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 Post subject: Re: The Keefer Case
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2000 4:51 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2000 11:01 pm
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Location: Reston,VA
Well you are right.<P>We DON'T look at the "funding issue" in the same light.<P>But I HAVE had the benefit of working with several companies that had their development staff (software) located in Canada.<P>THOSE guys SHARED with me the fact that they LIKE having a "university system for everyone", but that they aspired to send their kids to US Universities. Because a degree from one of them carried "more weight".<P>And more than ONE of them mentioned the fact that they seek medical expertise in the US for serious conditions.<P>Yeah, I like the old US way of "take care of yourself on your OWN steam, or sink".<P>I'm a YANK, OK Image?????????

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'God grant you all your desires and accept my own hearty thanks for all your attention to me. Although indeed, those attentions have tried me more than death can now terrify me.'<P>Lady Jane Grey<BR>Wife of Guildford, Lord Dudley King Consort<BR>Daughter of Henry Grey Marquis of Dorset, Duke of Suffolk


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 Post subject: Re: The Keefer Case
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2000 5:29 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Because my tax dollars here in San Diego helps to support the art museum - that does not give me the automatic right to hang my paintings there.<P>Perhaps at the San Francisco Ballet School the whole thing probably could have been handled with a little more care and diplomacy. It's a wonder what a little diplomacy will accomplish.


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 Post subject: Re: The Keefer Case
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2000 5:46 pm 
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Location: Reston,VA
Are you saying then, that the SFB is a national "treasure"??? What makes them special enough to take tax money?<P>What makes THEM any more of a national treasure than say the "Clogging Queens from East, West Virginia"?<P>All of this stuff is "relevant". <P>If ANYTHING, the cloggers represent "Americana" and probably OUGHT to be deserving of tax attention as much as anybody.<P>But you know, the community TURNS out to see those little cloggers. And they don't usually have to ask for anybody's money.<P>Why can't SFB do that? Support themselves?<P><p>[This message has been edited by JaneGrey (edited December 12, 2000).]

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'God grant you all your desires and accept my own hearty thanks for all your attention to me. Although indeed, those attentions have tried me more than death can now terrify me.'<P>Lady Jane Grey<BR>Wife of Guildford, Lord Dudley King Consort<BR>Daughter of Henry Grey Marquis of Dorset, Duke of Suffolk


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 Post subject: Re: The Keefer Case
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2000 1:41 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Picking up some of the issues raised in this topic. <P>I hope that ballet companies show more flexibility on body shape in future, as their modern dance counterparts do currently. There are precedents. PNB have brought some very fine tall women to the stage by showing flexibility. The RBS and then the RB nurtured Wayne Sleep, a fab but very short dancer. Sarah Wildor of the RB has an untypical, full body shape and looked wonderful in 'Gloria' last night. Companies, like Balanchine's NYCB set the current 'skinny, skinny, skinny' aesthetic with its inherent health problems; companies can change it back. <P>If any organisation in America or elsewhere is using selection criteria which it cannot justify, then I think it is reasonable for any funding body to ask for an explanation and perhaps withhold funds. However, in general terms, I'm pleased that SFB and other dance companies gets at least some public funds. If it's right to subsidise museums I don't see why it's not right to subsidise the Arts. That does mean that an appointed group has to make decisions about artistic worth, which will certainly be wrong or inappropriate on occasion, but that's unavoidable and does not undermine the system in my view. <P>I have to say that I hope that reputable arts organisations, like SFB, never cynically take payments from the public for teaching children who will never meet the standards required of the organisation. If they are running a general class fine, but if it with a view to a professional future, then children and parents deserve a truthful appraisal. Hopefully that will be based more on dance ability rather than a body stereotype. <P>


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 Post subject: Re: The Keefer Case
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2000 1:59 am 
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Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Well, I was wrong, the RBS never x-rayed feet, just wrists:<BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>"Those few candidates who get through the first audition return to the School for a second one in March. Once more they are watched as they go through a straightforward ballet class. Then they have a medical test."<P>"The final selection is made on the day of the second audition, except that all successful candidates must then undergo an X-ray of the wrist, which will help to show how tall they will become as adults. To get into the Royal Ballet, a girl should eventually reach between 5'1" and 5'7" and a boy between 5'4" and 5'11".<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><BR>From: Life at the Royal Ballet School. Camille Jesse. Metheun, Inc., New York, 1979, pgs. 18-19.


