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New York City Ballet 2021 Season


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On 7/12/2021 at 2:19 PM, JuliaJ said:

On the NYCB website, in the fall season, Ratmansky's Namouna has been swapped with Concerto DSCH. It's on the program with Robbins' Opus 19/the Dreamer, and nothing else. That's a total of around 40 minutes of dancing for the evening... they have to be adding something else to the program, right? 

Namouna is just shy of a hour long. If there's no intermission, it would be audience abuse to put more than one other ballet on the program.

ETA: Hmmm ... maybe I misread the original post. Has Namouna been taken off the program and replaced with Doncerto DSCH? If so, that is indeed a short program.

Edited by Kathleen O'Connell
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3 hours ago, canbelto said:

Isn't she taking a leave anyway to finish law school?

If this is true, I don't see how she could come back at all. How old is she? I have loved her charm and musicality, but last few times I saw her I couldn't help but think it looked bad on the AD to have his sister dancing on that level... and that was a year and a half ago. 

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2 hours ago, Balletwannabe said:

I'm really confused how taking away intermission increases safety.  

I agree. It's absurd that they think spending time on the promenade during intermission is somehow more dangerous than being in an enclosed auditorium for the performance. If they really wanted to increase safety, they would require proof of vaccination for all audience members.  This is what some Broadway shows are doing.  However, that would be a disaster for their bottom line since kids under 12 are their bread and butter for Nutcracker. 

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2 hours ago, cobweb said:

If this is true, I don't see how she could come back at all. How old is she? I have loved her charm and musicality, but last few times I saw her I couldn't help but think it looked bad on the AD to have his sister dancing on that level... and that was a year and a half ago. 

I too wondered about Abi Stafford. She's had a very limited rep for a while. For the last couple of performance seasons, I've  felt that casting her was taking needed opportunities from other dancers. She was never terrible but never great, and only useable (it seems) in a handful of ballets. She is about 40 years old. IMO it looks a bit bad for Jonathan Stafford to keep his sister employed in this way. Perhaps I don't know the whole picture. 

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Abi Stafford talked about having anxiety disorder here:

https://www.dancemagazine.com/abi-stafford-anxiety-2647826840.html

Quote

When the shutdown started, I was preparing to return to New York City Ballet after a hiatus. I had taken a leave of absence since December 2019, the middle of Nutcracker season, to focus on my mental health.

As NYCB underwent leadership transitions during the last few years and the culture among the dancers shifted, I had developed new feelings of anxiety. Some dancers felt more emboldened to ask for roles they wanted, envisioning exciting career possibilities. Others quietly wished casting choices would remain the same and sensed a more uncertain path. With my brother as artistic director, workplace dynamics collided with my personal life. Casting disappointments jabbed me painfully, and it became hard to find a corner in the theater where my soul felt safe.

anyway, the Metropolitan also announced major changes in the fall: Ipheginie is canceled, as is the Netrebko concert.

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3 hours ago, abatt said:

If they really wanted to increase safety, they would require proof of vaccination for all audience members.  This is what some Broadway shows are doing.  However, that would be a disaster for their bottom line since kids under 12 are their bread and butter for Nutcracker. 

The company could easily exempt children from the requirement.

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On 7/13/2021 at 10:32 AM, JuliaJ said:

Interesting. Not sure how not letting people get up to stretch their legs and use the restroom helps "maximize audience safety," but ok. I won't miss having two intermissions in one program, that's for sure. 

Another update to the calendar: the last show of the spring season, a Midsummer Night's Dream, is Ramasar's farewell: https://www.nycballet.com/season-and-tickets/spring-2022/a-midsummer-nights-dream/. I wonder what role he'll be dancing? Doesn't he normally just dance the Divertissement? 

Did I miss something? I didn't know Amar Ramasar is planning to retire! When was this announced?

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1 hour ago, California said:

He was asked for comment about one of the allegations:  (In an email, Ramasar said “I flatly deny this allegation”. . .)

So, yes, he knew. We don't know how long ago.

I must say,  Pazcoguin's allegation about Ramasar touching her inappropriately doesn't sound credible.  Once maybe,  but every day for years?  She should have kicked him in the balls the first time,  or at least have filed a complaint with management and refused to be in his vicinity.

Self-perception is odd.  I always thought of GP as quite thin,  and I didn't know she was half-Asian until she started working with Phil Chan.  The book sounds like a good read,  however some might say that people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

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On 7/13/2021 at 2:11 PM, Balletwannabe said:

I'm really confused how taking away intermission increases safety.  

Since normally intermissions involve a lot of threading through crowds to stand in lines for refreshments or the bathroom, removing intermissions altogether would cut down on all that human interaction. Masked or not. The theater itself presumably would have reduced seating with more space between occupied seats. But who knows? Maybe that will change too.

