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September 23, 2023


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Omg the Jardiance commercial. Dying!!

Yes, when I heard "Jardiance" all I could think of was that woman marching around with a high school band -- don't know if she was the coach or the "majorette" or what -- and yacking about Jardiance.

Must report that Saturday night's Diamonds was startlingly brilliant. The way LaFreniere held and pulled those arabesques through the music was incredible. Her elegance created from strength, musicality, and imagination was gorgeous. Chan's solos were equally dazzling with beautiful turns a la seconde that accelerated and were punctuated with beautiful pirouettes.

Emeralds -- Nadon and Riccardo were so in tune and resplendent. Hopefully, their futures also include a Diamonds together.

Rubies -- Emma Von Enck and Jovani Furlan crackled with heat. On her second performance, Christina Clark gave her Tall Girl still more authority and tease.

A superb evening of Balanchine. Simply superb.

Thank you as always, Haglund, for these reviews. I was sadly out of town for the entire run of Jewels until this afternoon's matinee and I've loved reading these reviews and imagining all of these lovely dancers' debuts.

Very much looking forward to seeing Woodward,
Nadon, Juxley, Fairchild, Mearns and especially Janzen (in his farewell performance) this afternoon.

I saw Emeralds rehearsal video of Bouder on Instagram. I don't know what else to say.

Oh, I know which Jardiance ad Haglund has in mind! Not the drum majorette but the one with the Big Gal in a blue sweater, gallivanting through a park… 🎼 “The little pill with the big story to tell!” 🎶

This one:


When you accept a job as a professional ballet dancer in a top New York ballet company you accept the need to stay fit and maintain an appropriate weight. When a Director tells you to lose weight, that is not "fat-shaming." Nor is it ridicule. It's a responsibility that comes with being a ballet dancer, much less a Principal. The media who entertains Bouder's dilemma is also contributing to miseducation of the public. There are plenty of fit dancers on the rise ready to take her place. (You can tell I watched a few clips of these segments out of curiosity.) Just lose the ten pounds and finish your career on a high note.

Saw JEWELS Tues-night. Debut night. Most everyone new in their ‘settings’ (see what I did there?) .
Damn right! Nadon was a, ‘where did she come from, moment ?!?!” Never really noticed her before. Just lovely. She and Riccardo really embodied l'esprit de la grâce française. And LeCrone was beautiful.

The Ruby-nubies were wonderful. Clark just occupied the entire stage when she was on it. Were there boys there, too?
Emma was adorable, and Furlan terrific. However, the partnering of VonE and Furlan was interesting. I'm used to a ‘little guy ’ i.e. Vilella, Clee-ford, De Luz, Garcia, Huxley, etc in that part. Always same size as his partner. It was interesting to see 6’+ Furlan partnering tiny Emma. His battements were higher than hers. Gave the PDD a totally new dimension for me.

Diamonds couple were lovely. Now I understand what the fuss about Chan is. Agreed, cant wait to see him loosen up. LaFreniere was also lovely. On pointe, so to speak. But also seemed a little tense. Relax that forehead gurl! Well, after all it was 'Debut Night!”

And H, you called it. The Diamonds corps (and I thought the Rubies guys) were all over the place. I wondered if maybe the second cast didnt get as much rehearsal as the first night’s. But if you saw it, it indicates everyone needs another couple hours in the rehearsal studio.

Final question; feathers? Did Diamonds always have feathers, H? I get the Imperial Russian connection, but rather than ‘Vieille Russie’, they were giving me a ‘poultry’ vibe. Whatever.

But for God sake, IT WAS JEWELS!!! What’s there to complain about???
PS: 'Jardiance'!!! You are killing me.

Right, that one. That probably wasn't the first to come to mind because I usually look the other way or leave the room when it comes on.

Oooops, I meant THURS night. Typo.


"a poultry vibe" 😂😂😂

Here's link to photos of Diamonds in 1968. Ain't no feathers.

Georgiann, you put your finger on a big problem when you pointed out that the media is contributing to mis-education of the public. Ballet dancer + body discussion = clickbait = revenue.

Bingo! Yes, that’s the Jardiance ad that I had in mind. ROTFL!

"Jardiance!" Hahahaha. Meanwhile my local company is featuring a Trojan horse-face rather than her feminine and technically superior peers. Her hooves look larger than the poor feller's that has to partner her. And he's a big lad. As with Bouder, it's so inclusive.

An astute YouTube commenter pointed out that the Jardiance ad features a heavy woman surrounded by normal weight people. All the normal weight folks are dancing while the star really doesn't move much. But the viewer is fooled into thinking she *is* moving because of context. Look at it again and you'll see what the commenter means.

Great analogy, Haglund!

I think the YouTube commenter that you found is in error. The commercial features a lot of morbidly obese people as well as some who are not. The idea is to convey that obesity is normal, even a happy state, and that all a person needs to do is take Jardiance and they can continue living a wonderful life as an obese person in the lifestyle that got them where they are today.

