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3/15 NY Times article about Jennie Somoygi

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In today's art section of the Times there is a very lovely Q&A interview with much miss principal dancer Jennie Somogyi discussing her injury and her long recovery process. It a nice read. While it seems she won't be coming back any time soon, Ms. Somogyi does seem to be hopeful at returning some day, but only when she is 100% back in shape - as it should be. I personally miss her terribly, but I would only wish to see her perform again when she is completely sure she is physically able too. Sorry, but I don't know how to write the link to the article, but all you have to do is go the NYTimes website and clip art and later dance to see the article. I sure it's safe to say we all wish for Ms. Somogyi a strong recovery.

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We had the link on Sunday (it's from Sunday's paper), but it's great to talk about it here:


I hope Somogyi takes it slow. It sounds as if she's been through a lot. Dancers and athletes are so much masters of their bodies (most of us aren't!) that it can be shattering to have such a serious injury. Coming back too soon can be tempting. I'm rooting for Somogyi. She's got a lot of will power, in interviews she talks about always going her own way, preferring to work on things herself. She'll need that.

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The article is very hopeful; it also makes me feel sad. Somogyi was dancing so gloriously when this happened to her. In a career that is so short to begin with, enforced downtime must seem a major setback. So many dancers have had serious injuries and I imagine some of them dance with chronic pain. It's something I always think about when watching a performance.

I admire Somogyi's spirit and look forward to seeing her dance again.

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An inspiring (and as Oberon pointed out, sobering) piece – and Somogyi is certainly blessed in her colleagues in addition to her spirit! Mine are a pretty awesome bunch, but I think they’d balk at toting me up four flights of stairs …

(For those of you who may not have read the article, Somogyi reports that Charles Askegard – who was partnering her when she got injured – carried her up to her fourth floor walk-up after the performance.)

I really miss Somogyi, and I hope she hurries back, but please, not a moment too soon!

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Guest nycdog

From what I read on the internet, the surgery for a torn achilles tendon (?) is usually completely successful and the person can eventually return to full activity. But how shocking that something seemingly so little can have such a devestating effect on the life of a dancer.

Hope she gets well soon.

BTW, 'Symogyi' is one for the pronounciation guide, I have no idea how to say it. :lol:

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While ordinary mortals may make a complete recovery from a torn Achilles tendon, "full activity" for them means something a great deal less demanding than it means for a ballerina. I miss Somogyi a great deal, too, and hope for the best, but have a niggling fear that she may never be the same as she was before the injury.

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I wanted to chime in just to express my hope that she can fully recover. When I saw her--I remember her as Dewdrop and in Divertimento No. 15 in particular-- I thought, she was thrilling, a genuine ballerina in the making. However, I am a big believer, too, in people taking all the time they need to fully recover from an injury...Gordeyev spoke about this in an interview some years ago, explaining how he had come back from a serious injury. He was convinced that people didn't return successfully after serious injuries because they didn't allow themselves enough time to recover fully, and had been determined not to make that mistake. Unfortunately I also believe that luck plays a big part in these matters--certainly, I wish the best luck in the world to Jenny Somogyi.

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Somogyi sounds incredibly courageous. If this isn't too personal, I wonder how she (and other injured dancers, of course) manages to pay the rent for her fourth floor walk-up. Does nycb pay? Would AGMA health insurance cover this?

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I believe injured dancers go on disability pay which is usually around 80% of normal salary. Do they have Worker's Compensation coverage if they get injured in the course of class, rehearsal or performance?

I've noticed NYCB over the years (esp. recently) have kept injured dancers on the roster for very long periods; I guess if the dancer & the doctors can see a viable recovery and the dancer wants to come back, NYCB keeps them in the family.

In recent seasons, Miranda Weese, Alexandra Ansanelli and Wendy Whelan (just to name the highest-profile dancers) have suffered severe injury and have all come back. They have discussed their situations in various interviews, I don't think it's a secret. They have all come back and are dancing quite beautifully though of course at first there was some caution. Miranda I believe charmingly acknowledged that she gained a good deal of weight during her lay-off. She is now looking her gorgeous self again. Alexandra's story was profiled in the Playbill of the Winter Season and is a wonderful glimpse at the courage and determination of a very young woman threatened with the loss of her career. Wendy mentioned in one interview that she wondered if audiences would be able to appreciate her vulnerable side. Her return in SYMPHONY IN C found her engulfed in waves of affection from the crowd, and recently Wheeldon fashioned a role for her in AFTER THE RAIN which showed us a side of Wendy we had not seen before. The audience seemed spell-bound by what they were seeing.

It's also nice that the NYCB rep has many roles of varying degrees of "difficulty" and there are some gorgeous parts that don't call for extended passages on pointe and some where a partner is always there to help. These roles are enourmously rewarding in themselves, allowing the personality and dramatic nuances of the dancer to shine while not taxing the toes too harshly. And of course choreographers are on hand to create new pieces which can play to a dancer's strengths and not show any of his/her weaknesses.

Sorry, I didn't mean to ramble on...best wishes to Jennie Somogyi and let's hope to see her onstage again in the future.

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