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January 04, 2019

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Heard rumblings that it is indeed a female that retired not long ago. (Eyeroll) I hope that info is wrong. Jon Stafford deserves it more than anyone.

I hope it's wrong, too. I'm so tired of the hypocrisy of the celebrity-driven boards. I imagine that several more members will resign. Then SJP can add her friend Natalie Portman who is a true expert in all things ballet.

I was able to find Donohoe's recording on Apple Music as well. The finale is breathtaking; thanks for sharing it!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/tchaikovsky-onegin-theme-and-variations-ballet-imperial/691508778

Maybe the concerto will be performed by longtime NYCB pianist Cameron Grant. Here's a recent interview in which he describes his career. Not a scintillating conversation to be sure, but might be of interest.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/118-cameron-grant-new-york-city-ballet-pianist/id1128237763?i=1000425034838&mt=2

In a just world of course, Haglund's Heel would be on C1 of the NYT.

Ballet is one of the high arts that hasn't experienced too much degradation as the rest of the culture.

But now that we have "FACE" Board members who want to push the latest SJW cause...well Ballet in the US is in trouble.

ABT is on shaky legs now. And NYCB could be next. All because a group would like to turn the companies into a billboard to advertise anything other than ballet.

That's unfortunately true. It's my sincere hope that this board passes over Wendy Whelan (and Lourdes Lopez, and any other tokens) and hires the best candidate based on the criteria in the job description. Wendy doesn't even come close to meeting the criteria - not even close.

If NYCB hires someone who:

1. Has no experience running a company
2. Has not held a teaching position at SAB
3. Has not been a NYCB ballet master
4. Has not even been on staff as a company class teacher
5. Retired and walked away from the company with her nose out of joint because she had Sugarplum Fairy taken away from her and continued to complain about it
5. Can't seem to take herself off the stage and out of the spotlight;

And if the board hires her simply because she's female and says she's the only one who can leverage connections with choreographers like Wheeldon, Millepied, Ratmansky plus all of her cuckoo "innovative" partners -- then I'd like to offer those board members a chance to buy the Brooklyn Bridge.

If a board chooses someone like that over an experienced ballet master & company teacher who is also teacher and high level manager at SAB, who was chosen to manage the turbulent time following Martins' departure and who managed it extremely well, and possesses all of the qualifications in the job description, well then, that would be the end of a lot of people's respect for NYCB. No one would ever respect her because everyone would know from the outset that the only reason she got the job was because she was a woman -- an under-qualified woman.

If the NYCB Board thinks that Wendy has the skill set, why wasn't she added to the Interim Team either at the outset or later? The answer is pretty clear. And do you suppose any of the board members ever attended her "performances" at the Joyce with her odd little group to observe her "taste" in choreography and her sense of direction? I doubt it.

Sorry, in my book, Wendy is a No-Go.

Shawn,

Thanks for the link to the interview with Cameron Grant. I found it fascinating and am truly grateful that he had the initiative to search for his own replacement upon announcing his retirement plans. All will certainly be sad to see him leave, but hopefully, he will not walk away from music altogether. He has a lot of institutional knowledge that the company cannot afford to lose no matter who they sign up as the next artistic director.

It has always been a thrill to hear ABT's superb pianist Barbara Bilach accompany "Ballet Imperial."

True, Solor, but lol when was the last time ABT had the courage to dance Ballet Imperial?

The departed NYT dance critic mentioned is woefully out of touch with what sophisticated ballet lovers can enjoy. For example, he wrote that Don Quixote "demeaned" ballet. Yet Clement Crisp must have been smiling when he wrote (FT, 2007, DQ London Cast: Natalia and Ivan):

"Let us not exaggerate, but six stars seem to be in order. I have not known so euphoric an evening at the ballet for a long time: the audience agog; bursts of applause and gasps of amazement during solos; a delight in the dancing matched by a buoyant response from the stage; cheers, yet more cheers." DQ, a joyful ballet? Yes. A demeaning ballet, no.

Then the NYT critic praised Ratmansky's “Serenade After Plato’s Symposium.” in his retirement article. How very odd! According to the late genius Leo Strauss's close reading, Plato's Symposium is about pederasty, and Plato's criticism of the Greek institution that preyed on boys. Does he,and Joan Acocella really think AR made a ballet about "love?" (The New Yorker,10/23/16) I think AR is having a little semi-serious fun with the critics. Consider Bernstein. Learn from Strauss.

Brava, Laura!

Macaulay has always been hampered by his lack of knowledge about actual dancing. His opinions and writing reflect more about how ballet in non-academic terms aligns with his social views and his sad need to continually justify the "rightness" of his sexual orientation by imposing some aspect of it on ballet choreography. His final plug for more "diversity" in ballet is a hoot of hypocrisy considering the absolute lack of diversity in the world of classical arts criticism - especially at the NYT. Where are all the classical arts critics of color at the NYT? Not a one there.

Ballets like Don Q and Le Corsaire which actually celebrate dancing will never be Macaulay's cup of tea. But give him a ballet about men preying on boys and he's up for it 100%.

I don't think I can stomach it if Wendy Whelan is named director. The company might as well fold. Honestly, I will not be patronizing it if this comes into being. It's pay for play just like Hollywood. Sarah Jessica Weinstein, more like. Well, Sarah Jessica can take her big honker and her bigger ego and GTFO.

Sorry, I'm just fired up about this.

Holy number of debuts in night one, Batman!, including an all new cast in Orpheus! I might have to scoop up tickets to the Saturday matinee of the Serenade program too!

Holy Am-I-Glad-I-Already-Have-Tickets-To-Every-Performance, Batman! Those Apollo debuts are going to be exciting! Whoo-hoo, off we go.

I’m glad Gonzalo gets an Apollo. I believe he was coached by Villella at SFB.

I’m crossing my fingers that Tiler Peck gets cast in Tschai PC#2 next week, but I’m so looking forward to Reichlen! I only wish I could get tickets to that entire opening week.

I, too, hope that we get to see Tiler in Tschai PC #2 soon. I believe that Isabella LaFreniere was being groomed for the role, too, but she has been out quite some time with injuries. Tess is a dream in it, however, and I can't wait to see her again. It's one of those big ballerina roles that requires finesse and benefits from a cool elegance, not a competition mentality.

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