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October 05, 2016

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Hi Haglund. I am NOT a fan of this type of photography. Or promotion. I guess Martins has his hands tied since the photos aren't under the realm of NYCB jurisdiction but it is bad business all around. I assume Ms. Lovette is still immature and clueless and doesn't yet understand the responsibilities she holds to the dance community and young fans. I can only imagine what Balanchine would have said. The elusive mystique of the ballerina seems to be going the way of the dodo.

When ballet as an artform has so many ways of showing how a woman (or a man) can be sexy with their movements even fully clothed. But that isn't handy for a quick snapshot in today's IG culture.

I scrolled down and saw this photographer also worked with James Whiteside for his projects.

The children mixed into it is also what got me most at first glance.

Murphy's shots were still most modest, least revealing, most "artistic" in composition or like a plain sports bra ad without unnecessary suggestiveness added. Some other choices rather shocked me.

Another insightful commentary, thanks for posting a piece on this. I was also greatly dismayed to see that half-naked photo pop up in my Instagram feed. Thank goodness for the video clips in Sarah Lane's feed. I could watch her port de bras forever.

Hi Kallima, Pennsylvania and Nicole.

There are still dancers out there who have chosen to take the high road out of respect for themselves, their art form, and their ballet audience. Maturity and education are probably factors as well. This misstep by Lauren has certainly disappointed many.

Dancers may open themselves up to this sort of photography because they know they will never achieve the attention and admiration they want from what they put on stage. Certainly that's why Misty and Whiteside do it. It is the quickest path to gaining attention short of committing a crime. For them, being the center of attention is what matters most.


I think I know what photographer you're talking about. I've been to that account, some pics are done tastefully, others not so much.
I feel like everyone is free to pose for a camera in however way he or she wants, but if they're doing it for the purpose of getting people's attention and advancing their careers then they're doing it for the wrong reasons. Honestly, I feel like it's bad enough that we have a purely "commercial ballerina" to deal with, and now we have so many more aspiring commercial ballerinas.

Now, you could argue that Roberto Bolle has also done nude shoots and he even has a book full of partial and total nudity, except he had already established himself as ballet royalty before he started doing the sexy pics (now I'm sure those didn't hurt his career at all, but he got to where he is now without them). Say what you want about him, the guy is 41 and can still deliver the technicalities required in a ballet (for those roles he's still dancing) while making them look pretty and with a nice line. Just noting some not-so-slight differences between the two most commercially endorsed dancers of a certain American company based in NYC. Just saying...

Unfortunately, this is the new normal. This is how things will be as the last art is degraded and Hollywoodized. I don't blame a certain dancer, she was just ahead of the curve.

But I suspect we will see less accomplished dancing in the future as it is turned into a "Modeling" career to further the ambitions of various corporations.

You hit the nail on the head Haglund, and I have mentioned on your blog about these types of social media posts a while ago myself, when I saw a video of Whiteside and Trenary almost burlesque style almost naked (moving as if they were in a sexual ritual style dance in some club).

Don't get me wrong either, as old as I am I do believe in art for art sake, nudity is nothing and we can see that in all the museums and great works of art, but in cases like these, I do agree about the "young impressionable audience (especially young girls), disturbs me", these are dancers many look up to and would hate for them to think that this is the norm to get noticed.

Social media is good and bad since things you put up will never leave, specifically why the beloved Paloma said what she said in the NYTimes article when she left. Before we had social media we all went to the ballet and appreciated these dancers for what they do on stage.

It is unfortunately that there recently seems to have arisen an emily ratajkowski school of feminism which seems to believe in the mantra that the more skin in the most distasteful way you show of yourself, the better display of feminism it is. I believe that's the most ridiculous thing I've ever had to witness in my lifetime, and I hope it stops soon.

Cassie, it's the narcissistic chase for celebrity attention. It's Trump's idea of what women are worth. Maybe Lauren is of that persuasion, too. She can doodle banal philosophy along side her photos, but when it comes down to the truth - actions speak louder than words.

