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Veronika Part leaving ABT


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On 7/7/2017 at 6:50 PM, fondoffouettes said:

 

 

 

In other news, Gillian Murphy liked Part's most recent Instagram post. I can't think of any other time Murphy has liked any of Part's posts, and she doesn't even follow Part.

 

I know canbelto has posted some chummy moments between Part and other dancers (and they certainly do exist!), but it's a rarity for any female principal dancer, with the exception of former principal Irina Dvorovenko, to acknowledge anything Part has posted. I don't want to read too much into this; I'm just very surprised to see Gillian liking this post.

 

 

 

Hmm, Misty, Julie Kent, Luciana Paris, Gabe Stone Shayer, and Sarah Lane have liked Veronika's recent posts. From outside the company Svetlana Lunkina, Sara Mearns, Marianela Nunez have liked her posts too. Conspicuously missing are male principals. I've noticed Veronika interacts more with the females at ABT than the males on social media.

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1 minute ago, canbelto said:

 

Hmm, Misty, Julie Kent, Luciana Paris, Gabe Stone Shayer, and Sarah Lane have liked Veronika's recent posts. From outside the company Svetlana Lunkina, Sara Mearns, Marianela Nunez have liked her posts too. Conspicuously missing are male principals. I've noticed Veronika interacts more with the females at ABT than the males on social media.

Interesting! Now that you mention it, I do remember recent likes from Misty and Kent. Mearns has definitely been a consistent "liker" for a long time now. You may be right that the male principals are even more conspicuously absent.

 

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I am troubled by the fact that Veronika (and her father!) feel the need to address her situation with this Facebook fan. It speaks to a lack of coordination and understanding behind the scenes at ABT, and a great deal of disrespect toward Veronika by whoever is making these decisions. Perhaps she is voicing her position in the only forum available to her. 

 

Part spent most of her career with this company and at least deserves the courtesy of a clean exit. No senior principal should have the door slammed in their face. The phrase "because her contact was not renewed" has appeared in like three NY Times articles at this point. It is disgraceful. 

 

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5 minutes ago, sealings said:

I am troubled by the fact that Veronika (and her father!) feel the need to address her situation with this Facebook fan. It speaks to a lack of coordination and understanding behind the scenes at ABT, and a great deal of disrespect toward Veronika by whoever is making these decisions. Perhaps she is voicing her position in the only forum available to her. 

 

Part spent most of her career with this company and at least deserves the courtesy of a clean exit. No senior principal should have the door slammed in their face. The phrase "because her contact was not renewed" has appeared in like three NY Times articles at this point. It is disgraceful. 

 

 

I agree but I think the actions of this fan have crossed the line from "supporting Veronika" to quite frankly a rather vulgar, self-centered display of ego. No fan who really respected Veronika would talk about throwing a tomato at Alexei Ratmansky or booing BEFORE Mozartiana even starts. 

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Personally, I believe that Part's relationship with ABT was seldom good all these long fifteen years.  But whatever the bitterness, Part should exit and conduct herself with quiet stoic dignity.  She should take her leave like a prima ballerina, not a petty prima donna.  I think that Part and her family should discourage any sort of public demonstration on Saturday afternoon.  Their social media should reflect that wish.  That final "Mozartiana" should be a moment of reflective beauty and artistic excellence above all the politics and personal ugliness.  Part should exit as a vision of beauty and then, let the chips fall where they may.  Veronika should look towards her future.

 

Frankly any talk of a demonstration would give ABT an excuse simply to not give Veronika any kind of special bow and final presentation.  Probably Kevin McKenzie (who won't be missed) and Alexei Ratmansky won't even come out to present her with bouquets.  It will be counter productive.  By the way, no one should throw tomatoes at Ratmansky - it was likely not his decision, he said nice things to Veronika on her social media and he cast her for years in leads in his new pieces.

Edited by FauxPas
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55 minutes ago, fondoffouettes said:

 I don't want to read too much into this; I'm just very surprised to see Gillian liking this post.

 

 

I would imagine ABT's treatment of Part is unnerving to the other principals, including Murphy, who are now wondering how much control they have over their futures at the company. 

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12 minutes ago, sealings said:

 

 

I would imagine ABT's treatment of Part is unnerving to the other principals, including Murphy, who are now wondering how much control they have over their futures at the company. 

