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  1. Problems in Paris

    For French speakers, no paywall: http://mobile.lemonde.fr/culture/article/2018/04/16/soupcons-de-harcelement-a-l-opera-de-paris_5286259_3246.html?xtref=&utm_term=Autofeed&utm_campaign=Echobox&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter There’s also a claim in there that around 25% of dancers either suffered or witnessed sexual harassment.
  2. Problems in Paris

    Assuming the reference is to 'harcèlement moral', this is 'psychological harassment' (degradation of working environment, abuse, career obstruction etc) and is actually defined as a crime under French law carrying a large fine or even to 2 years prison.
  3. https://www.sfballet.org/explore/articles/Unbound-D-Program-Notes As a huge Bjork fan, this is pretty much my dream project. Please, please bring it over here!
  4. This is currently available to watch on the BBC iplayer, for those in the UK, and is well worth a viewing. The contortionist segments should come with a "don't attempt this at home" warning, however! Enjoyed Alessandra Ferri, and I always find Fukiko Takase mesmerising - I'd say she is my favourite contemporary dancer.
  5. I went to the full stage rehearsal earlier this week. The previous time I saw Fantastic Beings, I found it rather flabby and ill-lit; this time the whole piece felt tighter, pacier, better lit and generally really gripping - probably my favourite piece of the night. The young woman next to me found it so amusing that she had to keep up a non-whispered commentary to her companion all the way through (though he was distracted by his Apple watch lighting up with messages every few minutes). I found Sonata the least involving of the evening, though it was a delight to see Alina Cojocaru again for the first time in an age. The Cage was new to me and is certainly a piece I'd like to get more familiar with. It was well received, indeed aforesaid neighbours spilt their wine all over the floor in their enthusiasm. The high point for the audience at large was Playlist, which was applauded furiously. I didn't enjoy Track 1, partly for the lighting and partly the jazz funk lift music, but Track 2 was in a different league - the dancers brought a huge display of energy and virtuosity to the stage, and a big grin to my face.
  6. Room 101

    This little fellow was outside our door yesterday looking frozen and forlorn - I warmed him up in my hands for a while then put him back, and his mother appeared after a while ad chivvied him into flight.. And no, I hadn't thrown a snowball at him - he face-planted trying to take off!
  7. Room 101

    People who continue to drive at speed in the snow and ice. Yesterday morning there were three cars and vans in ditches within a mile of our house - I found driving at 15mph was absolutely fine and gave time to react to skids; but people were still trying to do 30mph. I don't care if they end up in ditches, but if someone hits you because they are driving like an idiot in the snow, even if you are not injured you can write off your insurance NCB, as the insurers will all go 'knock for knock'. Masses of snow here today - we're hunkering down doors!
  8. Winter Olympics

    I'm afraid the Winter Olympics leave me cold. see what I did there? 😆
  9. It might be fanciful, but I think there was also 'fertile ground' in Japan for ballet as it has parallels with some cultural traits - attention to minute detail, acceptance of discipline over a long period of training / development time, an appetite for abstraction and symbolism. These are all reflected both in Japanese dance forms and in martial arts. As a karate practitioner, when I first became interested in ballet, I was struck by these parallels, and even by how class structure is similar. Having said that, my cultural preconceptions about Cubans are probably entirely different, so bang goes that theory!
  10. Curious to get your perspectives. Ballet is of course well established where you might expect it to be, in the European and Russian / Eastern Europe historical heartlands, but also seems hugely popular in some other countries where perhaps it resonates with certain cultural traits - e.g. Japan, Cuba. In others it is absent - in some cases for religious reasons (struggles in most Muslim countries) but in others less explicably. I've just returned from one of our occasional months in Thailand, where there is a very strong indigenous classical dance tradition, and a widespread cultural appreciation of beauty and ritual - so fertile ground but a really minimal ballet presence. So why for example Japan but not Thailand? Why Cuba and not Jamaica? Is it some 'cultural alignment' or simply a reflection of historical efforts and contacts?
  11. Winter Olympics

    Have to say it's only the figure skating that I find watchable in the WO. Curling, for goodness sake... I'd prefer a version where they simply keep the main Olympic sports and the associated clothing but just do them on ice - imagine weightlifting on ice, the 100m sprint, dressage (OK, use seals if necessary), icekwondo...
  12. we're going to that - I like to support Dance East as it's a nice venue and rather a lonely oasis of culture in Ipswich, but we sometimes struggle to find things we want to see...
  13. Anyone else here a tennis fan?

    I case it's of interest, tickets are now on sale for the pre-Wimbledon tournaments in Birmingham and Nottingham. We just booked the qualifier weekend plus first day of Birmingham - Edgbaston for a mere £25 each - good seats in the centre court. Last year it was a really nice, well run event - recommended.
  14. Room 101

    Thanks Jan - one half of me looks like the skinless man in Hellraiser and my ankle is badly sprained, but it could have been much worse. To my wife's credit, as soon as she saw that I was still breathing she got off the phone to the life insurers and came to help...
  15. Room 101

    Let me put "holiday brain" into Room 101. A condition where the euphoria induced by being somewhere totally relaxed and beautiful leads to abandoning any rational risk evaluation, and hence to a middle aged ballet lover on a month's holiday in Thailand abruptly parting company from his rental scooter and sliding down the filthy concrete road on his bare skin....