Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×

New York City Ballet 2021 Season


Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, On Pointe said:

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.

I've been in bullying situations in grade school and football practice and at summer camp. Someone picks on you everyday and no one in the group notices or wants to notice. For the bully repetition is part of the game. When I complained to a friend of my summer camp situation, he said for me to take care of it myself, we were all on our own now.

AR did not necessarily do it to anyone else – often only one victim needs to be chosen. 

And how many battles on how many fronts was Pazcoguin going to conduct at once. Maybe the AR one was the least of them then.

As far as HR or administrators, they're stucturally on the side of management and the status quo. Read the comments section of the NYT on workplace issues for many eye-opening stories on HR fumbles.

Edited by Quiggin
Link to comment
1 hour ago, Rock said:

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.

“For years” doesn’t mean every day. Maybe in corners, on the sidelines, with not many people seeing, or noticing, or remarking, especially if the recipient doesn’t visibly seem upset. It’s so easy to imagine this playing out. We’ve gotten very little of the story.

Rereading the story, be sure to note which words are Pazcoguin’s and which are Kourlas’s.

Do we know that no one said anything to any of those people you mention?

Especially in today’s world, I think it’s always worth thinking carefully about what one really knows and how. (And why.)

Edited by nanushka
Link to comment

The NYT article on the GP book makes me think about how complicated things are, and how unusual the ballet world is in some ways. Thinking back to the dark ages when I was a dancer in a company, I am sometimes amazed at how young and experienced we were in many ways. Teenagers/young adults who are in a job situation in which, because of the focus ballet takes, didn't take the normal route to growing to adulthood. You are in a school/company with a lot of attractive people and touching is part of the job. In NYCB it's further complicated by the fact that so many young dancers are in the school together, spending time in each others dorm rooms, hanging out, being buddies. Looking at the way Ramasar's behavior was described, it's easy to say he should have known better, but at the same time if GP was a buddy who never objected but just laughed and rolled her eyes he might have thought it was their joke. On the other hand, it's easy to say Gina should have spoken up if she was offended but there are a zillion reasons why she may not have.  I just don't see bad guys, good guys here.

One thing that sadden me is that I've heard and read over a number of years, interviews with GP in which she says that if she had done Ballo in workshop, her career would have been different. Who knows? If she had messed up the performance she may have not had any career in NYCB. Even if she had done well she would still have had stiff competition for the tutu ballets she wanted. Dancers have leads in workshops every year, most of them don't become stars. Gina actually became a star in the company another way, 

Lastly, having a screaming match with your boss shouldn't be a point of pride IMO.

 

 

Link to comment

One thing I notice from a lot of interviews is that Merrill Ashley was a very strong force in the company and many dancers felt like they benefited from her. It's a shame that she is no longer involved in coaching. Gina is not the first dancer to say what a positive force Merrill was for her.

Link to comment

In her interview with Megan Fairchild, Ashley was pretty clear about how she needs to take care of her body and also spend time with her husband, who is older, which is significant at their ages.  She gets to live her life after dedicating so many years to the ballet world.

Link to comment
On 7/15/2021 at 1:00 PM, 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."

Well said Nanushka.  It would be impossible to judge her as none of us actually knows what happened.  There are also so many factors that would go into this sort of situation. Many people here have listed some possible factors. 

If she had gone to management, which side would actually be taken? Ramasar outranks her.

Gina seems like a smart woman to me and I'm sure she knows she'll be lambasted for not speaking up earlier on this issue. If it is not true, why would she put herself through that?

Socialization for ballet dancers who have spent their entire lives insulated in their ballet worlds might not have the emotional tools to set boundaries.  

Just some things to thing about...

Link to comment

So that's five upcoming retirements - Kowroski, Lovette, Garcia, la Cour, and Ramasar. Probably Jared Angle, and possibly Andrew Veyette and Abi Stafford, are not far behind. Time to think about promotions. For men, Jovani Furlan and Harrison Ball would seem no-brainer for principal. Not sure Peter Walker, Aaron Sanz, or Sebastian Villarini-Velez are ready for principal status, but they are all needed. When Daniel Applebaum was promoted to soloist I envisioned him as a "flagship soloist," but now I could see him as a principal. Harrison Coll was out for so long, even before the pandemic, that I have no idea what his readiness might be. I could see Andrew Scordato and Alec Knight to soloist. Too bad Silas Farley left, this would be an obvious choice. For women, I think the main candidates for principal are Phelan, Gerrity, and Woodward. There are quite a number of choices of women who could go from corps to soloist, my top choice is Emily Kikta. 

