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September 09, 2022


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From the Times article: "Under the agreement, City Ballet will formally adopt a policy allowing dancers to use tights and shoes that better match each dancer’s skin tone, rather than standard pink attire"


Diana, I believe that is the case. The Wokeophiles have effectively gaslighted NYCB into thinking that pink tights actually match a dancer's skin tone when they don't. They better reflect the stage lighting than any other color other than stark white. If a dancer doesn't want the audience to really see her bad legs or feet, she can mask them with beige tights and shoes. I suppose that is exactly what we will see with those who have stocky, ill-lined legs, e.g., Gina Pazcoguin.

I truly hate to see the race appropriation efforts when white men wear black tights and when black men wear white tights. Or am I wrong and this is just a "woman issue" based on a veritable mountain of evidence that the color of tights has always been referenced upon skin color? And why should white women be permitted to wear black tights on their legs -- not just on stage, but at any time, any where in our society? If we're going to go Woke, why not Woke ourselves all the way?

The "pink" tights that NYCB women have worn for years have been sheer enough so that different skin tones emerge. Tess Rechlein's legs always looked stark white whereas Tiler Peck's legs are darker in the same tights. The skin tones of the Black women at NYCB emerge through the tights. Frankly, I don't like to see any dancer's skin tone emerge through the tights, and I hate all bare legs in ballet regardless what color they are. I don't even understand why women would want to try to convey or pretend that they have bare legs up to the crotch under a tutu when they are on the stage. What's the message?

Still trying to wrap my mind around this. The article stated that NYCB has been experimenting w/"flesh" colored shoes & tights but the ballet in question was some contemporary thing.

Are they actually going to allow this to happen in (for example) Symphony in C, or Diamonds -- or how about one of the leotard ballets where color is quite significant? Balanchine was very particular about the color of toe shoes, even ordering a specific color from Freed's.

It's all bullshit by privileged perpetual adolescents looking to make "their mark" on the world.

Sorry, Haglund, disagree. This is a serious attempt by power-mad neo-Bolsheviks to destroy Western civilization. So far they're winning. No one ever won a civilizational battle by underestimating the will and goals of the enemy.

This is the beginning of the end of the unique Balanchine "look." Symphony in C with multicolored tights and toe shoes won't be Symphony in C.

The Woke idiots won’t be happy until they destroy the traditional ballet-going public, which they deem too Euro and White. The morons don’t realize that they’re chasing away most of the public. Within a couple of years, Western Arts - not just ballet - will be just Woke works for Woke audiences. Good riddance. My wallet is shut…but these Wokes are counting on funding through taxes.

I’m sure that they’re upset that, for a few days, the media will be focused on the passing of QE II, patroness of traditional arts.

There is no verifiable proof that any of this Woke crap is either increasing or sustaining audience numbers. Anytime you eyeball the paid attendance at a performance, you'd have to conclude that it's driving people away. Every time I read somewhere that a freaking ballet dancer is Woke-sermonizing to the world about what everyone else should be doing, it makes me want to vomit and tear up my tickets.

Let's just pray that all the sermonizers on stage beginning on 9/20 are in tip-top physical condition and shouldn't need to be wearing girdles to look appropriate in a fussy costume that hides most of them anyway.

ITA, Haglund. At the Kennedy Center audiences for the ballet-dance series are way down. Similar to ABT and NYCB in spring, with the exception of special nights (galas, openings, and such).

The only full-house ballet program that I attended during the past six months was the recent Sarasota Ballet triple bill of two Ashton works + surprisingly gorgeous new work by Lang, to CLASSICAL EURO music (Haydn). What a beautiful and rare program on that day, without a hint of Wokeism. The grateful audience enjoyed what it was getting: TRADITION. Thank you, Sarasota!

I saw that same program at the Joyce which included the premiere of Lang's Shades of Spring. There was much to like about it. The small Joyce stage and the close proximity of the audience did not make an ideal setting for the program, but it was refreshing to see tradition-based choreography instead of the self-indulgent, melodramatic angst & yank Woke nonsense that is being dished up as so accessible and relevant.

Right, Haglund. The Joyce is quite small compared to the Lincoln Center or Kennedy DC theaters…but the 500 (or so) seats at The Joyce were occupied. Compare that to about 300 seats occupied in the 2,300-seat Kennedy Center Opera House for a woke triple bill from NYCB…I counted 40 seats occupied in our tier at the start of the show. How can the woke programming be sustained?

p.s. Similarly, I counted 20 - TWENTY! - seats sold in the Balcony level of Wash, DC’s Harmann Hall theater at a Saturday matinee for The Washington Ballet’s NEXTSteps quad bill in summer 2022. In that, only a new Jessica Lang work (Beethoven Serenade) was truly classical; the others had woke elements.

"How can the woke programming be sustained?"

In the short run by guilt-tripping corporate and foundation money. Corporations especially nowadays are obsessed with woke image - pollute the environment but look at us! We give to the right causes!

That's short run. In the long run this can't last. Maybe NYCB can ride this out, but I don't know how regional companies are going to survive the next few years.

The economy is undergoing post-Covid and war-in-Europe convulsions. Add to that programming that's an insult to good taste and I'm positive some regionals will go under.

BTW, the Verona Opera Festival laughed off pressure to change its Aida. Some American soprano left in a huff but they didn't care. Italians won't be bullied about opera.

People who don't even go to the ballet working to destroy the art form ... I'll never understand ...

Is it true that some ballet companies are deleting the Arabian dance and Chinese Tea dance from the Nutcracker? Pretty soon it will be banned completely. Will Aida be dropped from the Met? As my dad used to say, this is not my world anymore.

I wondered if the reason City Ballet added La Sonnambula was Sterling Hyltin, since she is retiring in early December and that is a work she has traditionally done. Don't know whose idea it might have been -- Ms Hyltin or the company -- but that is what I was thinking. Fall schedule also has three Stravinsky works she does. I am looking forward to that as I have always enjoyed her in Stravinsky. I thought I might have already seen the last of Herman Cornejo as Puck the last time ABT did Dream, so was thrilled to see he is doing it again.

On the Arabian and Chinese Tea dances in the Nut, I don't know about other companies, but I know NYCB made some changes in the Chinese dance a couple years ago, but left it in.

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