...  http://articles.latimes.com/1995-01-02/entertainment/ca-15602_1_city-ballet  :  "Children had never entered my mind, and it was no secret that Balanchine thought ballerinas shouldn't have them." -- Suzanne Farrell,

  6. 1 hour ago, On Pointe said:

    According to the old Bernard Taper biography,  Balanchine married his first wife Tamara Geva when he was a teen at the urging of her father,  who knew they were having sex and was concerned that they would get "in trouble",  an old euphemism for an out-of-wedlock pregnancy.  If he didn't have sex with his subsequent wives before marrying them,  it probably wasn't because he became more moralistic as the years went by.  Maybe they insisted on it,  maybe he was largely impotent by then.

    I still take issue with this... and now you're suggesting he was impotent, is that also documented or just assumed due to the lack of issue (my understanding was Balanchine had significant concerns regarding pregnancy's effects on a ballerina's frame) ...     Do you have the Taper quote?  I've read both Taper's biography and Geva's autobiography, and it's not calling up any memories of the father being concerned... I do remember Geva's mother was Geva's father's kept woman before finally getting married against the objections of her mother-in-law.... perhaps the concerns about propriety were to to protect Geva's reputation in advance of any sex, particularly considering the breakdown of society just then.  It was a very crazy time... if ever there were a time not to be temporal-centric it would be applying today's mores to Russia's social mores immediately after the revolution.  

  7. On January 6, 2018 at 4:34 PM, balletforme said:

    Wow!  This has really stirred up. . . Peter Martins was known to sleep with dancers (MANY of them).  Kathryn Morgan states this. I am sure Gelsey did as well.   

    It would not be odd.  It was company tradition, Balanchine did it. So why not him? 


    Ummm... .I take issue with this.   Where is the evidence that Balanchine slept with his dancers?  As far as I understand, with the exception of Danilova with whom he was understood to have a common law marriage, he married his dancers before he slept with them...   

  8. 10 hours ago, JMcN said:

    Interestingly enough 2 of the 4 "big" ballet companies in England are choreographer led and that has been criticised because it is perceived in some quarters that there is too much reliance on their own work.

    Yes... there is that issue...  we do have to put up with mediocrity in order to glean out the masterpieces that will become classics.. one can't just assume every new work will be a masterpiece equal to the classics... that would be to misunderstand the environment that produced those classics...  and I accept that was not your point..

     But, is there a word for the kind of choreoographer in residence that Ashton was?  It would be hard to say he fid not influence the look of the Royal Ballet dancers, even though he was not director until after DeValois' death...


    Wikipedia- Ashton was chief choreographer to Ninette de Valois, from 1935 until her retirement in 1963, in the company known successively as the Vic-Wells Ballet, the Sadler's Wells Ballet and the Royal Ballet. He succeeded de Valois as director of the company, serving until his own retirement in 1970.

    Think of Nureyev, whose choreography has not been universally loved, even his choreographic efforts shaped the Paris Opera dancers...  

    If there is a way to give the resident choreographer that kind of influence with an artistic director involved in the design of the season... ok...  but I'm not sure how to design that kind of relationship unless they were together at the founding of the company.   A choreographer has a different stake in the abilities of the dancers than does an artistic director hoping to do justice to other people's masterworks...   i wonder if Peter Martins would have been as good a director if he had not also been a choreographer... even if his work was not quite equal to the other masterpieces his company presents.  It is a slightly different situation if one's own personal expression is involved...

  9. I far prefer a choreographer run company... the director-choreographer has insights that bring out qualities in dancers in a very different way than an artistic director cultivating a museum/choreographer-of-the-day repertory...   a director-choreographer has a long term influence.  NYCB would be like the current ABT if it hadn't been for the artistic-director choreographers.  Even with a choreographer like Ratmansky in residence, it seems like he is globe hopping so much, it is a different situation than a choreographer-director's influence on the shape of a company.   Balanchine took his company classes very seriously and used them to  deliver a very different type of dancer and technique.    Now, in the early days of ABT, perhaps Tudor & deMille had more influence on the shape of the company than a resident choreographer now?       Also, a choreographer having their own company of dancers with long standing muse relationships has an entirely different creative nourishment situation.     

  10. From the above referenced NY Times article:


    Now, as the boards prepare to replace Mr. Martins, many former dancers — about two dozen of whom have complained in interviews about his treatment — are concerned that board leaders and others at City Ballet are not examining their own responsibility for allowing a powerful leader to go largely unchecked [snip]

    ok... Two Dozen... that's more than we first heard about. 

  11. 24 minutes ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

    In the year ending 6/30/15, Martins made $900,000 in base salary and bonus as Ballet Master in Chief, plus $39, 352 in non-taxable benefits. I'm guessing the list of people who would be willing to work for half that is long and distinguished.

    Come to think of it, didn't Balanchine not draw a salary for the same position?



    Bernard Taper · 1996 · Biography & Autobiography
    Money interested him even less than titles. For the first sixteen years of the New York City Ballet's existence, Balanchine took no salary. He was satisfied with the twelve to fifteen thousand dollars a year he averaged from  ...


  12. 3 hours ago, ABT Fan said:

    So, if Martins had not "cared enough", he would have been civil and respectful? How dreadful.

    Plenty of people CARE without screaming, yelling, or doing worse to others.

