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fromthebalcony

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  1. This is exciting news for us in the US! https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/12/arts/akram-khan-giselle-english-national-ballet-chicago.html
  2. ENB - article in The Times

    Having been in and around a number of ballet schools and companies here in the U.S., "living in constant expectation of being next in line" is a way of life. I was recently counseling a mom of a 15 year old male dance student at a very prestigious school here in the states. She was concerned because he was injured, but the men's teacher and the choreographer were insisting he rehearse and perform a number of pas de deux. Both told the student that if he took himself out as professional dancer, he would be fired. Now, we know this is not true, but the intimidation was ever present in their conversations. This young man was fearful he would lose his place at the school, and wanted to dance, although his doctor had recommended otherwise. Luckily, the mother stepped in and took him out to avoid permanent damage. But, he has been somewhat ostracized by the men's teacher/coach in the school. Countless stories of intimidation exist in the ballet school/company world. I have had students of numerous prestigious schools both here and abroad tell me horror stories of threats about weight gain and girls resorting to eating next to nothing. And, yet, this type of intimidation is not just part of the ballet world. It exists everywhere in many industries and walks of life. My concern here is severalfold. What is the outcome the "whistleblowers" desire? That has not been clear. It is my understanding the Council did a review and found everything to be satisfactory. Then another article surfaces. Will the only resolution satisfactory be that Rojo steps down? Will the ex-dancers (and the alleged others) be happy if the company loses its funding? What is it they want to see happen? Or do they just want to continue grinding an axe? Continued articles will not help this matter. Additionally, I find it extremely disturbing to have Loipa Araujo included in the most recent article. This woman is a jewel in the ballet world both as a dancer and a teacher. The dancers at ENB are extremely blessed to have her, as she could be teaching and coaching anywhere in the world. For some, she has been like a mother.
  3. ENB - article in The Times

    What makes us think the dancers were not apprised of what has been taking place or that they have had not input? We cannot make that assumption.
  4. Grace on ice

    This was also a huge loss to skating. I loved this couple together - and their love story!
  5. ENB - article in The Times

    I believe that Helgi Tomasson, although maybe not the same "star" calibre of Nureyev, was a successful dancer and current director. The same goes for Peter Boal. Although Peter Martins has had his problems, which we have discussed, he was both a star dancer and a successful director in terms of running the company. Lourdes Lopez and Angel Corella have yet to be judged in totality.
  6. Grace on ice

    Not sure if this was already posted? https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/jan/28/john-curry-film-ice-king-skating-star-bittersweet-life-story-icarus
  7. ENB - article in The Times

    I am not saying I agree with it, just found it interesting.
  8. ENB - article in The Times

    I guess this is something we are accustomed to seeing in the U.S. When Angel Corella took over Pennsylvania Ballet, there were dancers who left, knowing full well that his vision would change the company. Several key staff members were fired instantly. Within two years, the company lost 40% of its dancers through defection and firings. I do not think we have seen the end of it. Houston Ballet has had a slow bleed of dissatisfied, key dancers over the past several years, which has not received as much attention, but has been noticed by balletomanes. The bigger story, which has never been publicized anywhere, is the revolving door at Boston Ballet during Nissinen's tenure. Except for a few key dancers, many of us in the audience feel that we see a new company every year. I wish someone would have kept track of the comings and goings, as I am sure it would be shocking. As I mentioned before, when Zelensky took over in Munich, many dancers left the company (ironically being replaced by ENB dancers). In addition, I found this a very interesting comment from Graham Watts' facebook wall from Charlotte MacmIllan: "In my 44 years of living on this earth and having had the privilege of seeing many many companies around the world; known dancers and directors, I can attest to the fact that with any arts institution, the boring old cliche “you can’t please all of the people all of the time” applies to every single ballet director I have ever met. I watched my father having to deal with the emotionally challenging ordeal of finding out that many of his favourite dancers were secretly voting to have his directorship at the Royal Ballet cut short, I have witnessed members of the Paris Opera Ballet threaten to walk out because they didn’t want to perform ‘Song of the Earth’ (apparently too contemporary for them in the 1980s)... Not to mention the vituperative reaction to the last 3 directors of ENB ... I could go on. We must not forget that the institutionalisation of dancers can produce a gaggle of infantilised adults who want/need to be loved and nurtured. And directors have the very difficult task of having to look after their ‘children’ as well as please the bums on seats. I applaud Tamara who has shown that the unenviable task of juggling two jobs at ENB can be done and with panache and taste. And who the hell cares about personal relationships ? Let’s not open the debate about directorship and sexual relationships as there are too many to mention who abused this power. In this instance, it is not."
  9. ENB - article in The Times

    There is a very lengthy thread/discussion on the Martins' sexual harassment case over at Ballet Alert: http://balletalert.invisionzone.com/topic/43192-peter-martins-sexual-harassment-allegations/ I am not sure if this situation is the same. However, I would ask this - has Hernandez received preferential treatment in terms of casting because of his relationship with Rojo? It appears that he was not always first cast in many of the ballets for the past several years. I will admit that I don't always look at the casting for every company, but I had taken a special interest because Alejandro Virelles (a dancer I had watched in Boston) became a principal at ENB. He danced with Alina a number of times, I believe as first cast. Interestingly many of the defectors from ENB went to Munich, but there was a huge defection from Munich when Zelensky took over: https://www.ilona-landgraf.com/2017/07/more-than-a-quarter-of-the-company-leaves-the-bavarian-state-ballet/ This is not an unusual occurrence when new directors take over a company.
  10. Grace on ice

    This is one thing for which I am grateful. We have a few stations over here that have been showing lots of skating: all of the championships leading up to the Olympics, but also past competitions. It is has been wonderful watching it. That is one complaint my American friends have when living in London - television! Other than that, they love it! How is the coverage of the Olympics for you?
  11. Grace on ice

    The Olympics start in February. I really would love to see this French couple win the ice dancing. They are just beautiful. And, yes, it was very sad about John Curry - his father did not want him to study ballet. However, he elevated figure skating, in my opinion. It is sad to me today, but I much prefer the ice dancing to the figure skating, as I feel that skating has become quite the circus at times. I would rather see a beautifully done double or triple turn (no matter which) than a quadruple poorly done. (I feel the same about ballet in terms of pirouettes and fouettes - give me a beautiful double pirouette and single fouettes well-executed.)
  12. Grace on ice

    I loved John Curry! Thanks for sharing that!
  13. Grace on ice

    Two very exciting "ballet stories" for us in the US. Nathan Chen, a former ballet student at Ballet West, and our national men's champion: http://www.pointemagazine.com/nathan-chen-ballet-training-2528323039.html And the beautiful ice dancing couple from France, Cizeron and Papadakis, who got a little help from ballet and Jeffrey Cirio: http://web.icenetwork.com/news/2017/10/25/259553222/papadakis-cizerons-free-dance-gets-balletic-touch
  14. Yes, you are correct. We never know what goes on behind the scenes. I do know that they performed Grand Pas Classique and Romeo & Juliet in the gala, not an easy feat. Perhaps with preparation and then the return from Canada, it was impossible to prepare for the ROH performances.
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