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 Post subject: Re: The Keefer case's aftermath
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2001 4:40 pm 
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I think we might also want to remember that part of the school's requirements were that the child also needs to have an instinct for movement and musicality. It was not just an audition based on physicality.<P>I have noted that this last sentence has been left out of several newspaper editorials and articles on this subject. A perfect body for the ballet still would not be a candidate if the sense of movement and music were missing.<P>So if the issue of some sort of discimination is discussed, one must therefore, I would think, also need to considered these two attributes too.


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 Post subject: Re: The Keefer case's aftermath
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2001 5:26 pm 
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From the San Diego Union Tribune with some comments from Jillana (former principal with NYCB):<P><B>IT'S UNNATURAL SELECTION BUT THAT'S BALLET</B><P><BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>In San Francisco, where the next outrage always lingers just around the corner, some mom wants to sue the San Francisco Ballet because its instructors think her daughter doesn't have the right body for their professional training school.<P>After a 20-minute tryout by a group of children skipping, walking and doing floor exercises, this particular 9-year-old girl was not among those chosen. In a written response to her mom's complaint, school leaders said they weren't looking at height and weight so much as "the more precise qualities of proportion, arch and turnout."<P>Now before the San Francisco Human Rights Commission and the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance get too absorbed in this case, may I point out a simple but decisive detail?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://www.uniontrib.com/news/uniontrib/sun/arts/news_1a28welton.html" TARGET=_blank><B>MORE</B></A><P><BR>


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 Post subject: Re: The Keefer case's aftermath
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2001 6:50 pm 
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I really hate that article. A few reasons why:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>"Ballet is visual," says Jillana, San Diego's famed ballerina and teacher. "It is not a sport, where only performance matters. The body of an overweight dancer, even if technically capable, cannot display the lines required by the choreography."<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>a)I'm tired of anything but "Ballet Perfect" being called "overweight" it's just a little too black and white for me, b) this "cannot display the lines required by the choreography" argument - I've heard it before and I just don't see it.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>In most other types of dancing -- modern, disco, theater, most ethnic types -- the body type is secondary to the talent and the drive. In ballet, you need them all.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>This quote implies ballet is at the top of a dance hierarchy, which just plays along with the tired old Western imperialism type crap I dislike so much (You know, where cultures are called 'primitive'). I read this as "the demanding and venerable ballet requires so much more than those other kinds of dance". Different forms of dance are just that - different, not better or worse. <P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>That was where the ballet body reached perfection, in such dancers as Mathilde Kchessinska, Tamara Karsavina and Alexandra Danilova.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>I don't think the word perfect should be used in reference to the human body. They all are.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Those who choose the children for a shot at a career can't be sure they're right. The corps de ballet are filled with their slight mistakes.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Oh, so that's what all those dancers are doing there on stage - they're <B>mistakes</B>! Ok, ballet makes more sense to me now. (right.)<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>King Louis XIV, the 17th-century creator of the palace at Versailles, "invented" the body. It was perfected in the 19th century by such dancers as Marie Taglioni in France and Fanny Elssler, whose carriage was pulled through the streets of Washington, D.C., by cheering congressmen in the 1840s.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>So am I to understand that this 'invention' of the human body by Louis the XIV was later made law by these cheering congressmen in the U.S.? Just kidding, but honestly, this doesn't really make sense to me - someone please clarify this sentence. Also - I have yet to be convinced of the accuracy of this writer's historical progression of women ballet dancer's bodies. <P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>So quit pestering the experts, mom. They've got an art to preserve.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>and<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>If the school says the kid isn't suitable, then mom should just move her little darling out of the way.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Well, I guess if ballet is all about preserving, then maybe this is the right way to keep doing things. I had some hopes it might actually be a living, breathing art, but hey - who am I to say? I'm not one of the experts this critic-at-large is referring to. I also really don't care for the way the author of the article refers to "mom" and the "little darling" - it's just snide and makes this guy sound like a jerk.<P>So there. Image


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 Post subject: Re: The Keefer case's aftermath
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2001 7:56 pm 
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Boy, am I glad I didn't write that article.............


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 Post subject: Re: The Keefer case's aftermath
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2001 8:06 pm 
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I just don't think only a certain kind of body can create these "lines". To me, something looks "right" in ballet when the sternum/upper back are in that sort of opened, long-neck relationship, when the head is involved, tilting and turning to create the correct 3-D impression, when arms are accurately and firmly yet gently placed, and finishing in completed hands and pointed feet, and when there is a general grace to a person's carriage. It's one thing if a person can't <B>get</B> there - can't actually do the movements. But if she can do the movements and follows through with the elements I've mentioned above, it seems to me that no matter what she weighs she's got a ballet body. <P>I really will not lie down and say there is one kind of ballet body. It's as though doing so somehow validates the forces at work to send ballet to the museum as a "preserved" art, and to starve my friend to the hideous boniness she is now.<P>Grace, I'm convinced you're lovely when taking an arabesque though I will agree with the "god forbid" about unitards.


