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May 08, 2022

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Very well-said, as always. These birdbrains should try to figure out the difference between a right and a privilege, and then try further still to identify which of the two categories applies to being a professional dancer.

This NYTimes story was not received by this balletomane as it was likely intended.

"How dare he take dance! It's my thing" -age 6
"But it's my THIRTY-FIRST birthday" - age 31
"A dance company should be about the dancers and not the ballets" - age 40ish
"But class wasn't mandatory!" - age 40

Give me a break. Grow up. Accept the consequences of the decisions you are privileged to make.

The lack of self-awareness some dancers display is really something.

I did find it ironic how an ex-ballerina-turned-associate-director is now finds herself on the other side of a situation she used to complain about.

I honestly believe the NYTimes arts section (my autocorrect ironically corrected to "MY"times) may have an agenda, but its message is not hitting with me.

"Ballet was supposed to be MY thing" -age 6
"He did it on MY 31st birthday" -age 13
"Class was optional for ME" -age 40
"Ballet companies should be about the dancers/ME, not the ballets" -age 40

Grow up. And let go of the ego a bit.

Good points, Rachel.

You know, the NYTimes didn't bother to cover Abi's farewell performance. Wonder why.

Yukionna -- excellent point. The best thing that the associate director could do would be to say that she now understands that her director was right and she was wrong to have a sense of entitlement to the role of Sugarplum Fairy.

Hi, Haglund, can we have a conversation?

I meant 31 years of age when she felt the childish need to have an adult birth date be all about you..... 13 would be possibly understandable, though not enough to shatter a sibling relationship.

The Stravinsky Violin Concerto this afternoon was a site to behold!!!

Abi, not useful.

Performers, share your joys and joy with us! But if you cannot transmute your woes into Art--if you cannot make them non-personal and larger than your self--it's wisdom to not disclose them. To turn suffering into something that exalts both artist and audience is a sacred task. Dido's grief ennobles our current experience and history of grief; anyone who plays her is also ennobled, if only in passing. One reason to go to the opera, the symphony, the ballet is to discipline the ego by cutting it down to size and reminding the soul who's boss. A performance of sufficient magnitude can shock the ego silent for days. Now that's effective therapy!

Exactly.

Thank you, Eulalia.

Stafford should have retired YEARS ago. But the lack of self-awareness as one commenter mentioned above is astounding.

ABT and NYCB both need to bring in outside hatchet men to trim the fat as they do in Corporate America. Because clearly the managers and artistic directors don't want to do the dirty work of telling these company "lifers" that they need to go.

I am not a Whiteside fan by any means, but I appreciate a quote I heard from him in a free class he hosted for children during the pandemic. "Always take ballet seriously but never yourself."

I feel like some NYCB dancers could stand to hear that - much like my 12 year old needed to hear it. It's sad that adults need the same advice as a middle schooler.

Bouder is irrelvant now and she knows it. Next!

Ballet is an aesthetic artform and everyone pursuing a career in ballet knows this. While I have deep empathy for those with eating disorders, as I have battled with my own, part of the job description is being very lean. If a dancer cannot make the time to keep their body in top condition, then they do not deserve to dance certain roles. Especially if others could be injured from having to partner them.

I see nothing wrong with what Ratmansky said to her. He was protecting the men that would have to partner her. Their health and safety is important too. Ditto Whelan, although I find it very amusing that now Whelan has to be the one to delicately take dancers out of roles after she castigated Peter Martins for doing that exact thing to her.

It's unfortunate for Abi that jealously of her brother ate at her. Therapy would do her good.

My issue is with the NYTimes. It is hard to fathom why they decided any of these two issues were worthy of such attention. While I sympathize with dancers’ struggles as they are human like the rest of us and not perfect, and sure they need to find their place in their roles and that may not always come easy; and sure sibling rivalries are real hard things to navigate in life, yet it remains: none of this content was of a relevance in the field of dance as an art form to deserve such journalistic attention. 
The NY Times continues to be an enabler of the distortion of boundaries between the self and self-entitlement. As they fail to make these nuanced but important distinctions, too much of what they publish feels like indoctrination.

Eva M writes, "...too much of what they [NYT] publish feels like indoctrination." Hear, hear!

Yes I agree when The NY Times publish this kind of gossip articules, does not make any favor to Abi, the leadership of NYCB and the dance community.

Cringe. No other way to describe my feelings after reading the Stafford sibling profile.
I wasn't just cringing at Abi's odd comments about her childhood jealousies - I think I was more embarrassed that a NY Times reporter put them in the paper. I used to be a newspaper writer. It's normal to get gather background information to color your story. Not all of that color needs to go in the piece, and this is an example of that. But if the only goal was click bait, I suppose it worked.

It seems like the NY Times relies on its clickbait trash to bring in readers that its dwindling journalism fails to entice. Unfortunately, anything about ballet has now been re-categorized from journalism to clickbait trash -- mostly because there just isn't anyone at NYT who can professionally review ballet anymore.

Just look how its "front page" online has devolved during its existence. Today "above the fold" online is an OPINION piece about why there are so many shampooers in New Jersey and bartenders elsewhere--an OPINION piece. And what is author Peter Coy's OPINION about all of his front page worthy critter shit? There seems to be no hint unless he's being so coy that his opinion is invisible to everyone but himself and the clickbait-clique at NYT.

We must thank The NY Times for giving Misty Copeland the opportunity to review Toni Bentley's book on Serenade.

After all, Ms. Copeland's is a voice that has been throttled by racism and misogyny. The fact that she has never danced the ballet is also a factor in her favor: we need diversity.

There are too many people who actually worked for Balanchine available to review the book (one, Allegra Kent, is a pretty good writer) - but why should they be the only ones we hear from? Shouldn't we hear from people who never worked for him, who have no expertise in Balanchine's technique, and no real relationship with his repertoire?

What would we do without The New York Times? I shudder to think.


https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/10/books/review/serenade-a-balanchine-story-toni-bentley.html

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