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Posts posted by mira

  1. Also - wanted to clear up my comment "...that rare dancer who may be "black"..."     By "rare" I meant that a dancer coming out of a professional level training program and auditioning for a job and actually "winning the lottery" - being offered a contract to a professional ballet company .  That goal is achieved by the sum total of their unique and rare artistic being and, hopefully, not by the color of their skin.  

  2. 2 hours ago, On Pointe said:

    All of this is very true.  Except for the last sentence.  Black dancers are not rare and companies do not have to reach very far to find them.  It's difficult to convey tone over the internet,  but I sense a hostility to even the idea of hiring black Americans.  As I've said before,  it's not a zero-sum game.   

    not sure what you are saying about sensing hostility to even the idea of hiring black Americans.  Is your thought that Artistic Directors may have a resistance to hiring black American dancers?

  3. 41 minutes ago, On Pointe said:

    The point is that you don't have to go out into urban neighborhoods searching for potential black ballet students.  There are plenty of motivated,  professionally-trained black American dancers  who have already made their way into the major schools. 

    Yes, they've made it into the major schools but what percentage of the "graduating" students (of any "color") actually make it into a paid job at a ballet company?  Just being well-trained is not an automatic entry into a company.  It's a "rare" dancer who is well-trained but also mentally and physically gifted enough to appeal to an Artistic Director for any number of reasons.   It could be the company is not hiring that year (current situation), it could be they are a classical company and require training from a school that trains students in that style (same true for students trained by SAB - the companies that may be hiring do not see enough of a classical base), it could be the dancer is not versatile enough (trained classically, and in the Balanchine and contemporary styles), it could be the dancer is not musical enough or fast enough, it could be that an AD needs men only or needs women only, or needs just dancers of a certain height and it could just be that they did not connect with the AD and set hearts on fire with their potential.  So I think, in order to increase the ranks of ballet companies with that rare dancer who may be "black", ballet companies will strive to enlarge their out reach.

  4. This may be self-evident, but knowing first hand how incredibly difficult the mental and physical training required in ballet and the toll it takes and then add to that the natural athletic grace and musicality necessary - add to that the typically very short career of a professional dancer -  it is the rare dancer that can achieve this goal much less continue to remain at the performance standard that is required.   My take-away - if we want to open doors for those who may have seen this profession as unattainable, then access to early training must be available and affordable.   Caveat - as in all athletic endeavors, people who "wish" to be a professional ballet dancer (or baseball-football-basketball player etal) must be prepared to have their dreams dashed.  I don't think it is the "failure" of ballet companies that they cannot fill (right now) the ranks with black dancers, nor do I think that audiences would not love to see them. Many companies have donor-funded existing ballet training programs that reach out to the community and this current dialogue is serving to encourage that effort.   Progress!

  5. 4 hours ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

    I'm so sorry to see her go! I still remember her absolutely thrilling fouettés when she danced Hyppolita a few seasons back. They were so on the music and done so securely and fearlessly it looked like magic. 

    I had the great pleasure of watching Ashly as a 10 year old dancer in Magda Aunon's studio in Fort Lauderdale doing those same thrilling fouettes!  Merde and congratulations Ashly from your ballet mom admirers in south Florida.  I'm sure you'll be a star wherever you go in life.  


  6. There were 7 performances of Anima Animus scheduled for February and so, would need 2 casts of principal women (2 principal women in each cast).  They need to be small and fast as the partnering is tour de force - both couples doing side by side bicycle lifts traveling across the stage and then repeated, Sofiane and one of the principal men do an over head press lift that is walked slowly offstage, etc.   The first and last movements have all ten dancers on stage - moving quickly, interchanging partners - tricky choreography.  With two of the four women out in February, SFB made the decision that there was not enough time to get another cast up and ready.

  7. Quote


    For the record, Cirio danced most of the leading classical roles in Boston before coming to ABT. He and Misa Kuranaga were quite the couple, and often had rave reviews. I remember their beautiful performance in Vail of the pas from Ashton's Cinderella. Boston had just had a run of the ballet earlier in the year. I may be mistaken, but I do not think Wendy Somes allows too many people to perform that pas outside of the context of the full ballet. He also danced a number of principal roles while at ENB - Romeo, James in La Sylphide, Messenger of Death in Song of the Earth, and the Prince in The Nutcracker. It might be a little more than obvious why he's leaving. It is not unknown that Cornejo and Simkin waited a long time to dance some of the classical roles with ABT, and I would surmise that Cirio just did not want to wait. It is also common knowledge that he is active in choreography, and he made it clear in his instagram post that he wants to work with certain choreographers. I was aware (from his instagram) that he worked with several on the side while in NYC, and he will probably do the same in London. As we know, dancers do not limit themselves to what they do with their main company only, and Cirio certainly example of this with Cirio Collective. He's one of the most versatile dancers I've ever seen and I am baffled by thoughts that he's a "mismatch" for other US companies. Clearly I'm a fan. No disrespect intended.

  8. Abatt, well said.   Not sure why Nanushka feels his rank "a joke"...   He's a proven principal both at Boston and NYC and in galas and competitions internationally.   It takes time at ABT - no matter who you are.  Agree he will likely get more as the season progresses.     He just got back from a fall season at ENB doing great stuff and found the time to choreograph the winning routine for this amazing couple (ice dancing 2018 European champions and headed to the Olympics)  http://web.icenetwork.com/news/2017/10/25/259553222

  9. As for alternate opinions, Cirio was pretty well-known for classicism in Boston.  In fact, he and Kuranaga were reviewed very well dancing Ashton's Cinderella.  Following is a link to Ballet Tabs review (one of several positive reviews about the production) and one comment:
    "Hence the company's premiere of Cinderella, Ashton's 1948 rendering of Prokofiev's score (which plays through this weekend only), arrived trailing an unspoken question: could Boston Ballet master yet another style? Well, the short answer is - yes, or at least its stars certainly can: Misa Kuranaga and Jeffrey Cirio (above), as the title heroine and her Prince Charming, looked as if they'd been dancing Ashton all their lives."

    Also, Wendy Somes (owner of Ashton's Cinderella) rarely allows dancers to use the Cinderella pas at outside guestings, but Cirio and Kuranaga were permitted to dance it at the Vail Int'l Dance Festival several years ago.

    It is a shame, but he has not been given opportunities at ABT to show that. Maybe that is the reason he is dancing at English National. He just finished dancing James in La Sylphide and is dancing MacMillan's Song of the Earth at Covent Garden next week.
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