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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News: Guenther's Mother Sues Boston Ballet
PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2000 3:48 pm 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
I am not surprised - I have seen ballet dancers who look more like walking death than dancing life...............


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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News: Guenther's Mother Sues Boston Ballet
PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2000 10:45 am 
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Location: Stouffville, Ontario, Canada
If Boston Ballet and Anna-Marie Holmes are found guilty, the price of ballet could rise everywhere. Not only will ballet companies have to insure themselves but their artistic directors as well. Not many thought the National Ballet of Canada’s insurance company would pay off Kimberly Glasco to the tune of 1 to $1.5 million. Who knows what a U.S. jury could award in a death suit? A U.S. jury awarded $2.7 million to a woman who spilt McDonalds coffee on herself. How much is a human life worth? <P>------------------<BR>Michael Goldbarth

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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News: Guenther's Mother Sues Boston Ballet
PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2000 10:54 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
While I would not want to see the Boston Ballet harmed - I do think that this demand for thinness of the female dancer has exceeded all bounds of sanity. Maybe just because this suit has been filed will serve notice to others to tread with care. <P>That, in my opinion, would be a step in the right direction.


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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News: Guenther's Mother Sues Boston Ballet
PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2000 4:35 pm 
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Location: Stouffville, Ontario, Canada
I don’t see how Boston Ballet can win. If they do, it would set a very dangerous precedent. I could see them arguing that dancers have to be 10 to 20 pounds under their normal weight to be employed by a ballet company. I wonder how many dancers have endured breast reduction surgery or liposuction to keep their place in a ballet company? <P>------------------<BR>Michael Goldbarth

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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News: Guenther's Mother Sues Boston Ballet
PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2000 11:02 am 
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Location: Seattle, WA USA
What a sad story---as a teacher, I see this aesthetic affecting kids everyday...I've had 10 year olds, pre-pubescent kids come up to me and ask me if they need to "go on a diet". I was stunned---I think they hear the older kids talking about diets, and since they see these kids as role models, copy their behavior and conversation. And this was at a school that had no weight requirements" and no strict aesthetic about "thin is in". We then must ask ourselves, "what about schools that do have these requirments"? Our society itself is so thin obsessed...the oddest part is, as we become more thin obsessed, we have a higher and higher percentage of general population (according to US Surgeon General)which is overweight.<p>[This message has been edited by trina (edited October 29, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News: Guenther's Mother Sues Boston Ballet
PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2000 9:43 pm 
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Location: New York, NY, USA
I find it interesting in the extreme that Anna-Marie Holmes is the individual named in the lawsuit. Guenther died on Bruce Marks last day as Artistic Director of the Boston Ballet, so all the events leading up to her death occurred on his watch. Surely, prior to Marks' departure Holmes would not have had the authority to refuse to give someone a contract, or to insist that she lose weight unless she had been told to do this by Marks.<P>I would also like to point out that Guenther was an adult and not a minor who might expect special "parental" supervision from the Boston Ballet. Boston Ballet has a nutritionist on its staff of whose services all the dancers are encouraged to avail themselves. Furthermore, I would doubt that the Boston Ballet were aware of Guenther's genetic heart defect, which was certainly a contributor to her unfortunate demise. However her MOTHER certainly knew of it, and as far as I know did not inform BB about this.<P>When one extrapolates the possible ramifications of this lawsuit, we may be faced with a bunch of very chubby swans and sylphides in the future, as no person in authority in a ballet company will dare to suggest that a dancer needs to lose weight even if they are overweight in real (as opposed to ballet) terms. Nor will they be able to take roles away from a dancer because she can no longer fit into a costume. Male dancers will be putting their backs at risk. I have also heard that companies are now fearful of even inquiring about the height of a person seeking to audition. Companies will also be forced to pay for soup-to-nuts physicals for prospective dancers to make sure that there are no hidden medical problems for which they may be held accountable. In other words, the dancer will be freed from all responsibility for caring for his/her health while companies will need to think about possible lawsuits before they act upon anything.<P>While I certainly sympathize with Heidi's mother for her loss, I feel that she is simply trying to hit out at anybody/thing she can. The fact that Heidi's father is refusing to participate in this lawsuit speaks volumes.<P>By the way, Anna-Marie Holmes' departure from the Boston Ballet has absolutely NOTHING to do with the lawsuit (or, at the time of her resignation, the possibility of one). She has been with Boston Ballet for many years, first as ballet mistress, then as Assistant Artistic Director and finally as Director. In fact, her contract was up THIS year, and she agreed to stay on for another year to allow time for a thorough search and for a 'break-in' period for her successor.