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 Post subject: Re: The Keefer Case
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2000 2:29 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
You've reminded me Marie that Wayne Sleep maintains that he missed the wrist test, because he had to catch a train home after his audition. He goes on that if he had had the test, he probably wouldn't have been allowed into the RBS. What a loss that would have been for the RB and UK dance.


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 Post subject: Re: The Keefer Case
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2000 6:04 am 
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Posts: 1689
Location: USA
I do like Basheva's "hair shirt" post. Like anything that is a double edged sword, as Basheva states, There will *always, always* be controversy, no matter the subject.<P>The issue of what is fashionable is brought up. Do we know if the child was rejected based on fashionable body type? At her age? The issue of eating disorders is brought up. Is this actually an issue in this case, or one brought up in generalization to support a change in the rules of selection? <P>Some women are to tall to be partnered successfully. (No eating disorder can solve that problem!) Brings up another point. Men aren't rejected because they are too short are they? (Wayne Sleep, above)They are often selected because there's a shortage, short or not! lol. I ramble here, sorry.<P>Many of the issues seem more important because we are dealing with young females, we see it in gymnastics, too. They are not independent adults. Whereas, football players who take steroids to conform to a body type of strength, not visual aesthetics is often overlooked. So, too, the football player who has sustained 8 concussions and continues to play on painkillers, and is admired for being tough. And what about the selection process for sports teams?<P>There are many potential avenues of dance for this young girl to try. Either they will work for her, or not. (selection process aside) Reasons for rejection can be looked at and evaluated for what they may mean. Some reasons are good, some are bad.<P>As an artist, I often get rejected from shows, or galleries. Sometimes I get a reason, sometimes I don't. Some of them are annoying, some understandable. They (the galleries or judges) don't think I'm good enough, or my art is not the "type" they are looking for, or they don't think it would be marketable for them. I could take this as a personal insult, or I could try to change my art to please them, or I could give up, or I could stay on my path and find my circle of light.<P>I would like to say I disagree with the child's mother. There are a lot of things I don't know. How does the girl feel, how does she feel now? What are the exact reasons of rejection? I don't disagree with the ballet company out of hand.


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 Post subject: Re: The Keefer Case
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2000 6:16 am 
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Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
On a personal level I can say with entire honesty I have been rejected for employment (not dance) for the following reasons:<P>1. Twice for my religion<P>2. Once for being too young<P>3. Once for being too old<P>4. "Let go" for being pregnant (I was already an employee)<P>In the above four instances I was actually told the reason, so it is not an assumption on my part. <P>Life goes on.......<P>I am hoping that the severe and injurious physical aesthetic that is now imposed on women in the ballet world (as well as other spheres) will ameliorate.<P>I hope that auditions are conducted with some kindness and thought and that decisions are made and communicated in a caring way. There is no need to further abrade a bruised hope. <P>I hope that the San Francisco Ballet School continues to train qualified dancers that we will all enjoy. <P>


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 Post subject: Re: The Keefer Case
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2000 6:37 am 
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The Chicago Sun Times reports: <BR><A HREF="http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/dance12.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/dance12.html</A><P>I agree with Eleanor D'Antuono. At Fredrika's age, it is too young to determine what the child will look like later. It seems the issue is nothing to do with lack of mechanical attributes, in which case, I may agree with the mother now. At some point down the road, if the child can't prove herself in ability, then it's another story. The company seems to be descriminating against something that is amorphous based on the girl's age. I don't know if I would sue, but I may take my child elsewhere. <p>[This message has been edited by Maggie (edited December 13, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: The Keefer Case
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2000 8:09 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
An opinion by Allan Ulrich:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B><A HREF="http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2000/12/13/ED133935.DTL" TARGET=_blank>Body Type Controversy<BR>Ballet Is No Place for a Real Body</A></B><P>Allan Ulrich, SF Chronicle<P><BR>ONLY, one hopes, in San Francisco: The San Francisco Ballet is under attack these days for being much too good at what it does. There is a great misunderstanding about the nature of classical ballet.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><B><A HREF="http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2000/12/13/ED133935.DTL" TARGET=_blank>More</A></B>