    Until a year ago, I worked for a boss who would lose his temper literally every day at at least one of us, screaming, etc. And, he in no way "cared" about the work, the company or his subordinates. He was a narcissistic bully and we all cheered when he finally quit.

    No, he could have not cared and behaved just as badly...   but I have seen plenty of people with a "whatever...." attitude not fight for quality and accept less, and I respect the struggle for quality.  Some people handle it better than others.   

    I was paywall blocked from reading Kelly Boal's account until today, so my apologies, I had only read Martins lost his temper during rehearsal.  The Boal account describes truly appalling behavior played out hours after rehearsal.  Almost sounds as if Martins felt insecure due to Peter Boal's increasing popularity.

    I'm pretty sure I would have lost my temper with a kid horsing around  during a full dress rehearsal involving costs of union stage, union orchestra and union dancers, plus everyone else's time.   Clearly the pushback was over the top, but these outbursts came from nowhere?  Surely we have all seen situations where one kid provokes another but the teacher's attention was only caught by  the second kid's strike back... these are adults, not kids, but they are still humans... I'd like to know what the provocation was.  The behavior absolutely was not excused by the provocation, but we're still making value judgements based on one side's account of what happened.  Yes, the multiple accounts are damning, but we are also talking 50 years worth of interactions in a large institution and a lot of changeover, I'm really honestly surprised that, given the behavior described, we haven't heard of even more... 

    We do not hear what happened during rehearsal that set him off, but hours later is hardly a knee jerk reaction.   

    Obviously he has rage problems.  Alcohol does not help with this and there are DUI incidents mentioned.

    Martins hasn't been accused of the consistency of your former boss.... that doesn't make his behavior excusable but it doesn't make it the same situation either.  Have people been accusing Martins of being a Narcissistic bully?  Did I miss that? (honest question, I miss a lot, I'm not an insider)   Was Martins' rage outbreak a weekly occurrence?  Or was he known for losing it at least once a season?  If it was a regular everyday occurence, I'm astounded he could have lasted 50 years.  I'm not defending him, just not equating him with your example.  I suspect a more balanced director would have overcome personal feelings and brought Suzanne Farrell in to coach.

    Balanchine was rather famous for not losing his temper and just making changes, after all, with no loss of quality... but then again, he had his genius to fall back on, not everyone has that facility. Perhaps the sniffing was an indication of consternation?  

    Robbins was famous for losing his temper, but he did get good work out.   I can,t remember ever hearing accounts that it was more than verbal abuse though.  Can be just as cutting, but...  

    Tudor was famous for cutting remarks.

    Rambert would tear people apart to rebuild them. 

    Nureyev was known to lose his temper.

    Plenty of people manage to create their art without resorting to verbal or physical abuse.  But not everyone is that well balanced.  Do we take only the results of mentally balanced people?  


    But I take your point.  I have had the misfortune of encountering too many people in the past two decades not interested in pushing hard for quality, but I have spent those two decades living in the hinterlands.  It was culture shock leaving urban centers where you give quality or you get out.  It probably has colored my understanding from a distance of the forces at play at NYCB. 


  13. It in no way excuses violence or harrassment, but I do feel for Martins, after having given 50 years of his life to this company, and caring enough to lose his temper, that he should end this way.  It is unfortunate that the retribution collected for so many years.  Of course he got a lot himself out of those 50 years, but to imagine there were no sacrifices or personal cost involved... 

  14. I like Vipa's idea...  I believe the board would support up the financial end while an inspiring leader is carefully chosen.... two years would be time to vet all ideas, wouldn't it?  And the company would be in good hands in the meantime if it were one of the senior coaching staff.  Roy Kaiser carried Pennsylvania Ballet for a long time.  Two years should turn up a leader...?

  15. How about the directors of two small companies Los Angeles Ballet or Ballet Arizona...  Colleen Neary and Thordal Christensen deserve credit for keeping a company alive for ten years and bring both Balanchine & Bournonville backgrounds.  Ib Anderson looks to be doing interesting work out in Arizona and also has both influences.  Yes, incomparable budgets, but perhaps one should look at what they have managed to do with those budgets and give them the chance to work with more.  

    The problem is, the "worked directly with Balanchine"  generation have just about aged out... how long would any of them be available to run the company?  It will be difficult to replace the stability Martins provided, how much havoc would a series of directors over the next few years wreak?

    I'd love to see someone paired with Wendy Whelan.  Partnerships can be difficult to get to survive in as stressful a situation as running a dance company.    

    Even though NYCB is an unlikely vehicle, I'd love to see an American ballet company headed by Wendy Whelan with David Hallberg , their backgrounds would complement each other interestingly.  

  16. Perhaps because the State Theater has been rented instead to Shen Yui for the 21st?  I'm still surprised there is not more...  The more I think about it, the more I imagine it would be the job of the director of Education who organized the events...   Maybe I just haven't hunted through the website thoroughly enough?    Did they not do one last year? (I'm afraid I was out of commission at the time and not checking ballet calendars)

  17. I was hunting on the NYCB site to see what was planned for this year... there are often interesting lecture demos, etc... (there is still this on the website, but, given that the 21st is a Sunday this year, it must not be current:   https://www.nycballet.com/Season-Tickets/Saturday-at-the-Ballet-with-George.aspx)

    They seem to be presenting an all Balanchine program on the 23rd, but there is no mention of lectures or demonstrations...   Am I looking in the wrong place?  Or was this all pulled together in the past by Peter Martins and with him away no one has picked up the slack?

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