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canbelto

Chase Johnsey leaves Trocks; Joins ENB

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16 hours ago, Mashinka said:

I saw him the corps on Wednesday, perhaps he wants to settle in before attempting bigger things?

There are a number of considerations here, which may include a deliberate attempt to ramp up, the company's trade-offs around a potential media circus vs. keeping focus on the production -- ballet and lots of company dancers -- and that Deborah MacMillan keeps tight control over her late husband's ballets.

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On 6/15/2018 at 8:09 AM, canbelto said:

Well if you don't know what his real story is why are you jumping to such negative assumptions and assume he has a "gender identity" crisis?

My subjective perception of Johnsey comes from my experience working in a sex reassignment surgery floor-(one of the very few in this country)- for four years.  Gender dysphoria is quite a 7 heads monster that definitely stays out of public vision. 

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20 hours ago, Mashinka said:

I saw him the corps on Wednesday, perhaps he wants to settle in before attempting bigger things?

I thought that came across in the Dance Magazine interview where he made his comments about class with lady dancers.

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6 hours ago, cubanmiamiboy said:

My subjective perception of Johnsey comes from my experience working in a sex reassignment surgery floor-(one of the very few in this country)- for four years.  Gender dysphoria is quite a 7 heads monster that definitely stays out of public vision. 

There are all sorts of medical reasons for gender dysphoria ... One is the old medical practice of making a genetic male with "intersex" genitals a girl at birth, others are the East German female athletes who were pumped with so much performance enhancing steroids that they eventually chose to live as men.

However, there is zero evidence that Chase Johnsey is suffering from any of these medical symptoms. It seems as if his old company didn't allow his self-expression and so is trying to find a new artistic home. He is not undergoing sex reassignment surgery, he is not even changing his gender identity. So IMO these concerns are baseless. 

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1 hour ago, canbelto said:

One is the old medical practice of making a genetic male with "intersex" genitals a girl at birth

It's not as simple as that, and it's not so old as a practice: former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders trained under pediatric surgeon in the '60's who specialized in the practice of consulting the parents and performing the alignment surgeries based on a wide number of factors, almost all concerning the best way they thought the child outside the physical and genetic binary would be accepted.  In the context of the time it was thought to be the most compassionate option -- Elders wrote extensively about this in her memoir -- but, within a few decades, the issues this raised, including dysphoria and human rights violations, led to a shift, which didn't change overnight.  

I've read and heard (news/podcasts) a lot of stories recently of young people in particular who have told their mothers/parents that they are transgender, only to have their mothers/parents apologize for not having disclosed that history -- which would also mean that some medical people who knew were hiding this from their patients and others, including therapists, were never aware of a major part of their patient's medical history  -- and for having made the decision, often having thought over the years watching their child evolve, that they made the wrong decision.  Given the general awareness of the transgender community now, I would expect a lot of recognition of dysphoria that was suppressed inwardly and outwardly, ignored, misdiagnosed, and dismissed.   It might very well be that symptom is being mistaken for the cause.

Like many things, what is considered "compassionate," whether for the benefit of the deciders or the decided for, changes.  For example, is a very different decision to insist someone be closeted today, at least in the US, Canada, and Western Europe, than it was even 30 years ago, because the context, while hardly perfect or easy, has changed, and even parents who fear for their children where they are living know that there are places where their children can live openly, and that is not just in major metropolitan cities.

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3 hours ago, canbelto said:

So IMO these concerns are baseless. 

They can't certainly be proven, I give you that. I just hope the world could really "see" and act sometimes beyond the evidence-based criteria so necessary help-(many times not asked for)- could be offered. But you are totally right. There is not proof whatsoever that Johnsey has any conflict, as the legal terminology goes, "beyond reasonable doubt".

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It's extremely controversial and more often than not considered a professional violation when a mental health professional makes diagnoses without actually having specific knowledge of the person, and there is HIPPA law around speaking about cases where the medical professional does.  In any case, it is a clearly dangerous cliff to be hanging on to do so.

