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December 03, 2010

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Good on you for this post!
I'm a New Yorker, but one of the many reasons the FT is my daily paper is Clement Crisp, who calls the kiddies in the audiences at this time of year "Herod fodder." Not the kids on stage, you understand.
Too bad our local broadsheet seems to lack adult supervision.

Thanks, Sinyet. And thanks for putting the FT back on my radar. Note, of late, the WSJ has really been cranking up the quality and quantity of its ballet coverage. A good sign.

I was Alastair Macaulay's junior, and am now his successor, in the Financial Times theatre seat he vacated to take the NYT's dance beat. So, fine, you can dismiss my comments now as the loyalism of a friend.

As it happens, they're not; I'm well aware how injudicious (to say the least) some of Alastair's remarks can be, and how little he sometimes realises of that. I've been on the receiving end myself.

But using the episode of his arrest to smear him is far, far worse than anything you accuse him of doing. It's frankly shameful the way you slant your account: he "tries to persuade the reader that he was ultimately found innocent" - HE WAS. IT'S A FACT. HE DOESN'T NEED TO "TRY TO PERSUADE" ANYBODY OF IT. He "has a history with children" - NO, HE DOESN'T. NO CASE WAS EVER BROUGHT, BECAUSE THERE WAS NONE TO ANSWER.

Yeah, he says that a couple of people are fat, and he probably shouldn't. You say that he's a kiddy fiddler, and you damn well *definitely* shouldn't. Oh, but it's all right because you don't say it explicitly, you just nod and wink about it and leave people to come to the conclusions you've pointed them at. Well, I say it's spinach and I say the hell with it.

I served with Alastair Macaulay. I know Alastair Macaulay. Alastair Macaulay was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Alastair Macaulay.


Thank you for your comment. You are a good friend to Alastair Macaulay to defend him as you have. Macaulay’s story of his arrest and ordeal is public by his own choosing and by his own words. Given the platform, it’s assumed he even got paid to write it. We don’t have the impressions of the police with which to compare Macaulay’s version, and likely never will have. But his own written account doesn’t raise the sympathies of everyone who reads it and does raise questions for some. In my post, I clearly linked to it so that anyone and everyone could read Macaulay's words.

With regard to his current reviews, why would a critic write about children’s warm bodies? Not their warm smiles, not their warm expressions, but “ample, with warm, elegant upper bodies.” Ample in what way? Warm in what way if not warm to the touch? Why would Macaulay perceive that the children’s bodies were warm and why would he find that pleasing to write about? Macaulay slipped. He shouldn’t be writing anything about children’s “bodies” and certainly should not focus on the sensuous aspect to the point that it sounds like he’s speaking of the sensual.

I wonder, have you, as Macaulay’s friend and former colleague, informed him that he erred in his choice of comments about the sizes of the principal dancers or are you just watching his backside for him? Other critics have criticized him in print, including some who personally know him, but have they spoken to him about it?

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