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May 24, 2021


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Glad that light is being shed on this Wokeness. This all dovetails with what’s going on here at the Kennedy Center (including the DEMO dance series led by Woetzel, the Ballet Across America program curated by Fakerina, the upcoming seminar on “Reframing the Narrative” of ballet, etc).

Do these institutes really want the patronage of traditionalists, be they white or people of color, like myself? Or are they counting on “Our Tax Dollars” to push this stuff?

Thanks to those who dare to speak up (all sides).

Thank you, Haglund. This is the sentence I've needed. "Racial identity is also the key to evading colorblind behavioral standards." The hypocrisy and double standards boggle the mind.



Damn good thing I wasn't drinking coffee, Haglund, otherwise I'd have destroyed my keyboard.

I have to digest this article. It's so.... mindblowing.

Meanwhile, here is the link to an article that Heather wrote about wokeness coming to destroy ballet specifically.


"The destruction being carried on in this post-George Floyd moment cannot be overstated. Everything in the West’s cultural inheritance, whether in music, literature, or art, is coming down."

A few years ago this could have been dismissed as hyperbole.


"Do these institutes really want the patronage of traditionalists, be they white or people of color, like myself? Or are they counting on “Our Tax Dollars” to push this stuff?"

Jeannette, good questions. I'm just guessing here. I don't have the answers. But I think that the guys in charge are just plain SCARED. They think - wrongly - that all the kids are woke so they're going along with it. That isn't true. But they think it's true, and they're spineless. If anybody actually stood up to these crybullies, they would crumble. But then they'd (the people who stand up to the crybullies) would lose their funding. It's a horrible, vicious cycle.

They say, "go woke, go broke." I don't know. I think you can scare people into going along with the program. Well, you say, but people won't buy tickets. OK, but they have a lot of tricks up their sleeve. Paper the house. Give 'em away to students. Cover the deficit with increased woke corporate funding.

There's a sports commentator named Jason Whitlock who is a true beacon of sanity. He's black and despises woke. When people say to him that "the fans" will fight back against wokeness in sports by not going, he says (paraphrasing): "You don't understand. They don't care about your little ticket revenue. They care only about advertising." He fully expects the NBA will move to China in 5 years. That's not as crazy as it sounds.

Admittedly institutions like NYCB absolutely positively must sell tickets. They can't play to empty houses. Nor can they be moved to China. But after all the tricks are exhausted, after they've sanitized the repertoire to get rid of anything that might offend anyone, and after they've alienated their core audience and have not replaced them, they could go out of business.

In praise of Wokeness, I'm going smash my Chinoiserie vase and then go to Scully & Scully's on Park Avenue and smash all of theirs. How dare European artists interpret or imitate Chinese art.

Next I'm going to take an ax to my Shaker style dining table because it was created by an agnostic furniture maker who could care less about Shaker moral values. Of course, I "trivialize" and offend the Shaker religion all the time by seating men and women together for meals at my table. Sometimes they even touch knees.

Next I'm going to inform the Met Opera Gift Shop that they need to stop selling all those expensive little Orientalist-style evening coats for women. White women shouldn't dress up in Orientalist-type fashion.

It's going to be a busy week.

Thanks for the article Haglund. Heather MacDonald is fantastic!

Thank you for bringing light to this...it seems tearing down existing art...is the last resort for those that can't find a single new beautiful or meaningful moment to create and share...JH Ballade

Diana - excellent food for thought. Indeed, in the case of the Kennedy Center dance subscription season, they’re probably counting on the Miami Nutcracker and Mariinsky runs - and perhaps also the ABT Don Q, depending on who’s cast as Kitri (wink wink) - to “underwrite” the other offerings, including the June 2022 “Reframing the Narrative” events. (Here in DC, NYCB’s Dream had so-so sales in the past, in 2nd Tier, where I sit. “Half full” for Sylve’s Titania, incredibly.)

Ooooo, Haglund, I’m in trouble now, as I bought one of those Chinese silk jackets at the Met shop. Pink cherry blossoms against black background.

Oh dear. Jeannette, be careful with that jacket. I think you'll be okay if you stick to wearing it to things like Zeffirelli's Turandot where the Wokephiles already have so much to focus on with contempt (and jealousy). Imagine! A freaking Italian thinking that he could write opera about a story in China, and another freaking Italian who thought he knew how to design Chinese-themed theatrical clothing and ended up offending every Tom, Dick, Harry, Gina, and Phil on Planet Woke. Porca miseria!

