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Kathryn Morgan


GB1216

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18 minutes ago, Syzygy said:

Did he say what specifically that he wasn't happy with?

Not in the Conversation on Dance interview.

1 hour ago, GB1216 said:

Personally, they should have had their ear to the ground more.  This is 2020 and they hired a comeback dancer with a PLATFORM. Literally a young NYCB wunderkind who left due to illness that then became a social media presence.  

I agree that you have to be under a pretty big rock not to have noticed her public story, her social media, and her YouTube presence.  

I don't think there's anything negative about any of this, just that it was up front and obvious.

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1 hour ago, Syzygy said:

Did he say what specifically that he wasn't happy with? I haven't had a chance to listen to them. 

No! He was pretty circumspect about it and lightly touched on the dynamics  in both interviews.

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I just watched her explanation video. Makes sense to me. As others have posted earlier, they knew her size and health condition when they hired her. It was all well and good until it wasn't. I hope Kathryn Morgan finds the right fit somewhere worthy. For me, she has talent and special qualities that can't be taught. I didn't see her comeback performance but from videos of rehearsals and bits of performance footage, she seemed just like the dancer who delighted so many of us since her student days. Maybe even better as there was a more mature artistry there. 

I think she covered all the different expectations. She said if they were just saying that "oh, you can do this role, or maybe this role might suit you, when you're in shape." But she says they told her, in writing, you will do this and this and this. And then she was fitted for costumes. I think anybody would have the expectation that they would be dancing those roles. And that dig in the explanation, if accurate, that "you might think you've had a comeback but you didn't dance in point shoes and you're not thin, so..." is just...why say that? Seems unnecessary. It's also unprofessional. In corporations, if you want an employee to improve, you need to come up with targets to hit and a plan to be successful. I think it should be the same in a ballet company. If fitness is an issue, then there are mature, professional steps that can be taken. Why wasn't this setup when she first joined the company? MCB enjoyed the publicity from having a comeback dancer (and for those who think that was a distraction for KM, as somebody who used to do those stories, you have to ask the company's permission. They're all setup by their PR person. If the company didn't want her on the cover of magazines, it wouldn't have happened). Probably enjoyed the ticket sales. 

I'm tired of seeing wonderful dancers treated this way, specifically about this issue. 

 

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I am glad she was able to speak her truth, and I am sure her story will resonate with many dancers. I'm sad to hear of her experience at MCB. It all sounded so petty and unprofessional from the company's side.

I am glad she was mature enough to recognize this was an unhealthy environment. It's scary to think how this could impact younger dancers, eager to make the big break and who will do anything, even if it means spiraling down.

Edited to add: she mentions 8 people left the company this year. Do we know who?

 

Edited by sohalia
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You know since this is Miami I am thinking of the Miami Heat. The Miami Heat has very strong role players. Andre Igoudala is a veteran role-player -- he's never been a starter but always a valuable bench contributor. I feel like Kathryn Morgan had they better handled the situation could have been a valuable role player ballerina in Miami, the way Megan LeCrone is for NYCB. It seems Morgan was cast for many prima roles and then pulled out of them. Very poor handling of a talented ballerina. 

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Dale, I agree entirely with your analysis.  

That said, for me, something is missing? And I think it unwise to be so public and detailed if you want to keep working in the industry.  Better to simply say,  "My body type and size were an issue for leadership.  I chose to leave valuing my health."

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Jeez. Well, it looks like Chloe Freytag, one of the other dancers to leave this year, is now saying she was also taken out of ballets for not losing enough weight before eventually being fired. From her Instagram post:

"I was fired from MCB and told “my legs were too large to fit in fifth position.” I had already been warned that my weight was too high, and was on an extremely restricted diet (2 shakes and one meal a day). I was dizzy, weak, and dancing poorly. Even after I had lost about 8 lbs, I was still taken out of ballets because I “hadn’t lost enough weight.” I hated my body. Completely loathed the way I looked. I remember crying at my naked body in mirror thinking I could never love myself again. I would lock myself in the bathroom between entrances while performing to cry."

That's...not good. 

 

 

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I haven’t noticed anything public from kathryn morgan’s statement, but I did see that Nathalia arja commented on chloe’s, and Jovani furlan also published her post on his stories.  So even though the MCB dancers may not be coming out to support Morgan there does seem to be a fair amount for Chloe.  

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26 minutes ago, Leah said:

Right, it just sounded from the post that MCB dancers had done so publicly and I was wondering if people knew who they were. 

"People" isn't specific:  which people, nor where they said it.  If any ballet professionals have spoken publicly about Morgan, that is a valid discussion topic.

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Wow.  Nothing new to add, but just echoing that nothing about Kathryn Morgan when they hired her was an unknown quantity - she's been extremely open for years about having struggled with her weight nearly her entire professional dance career.  Furthermore, Morgan's always been outspoken on social media about her past dance experiences, struggles with casting, partners, working at NYCB, etc. 

