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penelopesimpson

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  1. Well, Anna, I have always done that. May I add that posters are human beings with feelings, too.
  2. Sadly, I cannot agree. And no, I do not have the very great pleasure of being the parent of a dancer - I wish. Firstly, I am not hiding behind a forum. I have always posted in my own name and would be happy to repeat anything I have ever said here to anyone if they so wish. And I can say this because I have never said anything unkind or deliberately cruel. I would be more than happy to tell Matthew Ball that I thought his costume swamped him and I'm sure he'd probably have a good laugh about it. But - and I'm sorry to sound like a record on repeat - this is a forum. A forum is for discussion and as dancers are a key part of ballet, it stands to reason that opinions on their performance will and should be voiced. Dancers can choose what they read. I and others on this messageboard only have the one place they can discuss ballet and this forum is surely dedicated to just that. To suggest that it should be censored because somebody who is involved in the subject matter under discussion may/may not decided to look in is surely ridiculous? I am sure a dancer's life is one long critique and I am equally sure that each dancer is their own biggest critic. I heard Ed Watson say recently that he had only ever done two performances in his life that he was proud of. But Ballet Forum has not been set up as a safe space for dancers. I am sure they have their own support networks within their profession but just because some of the posters have children who are dancers, doesn't mean it is for dancers. I find it hard to imagine any professional dancer wanting genuine fans, as we all are, to be afraid of discussing a performance for fear it might upset someone. Fonty expresses these feelings well upthread. Those of us who wish the forum to remain the informative, discoursive and sometimes entertaining place it has always been, rather than become the exclusive property of the moral majority, find it depressing to read some of the self-censorship ideas put forward. These have included anything not exclusively the remit of the dancer such as costumes and casting because this is not 'their fault,' progressing through to anything remotely critical about a particular performance. Logically, this would leave us discussing what exactly? Blogs was fantastic tonight, son of blogs even better? And yes, I do appreciate that there are many forum members who love all the intricate detail about whether steps have been changed since the first production fifty years ago, etc. Personally, this doesn't turn me on although I love reading about it and picking up valuable knowledge. But there are others like myself who view a production in a wider sense and enjoy giving the amateur's view. And, yes, that does include costume/appearance and performance.
  3. Well, hallelujah! Yes, the mods have been clear about encouraging independence of thinking and expression of views but your post surely acknowleges that there is a creeping problem? I don't mind standing out there on my own but it is telling the number of private messages of support I have had from posters unwilling to publicly say that I might have a point for fear of getting cold-shouldered. That is not, by the way, saying that I am right about everything or even anything, just a fear that what was a lovely forum has now become enormously cliquey. By way of an experiment yesterday I posted some descriptive comment that more or less mirrored that of another poster - and got not a single acknowledgement! Being frozen out doesn't particularly worry me but it is surely all a bit Chalet School as was yesterday's mutual back-slapping! I was interested by the post above whose friend is mother to a dancer. I do not think we should be censoring our comments because dancers may or may not read this forum. If you are in the theatrical world, you learn that reviews, good and bad, are part of the game and you make your choice as to whether or not you read them. To suggest that a Forum dedicated to ballet (not just dancers) should be adapted in this way would lead nowhere fast. As the Moderators and others have made clear, this is not a fan club, it is a site for those who love the world of ballet and who wish to air their views with likeminded souls. One of the things that I have always liked about Ballet Forum is its civility and graciousness which has made it a happy place to indulge ones passions. That is why I have fought back about what I perceived as a creeping self-censorship. Surely it is safe to assume that most posters love ballet and the beautiful dancers who give us so much joy, and would never wish to hurt them in any way? But we post when we see a performance that takes our breath away and, equally, we should post when maybe things are not quite as wonderful as they might be. I had more or less made up my mind to disappear after yesterday but I will keep looking in, even though it does appear that my views are not respected. Disagreeing is absolutely fine but the obvious disrespect is uncomfortable even for those of us prepared to tough it out. Friendly is surely better?
  4. I agree and believe that is what I have always done.
  5. As it is not clear to me, then I can hardly agree that 'RobR couldn't have been clearer.' That would be why I asked for a clarification rather than a general catch-all indictment. So much judgement going on - and all in the cause (wonderful irony) of being nice! 'The person who wrote inappropriately' implies that this poster has now been judged and found guilty. I saw the comment, probably wouldn't have made it myself, but so much fuss. Cannot comment on the ENB situation as I have neither knowledge or involvement.