I'm not an expert on the Chinese Cultural Revolution. I'll have to read up. But I vaguely remember reading that they had to round up people to go to horrible performances of Red Guard operas, plus of course there were Party members to clap on cue.

At least in the worst days of the old Soviet Union, they (mostly) left ballet alone, cleverly calculating that great ballet was a guise to make the regime look good.

We're trying something new: a free society and controlled art. Let's see who wins. My bet's on art in the long run. But the short run will be very ugly indeed.

Reading this story of racial hysteria at Julliard is an eye-opener. All the hallmarks of a social contagion.

This is why students all over the world still get The Crucible on their reading lists. Similarly, Lord of the Flies is a good way to understand what is happening with children today. They are spending their time on Social Media where their are no adults around to supervise them or explain boundaries.

Another great book is of course To Kill a Mockingbird. Learning how to treat others with dignity. Having the courage to speak out when the mob comes for you or another person.

I hope there will be some AD's who show courage but expect more high profile scalps will be lost as this phenomenon plays itself out.

All true, Nancy. I doubt that the Juilliard kids have any required reading list, let alone something like The Crucible.

Speaking of The Crucible, there was a loud outcry from NYCB Wokephiles when Angelin Preljocaj created his utterly brilliant production of Spectral Evidence which was inspired by the Salem Witch Trials. A few short years later, the same NYCB Wokephiles flipped 180 degrees to embrace Kyle Abraham's promotion of misogyny, violence, degrading profanity, and abuse of women. They all thought that it was so, so cool - and still do.

The hypocrisy of the performing arts community is sickening.

Over the past months I've received emails from NYCB soliciting me to participate in an online survey about the local arts scene. The survey is a blatantly biased effort to create an impression that the public actually wants artists' to gear their art toward Woke cause-marketing. Complete trash all the way around, but somebody is spending a lot of the donors' money to promote it.

The only comment I have to say is to please leave the arts alone! They are about beauty, not politicizing some cause or knee jerk reaction.

I'm sorry to say this, but I think it's a bit too late to ask the Woke crowd to leave the arts alone.

I think we must gird ourselves for the fight of our lives. Nothing less than our civilization is at stake.

Politics and art can be intimately entwined. Kurt Joos' The Green Table is an example of great, political art. Art can be a glorious escape from reality but not always. No one wants to see a hectoring lecture. The standard should always be the choreography. Green Table has it all: great choreography and a humanist message.

I don't know if I've made this comment on this site before—excuse me if I have—but to piggyback on this blog's many brilliantly perceptive remarks, one of the key elements of the classical repertoire of the stage arts is existential inquisitiveness. (This speaks to those arts' roots in the theatrical culture of the ancient Greeks, whose tragic trilogies explored man's place in the universe by asking more questions than the human mind can answer. Greek theatre was an exercise in humility, an exercise the ego resists as a mortal threat to its existence.)

Wokeness, on the other hand, is existentially prescriptive. It presents itself as having all the answers necessary for the perfection of man and society. If you don't see things wokeness's way, you are an enemy of the paradise the deployment of wokeness's ideas is sure to bring about. Thus, your old school ideas—and art forms and works—are dangers to be eradicated; next to be eradicated, as a promoter of thought contrary to the construction of heaven on earth, is you.

The mantle of saintliness disguises—in many instances, from the woke themselves—an ugly lust for total power and contempt for the lives of those who do not believe as they do. Disbelievers have renounced their humanity as wokeness understands it.

Envy of the great achievements of the past also motivates woke creativity. The woke artiste may fear that his or her output will never rival what has come before. Thus, the heritage works must be destroyed and, with it, opportunities for comparison. The rival’s objective is always to destroy the rival. If wokeness in the arts is not vigorously opposed, the great artistic legacies of the Western mind will be rendered wreckage. Our theatres will be empty shells on whose stages are our era’s equivalents to peasants reading Mao’s Red Book while driving tractors over the enemies of virtue. The vocabularies of movement, music and the word, which came to be because creators sought truth to make beauty, will be repurposed to produce what is worthless: In other words, counterfeits.

Thank you so much, Eulalia!

Eulalia's perceptiveness deserves a round of applause. Brava!

How did Juilliard's drama school student body come to be 50% black? "That 50 percent black share of the student body is unlikely to have arisen spontaneously. Blacks are 12 percent of the national population, and there is no indication that they disproportionately study drama in high school and college."

Maybe Woetzel really is guilty of stoking racial hatred - but not the way he envisaged.

I think it’s all about power and scratching each others’ backs, as in most professions.

