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August 07, 2017


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I'll venture a guess: LL's magnum opus, Big Ole Butt (1989).

I was at the mall, sippin' on a milkshake
Playin' the wall, takin' a break
Admirin' the girls with the bamboo earings
Baby hair and bodies built to swing
That's when I seen her
Her name was Tina
Grace and poise kinda like a ballerina

[Skipping ahead to the chorus]

TINA got a big ole butt
I know I told you I'd be true
But TINA got a big ole butt
So I'm leavin' you
TINA got a big ole butt
I know I told you I'd be true
But TINA got a big ole butt
So I'm leavin' you

Oh, yeah. That one put ole 1989 right on the calendar, didn't it?

This goes hand in hand with the cheapening of the Kennedy Center's "Ballet Across America" series, which used to be a great series when curated by Suzanne Farrell. Now it's "Dance Across America" with a heavy emphasis on pop, particularly hip hop, curated by Celebrina, in part. Speaking of...Wanna bet that the KC will find a way to shoehorn Celebrina into the telecast? Maybe an original ballet by Karl Abraham to "Big Ole Butt"? Then the KC can claim that it's honoring classical arts.

ITA, Jeannette. The producers of the Tony Awards took over the Kennedy Center Honors in 2015 which accounts for its accelerated devolving into pop culture and the honoring of celebrities who have accomplished little more than being celebrities. (Producers: "Don't you think we should honor Jennifer Aniston for her outstanding lifetime achievement with her Smart Water bottle advertisements?") It also may be that the producers know that self-respecting classical artists might refuse the trip to the White House - which would have both negative and positive impacts on the KC Awards' reputation.

You may have a point about the classical artists not wanting to visit the WH, Haglund.

In other news, I see that our Celebrina will be "trying out" Aurora in Australia in Nov, according to the Sydney Morning Herald of 8/11/17. Can an Aurora at ABT be far behind?

Well, the Aussie press was so forgiving (or blind) when Misty made a mess of Swan Lake during her ABT debut a few years ago that she's probably counting on the same indulgence. Maybe the Rose Adagio will have her hanging onto the suitors with both hands and a lifeline wrapped around her trunk. (This will be followed by a press conference in which she declares that she has "conquered" Sleeping Beauty.)

Obviously the invite has nothing to do with her artistic ability. It's all publicity-related. I predict that there will be big feature sized press releases and planted articles of Misty standing next to the Aussie Ballet's sole authentic indigenous dancer -- of course, giving her advice on everything from how to achieve what she wants by damning her colleagues and all of ballet with false claims to what to eat for breakfast.

I'm really disappointed to see Aussie Ballet stoop to this sort of thing. Misty made such a mess of her entire Met Season - failing in every Petipa role she tried to dance, but somehow the news didn't make it Down Under.

But Haglund, don't you think our dear Aussies have the right to witness first hand those MAD acting skills the ever so knowledgeable and objective NYT reporters have been raving about? Surely it isn't fair that only us get to see them. I'm sure she'll be able to showcase them in Aurora. You know, it takes incredible acting skills to pretend to be asleep for a billion years and then fall for the first dude you see after a long slumber. So she'll be perfect for the role.

Okay in all seriousness, I can't imagine her as Aurora. But I suppose she'll get rave reviews regardless of what happens on stage. Hopefully we get real reviews from real people. Good luck to her, I suppose.

Random comment, Haglund, but I'm so appreciative of your blog, because here we have an actual forum to discuss ballet candidly. Who would have thought? It's refreshing after trudging through Ballet Alert where a certain administrator with initials HK rules over her forum like it's North Korea. Any criticism of Misty Copeland doing 19 fouettes puts you on read-only! Fortunate that I never apologize for having standards.

Thanks, LKR. Yes, it's true, the PC-ness over there suffocates and "cleanses" the truth on a regular basis. On occasion, we have had to refuse to publish reader comments due to inappropriate content. But when it comes to reporting who and what's on the stage and whether it meets credible standards, this blog is candid and honest. People who work hard to scrape up money to buy tickets deserve to express their outrage when artists don't bring high quality to the stage.

Haglund, I'm just catching up to these comments and YOU ARE 100% CORRECT about the militaristic approach to "moderating" on BA. I kept wondering why a couple of the most informed and candid posters were recently booted out. ANTIFA (or Neo-Nazis) on pointe?

For those of us who use opera glasses, Copeland also has grooming issues. The Met saw a Swan Queen with hairy forearms; Sydney will, in all probability, see an Aurora with hairy forearms. It's not just the lack of technique and artistic ability, it's the lack of "backstage preparation" too.

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