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Helene

Misty Copeland, Part Deux

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9 minutes ago, volcanohunter said:

We aren't seriously comparing the process of developing medications with what goes on in the chem labs of cosmetics companies, are we?

 

I wouldn't care to take a guess at who the target audience of this perfume campaign is, but at the last ABT performance I attended in June I was seated in row G of the orchestra, so among some more affluent folk, and next to a couple of women of retirement age, who used smart phones and social media, and as they were flipping though their programs, one of them said, "Misty Copeland. That sounds familiar." Probably not the perfume's target audience. (They did know who Alessandra Ferri was.)

 

Many different industries share similar business models. For example, the oil industry and pharmaceutical industry are very similar. High capital and high uncertainty. With regard to cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, dirac got it right in a prior post. 

 

As far as the target audience, those that can afford and appreciate the product. Full stop. 

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On ‎8‎/‎1‎/‎2017 at 2:37 PM, abatt said:1

A bit off topic, but Hallberg is now a Tiffany spokesperson.  He seems to be ramping up his endorsements, trying to cash in while he still can.  His relationship as a dancer at the Bolshoi seems to have come to an end.

And Nike!

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Misty Copeland featured prominently in last night's Kennedy Center Honors. She paid tribute to honoree Carmen de Lavallade before dancing a pdd ("Bill") with Robert Fairchild. De Lavallade's segment concluded with a mass dance to "She's Got the Whole World in Her Hands" performed by alumni from ABT, Ailey and DTH.

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/2017/12/03/ee27f8f8-d881-11e7-b1a8-62589434a581_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-more-top-stories-2_honors-1200am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.c89897a927a7

 

Scroll a little past half-way down the article for amazing photos of de Lavallade and Copeland on the red carpet. That is quite the queenly silk purple gown on Carmen de Lavallade!

Edited by CharlieH
adding sartorial comment

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Thanks for the heads-up and the link -- looking forward to the telecast later in the winter.

 

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Posted (edited)

Just bringing into the discussion here the YouTube video of Misty's fouettés. There was a discussion going in the ABT forum that included some breaches of board rules, but perhaps if we stay within bounds here, there could be some further productive discussion of the topic.

 

Edited by nanushka

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On second watching of the video, I see she was in trouble from the start. After the pirouette she did a hop around to get going again. Really odd, and then the pique turns had no shape or position. My husband, who is a former ballet dancer, has an interesting take on the fouette thing. He feels that it's on Kevin M. If Copeland has never accomplished the fouettes, there is no reason to expect that at her age she will in the future. Kevin M keeps putting her out there in SL, knowing this. He should work on a total alternative plan. 

 

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22 minutes ago, vipa said:

He should work on a total alternative plan. 

Yes, with the existence of this video, Misty's performances at the Met this spring are going to be under particular scrutiny. I hope this serves as a catalyst for her and him to devise a technically sound, dramatically effective alternative (even, perhaps, eliminating the fouettés altogether). This is a crucial moment in the ballet, when Odile and Rothbart's seduction of Siegfried is clinched. A predictable technical problem at this point seems, to me, inexcusable. It's time to come up with a workable and effective solution.

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Posted (edited)
On 3/31/2018 at 9:40 PM, nanushka said:

Yes, with the existence of this video, Misty's performances at the Met this spring are going to be under particular scrutiny. I hope this serves as a catalyst for her and him to devise a technically sound, dramatically effective alternative (even, perhaps, eliminating the fouettés altogether). This is a crucial moment in the ballet, when Odile and Rothbart's seduction of Siegfried is clinched. A predictable technical problem at this point seems, to me, inexcusable. It's time to come up with a workable and effective solution.

It's more than just the fouettes that are problematic...(I can forgive that!)  Years ago an ABT ballerina (Nana Gollner) did 32 Changements in place of the fouetees, the easiest of all ballet steps!) and  there were few complaints about the rest of the performance........or for that matter about the Changements....they were excitingly performed with high ballon and she pulled it off....