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7 hours ago, pherank said:

Since normally intermissions involve a lot of threading through crowds to stand in lines for refreshments or the bathroom, removing intermissions altogether would cut down on all that human interaction. Masked or not. The theater itself presumably would have reduced seating with more space between occupied seats. But who knows? Maybe that will change too.

From their website:

"Fall 2021 performances will be seated with no social distancing"

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11 hours ago, On Pointe said:

I must say,  Pazcoguin's allegation about Ramasar touching her inappropriately doesn't sound credible.  Once maybe,  but every day for years?  She should have kicked him in the balls the first time,  or at least have filed a complaint with management and refused to be in his vicinity.

Self-perception is odd.  I always thought of GP as quite thin,  and I didn't know she was half-Asian until she started working with Phil Chan.  The book sounds like a good read,  however some might say that people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

What is the "glass house" in which Pazcoguin resides?

"Management" was Peter Martins, of whom the article states, "she refers to him as her psychological abuser."

She may well have reported Ramasar's behavior; after all, the article also states that Martins was asked for comment about the incidents.

In any case, "why didn't she say something earlier?" and "why didn't she stop it?" are very common reactions to women reporting cases of sexual assault or abuse, and there are often understandable reasons why.

It doesn't seem as if the issue of her thighs was only a matter of "self-perception":

Quote

She braced herself for fat-shaming (it always came down to her thighs) or being told that she was not fully committed. But the encounter turned out differently: Martins promoted her to soloist, the rank she still holds.

 

Edited by nanushka
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13 hours ago, On Pointe said:

I must say,  Pazcoguin's allegation about Ramasar touching her inappropriately doesn't sound credible.  Once maybe,  but every day for years?  She should have kicked him in the balls the first time,  or at least have filed a complaint with management and refused to be in his vicinity.

Leaving the veracity of her claim aside, in the real world of a male-run, tradition-bound, hierarchical organization eager to coddle its stars, neither option would likely have gotten Pazcoguin anywhere. I can imagine any range of bad outcomes for Pazcoguin and none for her harasser; she was on the wrong side of any number of power imbalances in that situation. 

For a chilling depiction of how a credible allegation of abuse and exploitation can be turned back against the person reporting it by an HR department operating under the thumb of a powerful male executive, I recommend Kitty Green's excellent 2019 film, The Assistant. (If you haven't seen the film and don't mind a little spoiling, you can watch one of the central, telling scenes from the film on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=972P9XLWyoE. Jane, a young production assistant for a powerful film executive is party to a very young, very inexperienced woman being set up for sexual exploitation on the pretext of being given a job at the firm. The executive's habit of sexual predation is an open secret; part of Jane's job is literally cleaning up after his exploits and facilitating them in other ways, including installing the new hire in a high-end hotel. She decides to report the situation to HR. It does not go well.)

 

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18 minutes ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

Leaving the veracity of her claim aside, in the real world of a male-run, tradition-bound, hierarchical organization eager to coddle its stars, neither option would likely have gotten Pazcoguin anywhere. I can imagine any range of bad outcomes for Pazcoguin and none for her harasser; she was on the wrong side of any number of power imbalances in that situation. 

For a chilling depiction of how a credible allegation of abuse and exploitation can be turned back against the person reporting it by an HR department operating under the thumb of a powerful male executive, I recommend Kitty Green's excellent 2019 film, The Assistant. (If you haven't seen the film and don't mind a little spoiling, you can watch one of the central, telling scenes from the film on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=972P9XLWyoE. Jane, a young production assistant for a powerful film executive is party to a very young, very inexperienced woman being set up for sexual exploitation on the pretext of being given a job at the firm. The executive's habit of sexual predation is an open secret; part of Jane's job is literally cleaning up after his exploits and facilitating them in other ways, including installing the new hire in a high-end hotel. She decides to report the situation to HR. It does not go well.)

 

Your summary of the Pazcoguin issue is right on.  It's so easy for people to be skeptical about claims that don't seem "credible".  I also saw  The Assistant and agree that it's a terrific and  accurate observation about power imbalance in the work world.

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Our nervous systems are set up to cope with sudden, high stress/shocking events.  Flight-fight-or freeze.  Everyone assumes women "should" fight.  It's not that simple, we don't get to decide; our bodies decide for us.  Everything that follows (choices we make after the fact) have been summarized nicely by others already.

Edited by Balletwannabe
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7 hours ago, nanushka said:

What is the "glass house" in which Pazcoguin resides?

"Management" was Peter Martins, of whom the article states, "she refers to him as her psychological abuser."

She may well have reported Ramasar's behavior; after all, the article also states that Martins was asked for comment about the incidents.

In any case, "why didn't she say something earlier?" and "why didn't she stop it?" are very common reactions to women reporting cases of sexual assault or abuse, and there are often understandable reasons why.

