In case there was a teeny-weeny, itsy-bitsy doubt in your mind as to which side to choose in the Glasco \ Kudelka dispute, no less an authority than Miss ‘O,’ Betty Oliphant, has come out 100% behind Kimberly Glasco! Below is her letter to the National Post which can also be viewed at <A HREF="http://www.nationalpost.com" TARGET=_blank>www.nationalpost.com</A> Search for “Glasco” to read Oliphant’s letter and many other articles about the Goddess of Dance!<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR> K. Corey Keeble’s letter sadly emphasizes that the facts of the Kim Glasco case have been lost in a maze of misinformation (Judge’s Tune, June 9). The freedom of artistic directors to run their companies according to their own vision, which I support fully, is not at issue. The real question is this: Does an employer (artistic director or not) have free rein to treat his employees in a cavalier and insensitive way? James Kudelka’s impulsive action was, quite simply, an abuse of power.<P>Here’s what happened: Kim Glasco was one of two dancers on the National Ballet’s board of directors. She suggested to the board that it might be wise to postpone the proposed new version of Swan Lake, a version that James Kudelka wished to choreograph at a cost of more than $1.5-million. Kim had valid reasons for suggesting this. She had witnessed dancers being laid off -- the company’s roster of 73 dancers had by then been reduced to 45 -- and as well, the National Ballet was already facing a daunting deficit.<P>Immediately after the board’s meeting, James took Kim to his office and told her abruptly that her contract would not be renewed. It took him less than 10 minutes. And this to a principal dancer with 20 years’ service to the company. Here is where the confusion began. Realizing that Kudelka’s action could not be justified, the board issued a statement claiming that Kim had not mentioned Swan Lake at the meeting. Their lawyers have since admitted in court that this was untrue.<P>Next, James claimed that Kim did not fit in with his vision for the company. Then vicious remarks about her abilities as a dancer began to surface. She was “unmusical” it was said, and “past her prime” -- this although just a short time earlier she had received rave reviews in Montreal, New York and Toronto.<P>People ask, “Why does she not go elsewhere?” In the ballet world, companies prefer to develop their own dancers through their schools and to have them work their way from the corps de ballet to soloist or principal dancer -- if they have the talent. Because she is a beautiful dancer with an easy, flexible body, Kim Glasco has, in my professional opinion, the ability to dance for many more years. It is cruel in the extreme to deprive her of this opportunity.<P>Betty Oliphant, <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Below is an excerpt from an article I posted on CBC Infoculture entitled “The Sugar Plum Fairy has left the building!” By the way, no newspaper in Canada would publish any of my article. It contains some very interesting insights from Betty Oliphant, founder of Canada’s National Ballet School and former Associate Artistic Director of the National Ballet of Canada.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR> The dancers of the National Ballet of Canada composed the below letter to inform Glasco she was no longer their rep to the board:<P>(February 22, 1999) Dear Kimberly:<P>We are writing to confirm that when we last met as a group we asked you to resign as our representative on the Board of Directors and that you have refused to do so. Accordingly, you have left us no choice but to elect your replacement. This is your notice that we have held an election and voted a new member to the Board to act as our representative. It is our position that you are no longer our representative to the Board of Directors.<P>Yours truly,<P>The Dancers of the National Ballet of Canada<P>The “Yours truly” was such a nice touch! According to her former colleagues, the vote to replace Glasco was unanimous. Insiders say many were very sympathetic towards Glasco’s plight; just not enough to go on the record. They obviously didn’t want to join her in the unemployment line. On Open-Mike with Mike Bullard, Principal Dancer Rex Harrington rambled on and on trying to formulate a politically correct response concerning Glasco’s dismissal. Only a fool would have given a straight answer. Harrington has aspirations of becoming a coach with the NBoC when he hangs up his ballet slippers. Despite having most of the ballet world dead set against her, Glasco still walks in beauty like the night...<P>So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,<BR>The smiles that win, the tints that glow,<BR>But tell of days in goodness spent,<BR>A mind at peace with all below,<BR>A heart whose love is innocent! <P>Forget about Byron. No poetry could possibly match the beauty of this ballerina siren. Unfortunately for Glasco, the only thing she has in common with the inspiration for the above poetry is beauty. Words like calm and peace do not describe her mind as she stops to survey the reception area. The coast is clear! Before you can say James Alexander Kudelka, Kimberly Ann Glasco is safe and sound inside the friendly confines of Studio Prima. Her fears were unfounded; today is an off day for the NBoC. Since her exodus, Glasco has been taking class with long-time friend Kevin Pugh. The two made for quite a striking duo at the 1981 Moscow International Ballet Competition, turning on both English and foreign judges with a ballet based on a poem by Lord Byron (Le Corsaire). Who could possibly resist the dewy charms of this ballerina siren? Certainly not Kevin Pugh! He was Kimberly’s real-life sweetheart for a spell in school. At the time, many marveled at how easy it was for Pugh to be Glasco’s slave in the pas de deux from Le Corsaire. Now you know!<P>Over the course of a dozen curtain calls, the Muscovites showered them with flowers galore! Glasco danced home with the silver medal in the senior woman’s division along with 2,000 rubles ($3,000 Canadian). One of the judges was none other than the NBoC’s very own Magdalena Popa (Principal Ballet Mistress since /82). Judge Betty Oliphant (founder of the National Ballet School and former Associate Artistic Director of the NBoC) was dancing on cloud 99: “When we went to the bus to go home they surrounded the bus calling their names. They thought Pugh and Glasco should have won. (Pugh won silver.) They’re so nice the Russians. They want the best to win.” Ballet Master David Scott (no longer with the National) was particularly red-faced over Glasco’s silver. Before the competition, he actually told Glasco to her face she was nothing more than window dressing for Pugh! Interviewed by Paula Citron for Dance in Canada, Pugh didn’t hold anything back: “I’m happier about her silver medal than I am about mine because she’s a strong girl, a fighter, and she pulled it off!”<P>A 20 year old Glasco was just beginning to blossom as an actress on stage. Everybody could see the foundation was there to develop a very special relationship with her audience. Today, the 39 year old Glasco is a ballerina dinosaur by the National’s youthful standards. “I don’t feel she’s declining. I started training Kim Glasco when she was ten. I taught her in my class for 4 years. She’s a totally natural, very instinctive dancer.” When 81 year old Betty Oliphant talks ballet you shut up and listen if you know what’s good for you! “It’s all there. It’s not a very cerebral thing. It’s an instinct. You have to have a good dramatic sense. It’s playing a part, taking a role. And I think Kim expresses it through herself well.” The National would be wise to heed the advice of this Stone Age ballerina. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>[edited by SOS just to take out three 'Edited' messages]<p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited June 12, 2000).]
The world revolves around the beauty of the ballerina.