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swanchat

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About swanchat

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    balletgoer
  • City**
    Philadelphia
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**
    US
  1. So glad to see Francesca Hayward's promotion. She's an lovely dancer with beautiful lines, lovely stage presence and has immense talent! Interesting to see the promotions and joiners of dancers trained at the RBS. Seems that the link between the company and the school may be stronger than in recent years.
  2. From the Royal Ballet School Website: Here's the link : http://www.royalballetschool.org.uk/2014/04/gailene-stock-1946-2014/ Her legacy of so many dancers living their dream will live forever.
  3. Taylor Stanley is an AA who rapidly rose to soloist with NYCB and is a fabulous dancer! ETA: Taylor is male (not sure if the discussion is only about female AA dancers in NYCB)
  4. I'm so glad to see Francesca Hayward being given the role of Clara and this world-wide exposure. She is a lovely dancer, lovely lines, lovely quality!
  5. OK, so I'm confused again... Her beloved Russian husband? Isn't she now divorced? Didn't she marry against the wishes of her family because she was marrying to further (she thought) her career? - not the first time this was ever done, but "beloved" hardly seems to fit if this is the case..... ETA: The link just has a trailer and it looks to me like her usual social media promotion. Under news it says something about the film being admitted to a film festival (Sept). The links to Q&A don't answer a lot of the confusion either. Was she married when this was filmed? It just talks about them being "sweethearts." And although under news, the Asian competition win is there, no mention is made of her career move. Honestly, I'm not sure I really care to know the answers anyway. My impression is that an idealistic, talented teenager who accomplished a great deal at a very young age failed (for whatever reasons) at achieving a very unrealistic dream (to become a principal at the esteemed and very inbred Bolshoi Ballet). Like many child prodigies, things didn't work out as planned. The interesting story is more about what happens next.For a happy ending, she just needs to move on, get back to the daily drudgery of class and hopefully rehearsals in any roles (corps or soloist) and put her life back together and it will be a lot easier to do this without putting herself in under the microscope of social media.
  6. Thank you for the clarification. Things are a little blurry in this situation.
  7. I can't judge (don't have the expertise or experience of watching either Kampa or Womack live) but there are differences. Keenan is older and had two years of professional experience when she joined the Mariinsky; Womack was fresh out of school. The AD of Boston Ballet called Kampa a major talent unlike the AD of Bolshoi who called Womack "persistent." In BB's online literature, Kampa is also quoted as understanding the need to "fit in" the corps. Womack says she's been told she doesn't fit in the corps and uses this as an excuse to say she's only fit for solo roles. Kampa's also quoted on the BB site, “I’ve been struggling with only doing corps stuff, freaking myself out a little from not being able to do solo stuff, worried I might lose that part of my artistry and technique,’’ ... “But after class, I sometimes work on my own.’’ Then this, "she is happy the company offers much more room for promotion than she would have had if she had stayed in Russia. In addition to corps work, she’s rehearsing an “Arabian’’ solo that she might perform in “The Nutcracker.’’ I read the last statement as she was covering "Arabian" and hoping to have the opportunity to do it. Keenan was working and under contract with BB when the Mariinsky offered her a contract fulfilling her life-long dream to work at the Mariinsky. If the "Kampa Madness" has tempered, it will be interesting to see if this level-headedness will get her through slugging it out in the corps there. That experience is not unique to Russia.
  8. If she's as good as the review (and I have no reason to doubt that she is), then the advice given earlier by several on this thread to get back to the barre, spend energy getting to the top of her game instead of giving meaningless interviews is the best thing she could do. That, and accept that no matter how talented or what roles she had in school, she needs to prove herself to a director by working to fit into the company, do what is necessary to become a valuable member of the company starting with corps work, show that she can pick up choreography quickly and when cast to cover roles, learn happily while in the back. For goodness sake, someone with the sort of talent that Natalia describes doesn't need to beg for solo roles but when young, these talents need to be savvy enough to become a trusted, valued company member before they should expect to be in featured roles.
  9. An article stated? Was this Womack's statement being quoted? or was the article quoting someone collaborating this threat? So far, I haven't read about anyone who has stepped up who has witnessed threatening statements. Characterizing Filin's lawyers statements are not collaborating threatening statements. Since she's touring within Russia currently and seems to plan to stay there, she is apparently not feeling terribly threatened. She has a US passport (unless she renounced her citizenship) and can leave when she wants to. This is not the old USSR. No, her goal was to be the first US Principal at the Bolshoi according to her social media. Things didn't work out. She made accusations that she's unwilling to pursue officially. I do think that hers is a cautionary story for any non-Russian who is thinking of dancing at the Bolshoi. It's not an easy place to have a career and advance through the ranks. If they owed her money, it's not about her reputation. It's about the employer living up to the contract. I have to respectfully disagree with your statement that few places of employment are by the books. Most are. Many ballet companies are also "union" houses. The rules are explicit and the remedies for non-compliance are clear. These are not Ivy halls or idealistic places. They are businesses. As I stated earlier, she returned for a second year. Why would she come back if she wasn't paid? It makes no sense- like many of the inconsistencies in this mess.
