The Born-Again Balletomane's Blog

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Another view of JW August 9, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — theworstat @ 1:14 am

This is from a reader, TheBrain1234:

Didn’t Joy complain about not getting Nikya this year, even though she was already dancing Gamzatti? Nikiya is a romantic, lyrical role. Was the issue really more about wanting to play the heroine?
On the subject of self-promotion and social media, I agree that famewhores (sorry for the lack of a more polite term) exist in every generation but the sharing of every bowel movement is something that’s more prevalent now thanks to social media and data shows that millennials are more likely to share things than the older generation. I mean, did you know that watching people eat on a live stream is actually a thing in Korea?
But there is a difference, I think, between Marcelo Gomes eating pork buns and Joy Womack posting a manifesto about professional behavior and jealousy. One is simply a “look at my awesome life” that’s no different than your friends who share pics of their vacation to Bali or your neighbor revving up the engine really loudly when he gets a new car, except the audience is in the thousands rather than a few people. The other example is blatant self-promotion that sometimes involves using others without their consent and painting them in a negative light in order to advance an image of superiority.
While one may or may not care what Gomes eats (I actually follow his food account because Food instagram accounts are a guilt pleasure of mine) in the end, it’s harmless. On the other hand, I don’t think one needs to explain why using YouTube as a sounding board for your work place troubles is a good idea
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6 Responses to “Another view of JW”

  1. atlanticw Says:

    Live stream videos of people eating. What a time to be alive.

    Millennials didn’t invent self-promotion though the platforms for doing so have expanded. Criticizing your co-workers, even pre-internet, has never been a good idea. Negative comments, even about others, make you look bad and negative no matter how true they may be. I’ve had some unsavory co-workers in the past. Instead of talking crap, I just used my brain and maneuvered myself away from them. Sweet talk you way into a different dance parter or look for a new job.

    • So true – I would never dream of airing my grievances about my workplace or with the people there on any platform for potentially millions of people to see, bause I know I’d be in BIG trouble then, especially if I mentioned any names, as JW occasionally did. Usually, employment contracts have non-disclosure clauses (as mine has); I’m not sure whether this also applies to contracts with Russian ballet companies. publicising one’s work life like JW did is a bad idea in any case. I know that if I were the director of a ballet company and I am about to take new hires (including with her applying), I would probably also do some research online and if I came across stuff like this I wouldn’t hire the person in question.

      What also strikes regarding JW is that she often puts different spins on the same story or event – for instance regarding the story about her foot injury, there are several different versions as to who she got the money for her surgery from (either “someone” when she explained her situation at her English language church in Moscow, or “a parishioner” of that church or even the pastor of that church) and as to how soon after the surgery she was back in the studio (either four weeks, and then one article mentions that she stayed six months with the pastor who also allegedly gave her the money).

      Her “marriage”.to that Russian dancer is another instance where you get the feeling that something’s fishy – the way she depicts it in one article, she decided on her own to enter into a marriage of convenience (probably in order to get Russian citizenship faster) and her parents were really shocked when they visited her in Moscow and she introduced her husband to them. The spin here being that it was a wrong judgment call by a naive young girl who did not think about what she was doing. But I do remember there were wedding photos, photos of her “darling hubby” presenting her with a bunch of roses, and there were also plans in the works for a film about their “love story” – all of that material has disappeared from the web without a trace, but I know it was there. Does a naive, inexperienced girl as she presents herself to be in this matter really think about all these publicity stunts in order to publicize her marriage à la “Muriel’s Wedding”?! SOMEONE (I’m very careful not to mention names) must have given her advice in this respect, and SOMEONE realized that this trick wasn’t working and then decided to call it off

      And don’t get me started about the Bolshoi episode – I won’t say very much about that because we probably never know what “really” happened, but there is this strange episode of her alleging that another girl at the Bolshoi had aired Joy’s story behind her back – I read the article in question and it does not give off the impression that someone told the story on behalf of Joy. And to close it off – the “truth” is probably somewhere in between what Joy publicized and what others have to say about the matter. ;My take on the thing is that the Bolshoi probably took her on in hopes of being paid for it – while Russian students at the Bolshoi Academy attend for free she had to shell out a hefty sum of 18,000 $ (I don’t know right now whether per year or per semester) and perhaps they hoped that something like that was coming along if they took her into the company.