If I were a physician, I would protest the promotion of obesity as normal, fun, and happy by refusing to write scripts for the drug. Obesity should be handled in the media the way smoking=lung cancer is handled, not celebrated as normal.

Nor should a ballet company promote unfit dancers as normal.

I think it's important to note that Ashley Bouder, while not in professional "ballerina" shape, is a far cry from what any doctor/the medical community would consider "obese" (from a BMI perspective). As much as we are all joking, she's not a candidate for the Jardiance commercial, or any commercial targeted at people who are truly obese (or overweight) and need to lose weight for health reasons (versus, in her case, professional reasons).

True, she's not obese or overweight by pedestrian standards.

In light of all the recent accusations of emotional and sexual abuse and how it effects younger dancers, there is also the issue of physical abuse.
Not from outside, but physical abuse the dancers impose on themselves.
There now seems to be an issues with the flip side of self destructive starvation, being overweight.
Dance, ballet specifically is a cruel mistress. Weight, and age put stress on the joints. Any doctor will tell you that even 5 lbs additional body weight will increase the stress on your joins by 25 lbs. And that’s not even with taking in consideration of the rigors forcing unnatural positions (turnout) during daily class. Add that to the fact the joints you had at 16, 18 etc are NOT the joints you have now at 35+ Though you may desperately wish they were.
Show me a former principal ballet dancer over the age of 50 who has NOT had one or multiple joint replacements, and Ill show you one who is on heavy meds. (Isn’t Farrell on her third set of hips?)
So the point could be made that an older dancer insistent on performing overweight is modeling to younger dancers that they can/must abuse their bodies in order remain on stage.

And then you have a dancer like Megan Fairchild, who is only about 6 months younger than Bouder but, as far as I can tell, still going gangbusters. I don't know a lot about her routine, but had the impression she takes exceptional care of herself, especially after her pregnancies, including activities/regimes I'd never heard of before. But maybe it just comes down to genes.

And then there is the toll it takes on the man and his joints when the woman is carrying around extra weight or bulk and also wants to wear extra rehearsal clothing to hide it.

Agreed. And if we want the men to be lithe, white-tight wearing complete dancers, as opposed to carnival strongmen just there for the lifts, they usually need to be light as well.

Seems like a 40 lb. weight difference between partners is about right. If it's say 5-10 because the ballerina is overweight, we're going to need weightlifting belts on stage.

NFL players commonly get weighed weekly and twice daily during training camp. If they don't make their weight, they can be fined or suspended. Imagine a lineman saying, "Really Coach, the league needs to be more tolerant of body types and less strict on maintenance by veterans. We're human beings, you know." Where would a bold lecture like that land him?

Megan Fairchild is not only dancing superbly (her Rubies I just saw was extraordinary) but has three children - and in her second pregnancy she had TWINS. I doubt she ever got back the waistline she had before babies, but to the audience, all that stress on her body and joints is invisible. Some luck of good genes maybe but also dedication and discipline.

I do feel sympathy for whatever struggles Ashley Bouder is going through; she's been a supreme performer for years, knows what it takes, and there must be some reason she can't seem to get herself back on track. Having seen her in Emeralds I totally agree she did not belong on the stage. I feel it's up to management to make these tough calls because you can't always leave it up to the dancers. Dancers want to dance as much as they can often even when they're not at performance quality. Management didn't step up here.

It's still a week before the Gala when she is next scheduled to dance. Hopefully management's faith in Bouder will be rewarded and she will look better by then.

Bouder is basically blackmailing management because they know if they ask her to resign she will raise a big woke stink to the media and they probably feel in this day and age that they can't afford to lose public goodwill (or ticket sales).

Do they have anything regarding weight in their contract? If I were NYCB, I would be consulting lawyers at this point to make sure all bases are covered and then lay out all the reasons she has not fulfilled her obligations as an employee.

It's a shame because otherwise, Emeralds was glorious that night.

I think the "woke" concerns may be overblown at this point. There are common-sense parameters in many professions. In this instance, not only is ballet a visually aesthetic art form, but weight becomes an issue in partnering. Would NYCB be forced to adjust its choreography to have two male dancers do a lift for a too-heavy ballerina? What about a dancer who develops a condition that prevents moving fast enough across the stage? Will they have to slow down the piece? I think there's too much timidity here; common sense should prevail. It's a shame that these things have to get played out in the press.

Has anyone heard anything about a potential cancellation of tonight's performance given the flooding/MTA mess?

Got an email from NYCB saying that the performance will go on but if anyone with tickets can't make it, they can contact NYCB by Oct 13th and exchange for another performance.

Yes, thanks Haglund. Shortly after I posted, NYCB posted to the site that the performance would go on as planned. They sent a list of performances that could be selected in last night's stead (oddly, a few of the performances were in the past ;), but I hopefully helped them correct that).

I was unable to go due to the subway being largely malfunctioning (not to mention the roads), but went ahead and bought tickets to tonight's performance of Balanchine II so I could see the same cast.

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