I would add the Kardashians to that list who just got robbed in France of the diamond ring she so flashed in her social media! I loved what Karl Largefeld said: "You Cannot Display Your Wealth and Then Be Surprised"!

IMO with this new age of technology, social media can help and can destroy at the same time. In the long gone days, of no cell phones, nobody would know of such things until the newspaper publishes them. Things in our personal lives were forced to be more private.

Ugh, there's nothing more tacky, in my humble opinion. And I'm not exactly an old fart. I cannot imagine putting that stuff out there for people like my father or brother to see. I'd sooner die! I guess as a woman I'm of the opinion that some things are best left to the imagination. If everyone has seen everything, where's the mystery? It's like Kim Kardashian. Is anyone interested in seeing her naked? We've seen everything she has to offer countless times. Bor-ing. Now she has to invent robberies to keep herself in the news but I digress...

I imagine that by now NYCB's vice chair, SJP, may have applauded Lauren for the photos - you know, it's the showbiz thing to promote sex in the city ballet these days. The problem is that NYCB does not run on HBO or Starz. It runs on a network which is a cross between PBS, Disney, and traditional network tv. Its very being relies on the support of families and their reliance on being able to bring kids and guests to see any program. Its artist representatives should maintain a public persona that coincides with that. Business corporations don't allow employees to have public lives that debase the corporation or its products. It's understood as a condition of employment. ABT and NYCB have lost control of the image that their employees are portraying for their companies.

"The elusive mystique of the ballerina seems to be going the way of the dodo." I agree, pennsylvania. And I must be out of step because I miss it. All the marketing today emphasizes that dancers are "real" people, just like us but with better bodies. Reality is overrated; I go to the ballet to transcend it. For a hint of the ineffable, not pure athleticism and sex appeal. Those have their place but are getting boring. Careerwise, they very obviously work.

Annie H., you hit the nail on the head when you said "Reality is overrated" but actually it is the truth of what is being presented as reality that is overrated and sometimes misrepresented. A dancer will photoshop her picture because her boob is sagging and she wants it smoothed out so it looks lifted -- to reluctantly bring up a current controversy. Dance media has altered the same dancer's picture for a cover shoot which makes her look like a pale Irish lassie, almost completely unrecognizable from reality
(https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dancemedia.com%2Fimages%2Fnews%2F1329misty.jpg&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dancemedia.com%2Fnews%3Fpage%3D12&docid=gvgO0X_Yg_txCM&tbnid=gu6Go3MT_UKLHM%3A&w=768&h=929&bih=705&biw=1440&ved=0ahUKEwjm2dudoM_PAhXIkh4KHQIIBpwQMwhOKCowKg&iact=mrc&uact=8).

Time Magazine photoshopped the same dancer to minimize her boobs and make her look more athletic

(http://www.eonline.com/eol_images/Entire_Site/2015316/rs_634x840-150416071850-634.Misty-Copeland-TIME-100-JR-41615.jpg ).

Bloch photoshopped the same dancer's ad photo smoothing out her bumpy legs and arms.

( https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=https%3A%2F%2Fs-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com%2F564x%2F68%2F48%2F9d%2F68489dff62efc883ed482232cb1a4c94.jpg&imgrefurl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pinterest.com%2FTamara5713%2Fmisty-copeland%2F&docid=3i4aO9dNbMZ-nM&tbnid=MLMP7CPMezhmqM%3A&w=512&h=625&bih=705&biw=1440&ved=0ahUKEwisrcKEmM_PAhUF2D4KHVfdCus4ZBAzCAsoCTAJ&iact=mrc&uact=8#h=625&w=512 ) .

It's all as much a fraud as the fraudulent photos in fashion magazine pages which is why France, the UK, Norway and other countries want to prohibit that type of image manipulation. The reality is never the overly-controlled image that one sees on Instagram. The "reality" in ballet is only what the dancer looks like on stage, under stage lights, in costume and makeup while moving. Ballet is not a still shot.

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