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January 14, 2020

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Looking forward to seeing Emilie Gerrity in Stravinsky Violin Concerto. I wonder if Sterling Hyltin is injured.

I'm definitely looking forward to seeing Emilie G. in SVC, too.

Hi Haglund,

Always appreciate reading your ballet commentary. You indicated a need for transparency, here are some thoughts - it seems that principal insubordination and greedy demand for roles is hindering the growth of younger company members. I'm particularly perplexed by the fact that we are seeing a Mearns debut in Firebird and Bouder remains on the cast list, despite being in a walking boot full-time.

After LaFreniere was cast to perform the role in 2017, you would think that she would be slated to perform after a stellar Dewdrop performance this past Nutcracker season and yet, she is nowhere to be found on the cast list. It seems that some action needs to be taken to open up opportunities for corps dancers while they are in their prime (i.e. Kikta, Hod, Staker, LaFreniere), instead of continuing to watch established principals dominate role after role. These principals had their breakout debuts so early on in their career - 18, 19, 20 years old, it seems that we are well overdue to see the next generation of principals establish their presence.

I totally agree.

Retirements are necessary at this point. Time for Kowroski and Abi Stafford to call it a day to start with.

To add to what Anne said, many of these established principals do a lot of side gigs which they advertise on their Instagram accounts - doesn't that add up to a lot of stress on a ballet body?

Sure in the old days principals leveraged their position to get side gigs in commercials and print ads to make a few extra bucks, but this is in a totally different level of self-promotion. I don't begrudge them the chance to make money, but when said dancer has had a history of injury doesn't NYCB have a right to respond by casting younger, fitter dancers?

Not to mention a certain principal who runs, quite literally, a vanity project, which uses the precious dancers that SAB/NYCB has invested so much time, money and expertise in training. And then this principal turns around and accuses NYCB of discrimination and perpetuating inequality?

This bothers me.

Diana, I agree about NYCB. My daughter is a young professional dancer who came out of SAB. She chose not to go into NYCB because of the lack of promotions right now. Instead she headed for another big name company that has a reputation for giving dancers a chance.

Young dancers and their parents are noticing. Rumor is SAB summer intensive auditions have been virtually empty in many cities. Same with ABT. While I'm hearing that Houston, MCB, and PNB are filling rooms everywhere.

Times are a changin'.

Jessica,

And not a moment too soon.

I've been expecting this tendency towards regionalization to happen for quite some time.

We tend to think that things have always been this way because that's what we're used to - but it's not so. The current landscape is living off the great legacy of the post-war years, which giants like Balanchine, Kirstein, and others created.

But the world they created is over.

What would be really sad is if PC and what Haglund calls "social promotion" wrecks American ballet, and all the work that the pioneers did goes to naught, and ballet returns to Europe - where it started.

I would be sad about that. So very sad. American ballet at its best was as good as anything the Russians or French or Danes produced.

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