  6. I would agree with that. Perhaps I just like a bit of swagger!
  7. Could you possibly be specific? And is it 'appropriate' to judge somebody else's perception as inappropriate? I don't know about this day and age - sounds positively Victorian to me! As you asked, I did re-read your post and it seems to me that what you did was to lob a rather indiscriminate bomb that, without giving concrete examples, insinuated that posters were being unkind in the manner of their critique. As a free-thinker utterly opposed to group-think, I took exception and have continued to argue the case for honest points of view - all, of course, within the bounds of website guidelines. I was particularly upset by your suggestion that critical comments regarding such elements as costume, should be disallowed. It may be that the debate that has ensued has made people rethink what sort of forum they would like. I sense that there is a strong element who would be happier if this were a fan club but there are also those like myself who, to quote Fonty, are open-mouthed in astonishment at the suggestion of self-censorship along the lines you suggest. Some may think it doesn't really matter as long as they can continue to discuss the minute details of this step or that leap. However, there are many of us less interested in the technicalities, although delighted to learn, but who prefer a wider discusssion. Personally I have not detected any drift towards bad manners or poor behaviour and I wonder what lay behind your post. Perhaps it would have been helpful if you had been more specific about posts which had caused your concern.
  8. Great post, Floss. Thank-you for wonderfully thought-out reasoning. We'll have to disagree about the swagger! Just found Macrae more joyful although Vadim had the tenderness of youth. Fab night last night.
  9. Goodness me, aren't we going round in circles, here? Yes, there is a difference between critique and criticism but are we implying that criticism can never be voiced and that only critique is acceptable? I appreciate a lot of this is aimed at me (and I'm still standing!), but the irony is that if you read my original posts, they are surely entirely within acceptable boundaries. It would be worth taking the time to go carefully through this thread and see what it is that is apparently so offensive. All I am doing (and I will keep doing it despite the temp dropping to zero), is standing up for the right to give my opinion. It has become enormously cliquey on here which is a shame, but isn't going to give me sleepless night.
  10. 'Criticism of dancers for something which is outside their control, including casting, costume, appearance and the occasional slip (in the latter case, I guess I just think it's bad form effectively to make it a matter of public record)' And that would leave us with...what, exactly? Critiquing a production can surely, legitimately, involve comments on casting, costume, appearance and performance? Ballet is a visual medium and the aesthetics can often be crucial to how one feels about what one has seen. I think posters on this site are all sophisticated enough to understand that remarking on a costume does not imply criticism of a dancer. I also stand by sometimes having reservations about casting of dancers in a particular role (not often, but it can happen.) Again, no criticism of the dancer implied. As to appearance, I enjoy commenting on how someone looks in their role. I thought Akane was meltingly exquisite in Giselle and admire Ryochi's immense physicality. Edward Watson as the Indian in the Arthur Pita work was a stunning creature. One is hardly going to comment that a dancer has a big nose or anything remotely personal, but dancers can be exquisite creatures that take my breath away and I like to comment to that effect.
  11. Sounds eminently reasonable but I haven’t seen any examples of unacceptably personal comments so the context is baffling.
  12. Oh, John, hope you have a tin hat! Shelling can be intense.
  13. Billybob: Loved your review and I salute you As a brave man. Or are you simply unaware that being less than orgasmic about Mr. Muntagirov is verboten
  14. And the difference was notable - he was terrific. well, I’m sure you’ll all be delighted (!)to hear that earth moved for me tonight. A fabulous performance on all levels andmy companion, a relative newbie,was similarly impressed. Soares and Nunez brought the maturity that I think these roles need and I was moved to tears. Itziar Mendizabal was sensational as Paulina and William Bracewell had a strong presence. Stix-Brunell was excellent but I prefer Lamb who brings a brittle youthfulness to the role. Vadim was Vadim - completely accomplished and unassuming butI would have liked the swagger of Macrae.. Thanks to all ROH staff who were fab tonight. Companion has mislaid ticket and they dealt with it brilliantly, withcharm and aplomb. Also had a fabulous meal so a terrific evening all round. Ain’t life grand?
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