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On Pointe

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Everything posted by On Pointe

  1. Reading the ignorant comments on the article is truly disheartening. I should have known better than to look at them. The Berlin Staatsballet knew that Ms. Lopes Gomes was black when they hired her. If they were so enamored of uniformity, they shouldn't have cast her in Swan Lake.
  2. I was truly shocked to learn of Ann Reinking's passing. I worked with her at the beginning of her career and at her peak. She had an incredible work ethic. Once when she was hospitalized while working on Broadway, she would check herself out to do her performance and then go back to the hospital afterwards! Her relationship with Bob Fosse is well known, but she revered Gwen Verdon even more. She danced in an old pair of Gwen's shoes that were so worn they had to be pieced together for almost every performance. But most of all, Annie was devoted to the care of her son, who underwent many operations and procedures to treat a severe congenital condition. He was the center of her life. May her memory be a blessing to him and her husband and family.
  3. Another melodramatic film set in the ballet world is Specter of the Rose, written and directed by Ben Hecht in the 1940s. The male lead is a Nijinsky-like star who has fallen into depression after the death of his first wife, whom he is suspected of murdering.
  4. I found this statement a bit confusing. Did Ratmansky do a version of Nutcracker with different choreography for the SPF? It sort of reads as if he re-discovered the Ivanov choreography, which is certainly well known. With only tiny differences, it's the same solo I learned decades ago, which I have always preferred over any other, including Balanchine's. I thought the pdd was beautifully danced. Boylston and Whiteside tend to be over-exposed and not particularly protective of their "brand", so it's nice to be reminded what excellent classical artists they are.
  5. I finally took a look at ABT's program and found myself exhausted by the wokeness of it all. I suppose there is an audience for all this virtue signaling, but it probably won't fill the Met. The choreography that was on view was underwhelming to me, perhaps to be expected under the circumstances of the pandemic. But really, ballet is a visual art form. All those diverse individuals smilingly pushing ABT's new agenda of "inclusiveness" is great for a brochure, but I really wanted to see ballet dancers dancing ballet. If ABT wants to jeté into the 21st century, they could hire at least one brownskinned black female dancer. While they have several black-identified women now, all of them could pass the "paper bag test". (A real thing - in the old south, any black person with skin darker than a paper bag had seriously limited prospects in education and employment.) The audience is not always clamoring for new work. A little classic choreography, well danced, is persuasive to those of us who actually like ballet.
  6. How about new headshots for everybody? Over the years I've been struck by their mediocre quality. New York is headshot central. NYCB can do better.
  7. It's fascinating how this story has made its way around the net, with more erroneous details added with each post, like a game of telephone. It's a very touching story, but that Spanish organization could be accused of exploiting Ms. Gonzalez. I also think it's unlikely that Uliana Lopatkina gave them permission to use footage of her performance. Is it acceptable to use unethical means to achieve a "virtuous" outcome? I don't think so.
  8. Okay, so what did Ramasar say that gave any indication of how he treated women? AFAIK, he's known as a considerate, respectful colleague at NYCB. He isn't the one who referred to women as "sluts" or "farm animals". A lot of those kids at WSS follow and post on Broadway message boards, where the comments are ridiculously over-the-top about Ramasar, including a hefty dose of racism. One has to wonder why these youngsters feel entitled to police the thoughts and private communications of adults.
  9. Waterbury's followers don't care anything about the facts. Some of those demonstrating in front of WSS had no real idea of what it was that Ramasar supposedly did to her. They're like the masses of SJW who supported the "mattress girl" at Columbia University. She even got college credit for her stunt. The young man she claimed assaulted her was cleared of all charges, but his education and life on campus were made hell. (Must be something in the water up there in Morningside Heights.) Waterbury has garnered a certain modicum of fame and psychic income from her crusade, and it's likely to linger even when her case against Finlay is over. I doubt that she'll be awarded much money, though. She should have taken the twenty grand and kept it moving.
  10. According to the counterclaim, Waterbury got Finlay's password by telling him she needed to file a paper at school. She already had his keys. Finlay could be called negligent for giving his keys to an unstable person, but that's foolishness, not a crime.
  11. I've always thought that Waterbury's vengeful campaign against Ramasar was driven by her discovery that he didn't really see her as a friend or peer, but more as a kind of groupie. But she didn't break into his devices. He foolishly allowed her access to his apartment and computer. It's likely that Ramasar and Catazaro had no idea about what was going on in their relationship and were blindsided by Waterbury's suit. Finlay probably did try to break up with Waterbury. But ending a relationship with an overwrought, physically abusive partner can be difficult and dangerous, for men as well as women.
  12. A more recent example is the Amber Heard - Johnny Depp debacle. Heard claimed publicly that Depp had physically abused her, but admitted privately, on tape, that she had attacked him. It put Depp in a terrible position professionally and the effects linger on, even after Heard's admission. If Waterbury had real friends, maybe they would have advised her that her relationship with Finlay was too hot to handle for such a young girl.