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 Post subject: Re: The Keefer Case
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2000 8:12 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
And a provocative, dissenting opinion from Patricia Chang:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B><A HREF="http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2000/12/13/ED73230.DTL" TARGET=_blank>Body Type Controversy<BR>Paying an Awful Price for Physical Perfection</A></B><P>Patricia Chang, SF Chronicle<P>I CAN'T HELP but see the connection between Fredrika Near Keefer's desire to dance freely in her own strong body and my own grandmother's fight to move beyond the walls of her home in China. At the turn of the 20th century, my grandmother had no choice about her bound feet. They were considered graceful, lissome and feminine -- a stereotypical image. Now, 100 years later, trapped in similar stereotypes, a major San Francisco institution is denying another little girl the chance to dance.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><B><A HREF="http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2000/12/13/ED73230.DTL" TARGET=_blank>More</A></B>


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 Post subject: Re: The Keefer Case
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2000 12:42 pm 
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Location: SF Bay Area
More opinions and articles:<P><B><A HREF="http://www0.mercurycenter.com/premium/local/docs/ballet08sf.htm" TARGET=_blank>Ballet school faces complaint alleging bias</A></B><BR>by Michael Bazeley, San Jose Mercury News<P><B><A HREF="http://cgi.mercurycenter.com/premium/local/docs/bay08a.htm" TARGET=_blank>Mom says body-type bias kept girl from ballet school</A></B><BR>San Jose Mercury News<P><B><A HREF="http://cgi.mercurycenter.com/premium/local/docs/ballet08p.htm" TARGET=_blank>Ballet school's `body type'standard draws fire from mom</A></B><BR>San Jose Mercury News<p>[This message has been edited by Azlan (edited December 13, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: The Keefer Case
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2000 4:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 4725
Location: Australia
oh my! where will i find the time to catch up on all this reading! i wish you guys would slow down a bit!!! Image<P>anyway, thanks marie for the jessel quote - i LOVE the wayne sleep story, stuart (thanks for that!). these days, i'm sure the predicted height that any vocational ballet school would be most pleased to take, would have to be very different from what it was in 1979. in fact the predicted 5'1" dancer, might NOT get a look in, any more, at all...... that reminds me of lucette aldous, who is about 4' nothing - well actually 4'10" or 11". she went to the RBS from australia, way back when (1950's), on scholarship (no wrist test for foreigners!). then, of course was NOT able to be offered a job with their company when she graduated, because she was too short for the corps (where every new member began). <P>so she had to go elsewhere to look for work. fortunately she was successful, in a smaller company (rambert) where she had time to build her skills up to principal level - at which point she was THEN welcome at the royal ballet, as a principal - because as a soloist or principal, one's height doesn't matter so much - as long as one can find a suitable partner. as all our readers will know, nureyev considered her a desirable partner, so THAT couldn't have been a problem!<P>so the height thing has always been with us - its just that fashion dictates different heights at different times. when lucette was dancing, short was good - you wouldn't have been a desirable commodity as a dancer if you were over about 5'4" - but she was TOO short...it's a demanding world - fashion, that is.<P>jane grey - i'm in a rush, and my brain's a bit christmas/show scrambled, but i am not sure what your 'i'm a yank' post means - is it sarcastic? or not? i can't tell (sorry!), i.e. what exactly are you saying about funding, vis a vis government conditions on those funds? (not wanting to turn this into yet another funding thread, guys!). but just wanting to understand jane's points clearly.<BR>thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: The Keefer Case
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2000 9:03 pm 
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Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Yet another article:<P>By Gina Arnold from Salon<BR> <A HREF="http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2000/12/14/ballet_body/index.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2000/12/14/ballet_body/index.html</A>


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 Post subject: Re: The Keefer Case
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2000 9:35 pm 
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Location: SF Bay Area
Stuart, as a correspondent for Dance Europe, do you see differences in how European companies approach the selection of students? Isn't it true that almost every company in Europe is highly subsidized by taxpayers who expect the ballet companies to be highly discriminating? Therefore, isn't it the European taxpaying community that demands discrimination when it comes to body types?<p>[This message has been edited by Azlan (edited December 13, 2000).]


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