Dear Dirk:<P>I wish you would have taken the time to enjoy my prose which, by the way, can be found in abundance all over Criticaldance! If so, you would never in a zillion years write that Margaret Wente is objective and the Globe & Mail’s “sanest columnist.” She is neither.<P>After reading the below, I’m sure you’ll come to your senses and jump on the Kimberly Glasco bandwagon with me. Of course, you will be sitting in the back. I’m doing the driving here! <P>Margaret Wente conveniently left out some facts—proven in court—when she scribbled the following:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR> “The dancers are also dismayed by a letter written by Betty Oliphant that got big play in another newspaper a couple of weeks ago. In it, Ms. Oliphant, the legendary founder of the National Ballet School, claimed to know the true facts about Ms. Glasco's cruel dismissal for crossing Mr. Kudelka. And she wrote that Ms. Glasco deserves to dance for many more years.<P>The chairman of the ballet's board, Henry Pankratz, disputes Ms. Oliphant's version, which is identical to Ms. Glasco's. More he will not say, because matters are still in litigation.” <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Below is a passage from Betty Oliphant’s letter to the National Post:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR> “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.” <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Below is a passage from my posting to Criticaldance: “Martha Graham was oh so right! Movement never lies.”<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR> The National Ballet of Canada moves more truthfully than it speaks. I wish I could take credit for those words of wisdom but they belong to the late Antony Tudor—in the context of man of course. Below is a spoonful of truth for the NBoC. Open wide! Of course, that’s much easier written than done. You’d have better luck feeding a pill to a member of the feline race! Below is a passage from arbitrator Christopher Albertyn’s interim award to Kimberly Glasco lifted verbatim courtesy of <A HREF="http://www.kim-glasco.com." TARGET=_blank>www.kim-glasco.com.</A> <P>“When Ms. Glasco received notice of the non-renewal of her contract and her dispute was made public, Ballet spokespersons took the position that Ms. Glasco never raised financial concerns or the Swan Lake production with the board. For example, Ms. Wilder, the Ballet’s Executive Director, interviewed on January 5, 1999 on a radio program, ‘This Morning,’ broadcast by public radio throughout Canada by the CBC, said the following: ‘Ms. Glasco never did speak up at a board meeting, ever... The minutes will show it. Her claims are absolutely incorrect. In fact, they are baffling, quite honestly. She not only had never spoken up about our new production of Swan Lake, she never spoke up about fiscal responsibility or any such topic.’<P>The same position was advanced by the Ballet in an article in which Ms. Wilder was quoted in the Toronto Star, on January 7, 1999, and, on January 11, 1999, on the television program, ‘The National’, which is broadcast throughout Canada by the CBC. (This can be viewed in its entirety at <A HREF="http://www.infoculture.cbc.ca." TARGET=_blank>www.infoculture.cbc.ca.</A> Click on ‘Dance,’ ‘James Kudelka renews contract’ and then scroll down to ‘Brawl at the Ballet’ and click on it. During the interview Wilder said: ‘She (Glasco) never did speak out at a board meeting.’)<P>The position adopted by the Ballet was erroneous, and it appears that the Ballet has not publicly acknowledged the error. From a reading of the minutes it is clear that Ms. Glasco did raise these matters at two board meetings, as described.”<P>In a conversation with me (the author of the below ‘Dance Ballerina Dance,’) Allen Marple, former Chairman of the ballet’s Board of Directors, had the following to say about Glasco’s claims: “...she said she was fired because she spoke out at board meetings: well she did not! I can tell you precisely what she said in October which was: ‘Weren’t our reviews in New York marvelous!’ ...And then in December she said: ‘Didn’t we do La Bayadère beautifully!’ Which is, of course, patting herself on the back! She did do a good job. There’s no question about that.” <P>The above report from arbitrator Christopher Albertyn clearly confirms that Kim Glasco did indeed speak out at board meetings contrary to the above BS from the NBoC. This does not look good on the ballet. Their dishonesty strongly suggests Kudelka fired Glasco NOT for artistic reasons but because she spoke out at board meetings and didn’t support him when he ran for artistic director in 1995. For them to appeal a ruling that Glasco be temporarily reinstated while the arbitrator decides on the case is very cruel. This has dragged on far too long. Apparently the NBoC has bottomless pockets when it comes to destroying a living work of art. They certainly don’t pay to keep their talented dancers in Canada. If they did, Jaimie Tapper and Johan Persson would still be at the NBoC rather than the Royal Ballet. <P>The Ballet knows they are wrong. Kimberly Glasco is not artistically incompatible. James Kudelka is the only one at the Ballet who is artistically incompatible. The Doughboy of the Ballet world is on an out of control ego trip paid for by the National Ballet of Canada, taxpayers and every ballet-goer who gives to the Ballet. If you disagree, ask yourself why Kudelka is so obsessed with redoing Petipa’s classics? Why would he erase the “after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov” from the souvenir program for his version of Swan Lake? Why would he fire his best classical dancer and silent actress? A dancer who according to the NBoC’s 98/99 souvenir yearbook is “recognized as one of the world’s finest interpreters of Petipa.” <P>IF YOU TAKE THE TIME TO REVIEW THE FACTS, THERE IS ONLY ONE SIDE TO TAKE IN THIS DISPUTE. The side of right will eventually prevail over the side of evil. <P>Below is another fudged version of the truth from Margaret Wente:<P>[quote] “In any event, Ms. Oliphant, like everyone else in this family feud, has a history. She hasn't been on speaking terms with Mr. Kudelka ever since they had a falling-out when he was a ballet school student.” <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>They did have a falling out but they certainly have been on speaking terms since Kudelka’s days at the National Ballet School of Canada. I lifted the below passage from Miss O’s “My Life in Dance.”<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR> “When he (Kudelka) was twenty-one he told me a story that showed me how angry he had been with me some years earlier when he felt I was interfering with his life.<P>James was walking up the street near my Cabbagetown house. He was sticking a pin into a Plasticine figure which represented me. He turned the corner to see an ambulance outside my house, into which I was being carried. James explained that he was filled with guilt, although of course he was not responsible for what was in fact a minor health problem.” <HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>By the way, I interviewed Betty Oliphant and she was quite protective of James Kudelka. She is not a vindictive woman. It is a shame the National Ballet of Canada doesn’t heed her words of wisdom. Here’s another FACT: James Kudelka never did find the time to graduate from high school. <P>Bottomline: The National Ballet of Canada has no leadership. <BR> <P>------------------<BR>Michael Goldbarth<p>[This message has been edited by grace (edited July 11, 2000).]
The world revolves around the beauty of the ballerina.