Link to comment
23 minutes ago, cobweb said:

So that's five upcoming retirements - Kowroski, Lovette, Garcia, la Cour, and Ramasar. Probably Jared Angle, and possibly Andrew Veyette and Abi Stafford, are not far behind. Time to think about promotions. For men, Jovani Furlan and Harrison Ball would seem no-brainer for principal. Not sure Peter Walker, Aaron Sanz, or Sebastian Villarini-Velez are ready for principal status, but they are all needed. When Daniel Applebaum was promoted to soloist I envisioned him as a "flagship soloist," but now I could see him as a principal. Harrison Coll was out for so long, even before the pandemic, that I have no idea what his readiness might be. I could see Andrew Scordato and Alec Knight to soloist. Too bad Silas Farley left, this would be an obvious choice. For women, I think the main candidates for principal are Phelan, Gerrity, and Woodward. There are quite a number of choices of women who could go from corps to soloist, my top choice is Emily Kikta. 

I agree on Furlan and  Ball, haven't seen enough of the other men named to say though.  The 3 women should be principals too, especially Woodward.  I'd like to see Spartak Hoxha become soloist.

Link to comment
3 hours ago, ECat said:

Well said Nanushka.  It would be impossible to judge her as none of us actually knows what happened.  There are also so many factors that would go into this sort of situation. Many people here have listed some possible factors. 

If she had gone to management, which side would actually be taken? Ramasar outranks her.

Gina seems like a smart woman to me and I'm sure she knows she'll be lambasted for not speaking up earlier on this issue. If it is not true, why would she put herself through that?

Socialization for ballet dancers who have spent their entire lives insulated in their ballet worlds might not have the emotional tools to set boundaries.  

Just some things to thing about...

I'm not saying that Georgina Pazcoguin should have done any of those things.  I'm saying that there were remedies available to her that she could have used.  She's alleging that she was subjected to unwanted touching by a fellow employee for years,  yet apparently did nothing to make it stop.  No way do I believe that NYCB  would "side" with someone committing a criminal act on their premises,  no matter what their rank.  Unlike the Waterbury case,  that would definitely put them in a vulnerable position legally.

GP's book hasn't come out yet.  It's possible she will be more forthcoming about the circumstances in print.  Or it may just be something she relayed to Gia Kourlas.  I did wonder why she called out Ramasar by name,  but didn't name the principal dancer she claims tried to get one of her roles,  on the phone,  within earshot,   while she was on the floor in agony with a torn ACL.  (Why was a principal trying to angle for a soloist's spot?).  To me that wasn't particularly credible either.  I'm sure others will disagree.

Link to comment
17 hours ago, On Pointe said:

.(Why was a principal trying to angle for a soloist's spot?).  To me that wasn't particularly credible either.  I'm sure others will disagree.

One of the disagreeing others here...Soloists get cast as leads...I don’t actually have a strong opinion on the value or truthfulness of this book which hasn’t come out yet and I don’t think one dancer angling for another’s role in these circumstances (however tactless or unkind) counts as more than a venial sin. But I certainly found the story credible enough whatever the ranks involved...

Edited to say: in earlier version of this I wrote that the ballet was a premier and premiers get reviewed but I later realized that isn't in the article -- I was just more  or less assuming it based on something I read elsewhere. In any case, soloists do get cast as leads esp in companies like NYCB.

Edited by Drew
Link to comment
14 hours ago, On Pointe said:

I'm not saying that Georgina Pazcoguin should have done any of those things.

Aren't you?

On 7/14/2021 at 8:49 PM, 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.

We don't know what she did or did not do. We haven't read the full account yet. We don't even know what she thought or felt about Ramasar's alleged behavior. This is all we know:

Quote

Some of the experiences Pazcoguin relates are disturbing, others are just plain weird. She writes that for years, Ramasar would greet her in class “by sidling up close, whispering, ‘You look fine today,’ eyes locked on my chest, and then he’d zero in on the goal at hand by — surprise! — tweaking my nipples.” (In an email, Ramasar said “I flatly deny this allegation”; Martins didn’t respond to requests for comment.)

We do know, from this, that Pazcoguin writes about the experiences in the book and that Kourlas thinks them either "disturbing" or "just plain weird" or possibly both. That's about it.

(It never says "every day"; presumably this would have happened only on some or all of the occasions when Ramasar personally greeted her in class.)

Maybe Pazcoguin wasn't bothered enough by the experiences to think they needed reporting; maybe now, given what else has been alleged about Ramasar, she thinks they're relevant to talk about, since they potentially fill out a larger pattern of behavior. On the other hand, maybe she felt victimized and traumatized all along. We don't know.

Edited by nanushka
Link to comment
1 hour ago, Drew said:

One of the disagreeing others here...Soloists get cast as leads and this was a premier (and thus likely to get reviewed). Presumably a lead was being created on Pazoquin...I don’t actually have a strong opinion on the value or truthfulness of this book which hasn’t come out yet and I don’t think one dancer angling for another’s role in these circumstances (however tactless or unkind) counts as more than a venial sin. But I certainly found the story credible enough whatever the ranks involved...

Out of curiosity, what was the work and role she was rehearsing? I'm not aware of the circumstances of her injury, and I don't think the article specifies.

Link to comment
46 minutes ago, nanushka said:

Out of curiosity, what was the work and role she was rehearsing? I'm not aware of the circumstances of her injury, and I don't think the article specifies.