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10 hours ago, cubanmiamiboy said:

My subjective perception of Johnsey comes from my experience working in a sex reassignment surgery floor-(one of the very few in this country)- for four years.  Gender dysphoria is quite a 7 heads monster that definitely stays out of public vision. 

Gender dysphoria does indeed present itself in multiple ways, and the people who grapple with it have used many different tools, both in the past and currently.  One of them is gender affirmation surgery, and thank you for working with that cohort.  But as you know, not all trans people choose that pathway. 

As someone who's watched the Trocks for many years, it's been fascinating to see the company evolve from a group where the cross dressing was the main point of the humor to something much more complex.  Part of me wishes that Johnsey hadn't needed to leave the group -- his highly refined sense of classical style was a real asset in the more subtle aspects of their repertory.  But as we're constantly reminded, a dancer's performing life is short, and they need to follow their opportunities.  I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next for him, and also for the Trocks.

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On 6/17/2018 at 3:40 PM, sandik said:

Gender dysphoria does indeed present itself in multiple ways, and the people who grapple with it have used many different tools, both in the past and currently.  One of them is gender affirmation surgery, and thank you for working with that cohort.  But as you know, not all trans people choose that pathway. 

As someone who's watched the Trocks for many years, it's been fascinating to see the company evolve from a group where the cross dressing was the main point of the humor to something much more complex.  Part of me wishes that Johnsey hadn't needed to leave the group -- his highly refined sense of classical style was a real asset in the more subtle aspects of their repertory.  But as we're constantly reminded, a dancer's performing life is short, and they need to follow their opportunities.  I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next for him, and also for the Trocks.

Amen to that. And thanks for the sensitive response. Much appreciated this days...🤗

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Chase Johnsey is speaking to the London Ballet Circle (Civil Servants Club on Great Scotland Yard, 7.30 pm on 9th July) so that should I think prove interesting.  It is only £8 for guests should anyone wish to attend.  

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Nothing I've read about Johnsey indicates that he suffers from gender dysphoria,  or that he desires to transition.  He simply wants to perform onstage in women's roles.  In that regard,  he is similar to Alex Newell,  a male singer who often presents himself onstage as a woman.  (He is currently performing a lead female role in the Broadway revival of Once On This Island.)  Years ago,  the late Robert Blankshine  performed with the Radio City Ballet Company,  dancing on pointe in a tutu.  With his slim torso,  strong turnout and fantastic feet,  Blankshine  had a far better "female" presentation than Johnsey.  (Even so,  there was something of the Uncanny Valley about him as a ballerina.  It didn't help that despite the high standard of his dancing,  the women in the corps visibly rolled their eyes and snickered in contempt.)   

Does anyone honestly believe that Tamara Rojo would hire a thirty-two year old female dancer with Johnsey's body,  legs and feet?   If Johnsey wants to perform as a woman,  he should be judged by the same criteria that actual women are judged by.  "Gender fluidity" is the flavor of the moment.  But as someone commented in the NY Times,  the bottom line is this - a job that should have gone to a woman went to a less-qualified man.  But it does make for good trendy publicity for ENB and Rojo,  who could use a little deflection about now.

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16 hours ago, On Pointe said:

"Gender fluidity" is the flavor of the moment.  But as someone commented in the NY Times,  the bottom line is this - a job that should have gone to a woman went to a less-qualified man.  But it does make for good trendy publicity for ENB and Rojo,  who could use a little deflection about now.

He's still not performing in tutu and pointe, but I would still be curious to go to a performance to see him onstage now that his stage presence doesn't involves ballet mockery. I mean...this is quite a novelty, and if he EVER gets to tutu and pointes, well...even more of a curiousity. And I'm sure Rojo knows that.