The bad thing is when those in power allow the quality of the “product” to diminish and there are fewer discerning people around to notice or care.

And, soon, if you dare complain - it’s off to the re-education camp for a steady diet of Red Detachment of Women or The Times Are Changing (with the torture music amplified)!

All true, Jeannette. We have a long way to go before the Woke Folk wear themselves out. As surely as they claim that pink ballet tights represent Caucasian skin and are a white-i-fication of ballet, they will claim that black tights worn by white dancers amount to criminal cultural appropriation. Soon we will be required to alter all of Balanchine's Black and White ballets. The Wokie Juilliard students will cry that black leotards in class represent black bodies; thus, no wearing allowed unless one is Black. Damian will say, "Okay with me. You're the ones running this place."

Frankly, I'm wondering why there has never been outrage at Bollywood's depiction of Western cowboys. How dare they...

Diana, Haglund, thank you. ¶Diana, I can't find the post here that made mention of your book. I'd love to buy and read it. Would you or Haglund be able to provide the information again? Many thanks!

Diana, do you have the Amazon link to your book?


I hadn't realized that my book(s) were mentioned and thank you for your interest. It's actually a sequence of two books, collectively called Technium, consisting of The Brothers of Redemption and A Daughter Of Her People.

Brothers: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07YW8JFBC


For those who don't like Amazon, here are the universal book links to other vendors:



Spoiler: it's speculative futuristic and there's even some ballet in it - but you've got to get to the 2nd volume for that.

Haglund: thank you.

Thank you again, Diana & Haglund!

Who needs Julliard? Only the talentless, the weak, the insane.

Witness at Julliard the Left's circular firing squad, where insane power-mad hacks try to liquidate their theoretical enemies to take power over shrinking resources.

Who would, as a student, pay for this crap? No one in his right mind! The administration is prostituting for the money they want to attract from Leftist movers and shakers -- they have to pay their own salaries and benefits (how doesn't matter). But once that money dries up (already happening), they're over. Over, dead as a door knob.

And the theatrical content created in the US on stage, film and TV over this last generation has been as a rule profane and vile, incompetently written and unpersuasively acted (no, it's role playing, not acting). In other words: typical Leftist nihilism. Who bathes in a sewer but a rat?

Once the Left has obliterated these useless institutions, we who remain will grow our own institutions -- are doing so even now! But not in NYC: which has been over for 50 years!

Toxic Town is toast! Onwards to better lands, HO!

Juilliard seems to have been resting on its laurels for quite some time. It no longer appears to be results-oriented or hold superlative craftsmanship as a goal for students. It's all very sad.

I think the fundamental conceptual distinction that needs to be made here is between coercion and persuasion. The former relies on violence or the threat of it, the latter on communication and mutual understanding.

We should be extremely wary of coercion, and use it advisedly and sparingly as a necessary evil, e.g., taxation, police power.

It's worth noting that blacks have come to dominate sports and pop music, not because of a historical absence of racism in those fields, and not by guilting the market into supposed diversity, equity, and inclusion, but rather because of a sustained interest and demonstrable merit.

There is absolutely no place for coercion in the arts.

"Who would, as a student, pay for this crap? No one in his right mind!"

Some kids have rich daddies and some get scholarships.

I'm in complete agreement about the lousy quality of artistic output for lo these many years, but a degree from Juilliard still has cachet, like a degree from Harvard does. How long will that last? I've no clue. Does anyone here have a guess?

Yes, the whiff of cachet, I understand your point, Diana, but the perverse may find even the scent of a festering wound a pleasure. As for me, the bloom has been off the Ivy for a decade or more. I repudiated my degrees long ago and, as a producer of content (I am small time and local), have never and would not hire a graduate of any arts school, unless the work demonstrated a like-minded understanding of life and of the arts. They foment cancel culture, so cancel them! Newton's law: every action has an equal and opposite reaction. As in science, so in life.

As to coercion, Shawn, they have no choice but to coerce. Their ideas are vile, venomous, empty, meaningless, Godless (why do you think they gave us Sartre to read as youths but to hollow out the Soul?). They can attract none voluntarily but the woke and the dense. I believe that these strident "activists" and their flock of lemmings are truly a minority. They yell louder and they have taken over the few “public” arts institutions, all of which could not survive on their own without a massive handout, so they are very, very weak intrinsically. All animals make themselves larger to scare off what they are frightened of.