I remember her getting a huge knee injury during the Here/Now festival in 2017. That was a season many, many dancers went down with injuries and lots of non-standard rep ballets were being performed. I saw her with a knee brace shortly after an in-performance injury. I remember her being subbed out of Russian Seasons for one.

Link to comment
1 hour ago, nanushka said:

Out of curiosity, what was the work and role she was rehearsing? I'm not aware of the circumstances of her injury, and I don't think the article specifies.

I don't know the role but the injury was a torn ACL.

From the article: And the time she tore her A.C.L., and, “a greedy little principal ballerina literally whipped out her phone while I lay immobile and texted the ballet master and (the slimiest degree of opportunism) Peter Martins himself to pitch herself for the role.”

Link to comment
2 hours ago, nanushka said:

Out of curiosity, what was the work and role she was rehearsing? I'm not aware of the circumstances of her injury, and I don't think the article specifies.

I didn't want to seem to be ignoring your question, but I'm afraid I don't know the specifics. I just know that there is nothing on the face of it implausible about a principal dancer wanting a role danced by soloist esp. in a company in which soloists dance major roles all the time. (I did just correct my original post in which I said it was a premier--I had heard that speculated and thought it was in the article. It is not.)

Edited by Drew
Link to comment
Just now, Drew said:

I didn't want to seem to be ignoring your question, but I'm afraid I don't know the specifics. I just know that there is nothing on the face of it implausible about a principal dancer wanting a role danced by soloist esp. in a company in which soloists dance major roles all the time.

Not at all, thanks! You mentioned it was a premiere, so I was just curious if you knew which.

I completely agree there's nothing implausible about the details in (what we currently have of) Pazcoguin's account.

Link to comment

The story of the principal asking for her role the minute she was injured sounds typical of the business. It's a very tough business and every injury unfortunately is an opportunity for another dancer. 

Link to comment
17 minutes ago, canbelto said:

The story of the principal asking for her role the minute she was injured sounds typical of the business. It's a very tough business and every injury unfortunately is an opportunity for another dancer. 

Agree. However, it would have been more professional (and kind) for that principal to have done that texting/asking out of view and earshot.

Link to comment

Being right there to jump on it is considered especially opportune.  In her book Merrill Ashley wrote about, in the days before cell phones (and maybe answering machines), how dancers could miss out on substituting because they were walking home from the theater when the call came through, and, after no answer, the company went onto the next possible dancer.  Soprano Jane Eaglen told the story on a Zoom interview with the Wagner Society of Northern California last weekend that she got her first role at Seattle Opera, where Speight Jenkins had not yet heard her in person, because the other soprano had her cell phone off, and he needed to replace a singer who had to withdraw. 

While management can cast (or attempt to cast) Principal Dancers in roles below their pay grade, I've never read or heard about an ambitious dancer to actively campaign for one, outside of a retirement performance.  I think when Thomas Lund retired, all of the men were in kilts in La Sylphide as a tribute. 

Link to comment

In the interviews Megan conducted I was so surprised by the dancers who said they learned a role in a matter of hours bc of a last minute injury. I think Ashley Bouder said she learned Firebird after one run-through.

Link to comment

Many dancers have written or said that dancers with the reputation for learning quickly are the first ones sought for substitutions, if a role needs to be taught.  They've also said/written that it helps to be talked through/given prompts for the choreography in performance by their colleagues, since the steps and patterns aren't yet in muscle memory.

I think it was Peter Martins who wrote that he learned things quickly [which was helpful in getting cast] but then promptly forgot them.

Link to comment
11 hours ago, nanushka said:

Aren't you?

We don't know what she did or did not do. We haven't read the full account yet. We don't even know what she thought or felt about Ramasar's alleged behavior. This is all we know:

We do know, from this, that Pazcoguin writes about the experiences in the book and that Kourlas thinks them either "disturbing" or "just plain weird" or possibly both. That's about it.

(It never says "every day"; presumably this would have happened only on some or all of the occasions when Ramasar personally greeted her in class.)

Maybe Pazcoguin wasn't bothered enough by the experiences to think they needed reporting; maybe now, given what else has been alleged about Ramasar, she thinks they're relevant to talk about, since they potentially fill out a larger pattern of behavior. On the other hand, maybe she felt victimized and traumatized all along. We don't know.

You're right.  "Kick him in the balls" was my immediate reaction,  not necessarily a plan of action.  But the story and Pazcoguin's reaction to it still strikes me as weird.  One wonders if there was a previous intimate relationship?  It doesn't excuse the behavior.  Ramasar denies it.  In the same article,  Merrill Ashley's recollection of a conversation with GP doesn't accord with what GP claims she said.  Recollections can differ.

As for the "greedy little principal",  would it have been less hurtful if a soloist or corps member angled for the role?  If that's actually what happened - how would GP know who the other dancer was texting and what it was about?  Since she was injured and couldn't dance anyway,  it wouldn't matter who got the role,  or how they got it.

Bottom line,  when you write a book,  you get to tell your version of what happened in your life.  Others' memories may differ.

Link to comment
  • Recently Browsing   1 member

×
×
  • Create New...