The Born-Again Balletomane's Blog

Just another WordPress.com site about the love of ballet

An interesting parallel February 16, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — theworstat @ 7:57 pm

Considering what we’ve been discussing in the comments recently, I thought this article about ABT’s Betsy McBride was interesting:

From Principal to Corps

I’d retitle the article, “How Not to Shoot Yourself in the Foot,” but it isn’t my magazine.

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Spinning Completely Around January 30, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — theworstat @ 6:04 pm

For those of you who haven’t already seen it, go watch Joy Womack’s latest YouTube video (First Q&A from Seoul).

This video goes down the same path as her video interview with whoever-it-was — she’s completely contradicting what she said in her own previous videos about the Kremlin Ballet.  She also suddenly changes her story about why she did not get hired by any American company she auditioned for.

One particular point she made that was obviously wrong was that American dancers do not get enough performance time and don’t get to grow.  Tell THAT to Diana Vishneva (and Natalia Makarova, for that matter), who both nearly collapsed after they joined ABT.  Why?  THE PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE.  Consider, if you will, that if the principals think the performance schedule is challenging, what must the dancers lower down in the company think?  They’re on every night!  And NYCB has something like 20 principals because almost EVERYONE is on every night.  What the hell is she talking about?

She also said this just after saying that she wasn’t getting enough performance time at the Kremlin Ballet because they only do something like 25 performances a year (and are having funding problems?  Another thing she slammed U.S. companies for).

I couldn’t get through all the Q&A video because I was so flabbergasted by the bald-faced spin.  Don’t her followers ever try to put her new spin in line with the old stuff, and realize that it doesn’t fit?  Sadly, I don’t think so.

Anyway, this is hardly beefy ballet news — it’s more just me not being able to process the BS — but what the hell…watch it and tell me what you think (I will not link it here; suffice it to say it’s called “First Q&A from Seoul.”)

BTW she said in her previous Seoul video that in the future her channel will be more of a tutorial channel.  If she’s intending to go after Kathryn Morgan’s audience, she’s got a long way to go.  Kathryn has conducted herself with total grace and candor, after all.  She’s set the bar high, as opposed to…*sigh*…

One positive thing I must add is that the previous video featured footage of Womack rehearsing Swan Lake.  It looks like she’s a lovely Odette.  Then again, we’ve never seen her “live.”  I’m starting to think that if you don’t see her right in front of you, it’s all smoke and mirrors…and spin.

 

To the regulars and all readers… January 19, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — theworstat @ 2:00 am

Don’t know how I’m going to do this, but I’m thinking of sending a questionnaire to several ballet companies asking the female dancers (1) if they darn their pointe shoes, (2) why they darn their pointe shoes.

Let me know what you think of this idea.  I was taught that darning was passe’ (this was back in the 1970’s/’80’s) and that it got that way because it made the shoes look awful, and also because it was potentially dangerous, as the threads could catch on something on the floor and send the dancer tumbling, possibly with a broken ankle or something worse.

I came back to being a ballet fan about 6 years ago and what did I see?  A passel of darned shoes.  I don’t know if dance flooring is better now than it was — I expect it is — but I can say that darned shoes look awful.

So anyway, let me know what you all think before I make a total fool of myself, lol.

 

This is pretty…. January 18, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — theworstat @ 5:48 am

Raymonda pas de deux, Kolpakova/Semenov

BTW, sorry I’ve been AWOL throughout the holiday season and beyond.  It’ll be back to business in the coming days.

 

Not all pointe is ballet December 23, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — theworstat @ 5:29 am

No, it is not ballet just because you have pointe shoes on and do one or two recognizable ballet moves in your routine.

I’m not saying what these ladies are doing isn’t difficult, and doesn’t require extensive ballet and pointe training.  Certainly you have to be strong and well-trained to stay on pointe for an entire 3 minutes or whatever it was in the video.  BUT…

Lots of forms of dance utilize pointe.  Tap does, jazz does, even Irish dance does.  There are such things as as pointe-tap shoes (or tap-pointe shoes).  Anyway, the lesson here is that utilizing pointe does not turn any of them into ballet.

What we’re seeing in the video is what’s now called “commercial dance,” and this particular company includes a ton of pointe in its routines.  But it’s not ballet just because it has pointe work.  Ballet is a very specific art form.  This ain’t it.

No, I am not belittling it or calling it bad; it is not bad.  But I’m also not calling it ballet.

 

Painful to look at December 21, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — theworstat @ 11:14 pm

Gloria Govrin

Actually I’m not talking about this former, long-time NYCB dancer…I’m talking about her feet.  Look at ’em in that photo.  Ouch.

These, I suppose, were the “creative bunions” Balanchine worshiped.  All I know is, this is the way many pointe shoes used to be shaped.  Believe me, if you had square feet, it was not fun.

More on feet later.  Right now I’m contemplating a pointe-shoe fitting video done by Ballerina Badass, and contemplating tendus and feet based on something she said in that video.  May be an article coming.

 

My favorite ‘Snowflakes” December 15, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — theworstat @ 9:11 pm

The Royal Ballet Waltz of the Snowflakes

My least favorite: possibly the NYCB’s frantic and sparse interpretation.  I know it’s sort of like a sacred cow in New York, but really, folks….it sucks.  Looks like a half-assed snow flurry in a gale.