Edited by atm711

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Posted (edited)

1. Doesn't Estee Lauder have a relationship to the Met?

2. All of Misty's products are in the Met shop, addressing all ages.

3. Tods is advertising with Eric Underwood and K. Jenner/Bolle, so Jenner appears with ballet a lot.

4.  I thought I saw a Dior perfume ballet ad a long time ago.

5. A pr agent once asked me if a client wanted to pay for placement, so that is always a factor.

6. Someone instagramed putting deodorant on his feet, so I guess scent is a big issue.  Bless poor Mr. B - wet cats and dogs mixed with ballet stalls

Edited by Vs1
add

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I am not sure if this is new (I think so).  It just came up on my Facebook feed.  

 

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On 4/2/2018 at 5:58 PM, atm711 said:

It's more than just the fouettes that are problematic...(I can forgive that!)  Years ago an ABT ballerina (Nana Gollner) did 32 Changements in place of the fouetees, the easiest of all ballet steps!) and  there were few complaints about the rest of the performance........or for that matter about the Changements....they were excitingly performed with high ballon and she pulled it off....

Incredible, this video is pretty bad. I agree, it is not just the fouettes. I too can forgive a technical mishap here and there, I have heard even Plissetskaya often replaced the 32 fouettes with a circle of tours. But Misty's spins here were off balance, the diagonal was out of rhythm and her arms were inexpressive and ungraceful. I saw her very few times and must say I quite liked her, but that was in modern works. Is this video representative of how she does the classics, or was it a particularly unfortunate evening?

What was so special about Cornejo's turns that elicited the shrieks? He is a wonderful guy, but pretty much any self-respecting ballet dancer can do what he did.

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Posted (edited)
31 minutes ago, Fleurdelis said:

What was so special about Cornejo's turns that elicited the shrieks? He is a wonderful guy, but pretty much any self-respecting ballet dancer can do what he did.

Oh, I disagree. Sure, I've seen even better. Sure, I wouldn't have shrieked myself. But I think there are a lot of dancers who have a lot of self-respect who nonetheless don't often do turns of that quality.

(Speed, evenness, clarity, control. Nothing showy, but clean and impressive.)

Edited by nanushka

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I agree that he did them well and that they were clean and controlled. But not so extraordinary as to be shriek-inspiring.

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Also take into account that it's the emotional momentum he's brought to bear in his characterization culminating in these wonderful turns. That could definitely induce excitement!

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I think the only person who can explain why they screamed is the person who screams.  (Or woo-hoo's.) One person's scream-worthy is another person's "???" or yawn.

I remember being glared at with a gaze that would have burned holes through me if the person's eyes hadn't been so glassy, because I didn't scream and clap furiously when Patrick Dupond did his diagonal of turning jumps during the third movement of "Palais de Cristal" when POB brought it to the Met in the 1980's.

In my observation, the vast majority of people who find something scream-worthy don't scream at all.

 

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Posted (edited)

The Copeland fouetté video seems to have spawned a new one: a compilation from NutcrackerCorsaireSB (Florine), and two separate SLs, including a part of the earlier video. She definitely seems to have some troubles with classical choreography, though a similar compilation could probably be cobbled together for many prominent dancers.

I wonder, though, if this new video will lead to a PR response, as the last one apparently did.

 

Edited by nanushka

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Posted (edited)

Some of those clips look charming and certainly not "lazy" or "cringeworthy" -- words used by the youtube poster who put up the video. (And  "Lazy" is word that perhaps that person is unaware has a history of decidedly racial overtones in certain American contexts).  Is Copeland a razzle-dazzle virtuoso? No. Did anyone ever say she was? Even in the press? No and no. Or, for that matter, is razzle-dazzle what makes someone a ballerina? Also No.

So what are we supposed to think. Take the (to me) far from "cringeworthy" Gulnare excerpt: I know I've seen worse Gulnares at ABT and probably elsewhere too. But say I'm a Pollyanna--not a strict enough a critic. As Nanushka says, one could easily put together a compilation of mistakes from various prominent dancers. Heck, if I could tape record the memories in my head, and post them on youtube, then I could put together a compilation of Gelsey Kirkland falling on her ass throughout her career,-to say nothing of slips and bobbles from Ashley Bouder too; not to mention slow to the point of painfully dull clips of Veronika Part. If someone finds the way Copeland dances uninteresting and below par, but loves Part or other ballerinas who also have technical weakness--today's rising Mariinsky soloist Kristina Shapran comes to mind or even the still occasionally known-to-bobble Oxana Skorik--then probably it's not Copeland's mistakes that bother that person but her overall dancing. If one finds the way Copeland dances piquant and charming (as I have done a couple of the times I've seen her), then a compilation clip of her mistakes hardly changes the picture.