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21 hours ago, On Pointe said:

Does anyone honestly believe that Tamara Rojo would hire a thirty-two year old female dancer with Johnsey's body,  legs and feet

I can't be certain whether she would choose a 32-year-old female Principal or Soloist from another company who auditioned and had extensive stage and touring experience, especially if a distraction would be welcome.

They haven't made as much of this press-wise than I would have thought.

 

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There is another up and coming transgender ballerina Jay Ledford according to Dance Spirit magazine.

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On 6/18/2018 at 4:51 PM, meunier fan said:

Chase Johnsey is speaking to the London Ballet Circle (Civil Servants Club on Great Scotland Yard, 7.30 pm on 9th July) so that should I think prove interesting.  It is only £8 for guests should anyone wish to attend.  

Was anyone able to be there?  If so, could you report back here?

On 7/11/2018 at 6:18 AM, Birdsall said:

There is another up and coming transgender ballerina Jay Ledford according to Dance Spirit magazine.

I didn't see the Dance Spirit article -- could you post a link here?  Pointe ran this on their website (not sure if it made it into the print edition)

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On 6/20/2018 at 11:12 PM, On Pointe said:

Nothing I've read about Johnsey indicates that he (....) desires to transition. 

But according to the title of this thread....😶

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Thread titles are like headlines: unlikely to have been written by the author of the article/interviewer and often misleading.

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I was unable to go to the talk, but the London Ballet Circle usually issues reports of its events on the web site eventually.  I won't pass on anything I heard second hand, but was told Johnsey has been hurt by what he calls 'below the line' comments.  A reminder to go easy in this unique situation.

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If you happen to see when the report gets onto their website, could you post here please?  I don't always see those kind of postings.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, sandik said:

Was anyone able to be there?  If so, could you report back here?

 

I attended and was fascinated by the content.  Chase Johnsey handled himself very well and was certainly refreshing in the candour of his delivery.   The audience was surprisingly small (it may just be the time of year - mixed with World Cup and Wimbledon fever) but certainly were very responsive.  Gerald Dowler proved a keenly insightful host.  I walked to the tube with Dame Monica Mason who came as an audience member and she kindly said how taken she had been with the evening.  Mr. Johnsey said he would be filming a documentary in and about now - with original dance segments included - and I very much look forward to the potential of seeing that.  In short a fine - and very rewarding evening.  I'm sure the full content report will arrive on the LBC website in appropriate course - e.g., once it has been transcribed and approved by all the participants.  

Edited by meunier fan

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Just so this particular dead horse won't get another beating, I've changed the title of this thread.

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, canbelto said:

Just so this particular dead horse won't get another beating, I've changed the title of this thread.

Thanks, canbelto. I think the title caused some confusion at various points throughout this discussion, for those who maybe hadn't carefully enough read the linked articles. (I hope my pointing that out at times didn't seem like dead-horse beating!)

Edited by nanushka

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5 hours ago, sandik said:

Was anyone able to be there?  If so, could you report back here?

I didn't see the Dance Spirit article -- could you post a link here?  Pointe ran this on their website (not sure if it made it into the print edition)

I am not sure if I can find it. It was an email notification for Dance Spirit which I do not subscribe to, but had a link, and I clicked and read the short article. I think after reading it and mentioning it on here I deleted the email. If I can find it, I will post it.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Helene said:

Thread titles are like headlines: unlikely to have been written by the author of the article/interviewer and often misleading.

True.  They can be misleading. 

Edited to add: Thanks, canbelto for changing the title.. 

Edited by cubanmiamiboy

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Posted (edited)

I am not entirely surprised that there was a lower turn out than usual for London Ballet Circle meetings. While Wimbledon and the World Cup may have had an impact on the size of the audience I suspect that the heat was what put the majority of people off attending. In addition to these obvious factors affecting the turn out I can think of several people who usually attend LBC meetings who decided that what could probably prove to be Felicity Palmer's last Wigmore Hall recital was far too important to miss. As has already been said at some point the authorised account of the meeting will appear on the LBC website.

Edited by Ashton Fan

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