CriticalDance Forum

Critics: they just get worse
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Author:  Cassandra [ Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:41 am ]
Post subject:  Critics: they just get worse

A glaring error and an unwarrented slur in two paragraphs.

Mark Monahan of the Daily Telgraph is under the impression that he saw Russian dancing giraffes at Covent Garden this summer

One can barely imagine how keen Royal Ballet director Monica Mason must have been for her troupe to deliver the goods after the Bolshoi's summer residency in Covent Garden – after all, no one likes to be outdone in their home town.

And yet, while the Muscovites' dazzling physical rigour was always going to be hard to follow, the Royal rose serenely to the challenge on Saturday, offering an opening evening rich with unflashy dramatic punch, and reminding one, too, that ballerinas don't have to be the height of giraffes to make the hairs prick.

Well, first of all the Bolshoi Ballet was appearing at the Coliseum and not Covent Garden this year. Secondly, why giraffes? None of the Bolshoi's female dancers appearing in La Bayadere were excessively tall anyway so his insult was particularly inappropriate.

I can't help thinking this is just another example of a rather unsavoury chauvinism that exists within a certain coterie of UK critics. With the Royal Ballet struggling to some sort of recovery under matron Mason, Mr Monahan and his ilk see fit to belittle other companies in the hope of making their favourite troupe appear better than it is "Hey we still can't produce an international home-grown star, but at least we don't have dancing giraffes".

Yeah, right.

The full review can be viewed here: ... let108.xml

Author:  salzberg [ Wed Oct 10, 2007 10:18 am ]
Post subject: 

I'd kinda like to see a dancing giraffe, actually.

Author:  djb [ Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:04 pm ]
Post subject: 

Well, actually, Jeff, you have seen a dancing giraffe -- "dancinggiraffe" is part of my email address.

(Personally, I don't consider being likened to a giraffe insulting...)

Author:  salzberg [ Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:07 pm ]
Post subject: 

djb wrote:
"dancinggiraffe" is part of my email address.

However could I have forgotten that?

(Personally, I don't consider being likened to a giraffe insulting...)

It's a compliment to the giraffe.

Author:  coda [ Thu Oct 11, 2007 5:29 pm ]
Post subject: 

I could agree with Djb that being likened to a giraffe is not insulting. It is a magnificent creature, elegant, dignified and graceful. Unfortunately, the Telegraph critic DID intend to insult by pointing only to its height and, probably, disproportionate composition. The way that phrase is made can be described only as rude.
Something makes me wonder if this critic writes about what he really has seen or he just uses the brochure and hearsay for his review? :roll:
Well spotted, Cassandra, that, firstly, Monahan thinks that the Bolshoi performed at Covent Garden.
Secondly, had he been there he could see that all Bolshoi principal ballerinas have beautiful physique. :P
And, thirdly, he should know that the Royal Ballet had and still have such tall ballerinas that male partners for them have to be imported from overseas. One such ballerina left the company at the end of the last season, another one will be dancing La Bayadere next week. And nothing is wrong with that as long as they are good professional dancers. And they both are.
I know that dancers respect their good professional colleagues regardless of their height. Could the Telegraph critic learn good manners from them please? :wink:

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