Truthfully from what I've seen of Copeland, if I had a chance to see her again in classic repertory I might be more keen on seeing her in Giselle or the Ratmansky Nutcracker than Swan Lake.  I have also vaguely wondered why ABT doesn't experiment with reviving Tudor for her -- with proper coaching for all the dancers cast -- Pillar of Fire or Leaves are Fading--or how about a Copeland/Cornejo Shadowplay!  I'm trying not to assume I know best about casting, so maybe it wouldn't work, but from the outside looking in, I have found myself curious.

I know the Mariinsky's Skorik was the subject of a youtube mistakes reel, but even so, submitting Copeland to this kind of treatment hardly helps make the case that she isn't being given "extra" scrutiny as a dancer. Of course she is. Well, she's a cross-over ballet star and there is always going to be heat in that particular kitchen. But it is really depressing to me that words like "lazy" and "cringeworthy" are being thrown around like this. Copeland is a fine dancer and in some roles terrific (I vote for her Lise in Fille Mal Gardee). What ABT principal right now with the exception of Murphy would that sentence NOT apply to? (By which I mean, I consider Murphy to be a cut above the rest of them.)

As for resentment at Copeland's fame--which I assume is part of the problem:  At this point, no-one has convinced me that her fame is not a very good thing for ballet and for American Ballet Theatre. If people want to be mad about the "Copeland" fame phenomenon--the attention she gets etc.--then I suggest maybe be mad instead at how long it took a talented black woman dancer to have this kind of career at American Ballet Theatre. (Or really even a black male dancer though a few have passed through and had opportunities; ABT had a chance at Acosta early on and according to him didn't exactly give the impression his career would be supported, though he later came back and guested briefly.) Anyway, if it hadn't taken so long, then I believe Copeland would be having a successful career as a ballet dancer, but the public super-stardom she has achieved as a historical figure wouldn't be there.  And people would still agree to disagree about her dancing or agree that she is better in some roles rather than others much as one does with any other ballerina, but I very much doubt there would be such a need to embarrass her with videos etc.

Edited by Drew

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I so agree with Drew that you could put together a compilation of mistakes from any dancer. No one has flawless performances, each show and every show. Most of these clips are actually not that terrible, I've seen a lot worse, and a video of bad moments is not fair.

Lazy is a ridiculous statement in respect to any ballet dancer working in a company anywhere (and I don't think that is an over statement). The training, stamina and rehearsal time that is needed, just to get through a ballet is intense and huge. 

Here's where I am coming from on the Misty front. I liked her as a soloist in some things (particularly Tharp). When she was promoted I saw a few performances and found her lacking in many ways, so I don't buy a ticket to see her. I would never say she was lazy or a bad person. I personally don't think she would have been promoted if it hadn't been for her publicity machine. As far as her promotion being a good or bad thing, I think mostly good but it's debatable. I think these kind of video's are despicable.

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Posted (edited)

Those both seem like very thoughtful responses. I'm interested to hear additional views.

Edited by nanushka

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Posted (edited)

The video is a cheap shot, and the bobbles happen to all dancers.  Especially the devilishly difficult Petipa works.  

That said, she built up expectations of superior abilities with her PR machine and people expect a full technical show for their inflated ticket prices. 

Ms. Copeland should focus on the roles that she can successfully dance.  I would buy a regular priced ticket to see her in the right role.  (Firebird, etc)

But she should stop trying fouettes if the results look poor on the stage.  

Edited by Jayne
Fat fingered foul ups

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She set expectations that she's an excellent dancer, not technically perfect.  

And the ticket prices to her performance are not inflated: they're what enough people will pay.  The people for whom it isn't worth it, don't.

The video is a cheap shot that reduces entire performances and seasons to a series of minutiae, and it's so incompetent, it doesn't even make its own ridiculous point competently.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Helene said:

She set expectations that she's an excellent dancer, not technically perfect. 

In fact, in her responses to the fouetté video, she downplayed technique and its role in ballet. From both the YouTube comment and the second Instagram post:

Quote

The history of ballet and it's origin of pure freedom and expression is what we need to hold onto. Not to come into the theatre as a critic armed with judgement. I do appreciate the changes in the ballet technique, focused on evolving our technical abilities, but the point is to move people and for them to understand the stories we tell through dance.

