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Kathryn Morgan


GB1216

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2 hours ago, Helene said:

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

 

Absolutely. This has been my own experience, and that of my DDs (both professional dancers). I am glad that at least some things are _finally_ being discussed openly and that some dancers have felt able to speak up. There are so many wonderful dancers who do not "fit the mold". 

And, yes, the Age of Social Media makes it much more complicated. Of course, now with Covid, many companies are having a very hard time keeping dancers employed, making for harder times. 

Wishing all the dancers struggling out there all the best. 

-d-

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On 10/9/2020 at 10:47 AM, balletforme said:

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."

Unfortunately, necessary change rarely comes from playing it nice, mild and just going along with existing rules. Many of us would like to think that people will just think and behave reasonably, but there's little evidence that this works consistently. Societies, industries, sub-cultures all fall into behavioral ruts as established attitudes get set in stone.

'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."'

That's the kind of statement that would cause a mild buzz online, but would do little to change the industry/art form. Someone has to step up, and Morgan is willing to do that when so many others don't have the confidence or courage. So good for her. She's obviously willing to fight the good fight for something that she loves. All the people who have grumbled in private have made not a whit of difference by the year 2020.

Likely the only way for her to be truly happy with a dance company would be to find one that doesn't have any issues with her opinions and attitudes. And that can only happen if she makes it plain how she feels about issues like body image in the ballet world.

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If you have a daughter who's a female ballet student you see Kathryn Morgan's video in a different light.  These body conversations are 100% necessary.  Never before have ballet students had to grow up with a constant barrage of images and videos on social media of "instafamous" young dancers who showcase everything they're not.  If you could hear the chatter in ballet studios..these girls are never happy with themselves.  Everything they do is not good enough (to them).  Kathryn Morgan is a godsend for these girls. 

 

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I kind of wish other dancers from prominent companies would comment or show some support.  There are some very outspoken dancers these days - Bouder, Copeland.  The only high profile ballerina I can see who liked her message was Isabella Boylston.  My guess is that they aren’t willing to buck their own system.

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3 hours ago, GB1216 said:

I kind of wish other dancers from prominent companies would comment or show some support.  There are some very outspoken dancers these days - Bouder, Copeland.  The only high profile ballerina I can see who liked her message was Isabella Boylston.  My guess is that they aren’t willing to buck their own system.

I have seen current MCB dancers comment (positively) on the posts shared above from the dancers speaking up. Mostly just showing support and love.

Brianna Abruzzo also posted her story with MCB on her Instagram: 

 

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pherank, I agree.  Someone has to speak up, and forcefully. 

Too bad not many, many more are doing so. (i am pleased to see that some ARE coming out publicly to show some support)

Another difficulty for dancers is that their careers are usually short (compared to other careers), and so by the time they have reached an age where they are confident enough to speak out forcefully, their careers are basically over. No one would listen. 

So, for Morgen to speak up now, even though she is not quite finished dancing professionally, is laudable. 

I think that most dancers just get really fed up and stop, then move on to other things. Then it is somewhat of a shock to see, twenty or so years later, that dancers are STILL up against the same sh*t dancers were up against when we were dancing. -sigh- 

-d-

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I watched Kathryn Morgan's video with great interest. I don't think we can have a full idea of what happened, and how conversations played out from start to finish. Clearly she thought that losing weight was the key to casting, and maybe it was. At the same time I was not very impressed with the rehearsal clip she showed of Firebird, but have no way of knowing how her dancing compared with that of the dancer who was cast.  Perhaps a MCB viewer could better comment on  this. For Morgan, it seems management's expectations weren't met for whatever reasons.  I contrast this situation with Lauren Fadeley who entered as a soloist and was promoted to principal soloist at the end of her first season. She was told by Lordes Lopez that she exceeded all her expectations. (I heard this in a Fadeley interview). Fadeley isn't a skinny little thing. Maybe Morgan's situation had more to do with dancing than weight. I don't know. I do know that even under the best of circumstances, company life isn't easy because it's a zero sum game. For every role in a performance there is a winner and a lot of losers. 

I wish Kathryn Morgan well. Her idea of a pick-up company that tours, performs and integrates itself into community ballet studios is great. 

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3 hours ago, vipa said:

I watched Kathryn Morgan's video with great interest. I don't think we can have a full idea of what happened, and how conversations played out from start to finish. Clearly she thought that losing weight was the key to casting, and maybe it was. At the same time I was not very impressed with the rehearsal clip she showed of Firebird, but have no way of knowing how her dancing compared with that of the dancer who was cast.  Perhaps a MCB viewer could better comment on  this. For Morgan, it seems management's expectations weren't met for whatever reasons.  I contrast this situation with Lauren Fadeley who entered as a soloist and was promoted to principal soloist at the end of her first season. She was told by Lordes Lopez that she exceeded all her expectations. (I heard this in a Fadeley interview). Fadeley isn't a skinny little thing. Maybe Morgan's situation had more to do with dancing than weight. I don't know. I do know that even under the best of circumstances, company life isn't easy because it's a zero sum game. For every role in a performance there is a winner and a lot of losers. 

I wish Kathryn Morgan well. Her idea of a pick-up company that tours, performs and integrates itself into community ballet studios is great. 

I also am curious about Lauren Fadeley’s trajectory at MCB in comparison to that of Kathryn. I’ve never seen her dance, so I can’t comment on that. However, she and Kathryn don’t look much different in size based on this picture (would have been right before Lauren was pregnant or only a few weeks along). This picture may not be very accurate, though. 

 

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These former MCB dancers should be lauded for their courage in being so frank about their experiences.  But "I was told" only goes so far.   I wish they had named  their abusers,  because their treatment as described was truly abusive,  unprofessional and unproductive.  Nobody trains and works hard for years to attain their level of expertise to be treated like trash by some small time megalomaniac.  Driving dancer after dancer out of a company is just plain lousy management.  

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Morgan didn't mention anyone by name, but referred repeatedly to "Artistic," sometimes in the singular, and that clearly was in the current company administration.

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38 minutes ago, Helene said:

Morgan didn't mention anyone by name, but referred repeatedly to "Artistic," sometimes in the singular, and that clearly was in the current company administration.

Yes-  on the MCB website under “meet the company” it says artistic - and it’s the artistic director, ballet masters, etc. that are all listed in that section.

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On 8/22/2020 at 8:17 PM, On Pointe said:

If Lourdes Lopez has a preference for very thin dancers,  hiring a woman whose years-long struggle with weight is well known was a pretty whack move.  The fact that so many dancers left at once indicates that Kathryn Morgan wasn't the only dancer who couldn't put up with Lopez.  It might be time for a change in administration,  which is a shame as so few women run ballet companies these days.

I couldn’t agree more. As far as I’m concerned, it’s MCB’s loss. 

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