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On Pointe

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  1. I mean needled in print as a common thing. Sure, some men have eating disorders, including men who work in offices and on construction sites and are never subjected to public discussions of their bodies at all. But it's still far more common in women. I still don't get why Martins was wrong for casting Ringer, unless you feel that her idiosyncratic method of getting into shape for the season should have been accomodated. Presumably she was paid from the first day of the season, so why not expect her to be ready?
  2. I don't understand - wouldn't all the other dancers have the same challenges as Ringer in getting into shape at the beginning of the season? You seem to be suggesting that Martins deliberately set her up to be ridiculed by Macaulay. No one remembers the critique of Angle because women get needled about their weight, not men. I remember that Jenifer Ringer even appeared on Oprah, where Oprah expressed surprise that Ringer had small children. She was probably not interested at the time, but Ringer could have finessed a high profile media career out of all the exposure she got from Macaulay's bitchy offhand remark. She did very well for herself on the show.
  3. My reaction to the piece can be summed up by the title of a Johnny Mathis - Deniece Williams song: Too Much, Too Little, Too Late. The world has moved on. (So many song titles are apt here - Looking For Love in All the Wrong Places, Who Cares?, Let It Go.)
  4. Even nicer are the comments, from the stage crew member and the public.
  5. I have worked with a number of lawyers, some straight out of law school, and some with a few years under their belts. Stress and anxiety are constant factors in their work. And they are expected to put in as many hours as a NYCB principal. I think it's wonderful that Abi Stafford has a law degree. But if she was plagued by crippling anxiety in the dance world, it is unlikely to get better at a New York law firm. (Luckily there are many other positions in the business world where a law degree is an asset.) The kind of treatment she advocated in the Dance Magazine article is beyond the purview of an employer. Those suffering it require intensive therapy. In reality people of artistic temperament are prone to suffer bouts of anxiety about their work. They aren't the only ones.
  6. Two strikingly attractive people who can actually dance, yet this little film doesn't let us really see them. What a waste of talent and resources. Fred Astaire laid out the instructions for filming dancers decades ago and no one has bettered them yet. Best wishes to Ask La Cour on his retirement. I have wondered how he managed personal relationships within the company as the quasi-stepson of Peter Martins. Apparently he did just fine.
  7. To be accurate, only about half of the music used for the ballet is by Scott Joplin, including the title piece. And some is by white composers. But ragtime is definitely American music, rooted in Black American culture.
  8. For me, best illustrated by the Royal Ballet's Elite Syncopations. MacMillan's choreography with its twee little steps, set to Black American music, is not just bad ballet, it's insulting. The hideous costumes don't help, and neither do the orchestrations and the incorrect tempos. Why they decided to revive it this year is truly a mystery to me.
  9. Here's that solo by Nureyev. I remember him doing it on the Ed Sullivan show:
  10. That Balanchine quote is very old. What's considered appropriate for male dancers, beautiful if you will, has changed a lot. If you look at short ballet videos on Youtube and Tik Tok, there are endless examples of male dancers with extreme high extensions that they never would have employed in the 60s and 70s. Ports de bras is much more expansive, with deep bends of the back. There are many videos of men on pointe, which isn't quite mainstream yet. But men are working higher on demi-pointe, with much more articulated feet than what you see in old clips on Classical Arts TV - Andre Eglevsky barely rose up in relevé at all. I remember when Nureyev was criticized for the long adagio solo he added to Swan Lake. My ballet teacher thought it was scandalously feminine. Balanchine might have been working overtime to be quotable. He created plenty of expressive solos for men. As for men in tights or out of them, I discovered to my astonishment that there is vast number of videos of serious, accomplished male and female dancers performing totally nude available on the internet. Be careful if you look for them - they are often on porn sites, although they are not particularly salacious. But I don't think we'll be seeing that at Lincoln Center anytime soon.
  11. I've never seen a ballet costume that is as revealing as the swimsuits worn by male Olympic divers, or female beach volleyball players. While there has been some discussion about female athletes being required to wear skimpy uniforms, I haven't seen any discussion about the men. We've grown used to it. The same with men in tights at the ballet. Most of us start training so young that we pay no special attention to "the bulge". Comedian Craig Ferguson has said that he was astonished by the casual acceptance of visible male genitals when he encountered ballet for the first time. He got over it. Really it's no different than a woman in a bra, except for the male penchant for comparison!
  12. I remember years ago when a pantyhose maker (I think it was Hanes) hired football star Joe Namath to model their product, which was quite scandalous at the time. They had discovered that some football players wore pantyhose under their uniforms for warmth and support in cold weather games. Now there is almost no distinction between football pants and tights.
  13. Modesty, for one reason. Comfort, warmth, the fee!ing of support are others. Sweaty, hairy bare legs are not all that attractive. Tights allow the costume designer to continue the line of the design. You could paint the dancers' legs but that's messy and makes quick changes impossible. The materials developed in the last few years are versatile in look and practical to care for. Tights on men have become so mainstream that I see guys jogging and even strolling down the street in them.
  14. I'm disappointed that there isn't more of Justin Peck's choreography visible in the trailer. Like the Dear Evan Hansen trailer, it looks like they're trying to underplay the fact that these films are musicals, which is crazy in the case of a show as well-known as West Side Story.
  15. I know that Tony Kushner is a highly-acclaimed playwright, but his contributions, as heard in the trailers, sound clunky and overwrought. Also considering the kerfuffle over skin color in In the Heights, the Sharks all look pretty lightskinned to me. You can barely tell them from the Jets. Fun fact, there was one week when WSS and ITH were shooting only a block apart in Washington Heights. Each director had to make sure that the one film's props and extras didn't end up in the other film's frame.
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