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June 24, 2017


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As a someone who describes herself as an avid ABT fan and a Diana groupie, I am thrilled and sad about the Onegin's I saw this week. Monday was my first Onegin and Friday, my second. I love the ballet! I'd much rather see this than Le Corsaire or some of the "newer" full length ballets ABT does. I'm thrilled to have another ballet to want to see. Yet, can I ever see another one that will compare to Friday night's? Will there ever be a partnership that moves us like Diana and Marcelo? Will there ever be a ballerina that just gives us everything we want in a dancer, strength, beauty, musicality, passion and humanity? I sure hope so yet right now I think I might have seen my first and last Onegin!

I can appreciate the few good qualities he brings to the table (and am hesitant to assign him a phobia), but Alastair literally just aligned himself with Balanchine and Croce in his comments to assert how good his 'taste' is after a couple people called him out in a non-aggressive way. I can't with this guy anymore. Why he keeps taking free seats for ballets he'll never write about (unless we count his relentless Instagram complaining) is a curious insult, especially because his negative commentary is rarely enlightening and never engaging.

Did the NYTimes ever dare to consider that his dull reviews and rudimentary history lessons are one of the reasons why people aren't excited by the arts section?

Whitney, Abrera/Stearns with Trenary/Gorak just proved themselves as good if not better...

When Anna Kisselgoff was writing for the NYT, neither my partner nor I, both retired dance professionals, would leave the house in the morning without first reading her reviews. I recall only a couple of times in all those years that I took exception to something she wrote, and no matter how negatively she felt she must write about a performance, she still left you feeling you really ought to go see it. Over time we developed the habit of calling her Anna Kissel-god!

I find Macaulay's comments astonishingly rude and ignorant -- particularly when you consider that he made them to McGee Maddox, whose own interpretations of Onegin are fine, indeed. It is one thing for a critic to have a strong opinion and to back that opinion up with balanced argument, critical thought and evidence. If I don't agree, I at least finish reading the review with keener appreciation for nuances that I might have overlooked, or points of view that were challenging and stimulating in their ability to provoke thought. Macaulay's "reviews" are blunt objects that bash and do nothing to further consideration of the art. Furthermore, his pandering to dancers on Instagram is nothing short of disturbingly creepy, and certainly not befitting the professional boundaries and distance of a true critic and journalist.

I've always been convinced that much of Macaulay's slash and burn treatment of dancers and dances is the result of defensiveness for not knowing anything about technique. Kisselgoff stood at the ballet barre for more than a decade. John Rockwell had training as a modern dancer. Clive Barnes may not have danced, but he had a tendency to marry ballerinas. Macaulay is uneducated as a dancer and thus has no clue as to what superior/inferior balletic line is or whether steps are being done properly. Gia Kourlas's expertise comes from her years as a NYCBallet subscriber (eye roll). At the NYT, the chief music critic was trained as a musician and taught music at the college level. Unfortunately, the NYT just doesn't care enough about ballet to hire a knowledgeable critic.

Agree enthusiastically with you Haglund and Mahadywilton. Macaulay is "uneducated as a dancer" is a polite way of saying he's completely ignorant. I have come to dislike his reviews intensely. He has barely watched ABT this season, not even bothering to phone in a compare and contrast of various dancers in the same role. His Instagram post on Vishneva's curtain farewell to Gomes was cynical and almost vicious. Euewgh! We balletomanes are ever grateful to you, Haglund!

Well, I can understand that Macaulay didn't like this ballet in particular. But there was no need to roll his eyes at two dance partners saying farewell to their partnership. Considering the shake ups at NY Times lately (more layoffs), I'm sure it is affecting all the remaining writers in various ways, Macaulay included.

What an insulting review McCauley wrote for the Onegin. He not only insulted balletomanes but also the company for ignoring that there was anyone else on stage other than the two leads and the other complete casts, not to mention the glorious corps that dances (brilliantly) its collective heart out night after night.

I was weaned on ballet since 1957 on such choreographers as Balanchine, Ashton, Tudor, and Robbins. Yes, IMO, Cranko is a second tier choreographer, but with Marcia Haydee as his muse, he developed a very moving ballet, which I saw four times this past week and did not find it a "nightmare."

How dare he judges what we enjoy.

All true, Eddie. His review was not only aimed at insulting the people who know more about the art form than he does, but he did so by intentionally incorrectly defining balletomane. The truth is hard to find in the New York Times when the NYT writer intentionally misstates the truth.

That "review" was simply offensive, and for someone who is supposed to promote an art form, a glaring example of why people stay away from ballet because they find it intimidating and elitist. As someone who works in cultural engagement and education (and is a trained ballet dancer and instructor), writers like Macaulay are the nightmare! And, while he dares compare himself to people like Balanchine, let's all take a minute to remember that while Balanchine was a brilliant choreographer, he was a human with very mortal flaws -- not the least of which was intolerance and cutting dismissals of anyone he saw as personal or professional rivals. I would consider that perhaps Balanchine's dislike of Onegin was a backhanded acknowledgement of the strength of the work; much like Macaulay's scathing treatment of the many serious ballet artists and critics who continue to return to this ballet.

Well said, Mahadywilton. Macaulay also intentionally incorrectly defined the term balletomane for the newspaper of record and its millions of readers in order to advance his spiteful mockery of everyone who knows more than he does. He intentionally wrote something that he knew was not true, and the New York Times printed it without so much as a blink of the eye. No wonder the truth is hard to find in the New York Times.

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