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 Post subject: Re: The Graham Company: Changing Steps
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2001 3:27 pm 
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Another day in court, another day of Ron's testemony.This is a new article from Dance Insider: <A HREF="http://www.danceinsider.com/f2001/f327_1.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.danceinsider.com/f2001/f327_1.html</A>

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 Post subject: Re: The Graham Company: Changing Steps
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2001 5:54 pm 
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Boy, this makes for some dramatic reading! Am I correct in understanding from this "DAnce Insider" article that Protas will "only talk to the NY Times"? Does he have some special relationship with the Times (in which case I'll have to immediately cancel my subscription...lol-only kidding.sort of)? From past reading, I seem to remember that the Times wrote some unusually favorable articles about Ron, bending over backwards to be "objective". Am I mis-remembering?


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 Post subject: Re: The Graham Company: Changing Steps
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2001 11:53 pm 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
'Dance Insider' is certainly doing a good job in reporting on the hearing. But it really is a tangled web. Let's hope the Judge takes a pragmatic view based on the benefit to the Graham legacy. But then of course we will probably move on to the appeals.<P>Ron has always been <B>very</B> choosy about who he speaks to. When the Company came to London Judith Mackrell of The Guardian was commissioned to write the programme notes. She went to NY to talk to various people. She reports that Ron said he couldn't see her but agreed to a phone conversation. When she raised one point, he flew into a rage and hung up on her. To the person who's writing your programme notes - excuse me!


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 Post subject: Re: The Graham Company: Changing Steps
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2001 4:09 am 
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Ron has this idea that if you are not with him, you must be against him. Until recent developments, Stuart Hodes was considered a "half God" to him, but when he signed our dancers later he became a "bad dancer", as described in Dance Insider's article.<BR>That happened in the past a lot and on every level and journalists are not excluded. Many were told they are evil and will never get the story from Graham Company.<BR>We all know he is afraid of strong, independent people. So if you have the mind and you use it, beware,...... lol<BR>And this is to regards to his relationship to New York Times. It is now obvious that they were more than polite with him. I believe that they are partly responsible this situation, by giving him so much power and "respect".<BR>It is sad that this is to be written about one of the leading world newspapers, but it must be one day, I guess.<BR>

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 Post subject: Re: The Graham Company: Changing Steps
PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2001 4:46 pm 
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Martha Graham died ten years ago today at age 96.


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 Post subject: Re: The Graham Company: Changing Steps
PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2001 5:05 pm 
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Wow---Azlan, thanks for that bit of a reminder about Martha. Very interesting how things are working out 10 years after her death. <BR>I must say that I am immensely disappointed in the NY Times. I have always looked to the NY Times as a paragon of fair and quality journalism. The fact that they are championing Mr. Protas' "point of view" gives me pause, to put it charitably. Do I get a whiff of the Times reinforcing the status quo, shadows of the "old boy network"? Couldn't be? I could understand that they want to respect him as the "legal" executor of Martha's works, but when LEGIONS of dancers and choreographers have signed petitions against him, one would imagine the Times would know something was funky,ie, "where there's smoke, there's fire", so to speak.<P><p>[This message has been edited by trina (edited April 01, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: The Graham Company: Changing Steps
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2001 11:45 am 
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I don't get the impression the Times is "championing" Ron. I'm sure they are quite aware of the negative aspects of his (large) role in this crisis. It's more likely they are doing their best to be objective and to see the biggest possible picture. There are a quite a few highly respected dancers in the Graham world who didn't sign the boycott. It's a situation with many aspects to consider.


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 Post subject: Re: The Graham Company: Changing Steps
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2001 12:41 pm 
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Welcome Faline...thanks so much for finding criticaldance and giving us some feedback!!!! <BR>Just out of curiosity, who are the major Graham dancers who did not sign the petition?