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 Post subject: Re: The Keefer case's aftermath
PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2001 12:17 am 
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I didn't actually SAY the writer was a jerk - just that some comments made him SOUND like one.


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 Post subject: Re: The Keefer case's aftermath
PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2001 3:50 am 
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Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
I hope the writer didn't mean this literally:<P>"At 93, Danilova was still helping audition for the School of American Ballet when she died in 1997."<P>Talk about something that would damage an auditioner's self-esteem!<P>------------------<BR>Jeffrey E. Salzberg, Lighting Designer<BR>This Day in Arts History: <A HREF="http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg/arthist.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg/arthist.htm</A><BR>Online portfolio: <A HREF="http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg" TARGET=_blank>http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg</A> <P><BR>

_________________
Jeffrey E. Salzberg,
Dance Lighting Design
http://www.jeffsalzberg.com


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 Post subject: Re: The Keefer case's aftermath
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2001 8:15 pm 
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Location: SF Bay Area
I'm surprised no one's mentioned it yet but Basheva's article on the Keefer case has been published in the current Dance Europe magazine. See the Dance Europe - Feb 2001 thread.

This article contains a link back to criticaldance.com. Thank you, Emma, and I join Stuart in hoping this will develop stronger ties between Dance Europe and criticaldance.com.

And, oh, congratulations, Basheva, on the article. Well done!

<font size = -1><center>(Edited by salzberg to fix link)</center></font>

<small>[ 08-10-2002, 15:26: Message edited by: salzberg ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: The Keefer case's aftermath
PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2001 9:17 pm 
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Basheva, since I dont' subscribe to Dance Europe, can you give us a brief "Reader's Digest" synopsis(summary)about the gist of your article on Keefer? And CONGRATS!!!!!


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 Post subject: Re: The Keefer case's aftermath
PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2001 3:15 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
trina and everyone, if you would like information about how to subscribe to Dance Europe, here is the link:<BR> <A HREF="http://www.danceeurope.net/docs/SUBSCR/SUB.SHTML" TARGET=_blank>http://www.danceeurope.net/docs/SUBSCR/SUB.SHTML</A>


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 Post subject: Re: The Keefer case's aftermath
PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2001 7:36 am 
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Trina - thank you very much - it is very much appreciated!!<P>I am not sure how much I can say here without infringing on copyright issues of Dance Europe Magazine.<P>I was able to talk on the phone directly to Ms. Keefer (the mother)for about 45 minutes. Then I talked directly to San Francisco Ballet School representative for quite some time too. So I got the facts right from the original sources. <P>In the article I gave a synopsis of the background, and the nature of the complaint that Ms. Keefer filed. I gave an exact quote of the requirements of the ballet school leaving nothing out ( several newspapers omitted parts of the requirements). Then I gave my opinion of the whole thing.<P>I have been very fortunate to have seen a couple of back issues of Dance Europe Magazine as well as this February issue, and I have to tell you, folks, this is a gorgeous publication. A real quality product. High quality creamy paper, full color pictures on almost every page, interesting articles - a really terrific magazine. I am honored, humbled, to be even a very small part of it.


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 Post subject: Re: The Keefer case's aftermath
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2001 11:10 am 
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Basheva, can you please tell us what were the exact requirements that were omitted?


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 Post subject: Re: The Keefer case's aftermath
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2001 11:45 am 
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I would be very happy to, Lucy. <P> Below in the quote are the requirements exactly as published by the school. However, many newspapers - some of them quite prestigious did not mention that the requirements included "an ear for music and an instinct for movement". That sentence was left out - and I think it is also a very important consideration for a dancer.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>“A healthy child with a well-proportioned, slender body; a straight and supple spine; legs that are well turned out from the hip joint, and correctly arched feet. The child should also have an ear for music and an instinct for movement. All beginners are accepted on a trail basis.”<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><BR><p>[This message has been edited by Basheva (edited February 16, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: The Keefer case's aftermath
PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2001 5:50 pm 
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Location: SF Bay Area
Well, I finally saw the full spread in Dance Europe magazine. It is a well-balanced article that however does not shy away from personal opinions. I encourage everyone interested in the case to purchase/subscribe to this magazine. It is btw also a well-produced magazine with stunning photos and high-quality paper (better than many magazines).


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 Post subject: Re: The Keefer case's aftermath
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2001 1:55 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA USA
I too bought the Dance Europe issue in question. I thought it was well written article, BAsheva. Congrats!<BR>Quite a "fancy" magazine. You're all right...much higher quality photos, paper, layount/design than most American publications. NOt unusual, though. If you look at any foreign fashion magazines, they are head and shoulders above American counterparts; so this seems no exception!!


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