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Marcelo Gomes

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3 hours ago, abatt said:

I don't agree with the premise that the resignation implies, even vaguely,  that Gomes was guilty of wrongdoing.  It is equally as likely that he became so angry and his pride was so hurt by the way ABT dealt with him that he quit in disgust and as a protest of his treatment.  Also, while many Americans live by the motto of sue, sue, sue, that is not necessarily true of someone who  grew up in another culture.  Instead of a protracted legal battle, he decided to walk away and move on to other things for the few remaining years he had left to be a ballet dancer. 

 

1 hour ago, abatt said:

I agree. I'm sure they would have rather this incident never happened. But the Board of Directors felt the need to give it the full blown investigation treatment once they had information regarding a potential claim  in order to cover their butts from potential legal liability. 

I agree with abatt.  If it was me, and I was innocent, I would probably get so angry that I would just quit on the spot.  And since nothing seems to have come of this, I believe that’s just what happened.

Sure, I understand that ABT felt it was necessary to investigate the “allegation”.  But what l can’t understand is why they announced it to the world before they knew if the “allegation” was true.

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18 minutes ago, NinaFan said:

 

I agree with abatt.  If it was me, and I was innocent, I would probably get so angry that I would just quit on the spot.  And since nothing seems to have come of this, I believe that’s just what happened.

Sure, I understand that ABT felt it was necessary to investigate the “allegation”.  But what l can’t understand is why they announced it to the world before they knew if the “allegation” was true.

I think they wanted to get out ahead of any bad publicity about the allegation and show the world that ABT is a responsible organization when it comes to allegations of sexual misconduct.  That was the whiff I got from that pathetic press release by ABT's Board member when this story first broke.

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... or, it's possible that whatever the allegation was, it was true, but questions of consent were murky, or what seemed like consent eight years ago is being revisited and judged by new standards, and Gomes guessed that ABT would feel they would have to fire him or censure him in some way, even for something (as I recall from the press release) unrelated to his employment at ABT. That even if he got "due process," whatever that means in an employment context, he would be judged and sentenced unfairly. All my guess as to what may have happened. 

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There is a larger question: what of the level of resposibility for any company or organization to investigate accusations against employees for off-hours behavior?  Obviously behavior away from work can reflect badly on your employer, and criminal behavior should set off alarm bells. But at what point does the employer get to limit the reaction to advising the accuser to seek remedies through a police complaint or civil suit? 

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Posted (edited)

I like Gomes as a dancer and hope he didn't do anything horrendous, because I think we like to like the performers we like. We like to like them as people as well as artists. However, I absolutely love Wagner's operas, but I doubt if I would like him as a human being at all judging from his own writings and accounts of his personality (he did make Nazis feel free to embrace his work afterall). So we can like the artist and hate the human being.

In the case of Gomes we can only guess what really happened. There are always a lot of private conversations going on with rumors from supposed very reliable sources in cases like this.......but in the end they are guesses or gossip.

I am not sure ABT is the "bad guy"......no ballet company is going to force the resignation of a beloved star who audiences love without weighing what is best for the company. Since we do not have definitive information we can not be judge and jury of ABT as a company or judge and jury of Marcelo Gomes. I actually think that was sort of Iain Webb's point in defending his hiring of Gomes as guest artist.

Everyone involved (ABT, Gomes, the accuser) apparently wanted it hushed as quickly as possible. We may never know the exact true story, so we actually can't paint anybody as the villain without knowing all the details.

 

Edited by Birdsall

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19 minutes ago, Birdsall said:

 I absolutely love Wagner's operas, but I doubt if I would like him as a human being at all judging from his own writings and accounts of his personality (he did make Nazis feel free to embrace his work afterall). So we can like the artist and hate the human being.

Just a small point on Wagner: we have pretty good evidence that he himself was a virulent anti-Semite and it's not his fault that Hitler and the Nazis loved his work. But one additional factor is relevant to his work, namely, portrayals in some operas of Jews in the worst rat-like stereotypes. So, on that account, I can despise the artist and also despise aspects of his work. I only bring this up because Wagner is such a popular discussion example when assessing the ethics of persons and of works of  art.

In a more recent context, there is continuing discussion of ethical aspects of Jerome Robbins' work and life. We are sorely disappointed that he named names to the HUAC committee (although he was in a truly horrible no-win situation when that happened and he says he felt guilty for the rest of this life). But we are also now hearing ethical criticism of his work, especially the treatment of women in Fancy Free, which might have seemed normal in the late 40s but is now cringe-worthy.

In the case of Marcelo, whatever ethical issues there might have been in his personal history (and I doubt we'll ever know the whole story), I can't think of a single thing we question ethically in his performances. Indeed, he was the one who always so graciously turned his back on the audience to thank the corps standing behind him and the one who was so gracious with his time in coaching others. Maybe there were ethical lapses as an artist, but I've never heard of any.

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Wagner is, indeed, one of the biggies of the "Can I love the art of a horrible human being"  controversy. I totally understand why some would be repelled by his music mainly because of his personality and possible stereotypes. However, I have heard arguments for and against whether his music actually depicted racism. His writings and the actual libretto can be interpreted that way, but it is still up in the air if his actual music can indicate racism. It is sad that someone could create a work like Parsifal in which "compassion" is one of the most important themes and Christianity mixed with lots of Buddhism is apparent throughout the opera. The opera still inspires people today. It just goes to show you that it is a complicated issue. It is tough. When we love the art that someone creates we want to like the human being as well. I think that is probably something innate in us humans. However, it is obvious that sometimes we have to choose to divorce the two (artist and human being).