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 Post subject: Re: The Graham Company: Changing Steps
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2001 2:24 pm 
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Like most "wars", this one has had its conscientious objectors. It's a painful issue for most people connected with the situation and I don't feel it would be appropriate for me to "out" anyone here, especially since some of them have been the subject of some negative energy for their choices. The dancers who did not sign are people I respect; I doubt many of them would or could make such a decision lightly or small-mindedly. They gave their lives to Martha's work, and this crisis I'm sure is just as disturbing for them as it is for others, perhaps even more so in some ways because for their own reasons they didn't feel they could join with the current company's chosen initiative. Some people don't feel the boycott was the best (or others, an appropriate) course of action. Perhaps there could have been a different, possibly more effective choice. However I'm sure the company made the best decision it could come up with at the time.<P>Not signing the boycott does not necessarily mean one is a supporter of Ron, just as the Times' speaking with him does not necessarily mean the Times supports him over the company. If the Times is the only source he will speak to, they might feel an obligation to get his side of the story. I hope they do feel it's important to see the whole crisis from a larger perspective and not take sides; as journalists for one of the most prominent papers in the world, hopefully they take that seriously. I would hazard a guess that they do take it seriously.


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 Post subject: Re: The Graham Company: Changing Steps
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2001 2:48 pm 
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Faline, journalists not taking sides? Well, maybe there are some.<P>It is interesting to note that, as Belinda mentioned earlier, Joan Acocella theorizes in her New Yorker piece that Graham may have deliberately intended the demise of her works not long after her death, long enough however to repay Protas for his generosity to her near the end of her life.<P>So, maybe it was meant to be that her works are lost to us, that is if you accept Acocella's argument.<p>[This message has been edited by Azlan (edited April 02, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: The Graham Company: Changing Steps
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2001 7:13 pm 
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It seems the only journalist who repeatedly is unable to report the facts clearly, accurately and without bias is Mr. Paul Ben-Itzak from the Dance Insider. Paul has been very outspoken on a number of topics related to dance in the past months - and has alienated a good many dancers, writers, scholars and press agents. It is so sad that during this Graham crisis, Ben-Itzak has already chosen his side. A mark of a true rank and file amatuer in journalism is someone who gets on a soap box, blows his own horn, thinks he is being clever and that he is serving an important need in the voice of journalsim. What is really happening here in the Graham case, is that Ben-Itzak has once again shown his true colors. Tehre was a reason why Dance Magazine fired him!!


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 Post subject: Re: The Graham Company: Changing Steps
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2001 7:17 pm 
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Whoa, Susannah. I understand your argument. However I don't think Paul is the only one who is biased. There are unfortunately far too many writers who are biased one way or the other.<P>And welcome, btw.


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 Post subject: Re: The Graham Company: Changing Steps
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2001 7:32 pm 
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I completely agree with Faline. There have been so many respected and important dancers who have been repeatedly harrassed (often viciously)by the contingent of Graham dancers and board members who instituted the boycott for not signing it. You cannot expect dancers who gave their lives working with Martha to necessarily side with a group of dancers and board members who are going against Graham's own express wishes and trying to destroy what she began. We have to remember this is not an issue of Protas being a mean person or a bad guy for that matter. Graham loved him and she trained him and entrusted her complete artistic legacy to him. For better or worse people have to respect what this incredible genius did during her lifetime and now that she is no longer here. This isn't about the most skilled and beautiful Graham dancer getting the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow - it is about respecting and honoring what Martha Graham wanted.


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 Post subject: Re: The Graham Company: Changing Steps
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2001 8:58 pm 
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Hmmm interesting ideas...I have to think on this!<p>[This message has been edited by trina (edited April 02, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: The Graham Company: Changing Steps
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2001 8:59 pm 
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I count 23 Graham Co. members (from most recent co) and 50 former members who signed the petition/letter. I consider those fairly significant numbers, not even considering other signatories from the dance world who were NOT company members. Of course folks have the perogative of not signing. BUT, I resent The Times making Mr. Protas the "victim" here. I believe it to be a much more complex situation than that<BR>As far as company members, I can think of three off the top of my head who did not sign the petition/letter; but I dont'think "who did or didn't" is particularly relevant. Someone mentioned the importance of remembering "the big picture". Well , "the big picture" in my opinion, is that the works of one of greatest dance geniuses in America is NOT being performed because of decision of ONE PERSON, who was NEVER a dancer. HMMMMMM!!<p>[This message has been edited by trina (edited April 02, 2001).]


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