Management at NYCB didn't consist solely of Peter Martins.  Pazcoguin could have said something to whoever was teaching class.  She could have gone to the executive director of the company.  She could have brought charges against Ramasar through their union.  On a basic level,  she could have shoved him away from her.  A lot of men - a lot - can't get it into their reptilian brains that not every woman welcomes their crude,  lewd behavior.  Not unless you make it crystal clear.   The best way to do that is by inf!icting some pain.  I say that having dealt with my share of jerks during many years in the theater world.

Ramasar is a good dancer,  but he's not some supernova to be indulged at all costs.  In the Carousel revival,  there were a number of men in the ensemble who danced as well as he,  and some who were better.  Anyone with the nerve to get into a screaming match with Peter Martins has what it takes to handle Ramasar.

As for the "glass house" - if you're going to have an affair with a married man,  you should probably pick one whose wife is not a high-profile,  celebrated author.  ("Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel".)  Pazcoguin was publicly named as a co-respondent in their divorce,  which rarely happens.

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2 minutes ago, On Pointe said:

Ramasar is a good dancer,  but he's not some supernova to be indulged at all costs.

Except he's been treated by NYCB as if he were.

He was after my time, so I didn't get to see him often, but when I did on visits, I usually ended up watching his partner or other people on stage.  I was trying to understand why he was cast so prominently, but he never held my attention for long.

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"She didn't do what I would have done."

"She didn't do what women should do."

"She didn't do X in situation A, even though she did Y in situation B."

Statements such as these do not, in my opinion, support a claim that an allegation is untrue or not credible. And all suggest a lack of understanding of how many victims react to such situations.

ETA:

I can easily imagine a young female dancer experiencing this — from an older, male, senior company member — and being simply stunned. It happens again, and there's more anger this time, but also perhaps shame (e.g. at not having prevented it), a desire to fit in, a fear of being viewed as problematic, a fear of consequences. It happens a few more times, and by that point it feels almost impossible to say something. ("She should have said something earlier.")

It is very easy for me to imagine a young dancer in this situation not thinking, "I should go to management" or "I should bring charges through my union."

Edited by nanushka
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3 hours ago, nanushka said:

"She didn't do what I would have done."

"She didn't do what women should do."

"She didn't do X in situation A, even though she did Y in situation B."

Statements such as these do not, in my opinion, support a claim that an allegation is untrue or not credible. And all suggest a lack of understanding of how many victims react to such situations.

ETA:

I can easily imagine a young female dancer experiencing this — from an older, male, senior company member — and being simply stunned. It happens again, and there's more anger this time, but also perhaps shame (e.g. at not having prevented it), a desire to fit in, a fear of being viewed as problematic, a fear of consequences. It happens a few more times, and by that point it feels almost impossible to say something. ("She should have said something earlier.")

It is very easy for me to imagine a young dancer in this situation not thinking, "I should go to management" or "I should bring charges through my union."

I don't disagree with anything you have written.  But years ago when GP alleges AR's bad behavior commenced,  there wasn't a big power imbalance between the two.  They are only about three years apart in age.  One would think this matter would have come up at the height of the public discussion of the Finlay-Waterbury suit,  especially since there seemed to be a concerted effort in the media to blame it all on Ramasar.  (All the more because GP seems to have the ear of Gia Kourlas at the NY Times.)  This supposedly happened in company class,  where dozens of people must have seen it at some time over the years.

Whenever you have a he said-she said situation,  an eyewitness statement is helpful in assessing credibility.  Or other victims coming forth - if AR did it to her he probably did it to others.  But this isn't a Weinstein,  Moonves or Lauer situation.  A woman who can take on the entire ballet world with an anti-racism campaign,  screams at her boss and calls herself the Rogue Ballerina seems to me to have the strength and self-possession to put a two-bit harasser in his place.

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19 minutes ago, On Pointe said:

One would think this matter would have come up at the height of the public discussion of the Finlay-Waterbury suit,  especially since there seemed to be a concerted effort in the media to blame it all on Ramasar.  (All the more because GP seems to have the ear of Gia Kourlas at the NY Times.)  This supposedly happened in company class,  where dozens of people must have seen it at some time over the years.

Right. And now she's publishing an account of it in a book she's written. Which may be one reason why she didn't bring it up then, and why she wouldn't now claim it in print if there weren't at least a few company members who are willing to back her up. We haven't seen whether that's the case yet. So I don't think there's a very strong basis now for saying it's a false or non-credible claim.

Mightn't this be her way of putting him in his place? Just one possible interpretation. We haven't even read the book yet. I think it’s unwise to pass judgment at this early point.

Edited by nanushka
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I went back to the NYT article to make sure I read it right. Yup, "for years" greeting her in class Ramarsar was "tweaking my nipples." In company class. In front of oh easily 40-50 other people. No one batted an eyelash. Am I the only one who has trouble with that? Those aren't little girls. Those are professional women. I don't believe for a minute plenty of them wouldn't have said something - to GP, to Amar, to the AD and the ED.

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