The company doesn't have a good track record of treating dancers over 35, at least over the past decade or so. But I think Murphy has a very good chance of being treated as well as someone like Kent (well, she was indulged way too long). But I'm sure there is still a sense of uncertainty.

Edited by fondoffouettes
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10 minutes ago, FauxPas said:

Personally, I believe that Part's relationship with ABT was seldom good all these long fifteen years.  But whatever the bitterness, Part should exit and conduct herself with quiet stoic dignity.  She should take her leave like a prima ballerina, not a petty prima donna.  I think that Part and her family should discourage any sort of public demonstration on Saturday afternoon.  Their social media should reflect that wish.  That final "Mozartiana" should be a moment of reflective beauty and artistic excellence above all the politics and personal ugliness.  Part should exit as a vision of beauty and then, let the chips fall where they may.  Veronika should look towards her future.

Well said. Contracts are sometimes not renewed. Kevin M's artistic decisions have been a mystery to me for some time, but in all fairness I don't know what budget constraints and other considerations he has had to deal with. In any event, this is a done deal. No amount of protesting, passing out flyers or booing is going to change that. It's time to celebrate Part's last performance and move one. No one is being helped by these protests. Booing KM isn't going to make him rehire her. 

Edited by vipa
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27 minutes ago, FauxPas said:

She should take her leave like a prima ballerina, not a petty prima donna.

 

I agree pretty much completely with everything else you say, FauxPas, but this part seems rather extreme. The exact quote from Veronika on FB is "you can do whatever you want!" I agree that's the wrong approach to take, but I have seen no evidence that she's behaving like "a petty prima donna."

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3 minutes ago, nanushka said:

 

I agree pretty much completely with everything else you say, FauxPas, but this part seems rather extreme. The exact quote from Veronika on FB is "you can do whatever you want!" I agree that's the wrong approach to take, but I have seen no evidence that she's behaving like "a petty prima donna."

 

Yeah I took it as a rather dramatic throwing up of hands in frustration and anger at the entire situation: "do whatever!!" with the annoyance yes directed at abt who I'm sure she's mad at, but I'm guessing she doesn't really want to have to talk a crazed supporter out of a tree right now either.

 

I mean if I was in her shoes the last thing I'd want was to have to beg my fans to not make a fuss. I hardly took it as encouragement, although if I had been in her shoes I would probably have made the effort to try and quell the protest.

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I am afraid that "do whatever you want" DOES sound like encouragement to a fan who seems obsessive and hysterical.  And yes, frankly it is the wrong approach to take - she should not be encouraging fans to disrupt the performance, nor should family members.  It will mar her performance and those of her colleagues onstage.  Any kind of personal attack on Kevin McKenzie or god forbid, her long time supporter Alexei Ratmansky will justify the decision to cut her loose.  Personally, I think (and hope) that what will happen is that Victoriya and two other crazies hold up some signs and scream out some insults but they will be drowned out by the cheers for Veronika's performance and the flowers that will be tossed onstage.  No one will see or hear them.

 

I sadly suspect that Veronika's problem has been displaying the wrong attitude offstage - there have been descriptions of her as "not being a team player."  You can get away with not being a team player if you are an international prima ballerina superstar like a Makarova, an Ananiashvili or a Vishneva or Lopatkina.  Veronika has always been a half rung below that level - and her fans are mostly balletomanes, not the general public.

 

Veronika is 39 years old and a retirement at that age is not a disgrace or terribly odd.  She danced for 20 years with two great international ballet companies.  She needs to leave with a loving, elegant celebration of her art, not a three ring circus.

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15 minutes ago, FauxPas said:

I sadly suspect that Veronika's problem has been displaying the wrong attitude offstage - there have been descriptions of her as "not being a team player."

 

This is also a classic line slapped on introverts by a social and professional world dominated by extroverts. Sometimes it's a real indication of problematic behavior; sometimes it's just a difference in temperament that gets misinterpreted. I'm not sure we can know which is the case, given our limited knowledge of what's happened behind the scenes.

 

As I said above, though, I agree with most of what you say.