  13. Does anyone know, is it possible for Finlay and/or his married friend to bring criminal charges against Waterbury?
  14. Balanchine borrowed the great Mary Hinkson from the Martha Graham company to dance with Arthur Mitchell. One has to wonder what might have happened if NYCB had had its own black ballerina in house back then.
  15. If I read it right, the countersuit states that Waterbury not only knew about the photos, the two of them enjoyed viewing such photos together, and she asked Finlay for similar photos of his private parts. So apparently the existence of the photos of her wasn't unknown to her and weren't taken secretly. Finlay should have gotten ahead of this story. By not doing so, he allowed her to win the PR war and paint herself as a wronged innocent instead of the bunny boiler she seems to be, according to his account of her slugging him and him having to call the police and an ambulance to get her out of his apartment.
  16. Well that made for interesting reading, and for me, not one bit of it was a surprise.
  17. I think it's reaching big time to compare the Bolshoi acid attack with the Waterbury case. James Levine and several orchestral players were accused of far more egregious behavior than Peter Martins, but I've seen little evidence that the Met and the New York Philharmonic are considered "tainted" by their audiences. It's likely that only hard core ballet followers are still talking about Waterbury and Finlay. "The dogs bark, the caravan moves on."
  18. In my opinion, no, it didn't. It may have negatively impacted the public image of Finlay and Ramasar, but I don't believe it hurt the company's image.
  19. Chase Finlay is a grown man. However wealthy his parents may be, they are not financially responsible for his wrongdoing. Why bring up his parents without bringing up hers? Surely they could see that their daughter was flying a bit close to the sun, but they have been absent from this case. Unless the conduct affects work, or negatively impact the public image of the company, employers have no justification for meddling in the private lives of employees. There are many situations in life and work where turning a blind eye is prudent.
  20. The. Indian Matchmaker series on Netflix reveals a fascinating look at the role of colorism in Indian society. A number of western companies, like Unilever and L'Oreal, market skin lightening products in India with commercials that are very frank about the advantage of having lighter skin. I've seen a number of articles about the Waterbury case that have had a photo of Ramasar but none of Finlay or Catazaro. The media know what they are doing. More than likely Finlay and Waterbury will come to some kind of financial settlement. But even in today's climate, he shouldn't be in jail unless and until he's been convicted of a crime. It's been established that showing revealing photos of your girlfriend to a few friends, while reprehensible, is not revenge porn. Finlay never uploaded the photos to the internet or "published" them in any manner.
  21. Ramasar is half Puerto Rican and half Trinidadian, both ethnicities that generally have some African ancestry. But realistically, nobody looks at Ramasar and sees a white guy.
  22. One could say that the attention paid to this case is exhibit A+ of white female privilege. Similar to Missing White Woman syndrome, Waterbury is the perfect subject from the point of view of the media, where disproportionate attention is paid to the travails of young, white, blonde upper middle-class females. Throw in the glamor of the ballet connection and the story is irresistible. The vilification of Amar Ramasar is the icing on the cake. While he is technically not African American, he's dark enough to fill the role of the big, hypermasculine black male threat to white womanhood that runs in the background of American culture like a stealth malware program on a computer.
  23. But Catazaro didn't say anything about Waterbury and didn't receive or share photos of her. She included him in her filing because she was on a mission to slash and burn. Chase Finlay was the legitimate target of her anger, not Catazaro. Catazaro would be justified in suing Waterbury, for destroying his career and upending his life. He did nothing to her. Meanwhile he was saddled with legal bills that doubtless ran into the thousands. His comments should not have been posted. Catazaro's comments were about another woman. Whatever the nature of his comments - and as reported, they were not scurrilous - he had a reasonable expectation of privacy that Waterbury breached. How has Waterbury's name been "dragged through the mud"? I've seen no evidence of that. Nothing but articles painting her as a hapless victim and lauding her " bravery". Her modeling career hasn't suffered, and she even participated in a university seminar where she was described as a "reknowned ballerina". Her attempt to involve Alexa Maxwell in her vendetta against ballet was unkind to say the least. But when Maxwell stated that, based on Waterbury's pleadings to her, Waterbury's primary motive was digging into NYCB's deep pockets, Maxwell was the one who was pilloried.
  24. These former MCB dancers should be lauded for their courage in being so frank about their experiences. But "I was told" only goes so far. I wish they had named their abusers, because their treatment as described was truly abusive, unprofessional and unproductive. Nobody trains and works hard for years to attain their level of expertise to be treated like trash by some small time megalomaniac. Driving dancer after dancer out of a company is just plain lousy management.
  25. Sexual assault is defined as forcing or coercing someone into sexual activity or touching without their consent. Waterbury's sexual conduct with Finlay was consensual. It was the recording of that conduct that was not consensual. In my opinion she has good and sufficient grounds for going after Finlay on that basis. But it's not sexual assault. Some of Waterbury's teen supporters told passersby outside of WSS that Amar Ramasar had sexually assaulted "someone", which is a vile misrepresentation of the case. As his attorney said, they throw around terms as if they have no real meaning, a very dangerous practice. I never said that Waterbury's chances of winning against Finlay were "slim to none". I think they're pretty good. But she should have gone after him alone, with or without involving the court system.
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