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Everything posted by KarenD

  1. Another small but exciting company, now in its 25th year, is Maine State Ballet. They have made some important accomplishments in the last five years, and did get a mention on this board last summer. see: http://balletalert.invisionzone.com/index.php?/topic/32318-sunday-august-8/page__p__273328__hl__%2Bmaine+%2Bstate+%2Bballet...__fromsearch__1#entry273328 But, like Ballet Florida, they don't get much exposure outside local press! The artistic director is a former NYCB dancer under Balanchine. Repertoire includes Serenade and some great original choreography as well. A new piece is in the works for this summer.
  2. I have a friend at work. His son is way into football, and he shows me all his newspaper grid iron clippings, and of course, I show him all my proud mama ballet pictures. As disparate as the two activities may seem, through our conversations we have found common issues and common concerns. ( one of our better ones was about "muscle memory" which is a very interesting concept.) Anyhoo, when he understood the nature of my daughter's schedule (not just Sept thru Jan, but throughout most of the year!) he was very impressed, and commented about how all that activity was beneficial to her growth. I think, tho I can't be sure, he was specifically speaking to bone growth. And although many friends and family look at us and call her my "clone", her leg bones are definitely longer than mine. ( I was never a dancer.) Sorry for deviating from the topic, just wanted to emphasize that Hans comment has real merit!
  3. And thank you, carbro, for your kind reply.... let me add there are days that I feel dangerously susceptible to being "sucked into the bubble..." Not that that would be a bad thing. I just hope to be able to maintain enough of my "outsider's perspective" to help others in the general public understand, appreciate, (and ultimately help support) this wonderful world. That's why I feel that any press about ballet has at least some redeeming quality. In regards to the NYT article, this piece is clearly about 2 very different styles of performance, that perhaps can fairly be compared to different stereotypes. Although I would prefer not to pigeon hole these two unique individuals into stereotypes, but simply compare and contrast what they offer in their competition/performances. But going back to the original topic of this thread.... that is still a diferent theme from the Newsweek piece, IMHO.
  4. I don't disagree with you Ray, he certainly did mention stereotypes and sexuality (or orientation) within his first few sentences. Nor do I think we need to run away from these issues. I just think that his main intention for writing was to further the prospect that ballet can be a masculine pursuit, "in order to move toward an appreciation of the athleticism and artistry involved in this line of work". Of course one person's writings are going to be based on their own perspectives and experiences. Just as we readers tend to react and make interpretations of those writings from our own personal perspectives. And maybe because I am less representative of the "small population of balletomanes" and read the essay more from the perspective of the general public, I got a different message. The message I got didn't have much to do with sexual orientation, but was more focused on the athleticism and art that male dancers in general bring to their work. And that seems to me, is a very positve message to be found in the mainstream press.
  5. I was going to quote the exact same lines of Petite Arabesque that you did, bart. I guess I should identify myself as a member of the "American population at large" who hasn't "heard the argument again and again". My overall reaction to the article was positive - "hey, something about ballet in Newsweek!" That doesn't happen every day. As a parent of a dancer my appreciation for ballet is relatively new, so this wasn't a stale topic at all for me. In some areas there is a dearth of male dancers of whatever orientation.... where I come from, if you're a guy that wants to dance, you'll be welcomed and befriended. Anything that could possibly spark or support the interest of a young man seems like a positive to me. And that was my second response to the article. The gay/straight comments.... I guess I glossed over them. Or maybe they really weren't that important. It seems to me they have been blown a little out of proportion in this thread.....
  6. I have been following, mostly thru the daily Links, Boston Ballet's financial difficulties and the recent decision to layoff 11 dancers (9 from the corps). (see March 14 links) I don't know but surmise that although BB may offer dancers some of the better dance salaries in the country, these salaries would surely pale in light of the executive salaries quoted in the article - 200,000 and upwards.... This is probably a very naive perspective, but I just don't understand why some of these salaries aren't reduced and some of the dancers saved. What good is it to have a high paid executive when your very foundation is weakened - the dancers who utlitmately produce the "product" that BB markets?
  7. As for Henry's appearance, why the hell not, I guess. Rhys Meyers doesn't look anything like him to begin with, and of course he's way too short. funny, I didn't notice that he seemed too short. Or does history inicate that Henry was very tall? I wonder if they will start to age him in he second season? Ah, the beauty of mindless entertainment while I sew my daughter's pointe shoes.....
  8. Thank you for the welcome! I am glad that you reached the conclusion that you could just relax and “go with it” as far as the series is concerned. Yes, I agree that the story line does take a few liberties with actual history. But, I have to tell you, that I only know that from study that occurred AFTER watching the show. The series made me more curious about the actual history than I otherwise would ever have been… true confession. The same may be true of Phillipa Gregory’s books. (the author of the books I mentioned.) Yet, through both the series and these books, I feel I have gained a bit of insight into what this time period may have been like. Even if the books or the TV series are little better than historical soap operas, I feel they still have redeeming qualities! Hey, I could have been watching the “Sopranos’ (my husbands favorite….) Gregory’s book about Catherine of Aragon might be interesting and useful reading to anyone following the series…. It gives one perspective on how she came to marry Henry after his brother died, and the basis for Henry’s pursuit of an annulment. I found the portrayal of the grit of her character in the book consistent with her portrayal on the show. I didn’t realize Sam Neill had passed away! Or did I misinterpret the post. And MD Kennedy was true to the character… but history does remove her from court…. As far as Henry growing a beard… well historically he is also supposed to become much more portly….hmmmm…. we can have a few more episodes with a fit and trim and beardless Henry, can’t we????
  9. I had a request put to me tonite.... and I did not have an answer, so I am appealing to the experts! Let's say you have a relatively new pair of pointe shoes, that are just perfectly broken in for a performance. But, these shoes have a few "stage smudges" on them, and you are performing in a small theatre, so you won't have the cloak of distance. You'd like to gently minimize these smudges and present a cleaner look..... how best to accomplish this? one acquaintance suggested rubbing alcohol.. but what has worked best for those with experience?
  10. I have to confess that I am addicted to the Tudors on showtime. I almost never get lured into any TV series.....but this one got me. I watched every single episode - some of them more than once! - and am now enjoying the reruns as we approach the beginning of the second season... The series inspired me to read The Other Boleyn Girl this past summer, and also another book by the same author, that focuses on Catherine of Aragon. I just read a review of new movie version of the Other Boleyn Girl..... not very good. Guess that's one I'll wait to come to cable...
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