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mira

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Everything posted by mira

  1. mira

    Misty Copeland

    Every teacher at SAB was a member of NYCB and most were principals. Almost all were trained at SAB. Who better to teach the Balanchine style? Corps de ballet member, Silas Farley, is not a member of the faculty yet but he has done some teaching at SAB. Besides being a beautifully trained and gorgeous dancer, he is a Balanchine historian - it's astonishing how much he knows and that was obvious from when he arrived at SAB in his early teens. Being exceptional in every way (and oh incidentally being African-American) is why Silas has already been identified as a future faculty member.
  2. mira

    Misty Copeland

    " SAB and NYCB organizations as being at best, indifferent and at worst, hostile to new people and/or ideas. And that this is all done under the guise of protecting a cherished legacy when it's really about protecting their cushy positions." For another point of view, I've had experience with both organizations for 8 years and I've never found them to be be hostile or indifferent nor have I ever heard of any instance where they've been hostile or indifferent. In every instance, they have been devoted, wise and honest. Nor would I characterize the devotion they have to Balanchine and Robbins as being a "guise" so they can "protect their cushy positions". Could you please provide evidence of that? Honesty can be upsetting but to reach the goal of dancing in the premiere Balanchine company in the world, a dancer relies on the honesty of the SAB teachers -otherwise, it would be impossible to achieve the speed, clarity and musicality of the NYCB dancer. And that's a goal few can reach no matter what the hue of your skin.
  3. mira

    Misty Copeland

    agree volcanohunter - companies may hire dancers that don't "fit" their corps but I have seen many times where the girls who don't "fit" are taken out of corps spots - in the last 3 instances I know of (all within the last 3 months) - 2 were because of height and 1 was because of body type. These are just the ones I happen to know of personally - it's likely that this happens more often. The artistic staff may make the decision or it may be the decision of the repetiteur.
  4. mira

    Misty Copeland

    Regarding the issue of the hue (lightness or darkness) skin color - it's a good point that an artistic director could see some degree of it as non-harmonious with the corps de ballet - just as the AD might feel the same about the issue of height (too short/too tall). In addition to these two considerations, AD's hesitate to hire a muscular dancer and/or a dancer who does not have good proportions and good legs and feet. Is that regarded as "discrimination"?
  5. mira

    Misty Copeland

    and all these dancers that you mention (Copeland, Adams, DePrince, Jimenez, Johnson) have and have had wonderful careers. If you asked any dancer, they would say they were bypassed for roles they wanted but also would say they were not "right" for every role. Being "right" for a role goes way beyond skin hue. and having any kind of a career in ballet (being paid) is an achievement for any dancer - that's the perspective I have. Also, if we are authentically talking about skin color - then please include (among others) Asians, Polynesians, Arabs and Cubans (Hispanics) in that list.
  6. mira

    Misty Copeland

    with all respect, I must disagree - for the last 12 years I've personally watched the progress of many talented dancers (both light and dark skinned - though I say that only because this discussion seems to demand it) through many pre-pro programs and then into companies and then on to developing their careers. I've never seen a well-trained dancer who also is musical and has good proportions fail because of their skin color. In fact, I've seen Artistic Directors and teachers encourage and challenge them. I respect all opinions on this difficult topic but I wish posters would point to specific instances to support their point of view.
  7. mira

    Misty Copeland

    "If ballet is this great and true art form that people go on about, then it can't be something that white people own and are benevolently allowing black people to participate in IF they behave themselves in a manner that pleases some of the art's gatekeepers." for heaven's sake, who the heck thinks this?
  8. mira

    Misty Copeland

    Amour - glad to see you mention Courtney Lavine who is everything you say she is and I hope that her time is coming soon. She did have a good role in last season's Nutcracker. Ballet favors the beautifully proportioned dancer who is also strong and musical. Muscular, athletic body types on females are not favored in ballet and these dancers are rarely hired no matter what the skin color. Agree Itsthemom - it's pointless to worry about perceived injustice - better to move through it and work harder.
  9. I was not identifying SF Ballet School, JKO and Royal Ballet School as classical ballet schools but as schools that dancers from Asia who are classically trained would choose for "finishing" or exposure to a US company over SAB and Balanchine training. That is reflected in the enrollment in the advanced programs of these schools which varies every year. During the several years that I have been aware of enrollment at SAB, I am know of 4 dancers who are Asian.
  10. Classical training is the standard in "Asian" countries - China, Japan, South Korea, etc. It is unusual when a dancer with classical training chooses Balanchine(SAB) training - most gravitate to ballet schools in the west that are close to what they already are familiar with - schools such as Royal Ballet School, JKO, San Francisco Ballet School.
  11. while not from Asia, Likolani Brown is native Hawaiian.
  12. mira

