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On Pointe

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About On Pointe

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    fan, dancer, choreographer
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  1. I got the impression from the article that Domingo's behavior was ongoing and current, not that it was confined to decades ago. Patricia Wulf, who is no longer active, was the only one willing to go public, but apparently there are plenty of others who are still fearful of Domingo's influence. Otherwise why would the story explode now?
  2. A lot has changed in thirty years. For one thing, social media didn't exist back then. At any rate, I'll be interested to see if this revelation about Domingo inspires arts writers to publish condemnatory articles about the culture of the opera world similar to the way that ballet was attacked.
  3. Doesn't the opera company have a board of directors and legal counsel? A singer could complain to them. Or she could file a complaint with AGMA. Or drop a dime on Domingo anonymously with an ambitious journalist.
  4. Right, we don't know. That's why I said "apparently". But if any of these companies get sued, if there were such meetings I'm sure they will be revealed in great detail. The AP story seems quite thorough. If any company made an attempt to discipline Domingo I believe that the reporter would have found some evidence of it.
  5. Domingo's behavior as detailed in the AP story seems obsessive, even psychotic. He seemed to get off on conquering women who resisted his advances. (Surely there were willing groupies in his orbit as an opera superstar.) It was especially shocking to me that married women felt that they had to have sex with him and even told their husbands about it. But I wouldn't doubt their stories. That said, people do lie about being sexually assaulted, sometimes in great detail. For example the young woman who claimed to have been gang raped in a frat house at the University of Virginia, as told to a reporter for Rolling Stone. This past week the film Brian Banks opened, about a college football player and hot NFL prospect who had his life upended and spent six years in prison, based on a teenager's lie. You can't just say that people don't lie about rape, period. Since Domingo's unsavory reputation was well-known, I wonder why apparently no one in administration had a "come to Jesus" meeting with him. The various opera companies may find themselves liable for civil damages for their failure to check their employee. However powerful Placido Domingo is in the opera world, he still has to answer to somebody.
  6. I had the honor of meeting Toni Morrison, who was a close friend of a relative of mine. She was a charming, down-to-earth, warm and witty person, who wore her honors and accolades lightly. Hard to believe that she was eighty-eight as she was so young in spirit and outlook. May she rest in well-deserved peace after a life well lived.
  7. American dancers do have pensions, as members of AGMA. However they can't access them until years after typical retirement age for a dancer.
  8. Perhaps Francesca Hayward is on the cover of British Vogue simply because she's very beautiful. Her unusual background as a highly-regarded principal dancer is a bonus. She has accomplished a lot in her young life. There is a bit of a kerfuffle brewing over her role as the white cat in the film Cats. She is literally in white face makeup, so much so that her black African background is a total surprise to some film buffs. When the film is released I'm sure that the studio will push her to participate in publicity junkets.
  9. It could be that Wheeldon and Nottage believe that a mere jukebox musical is beneath their talents. Based on that interview in the NY Times, they want to produce something deep, a meditation on the Michael Jackson created by the mainstream media. But it is hardly their place to "balance" light and dark or serve as judge and jury. Jackson faced a real judge and a jury that found him not guilty of any of the charges brought against him. (Ultimately the stress of that ordeal killed him, but that's not enough for some people. They want to destroy his legacy too.) The natural audience for this show will be made up of Jackson fans, not New York social critics. Wheeldon and Nottage are making a basic show biz mistake if they think the Jackson fan base wants to see a show that suggests that he sexually assaulted children. But they might win an award for it.
  10. Michael Jackson suffered from vitiligo, a skin disorder which causes the skin to lose pigmentation. He did not "bleach" his skin. In some people it is stable, like Michaela DePrince, who has had the same lesions on her body since childhood. (She felt that she could pursue her dream of becoming a ballerina when her mother told her that her spots weren't noticeable from the stage.) In other people it is progressive until it affects the entire body. Jackson started wearing his trademark sequin glove when the white spots on his hand began to spread. He explained his condition, and it was confirmed by his autopsy, but some people stubbornly refuse to believe it. Jackson always proclaimed pride in his black American heritage. Actions speak louder than words - he funded college scholarships for black students and gave more than a million dollars to Fisk University. He always uplifted black people in his videos, especially black women. He was respectful of black cultures in Africa and Brazil where he remains very popular.
  11. Adult males play with and "hang out" with children all the time. Especially when those children and their parents are guests in their homes. You may find it perverse, but it's not a crime. There is still no evidence, no proof, no footage of Jackson assaulting children.