She's not stick thin, and she's got a huge social media following - why even hire her in the first place?  It reflects extremely badly on MCB.  Hoping Morgan finds something better.  She deserves it, and even though she doesn't really fit the current stick thin ballerina mold, she really does have a special, intangible quality to her dancing, so I hope her career can continue.

Edited by Phrenchphry11
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Personally, I don't care for KM's dancing, and I find her social media empire insufferable, like that of most social-media-obsessed professionals.  It is all incredibly narcissistic.  But America loves a narcissistic celebrity.  And yet, I watched almost the whole self-serving ("I'm an inspiration"), self-aggrandizing ("top-five company"), solipsistic ("trifecta of dance magazines') video right through like a sucker.  It is like the Housewives - hard to turn away from.  Can I get my money back?

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19 minutes ago, KikiRVA said:

Personally, I don't care for KM's dancing, and I find her social media empire insufferable, like that of most social-media-obsessed professionals.  It is all incredibly narcissistic.  But America loves a narcissistic celebrity.  And yet, I watched almost the whole self-serving ("I'm an inspiration"), self-aggrandizing ("top-five company"), solipsistic ("trifecta of dance magazines') video right through like a sucker.  It is like the Housewives - hard to turn away from.  Can I get my money back?

 

Edited by abatt
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5 minutes ago, abatt said:

I  enjoyed her performances at NYCB many moons ago, but I have to agree with you about the narcissism.  I guess she wanted to make sure her followers knew she left and was not terminated.  Contrary to what others have written, I think Lopez was generous in taking a chance and  giving Morgan a chance after so many years of injury/illness.  Maybe it would have been better for all parties if Lopez offered her a guest gig first just to see how things would work out.  Isn't it equally possible that her calf injury was caused by the fact that she has not danced professionally, full time for so many years.  Is it justified to blame all of her maladies (calf injury, hair falling out, re-emergence of her disease issues) on Miami City Ballet and Lopez?  Perhaps her body simply cannot adjust to the demands of being a full time professional ballet dancer because of her disease. 

 

Edited by abatt
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17 minutes ago, Leah said:

I have to agree I was turned off by the references to being an inspiration, magazine trifecta, etc.

Yeah - I do agree that just because she's been on multiple magazine covers, tv shows, etc, doesn't mean any of that will translate into her being a great dancer.  She probably could have done without those references in the video.  I think it diminished from her main story around the problematic behaviors of MCB promising her roles early on and not living up to those promises.

Unfortunately, having a loud social media and PR presence does seem to come with the territory of being a successful ballerina nowadays.  I do appreciate that Morgan uses hers in ways that seem more "real" than what some other dancers tend to sell on their social media platforms and various magazine interviews.

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I've quite enjoyed some of the videos in which Morgan offers commentary on the experience of dancing a particular role as voiceover to a video of her performance.

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Personally, I like her and her content.  However, there have been times where I have felt that she was a little “holier than though” in some videos and can come off as a difficult person in general.  Only child, adopted, gifted dancer, illness that she’s overcome - I get it.

however, with that said, I don’t think any assumption on her personality is indicative of how she deserved to be treated by MCB.  They should have been up front with her in terms of their true intentions (if indeed it was just for PR).  I liked the mention above of guest appearances.  It could have been a mutually beneficial arrangement to get her back on stage (with a low level company commitment). 

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3 hours ago, Leah said:

I have to agree I was turned off by the references to being an inspiration, magazine trifecta, etc. But unless there is something we haven’t been told, the way she was hired and then treated immediately after just seems bizarre and an easily avoidable situation that she didn’t deserve.

My thoughts exactly. 

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Another thing that I strongly objected to in her video was that she mentions that her partner told her that management's treatment of her was unfair.  I believe the intent was that such comments were made  in confidence. I'm sure Lopez and others in the company know to whom she is referring. Even though she did not specifically name the person, there was no reason for her to potentially make his life at MCB difficult for taking sides with Morgan against Lopez. 

Also, she mentions not being "thanked" for coming to a demonstration.  I don't know about you, but it's rare that I get thanked for doing my job.  That's what I'm getting paid to do.

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Thanks for sharing all of this Syzygy.  Wow. I am so happy all of these dancers are speaking their truths about body dysmorphia and how they were treated in their company. Some of the alleged comments are disgusting, "you will do better as a wife," barf.

This has been ongoing for the last few months in the sports world, mostly in aesthetic sports like artistic and rhythmic gymnastics, and more recently artistic (synchronized) swimming,  where athletes are speaking up about mentally abusive coaching methods. I am glad to see this movement transpire to the ballet world. The cultures and mentalities need to change.

Edited by sohalia
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We are in a post-MeTool social media age where some dancers and athletes are coming forward, almost always those who are no longer performing or competing any longer,  It's hard to compare situations unless people speak up. 

No matter how good or bad a situation is, there are people for whom it works and other for whom it doesn't.

 

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