This is the part of her response that I really have a problem with. I don't believe it's correct to say that ballet's "origin" was in "pure freedom and expression," and I certainly don't think there's anything wrong with viewing ballet performance from a perspective of critical judgment. In ballet at its best, technique and artistry are not at odds. Her comments here seem to me to reflect a misunderstanding of the history and traditions of classical ballet, as does her subsequent Cosmo interview:

Quote

I just try not to get caught up in reviews and reading things on the internet because they don't know you and people don't know your journey and I think that especially in America, especially in New York, when people come to see ballet, I think everyone kind of feels like they're a critic.

That ballet would draw an audience of viewers many of whom are inclined to regard dance with a critical eye is hardly a new development, and hardly limited to the New York area.

Edited by nanushka

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Have not seen Misty in any classic Petipa and doubt that I ever will, however I saw the livecast of her Juliet at Scala last year (vs Bolle) and thought she was very good in role. This is on YT and if you haven't seen it please do so and let me know how you rate her performance : 

 

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, vipa said:

I so agree with Drew that you could put together a compilation of mistakes from any dancer. No one has flawless performances, each show and every show. Most of these clips are actually not that terrible, I've seen a lot worse, and a video of bad moments is not fair.

1

I agree -- I think the compilation video is a cheap shot, and when I first saw the title, I immediately thought the use of "lazy" was misguided, especially given its history of being used in racist contexts.

I still find the fouetté video to be of interest because it shows how Copeland handles the coda of Act III, which until now I've only known through press reports. It's not a ballet blooper -- it's how she routinely handles the choreography -- so I don't find it offensive for it to be used as an illustration of her overall technique. I truly didn't expect her alternate version of the coda to look so underpowered and sloppy. Of course, no dancer should be judged solely on a 57-second video. 

I'm very forgiving of inconsistent dancers. You sometimes never knew what dancer you'd get in any given performance from Part --  and I find this to be true to a lesser degree with Abera and Lane -- but I believe that all three truly have the technique to be excellent in Petipa. And I think they have a great deal of artistry and dramatic ability that can sometimes make you forgive a bobble here or there. I'm reminded of something Dick Button said at the end of Sasha Cohen's long program at the 2006 Olympics: "I'll take [her] two mistakes as payment for that exquisite choreography, the exquisite line, the perfect positions and the beautiful artistry that she presents." I feel similarly about some of the less consistent dancers at ABT.

With Copeland, it's not just about "having a bad day" or making a mistake here or there -- as it's been spun in the press -- but about whether she has the technique to do justice to the 19th-century full-lengths, at a company that presents more Petipa than any other in this country.  

I disagree with what much of Copeland said in her response to the video, but the statements I most take issue with are 1) audience members shouldn't be critics, 2) difficult technical elements are "insane tricks," and 3) artistry and emotion trump technical ability (as said above, I'm willing to forgive mistakes if a dancer shows great artistry, but I don't think artistry can supplant technique, as they are so intertwined in ballet). I also don't understand why she invoked race in this particular discussion. It’s certainly been at the forefront of many moments in her career, but this doesn't seem like one of them. I didn't appreciate the Twitter user's put-down of American dancers, but that seemed more like a nationalistic bias (I assumed the Twitter user may have been based in Europe) rather than racial bias.

What I appreciate about Misty Copeland is that she can fill the Met (not an easy feat); she's brought more audience members of color into the theater; she's garnered pop culture attention for the art form, which hasn't happened much since the 80s; and she's inspired many by being a black woman on the ballet stage. Overall, I think she'll help ABT -- and the art form in general -- to be more inclusive. I wish this hadn't been founded on a somewhat misleading narrative crafted by Copeland and her PR team, but at least it's yielded what I believe are some positive results for the art form. 

13 hours ago, Helene said:

And the ticket prices to her performance are not inflated: they're what enough people will pay.  The people for whom it isn't worth it, don't.

 

I completely agree with this. Dynamic pricing is about demand -- it doesn't factor in whether someone can do the 32 fouettés! Also, performing-arts institutions usually set a reasonable cap on the highest dynamic ticket price, so as not to alienate audiences. 

Edited by fondoffouettes

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