The Born-Again Balletomane's Blog

Just another site about the love of ballet

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.


Diana and Acteon pas de deux December 11, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — theworstat @ 10:38 pm

Healy and Guerra

Osmolkina and Lobukhin

Womack and Martynyk

I was happy that I finally got to see a video of Womack made from the audience’s perspective instead of some weird angle backstage.  It was illuminating.

There are many videos of this pas de deux, of course, and the one I enjoyed the most was Osmolkina and Lobukhin.

I’ll just leave these here and let people make their own judgements.  I find some of Healy’s arabesques to be a bit awkward, but maybe that was the camera angle.  And her interpretation, although very lovely and floaty, doesn’t scream “goddess of the hunt” to me; the regal Osmolkina’s does.  (The Healy video is of course old and blurry.)

What I did notice was connection between the two dancers in that video, and in the Mariinsky video, as well as a flow and freedom in Healy’s and Osmolkina’s dancing.  The Mariinsky version is just out of this world.


Oh man… December 10, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — theworstat @ 12:37 am

Peter Martins is granted leave of absence

I admit when I saw the title (I only read half of it) I assumed something had gone wrong with his health, but it appears this is a sexual harassment matter.  Judging from the article, however, it seems this one particular case is more of a violence issue than a gender-harassment one.  Martins was once accused of beating his wife, so I guess this would follow.  I know someone like this — he treats women like trash, and is truly astounded when there’s a blow-back.  And of course, everything is everyone else’s fault.

The rest of it puts me in mind of Bolshoi Babylon.  These accusations seem to be arising  all over the world all of a sudden.  May it lead to a good solution for all eventually (this situation took thousands of years to develop; it won’t disappear overnight).

This could bode a huge, almost immediate change at the NYCB, however.  Stay tuned.