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September 23, 2018


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Hello Haglund, one other observation from this weekend: after 11 years, Alastair Macaulay is stepping down as NYT chief dance critic as of Friday Sept 21. He will still contribute pieces from time to time, but he will be focusing on other projects. https://www.nytco.com/alastair-macaulay-chief-dance-critic-is-retiring/

It really doesn't matter. The quality of the ballet writing in the Times is at its lowest of all time. Whether they appoint Roslyn Sulcas or Gia Kourlas or Sarah Kaufmann or anyone else as his replacement isn't likely to change that. Sulcas would come with her burning Millepied fetish; Kourlas would come with her caterwauling and fabricated claims of racism at the core of ballet; Kaufmann would come with her nonstop wailing about Peter Martins like a scorned woman. The stringer Siobhan Burke knows nothing about ballet and yet the Times feels great about having her opine about ballet issues and performances when she truthfully doesn't know her ass from a hole in the ground. Ditto for the other stringer who writes the occasional non-review fluff piece and has blindly devoted herself to Ratmansky.

The best thing that NYT could do for its dance coverage is to completely eliminate the house critic position and rely on a variety of stringers to contribute reviews. Don't have someone with a modern dance background writing about ballet; don't have a critic with only a ballet background writing about modern dance; most importantly, don't have someone who has neither and has not spent time at the barre writing critical reviews about performances.

Re: Macaulay. It would be progress to have a dance critic write about the actual current performance in lieu of long history dissertations about the score, or memories from decades past of previous performances with different casts.

My impression was that the NYT has been decreasing it's dance coverage over the last few seasons anyway. Are they even looking to replace Macaulay?

Perhaps we can exhume Clive Barnes.

Hi Hagland, PA Ballet's casting is out for R&J.

There were years and years when I wouldn't leave the house in the morning without first reading Anna Kisselgoff.

Hello Haglund, how did you like An American in Paris? One other observation - some of the Landmark theaters around the country will be showing the Staatsballett Berlin production of Sleeping Beauty this Wednesday, Oct 3. Oddly, the Landmark 57th Street isn't showing it. I'll be going to see it here in Philly at the Landmark Ritz Five.

I also want to thank SherryD for pointing out that the PAB R&J casting has been posted. It looks like they are going with three casts for this series.

Loved, loved, loved An American in Paris. Initially, I was a little put off by the sound quality in the theater here, but eventually got used to it.

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