Leni Reifenstahl is the famous director of "Triumph of the Will"......a propaganda film that helped create the mythology around Hitler.....I believe almost all film students study her work, because in many ways her artistry was amazing in that she created a feeling and emotion (not to mention camera angles and shading) that was close to genius if you can divorce it from its actual purpose (which was HORRIFYING). I saw a documentary years ago in which she was shown to have spent her later life photographing Africans and trying to overcome her label as a racist, but then she was asked certain pointed questions about her Nazi past, and she literally lost it....she stood up and walked torward the interviewer and got VERY defensive and you saw she was in denial about her role in Hitler's Germany.

So art and the artist as a human, often very flawed human.....is very heart wrenching stuff........it reminds us that life is very complicated and sometimes we feel very uneasy liking an artist who we think is not a very good human being.

 

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3 minutes ago, Birdsall said:

 

Leni Reifenstahl is the famous director of "Triumph of the Will"......a propaganda film that helped create the mythology around Hitler.....I believe almost all film students study her work, because in many ways her artistry was amazing in that she created a feeling and emotion (not to mention camera angles and shading) that was close to genius if you can divorce it from its actual purpose (which was HORRIFYING). I saw a documentary years ago in which she was shown to have spent her later life photographing Africans and trying to overcome her label as a racist, but then she was asked certain pointed questions about her Nazi past, and she literally lost it....she stood up and walked torward the interviewer and got VERY defensive and you saw she was in denial about her role in Hitler's Germany.

And these examples are why these are such interesting and enduring questions! I can do you one better on the Reifenstahl legend: shortly after Shindler's List was released, Spielberg was asked in a published interview who his favorite filmmaker was: without missing a beat, Reifenstahl! But when he explained why, it was clear he looked only at formalist design aspects of her work and her pioneering film techniques, which Spielberg had no difficulty separating in his mind from the content of the work and the filmmaker. I can't retrieve that article with a little googling, but my memory is that it was in the LA Times shortly after the film was released in 1991.

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It is crazy to watch "Triump of the Will" and be both repelled and amazed at the same time. Not just her craftmanship, but how she somehow evoked a feeling of beauty and goodness (for an evil cause).

I think film students will study her work for centuries.

I basically can love the artist but hate the human being......however, not sure if I could ever love an artist who helps create mythology around a current world leader......that's where I draw the line! LOL That would hit too close to home and that film director would become persona non grata immediately!

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On 7/1/2018 at 8:25 AM, Birdsall said:

 

And concerning “due process”:  My gut feeling is that Webb threw that comment out to mean he’s not judge and jury. He’s not going to “not hire” someone simply due to unsubstantiated issues. I think all he probably meant was that he’s not going to assume Gomes is in the wrong without hardcore evidence. 

And apparently everyone is hushing. The resignation at ABT ended the issue in the news. We may never know what exactly happened, but I personally can’t imagine ever resigning from a job if I were innocent. I would let them fire me and then sue, but each person is different. I do like Gomes as a dancer. 

I assumed too that's what Webb meant to convey. He probably didn't mean to imply that ABT didn't follow due process. Just that from a hiring point of view he would not refuse to hire someone because of an unsubstantiated piece of news.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/2/2018 at 6:03 PM, California said:

And these examples are why these are such interesting and enduring questions! I can do you one better on the Reifenstahl legend: shortly after Shindler's List was released, Spielberg was asked in a published interview who his favorite filmmaker was: without missing a beat, Reifenstahl! But when he explained why, it was clear he looked only at formalist design aspects of her work and her pioneering film techniques, which Spielberg had no difficulty separating in his mind from the content of the work and the filmmaker. I can't retrieve that article with a little googling, but my memory is that it was in the LA Times shortly after the film was released in 1991.

 

On 7/2/2018 at 6:15 PM, Birdsall said:

It is crazy to watch "Triump of the Will" and be both repelled and amazed at the same time. Not just her craftmanship, but how she somehow evoked a feeling of beauty and goodness (for an evil cause).

I think film students will study her work for centuries.

I basically can love the artist but hate the human being......however, not sure if I could ever love an artist who helps create mythology around a current world leader......that's where I draw the line! LOL That would hit too close to home and that film director would become persona non grata immediately!

Often, when people mention liking Riefenstahl's beautiful imagery, they assume they are talking about Triumph of the Will (which is pure Nazi propaganda), but they are actually thinking of Riefenstahl's Olympia, which documents the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Olympia has the beautiful introductory sequence of Greco-Roman statuary and beautiful, mostly naked, bodies shown in athletic movement. It's still propaganda of course, but perhaps less overt than what we see in Triumph. Spielberg's comment is going to sound bizarre in any case, since the formal aspects of Triumph don't really match with his own film work. And I've seen more than one list of 'favorite' films from Spielberg, and the lists don't even match.  😉

Opening sequence of Olympia, Festival of the Nations (there are different parts to the documentary):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qt51j9bmZAU

Edited by pherank

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On 8/28/2018 at 6:06 PM, CharlieH said:

Marcelo will be guesting with Washington Ballet at the end of September, as will be Stella Abrera, Katherine Barkman (Ballet Manila) and Connor Walsh (Houston Ballet).

https://www.washingtonballet.org/performance/2018-2019-season/twb-welcomes

 

Thank you for posting this! Is there anywhere that says which pieces they will be dancing in? It doesn’t seem to specify casting on that page. 

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