Edited by nanushka
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To Part's credit, she did initially discourage the fan from doing anything and even deleted some of her comments, but the fan went ahead and organized a petition (among other things) anyway. Perhaps now that the news is out there, it almost doesn't matter to her what others decide to do since it's out of her hands.

 

One part of her father's comment that was translated was that usually dancers are warned almost a year before their last performance, which indicates that this was not the case for Veronika.

 

 

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Well in Veronika's defense it's not as if being a "team player" really helped many past and current ABT colleagues.

 

Xiomara Reyes - always known as a "team player," also given her walking papers when she was technically still very strong. Now she's part of Julie Kent's team and that's a shame.

 

Stella Abrera - ultimate team player, patiently danced soloist roles as she saw one colleague after another promoted ahead of her. Finally did get her promotion but way too late. Astounding that she still hasn't been given an Odette/Odile.

 

Irina/Max - adored by ABT colleagues including Veronika Part herself. Both were pushed into early retirement but that doesn't stop them from supporting their ex-ABT colleagues whether it's attending their performances or helping with extra coaching. 

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3 minutes ago, canbelto said:

Irina/Max - adored by ABT colleagues including Veronika Part herself. Both were pushed into early retirement but that doesn't stop them from supporting their ex-ABT colleagues whether it's attending their performances or helping with extra coaching. 

 

I noticed they were among the first to enthusiastically comment on the newly promoted dancers' posts on IG today.

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2 minutes ago, nanushka said:

 

I noticed they were among the first to enthusiastically comment on the newly promoted dancers' posts on IG today.

Yeah, and I feel as if I've seen one or the other or both at nearly every ABT performance I've attended this season. 

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7 hours ago, canbelto said:

Xiomara Reyes - always known as a "team player," also given her walking papers when she was technically still very strong. Now she's part of Julie Kent's team and that's a shame.

"Team player" can be synonymous with "utility ballerina," which is what Reyes was. She was never a superstar at ABT and her closest historical parallel would have been Eleanor D'Antuono -- rock solid technicians who provided coverage for everything and were very reliable. But neither one was a superstar. When you're a utility ballerina (or a utility ball player), your value is only as lasting as your utility to the organization. It's a cold system and, in that respect, professional ballet is every bit as brutal as professional sports. A Julie Kent or, say, a Cal Ripken can set the terms of their departures based on built-up good will. But most everyone else will always be at the mercy of management.

 

 

7 hours ago, canbelto said:

Stella Abrera - ultimate team player, patiently danced soloist roles as she saw one colleague after another promoted ahead of her. Finally did get her promotion but way too late. Astounding that she still hasn't been given an Odette/Odile.

 

Irina/Max - adored by ABT colleagues including Veronika Part herself. Both were pushed into early retirement but that doesn't stop them from supporting their ex-ABT colleagues whether it's attending their performances or helping with extra coaching. 

Ultimately, though, the system did work for Abrera in that she did get promoted. We can argue that the promotion came too late (just as this board has been arguing for what seems like forever about Lane.) But the promotion did happen.

 

I remember things differently with Max. By the end, he was often injured and there were a lot of complaints that he was only ever seen at farewells with a bouquet of flowers in his hands. In his case, whether he was pushed or just "encouraged" to retire, I don't know that his departure caused much of an onstage ripple at ABT.

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3 hours ago, miliosr said:

"A Julie Kent or, say, a Cal Ripken can set the terms of their departures based on built-up good will. But most everyone else will always be at the mercy of management.

 

Even Julie Kent was at the mercy of management.

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22 minutes ago, angelica said:

 

Even Julie Kent was at the mercy of management.

I don't think so.  Kent stayed well beyond the age when she should have left, and McKenzie kept giving her the roles she wanted to dance.  McKenzie also allowed her to make whatever changes to the choreography she wanted to accommodate her diminished ability.  Kent retired when she wanted to leave, not when she was told to leave.

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16 minutes ago, abatt said:

Kent stayed well beyond the age when she should have left, and McKenzie kept giving her the roles she wanted to dance.

Exactly. By the end, she was having a distorting effect on the repertory. Management was bringing in Onegin and La Dame aux camellias and The Moor's Pavane and A Month in the Country to accommodate her. Those are all worthy pieces but they're not necessarily pieces meant for youngish dancers.

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