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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News: Guenther's Mother Sues Boston Ballet
PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2000 12:12 am 
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Location: Australia
dear karen, <P>very nice to see your input, as someone with a medical background. <P>i am wary of even discussing in this thread, as the personal story is SO personal, that it seems innappropriate to me, for others to converse about it publicly.<P>an ISSUE is raised, definitely, and the issue affects others - so CAN be talked about without hesitation (although 'solving' it might be harder!).<P>but as to discussing the PEOPLE involved - i am hoping we can avoid that. for example, one COULD draw conclusions from the father's staying out of the lawsuit - but they could be all wrong - maybe he just needs to deal with his grief in a different way, or maybe he can't bear to go over and over it, or maybe he just hates lawyers (as so many people DO!) - that isn't to say that the conclusion you draw would be wrong - but just that i, personally, view any speculation about the individual people, to be best avoided. (on the basis that it could only add to their pain, and that it IS speculative.)<P>you write - very sensibly, assuming this is true:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Furthermore, I would doubt that the Boston Ballet were aware of Guenther's genetic heart defect, which was certainly a contributor to her unfortunate demise. However her MOTHER certainly knew of it, and as far as I know did not inform BB about this.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>i had not picked up that anyone was aware of this, prior to her death. as you say, if the dancer was 21 or over, i suppose it would be up to the dancer, as employee, to declare health-problems when applying for a job? it is certainly understandable that any dancer might not admit to anything like this which might prejudice their application.....<P>the bottom line would seem to be accepting personal responsibility for one's health .....- but we've all been young, and possibly all who are older than 21 might look back on risks they took, with their safety or health, which might seem inadvisable with more maturity....<P>it's certainly a sad business. very sad.<P>i had better read the last linked article, to understand better (as you ask) why holmes is named. and to better understand the actual suit, as that is what potentially impacts on other dance companies.

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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News: Guenther's Mother Sues Boston Ballet
PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2000 7:25 pm 
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Location: Toronto, ON Canada
A few weeks after this tragedy I read a news item that stated that the Boston Ballet had told Heidi in her most recent employee review that she was too thin and referred her to their nutritionist. The article also stated that at the time of her death she was on laxatives. I have no way of judging the accuracy of this article, but at that time the Glasco thing was happening here in Toronto and I was surprised and impressed to learn that BB was so responsible to its employees as to have these reviews.<BR>I do feel guilty however, as I reluctantly have to admit that chunky dancers do not please my eye. On the other hand I saw an NBofC dancer last night who was just too damn thin and that bothered me too. So I guess there is some sort of an ideal in my head and I have come to see it is a very narrow line that cannot be crossed one way or the other before I no longer see it as beauty. I suppose this makes me part of the problem. <BR> I try to get off my mental hook by comparing dancers to runners, but I suspect if I really looked closer, that comparison would ruin my argument.(i.e.runners probably weigh more) One thing I do know for sure, 40 years ago when I first began to attend the ballet, the dancers I saw weighed more than they do now! Is it just us men to blame? Or do women prefer a slimmer dancer too?

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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News: Guenther's Mother Sues Boston Ballet
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2000 12:05 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2000 11:01 pm
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Location: usa
regarding your question about dancers physiques forty years ago, i don't think men or women have a preference, i think we are so visually stimulated now that the media has more to do with our opinions of ourselves thanever. I am quilty as you when critiqing a dancer. We try to be sensitive at our studio but sometimes go over board and have or do put up with some dancers that are not the aprropriate weight(over weight).I have not performed in about 6 years<BR>andi have found myself saying to the director that i trained in the era before all this anorexia education was brought to the forefront and sometines favor the exceptionalyy thin dancer. I know its not right, but it crosses my mind.i will also add that i envy the dancer that works to her full capacity despite of her weight/body type and equate that with her being "free" and that also is beautiful to see


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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News: Guenther's Mother Sues Boston Ballet
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2000 11:40 am 
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Location: SF Bay Area
An update:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B><A HREF="http://www.bostonherald.com/entertainment/arts_culture/hot611282000.htm" TARGET=_blank>Boston Ballet wants Guenther suit dismissed</A></B><BR>MARY JO PALUMBO, Boston Herald<P>Boston Ballet is asking Suffolk Superior Court to dismiss the wrongful death suit brought against them by the mother of Heidi Guenther, the dancer who died three years ago at a dangerously low weight while employed by the ballet. In a response filed last week, the ballet argues that Guenther's death should be regulated under federal workers compensation laws.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><BR><B><A HREF="http://www.bostonherald.com/entertainment/arts_culture/hot611282000.htm" TARGET=_blank>More</A></B>


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 Post subject: Re: Breaking News: Guenther's Mother Sues Boston Ballet
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2000 8:12 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area
A hearing has been set according to <B><A HREF="http://www.bostonherald.com/entertainment/arts_culture/hotd11302000.htm" TARGET=_blank>this Boston Herald article</B></A>.<p>[This message has been edited by Azlan (edited November 30, 2000).]


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