  12. The dead can't intimidate anyone. Debunking a liar is not intimidation. If you have any knowledge of Safechuck and Robson being intimidated or threatened by the Jackson estate or anyone else please share it.
  13. There is no footage of Michael Jackson assaulting a child. There is no testimony from Robson and Safechuck, just unsubstantiated allegations designed to be revolting, shot with melodramatic camera angles, editing and background music. When these two gave actual testimony, in court, under oath and under penalty of perjury, they swore adamantly that Michael Jackson had never behaved inappropriately toward them. Robson was Jackson's first defense witness and withstood hours of probing questioning from a tough examiner. The court transcripts are readily available. What's extraordinary to me is how so many sophisticated, intelligent people are so totally invested in a false narrative. There seems to be an existential need to believe that a man, known for his kindness and generosity as much as for his artistic genius, was a monster so heinous he deserves to be pilloried even ten years after his death.
  14. Bill Cosby is as rich as Michael Jackson and he's in jail. Jeffrey Epstein is supposedly a billionaire and he's being held without bail pending trial. When people make facile remarks about Michael Jackson "getting off" because he was a rich man, I wonder, how exactly does that work? Do you believe he bribed every officer in the LAPD and the Santa Barbara Police Department that raided his homes twice with no notice and found no evidence against him? How about the FBI, which investigated him for ten years and found nothing? It's not like they're known to go easy on black suspects. They even tried to blackmail MLK. Then there are the grand juries that refused to indict Jackson. We have a saying in the US - a grand jury can indict a ham sandwich. But they didn't indict Jackson. Think of the money to be made if even one person could claim to have been bribed by Michael Jackson and provided proof. It never happened. Royalties and streaming fees might represent profits, but I've never heard them referred to as "profiteering". There have been no ongoing attacks on Robson and Safechuck by the Jackson estate, although one could argue that there should be. In fact they have disappeared from public view altogether. They still owe the estate thousands of dollars in court costs from cases that they've lost.
  15. I know I'm late to the discussion, but I stumbled across this thread and found myself so upset that I was unable to sleep. If others vehemently disagree with my opinions, it's understandable perhaps, but I feel compelled to express them. I agree that Christopher Wheeldon is a poor choice to stage a show about Michael Jackson. At no time in his career has he exhibited any knowledge or interest in black American popular entertainment, and his work has not exhibited any black influences. (It's not just because he's British. British musicians, Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood and many others, are well-known for taking inspiration from their assiduous study of black American musical forms.) It's a great frustration to African Americans that people outside of our community are assumed to be better qualified than we are to tell our stories. I wonder if Wheeldon has ever been to Gary, Indiana or even knows where it is? One afternoon there would tell you more about Michael Jackson and his family's drive and desire to succeed than any book. But I am saddened, frustrated and angered at the unceasing attacks on Michael Jackson, a man who has been dead for ten years, by liars and grifters whose allegations can be debunked by anyone who took high school journalism. The scary part is that the mainstream media is completely aware that Robson and Safechuck are lying, but the attempt to destroy the Jackson legacy suits their agenda. Harvey Weinstein was known to pay tabloids to run negative stories on Jackson to deflect attention from his sexual misdeeds. He still has friends in high places who are shaping the current negative, united by their hatred and jealousy of the skinny black kid from Indiana who is known and loved around the world. (After this mockumentary was released, sales of Jackson's music and views of his videos went way up.) Contrary to what is stated above, other than defending Jackson's estate in court, where Robson and Safechuck have been turned away multiple times, the executors have done almost nothing to defend him. It's his fans who have done the heavy lifting; one young man from New Zealand, with very little money, produced such a polished defense of Jackson, HBO assumed it had been made by the estate and cited it in their answer to the non-disparagement lawsuit against them. Fans in France, where there are laws against defaming the dead, are suing the director Dan Reed for the symbolic sum of one euro. Paradoxically, right wing commentators such as John Ziegler and YouTube pundit Razorfish, who are not Jackson fans at all, have been the most vocal in defending him against Robson and Safechuck's ludicrous claims. Anyone who believes that Michael Jackson was guilty will no doubt continue to do so, despite the total lack of any evidence. But I am dismayed that Wheeldon and esteemed playwright Lynn Nottage would participate in the Broadway project when they obviously think he was a terrible "deeply-flawed" human being. I'm even more dismayed that they're getting paid by the Jackson estate, which didn't do their homework or just didn't care. The Jackson children should pull the plug on this travesty, but they have no say in how their father's affairs are administered.
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