  10. It's ok to dislike the way things are done but I don't see how any of us here are going to change the way things are done at the Bolshoi. I don't think one 19 year old disgruntled American dancer who makes allegations that she's unwilling to pursue with officials is going to change "the way things are done" at the Bolshoi. There is a difference... those US immigrants stood up for their rights in many cases and took to the courts or went to the police. Without being willing to name the people who commit the offenses, people are able to hide behind the "way things are" argument. Until this happens internally and the management decides to change, the situation will not change. IMO, it will take brave Russian dancers to insist that changes happen but given the recent departure of their stars maybe it's just easier to leave.
  11. Who threatened her? Did she name those who threatened her? Filin gave her advice that she didn't like but I didn't read that he threatened her. She adds more to every interview but they are her words, her views. No way to substantiate them as she refuses to file a formal complaint or go to the authorities. Maybe she didn't like Filin's advice and complained of extortion. Maybe she didn't like the advice to be silent and said it was a threat, who knows? If I were threatened, I would go to the authorities. If I were her parent, I would insist that she go to the authorities and ask for protection. If she feels unsafe in doing so, then she might want to reconsider where she's chosen to live. Which brings us to the whole, that's the way it is in Russia thing. As outsiders, it's really not our privilege or responsibilty or opportunity to say when it doesn't fly anymore. As an American, she's an outsider, even if the sham marriage makes her a Russian citizen. Any changes at the Bolshoi will only happen when those in power (both at the company and from the state perspective) decide to change. The complaints of a disgruntled dancer will not cause that change. Unless she's willing to make formal charges of extortion and threats, no one is going to listen.
  12. I think this is sound advice for her since she's unwilling to make an official complaint. The following is another example of inconsistencies in her story and these sorts of things are exactly why people are questioning and searching for facts. Not boredom, or a bad day at work but the whole mess is just too murky to believe without questions.
  13. No, according to her, she accepted a job at the Bolshoi right after she graduated in 2012 (2012-2013) season and returned for the 2013-2014 season. If she wasn't being paid, why on earth would she return? It sounds like she was on some sort of production contract where payment is due only upon being cast, rehearsing and dancing in a production. According to her, she only danced 6-7 times while at the Bolshoi. If she was only paid as a production contract employee, she probably was running on vapors. Putting emotions and dreams aside, no money means it's time to move on. Production contracts aren't unusual in large companies. POB among others award these. I've known a couple of dancers trained other than the POBS who dreamed of dancing at POB, accepted the contract and then weren't used enough to stay and moved on, quietly. If she was on a regular contract and wasn't paid regularly, then after the 2nd missed payment, she should have lodged a formal complaint, requested her pay and left with her training and company affiliation on her resume. She wasn't enslaved. She could have and probably should have walked away long before now. If she felt tormented, no one was holding her there. If you insist that she was prostituted, look at the facts, it seems that she prostituted herself to become a Russian citizen. If she was discriminated against for being American, she must have known the bias going in... she had been in Russia for 3 years. ETA: withholding taxes is not stealing. (It might feel like it, but that's another conversation!) I am not being cavalier, accusations of these sort of are highly disturbing to anyone who loves ballet, has a family member in the field or is or was in the field themselves. Without making a formal complaint no one can make an informed judgement about her statements. The criticism is not that she is angry, it's that she's inconsistent, unwilling to follow through with her accusation and instead of trying to keep the hype going, just needs to move on and be quiet unless she's willing to see the accusation through. The press is not the place to file a complaint.
  14. If she wasn't paid, she should have left long ago. Professional dancers expect to be paid for their work. She seemed so intent on making her dreams come true that she didn't do what reasonable people would do. Or maybe she was so publicly invested in the dream to be the "First American principal dancer" that she just didn't know how to let go and save face. Right now, it seems that she is her own worst enemy. Continuing to make these accusations and broaden them without taking official action just makes her appear more immature, more whiny and more like a disgruntled employee (which she is). If she was being threatened and extorted then she should make an official complaint, otherwise, she should use your 1st suggestion of staying silent (as she said she would). She's gone from the Bolshoi, sour grapes doesn't help her and isn't going to change the environment there. The Bolshoi doesn't seem to care about her and this story is getting stale. She's not convincing, her own social media has inconsistencies that don't make her credible. The story will die (thankfully for her) and she needs to stop giving interviews about this and set about the business of finding a director that is brave enough to take an employee with a history of venting anger to the press and who will give her the chance to regroup and hopefully, will let her start with less hype as a member of the corps and earn solo roles instead of begging for them.
  15. Of course, it's stupidity. Of course, it's wrong. Hopefully, as Russia opens up to the rest of the civilized world, those sentiments will go away. My point was not to make excuses and I'm sorry if it came off that way. My point is that cultural differences exist. Some of those differences are abhorrent to other cultures. Certainly, asking someone to bleach off their color is sheer ignorance. Precious sounds to me like she's handling the slurs in the context of the culture in Russia and making the best of the situation. She may not change the entire culture's approach to racial difference but if she handles herself with professionalism and dignity, she may just change a few biases right there in that school. She's a ground breaker in her own right.
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