    Misty Copeland

    When I watch a performance I see the artistry of the dancer, not the skin color and I suggest so do most people including choreographers and ballet administration. It is more likely that a dancer be overlooked in casting because of their artistic choices or technique or height than because of skin color. Do dancers say they are discriminated against because they are too short to be cast as The Siren? Do dancers with a short neck say they were discriminated against because they didn't get hired? No one in this discussion has been playing the "denial card" and does not advance the discussion to suggest that. It is a relatively recent development that girls of all skin colors believe they can win Olympic Gold in competitive gymnastics - Gabby Douglas has inspired so many girls (of all skin colors) and now the group of dedicated girls in our local gym reflects that. The same process has been happening in ballet. Does that mean after 10+ years of dedicated training, hearts will not be broken? No, it doesn't. And it likely will not be because of skin color. Ballet companies today are looking for diversity in their ranks and for the well-trained, well-proportioned girls, jobs await.
  13. mira

    Misty Copeland

    That is what we are all saying. A floral arrangement of the colors within.
  14. mira

    Misty Copeland

    With all respect, that is my point - to say Ratmansky casts "despite" color assumes that his artistic judgment somehow "sees" the color of a dancer's skin. It also assumes that dancer/artists with darker skin are somehow "different" from dancer/artists with lighter skin color. Those are notions that, for me, do not reflect the actual artistic process that occurs in most cases.
  15. mira

    Misty Copeland

    My point was not about Courtney's comment but regarding Tapfan's post: That Ratmansky, a man who comes from a country that is infamous for its cultural insularity and casual racism, has given more chances to black and brown dancers than some supposedly more enlightened Westerners, is beyond ironic. I think it is a leap in assumption to say that he has "given more chances to black and brown dancers..." as that implies that having a darker skin color influences Mr. Ratmansky's decision making.
  16. mira

    Misty Copeland

    It's a big leap in assumption to think that Ratmansky's casting of dancers has anything to do with their skin color. What I'm trying to say here is that for the most part, professional dancers and choreographers are about the work and bringing everything that they have to it and then that work speaks for itself.
  17. mira

    Misty Copeland

    all the while the talented beautiful chic beautifully trained perfectly proportioned and hardworking Courtney Lavine continues to grow as an artist and a dancer wthout making a big deal out of her skin color.
  18. Casting for ABT's Sleeping Beauty at the Segerstrom Center. https://www.scfta.org/home/Media/PR%20Press%20Releases%20-%20PDF%20Files/ABT%20The%20Sleeping%20Beauty%20Casting.pdf
  19. Agree Cobweb. She is deservedly on the rise. I can't wait for the rest of the ballet world to discover how special she is - something the ballet moms of south Florida have known since the beginning. :-)
  20. Cobweb, Ashly Issacs is this year's Janice Levin Award winner. The announcement was printed on the NYCB Guild luncheon invitation.
  21. Wondering if Luis and Sarah are headed to PAB where there are two principal spots open.
  22. mira

    Misty Copeland

    Several years ago, the beautiful Jennifer Kronenberg Guerra told me she believes the reason why she's had a long career is because of honesty - so it's not about a battle for success but a willingness to share yourself with your audience.
  23. mira

    Misty Copeland

    This is an emotionally charged topic for many reasons but an obvious one is that so few dancers ever succeed at becoming professionals, much less having a career - thus putting all aspirants at a "disadvantage" - whether skin color, body type, height, facility, training, politics, etc. Most of us have a long list of dancers that we've watched over many years who have day after day put in the hard work with devotion, single-mindedness and maturity beyond their years - all to eventually realize that they cannot get a job as a dancer. It is heartbreaking. Yes, those years have created hard-working, purposeful individuals who will succeed in their next endeavor. At some point in the journey, speaking of "disadvantage" loses it's relevance as professional dancers' (men and women) careers will depend mostly on the decisions of a single person - their Artistic Director - and any advantage (or "disadvantage") that got you there is now history - inspiring history for sure! But now it comes down to what that person sees as best for that company and, yes, casting can be political or strategic as they are responsible for putting thrilling work on stage and for building an audience. Although I'm sympathetic to individual stories of adversity, it seems to me that professional dancers (even Principals!) feel the daily struggle of "adversity" - not being cast for something they wanted, new dancers catching the AD's eye, too short/too tall, nagging injury, age, politics... So kudos and my thanks to all the brave dancers who strive to brighten our lives with the beauty of their souls!
  24. Did anyone see Courtney Lavine's Sugar Plum this past weekend at BAM? so thrilled for her! https://www.facebook.com/cocolavine/photos/a.1517291075192240.1073741828.1517284198526261/1524949937759687/?type=1&theater
  25. As well as being an opportunity to honor Patricia McBride, isn't this an opportunity to see the best young interpreters of these roles?
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