The administration and the arts institutions, and the fat cat intermediary "non-profits" who have been feeding at the trough for decades, need the money to live off of. They make fantastic compensation packages, especially the political commissars known as "Diversity Officers" -- so, with the arts pie shrinking dramatically, they have to attack to push off the competition for ever scarcer resources, and to do that they become ever more demanding and extreme.

So what are the students graduating into?

Paying work in the arts is dwindling because Congress has for nearly a century now stripped us of our rights in our work and given them to industry, e.g., the consent decrees of 1941 that fixed prices of recorded music 1941 and, most recently, to the streaming companies with the Obamacare for music, the “Music Modernization Act,” which ought to be called the Music Theft Act. Governmental authorities have taken our money and our property, derived under the threat of fines and imprisonment, and redistributed it to fawning, sick institutions which desperately need it for survival. Once the money is taken from them and returned to us who had it taken from us – and this will happen in my lifetime -- then they will all fall and we can rebuild, privately, without government and without these awful ideas: they are inextricably intertwined. But it will take a generation. I see new shoots planted throughout the country, especially in the south and the midwest, and away from the schools, in private work. That is our future. Do it yourself and attract paying customers. Very difficult, but very rewarding.

There's a natural life to institutions. They start out as vibrant and creative, then they become set in their ways, calcified. Perhaps in Europe the process is somewhat ameliorated by referring back to a great classical tradition, but that's not how we roll. Our 18th century tradition is one of revolution. We must go forward, else we die.

Enough intellectualizing. Trash is trash, and yes, nihilism leads to an early grave. If you can't be an artistic revolutionary, at least give us competent escapist entertainment. I have said repeatedly in these webpages, and I'll say again: can I see a story?

And they can't even do that.

There's only so many ways you can squirm and skitter around on stage and shake a booty.


Are you saying that the ubiquitous melodramatic hair-swinging and wrist to the brow suffering don't qualify as story? You want more?

Ballet needs to stop relying on non-ballet choreographers to try to save it. These people, besides not being equipped with practical knowledge of the art form, have not been able to cultivate much of an audience in their own contemporary circles. Now they want the "respect" of ballet to help their careers move along.

H: Are you saying that the ubiquitous melodramatic hair-swinging and wrist to the brow suffering don't qualify as story?

D: Yes.

H: You want more?

D: Yes.

"Ballet needs to stop relying on non-ballet choreographers to try to save it."

Oh God, this. I remember one modern choreographer who shall be nameless referring to ballet as "our Latin" - i.e., a necessary lingua franca, but dead. I winced. If you're a ballet choreography, ballet should be your living mother tongue.

I adore the ballet. Yet I know next to nothing about it. Unlike the critical judgment I always apply to theatrical and musical performance, because I know too much and see all the strings being pulled, I choose to receive dance as an innocent (or dumb) witness to Beauty, when it's made manifest in the human body for someone with no knowledge, like me.

I'm not sure what non-ballet choreographers in ballet are, really, but Haglund, your comment on choreography made me smile as a memory of Sammy Davis Jr. came to mind. He said (or sang!) the same thing about TAP! You'll see it start at 00:12 and quickly thereafter he begins the song your comment brought to mind.


I just decided to re-read the Mac Donald article to which Haglund linked. I read slowly and carefully. Every word.

I initially had some sympathy for Woetzel (heavy lies the head, and so on...).

After this re-reading that sympathy is gone. Ironically, Woetzel *is* guilty of stoking, in Haglund's words, "racial hysteria." Just not in the way he intended.

Haglundeers, I've done a LOT of reading about societies that break down, and I can say that stoking racial or ethnic hate is a great way to do it.

I haven't seen any response from Juilliard to this article. Most likely the school's PR reps are suggesting that no response is the best response, i.e., "It'll all die down. Shortly, something else will come up that will take the focus of the media."

Damian's apologetic letter to the student body which is near the top level of the Juilliard website ludicrously suggests that students were harmed by listening to audio spirituals over Zoom and that they now need institutional support to get over it. Do Sunday School kids need trauma trigger therapy after seeing a picture of Christ nailed to a cross or having someone read or sing to them about it? Does every Jewish child who studies the Holocaust need trauma trigger therapy? Does every Japanese American who studies the internment camps acquire the emotional scars of the actual victims?

Honestly, Damian should get in touch with the "entertainment" that students devour over their phones. Look at the music videos filled with violence, hatred, racism, guns, drugs, misogyny that they enjoy. Students are no novices when it comes to indulging in entertainment that shocks and offends a great part of the public. Hopefully Damian will find his way out of his students' back pockets.

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