  2. atlanticw Says:

    Speaking of self-created dilemmas- not sure if this is the appropriate place to put this but it surely could have an impact on NYCB’s leadership:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/socialite-daughter-of-ballet-dancers-charged-with-burglary/2017/08/08/6d8373f8-7c6a-11e7-b2b1-aeba62854dfa_story.html?utm_term=.cc26a471b404

    Certainly Martins would not pay for the sins of his daughter but I would imagine he might want to take some time off which begs the questions: Who is in line to take over? He has been there longer than Balanchine was and he can’t do it forever.

    It is very sad to hear another young person has fallen into this trap of drugs. I remember in my old career I had many young clients addicted to drugs and I would beg them to stop. Even the threat of jail never seemed to stop them. Hopefully Ms. Martins will not continue on this path. Given she is white and from a ‘good’ family she will likely not face prison time (my clients never got that benefit of the doubt but that’s a topic for another blog) but she will have to probably go into some intense rehab/lengthy probation term.

  3. theworstat Says:

    Wow. What a tragedy for Martins to have to deal with. Funny, I was thinking about him today. He’s maintained NYCB’s status well in the decades after Balanchine, and he’s getting up in years…who is going to replace him?

  4. So after all that, Joy still hasn’t left the Kremlin Ballet, is now permanent resident in Russia, and is still whining about how people in her company treat her.

    I was going to suggest that she should have tried to audition with the Stanislavsky. Her friend Maria Beck dances there as does that guy she was dancing with at the Asian Grand Prix. But maybe word is spreading about what a drama queen she is, and Hillaire and others are steering clear. It definitely sounds like people are aware of what she’s saying on the vlogs.

    • Having seen the video too, I do not have the impression she has a gripe about “people” in her company badmouthing her behind her back, but that it’s coming from people whoshe thought to be her friends or whom she looked up to (her coach or that Martynyuk fellow is my guess). So she’s genuinely upset about this because it seems to be removing yet another source of support. I’m not sure what exactly was said about her “character” or her “attitude”, but chances are that some honest criticism was in that too and as usual she took it the wrong way.

      One thing that strikes me about Joy – she does have a strong work ethic and she IS aware that you have to work hard to get things, but on another level she also seems to be quite the “pampered princess”. From what I gathered about her family background, the family seems to be pretty close-knit, and it also seems to be a pretty sheltered background for children. I remember when she took a leave of absence from the Kremlin mid-season and at first they told her she could not, her first reaction was wanting to call her Dad. (She later did go because she managed to convince her boss that the fancy treatment she was about to take in the US would help her be a stronger dancer,) I also wonder how many of the amenities she enjoys which other dancers do not have (her luxury apartment, gym membership, expensive camera and computer equipment, physiotherapist etc.) are actually paid with family money. I can’t believe that her photoshoots. the supplements she sells and so forth are sufficient to pay for all that. The money she earns at the Kremlin certainly doesn’t .

      I’m not sure whether another company in Russia will take her now – not sure how fast news travels there. And I’m sceptical about a foreign company taking her – in the days of the Internet and social media, not only are employees (unfairly) using these platforms to air their workplace grievances, but it’s often also employers doing background searches on prosective employees in this way. And I know there are a few things online of Joy where she goes about gushing how “superior” the Russian system is and how it is “the only historically correct one. So any director of a foreign company having her audition and coming across something like this will probably ask themselves: “So why does she bother to audition here at all?” and assume that something’s fishy.

      Perhaps she has even already reached the end of the line as far as dancing ballet is concerned because her body can’t quite seem to take it – she seems to be injured every few months! And I’m not sure where she stands as far as her eating disorder is concerned, which probably does not help any. If you see it plainly, she has already compromised her dreams by dancing at the Kremlin at all – her original dream having been the Bolshoi. And now that too seems to be going to pieces….Interesting that she says that her life in Russia, the daily things she has to go through, suddenly have become mere routine to her and she is bored. Poor girl, she seems to be QUITE confused and there clearly seems to be more at issue than just her being at a crossroads in her life and career.


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