Here is an e-mail I sent to The Independent three days ago. To date I have not received a reply, but I will post one if it comes:
To the Obituaries Editor
I am one of the Directors of CriticalDance.com and I am writing to let you
know the anger that the above obituary has caused around the world.
As part of our usual procedures, We posted a link to the piece and I give
below the link to the post where this is given. If you read subsequent
posts you will see that our readers, who include a number of ex-professionals
were shocked and surprised at a number of the comments from John Gregory. http://forum.criticaldance.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=4;t=001628#000019
In particular, this obituary appears to be based on much second-hand rumour.
The Russian ballet scene is notoriously competitive and anyone as successful
as Dudinskaya will be the subject of jealousy. Thus great care is required
in differentiating between well founded comments and malicious gossip.
There is no indication that Gregory has tried to do this.
Gregory's obituary of Richard Buckle published a couple of years ago is
even more vitriolic. Given that John Gregory was a relatively minor figure
on the UK ballet scene, who suffered the trauma of his small company Harlequin
being forced to close, it does seem at least possible that he was jealous
of those who achieved greater recognition in the world of ballet.
As at least one of our readers comments, an obituary like this does little
for the reputation of The Independent in the dance world. May I suggest
that you discuss any remaining obits from Gregory with your dance correspondents
to see if they represent a fair summation of the lives and careers of the
UK Director, CriticalDance.com
<small>[ 06 February 2003, 03:27 PM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>