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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:07 pm 
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Posts: 33
When posting gleefully the news last Thursday never could I foresee that it will be switched to a new line of talk involving certain social and cultural peculiarities in Russia, Europe, etc.
It is a happy wonderful ‘trend’ among female dancers now that they don’t deprive themselves of becoming mothers as was the case with their predecessors not so long ago. Very few of them dared then to interrupt their careers. It was so sad to listen to Galina Sergeyevna Ulanova saying in an interview in the last year of her life: “If I had a child! But my parents begged me: Galya, in no case should you have children. It must be either theatre or family.”
I have a great admiration for ballerinas when they decide to make a gap in their short career in order to have babies. There can be some apprehension that the come-back does not guarantee the same roles and the same status. Nevertheless, they take this break. (The Bolshoi’s Principal Marianna Ryzhkina even did it twice (!) and continues dancing the leading roles now: http://www.bolshoi.ru/en/persons/ballet/65/ , while her elder son, although in corps de ballet, already appeared in some solo parts: http://www.bolshoi.ru/persons/ballet/1470/)
In case of Mariinsky the situation was rather extraordinary when four ladies (principals and leading soloists) took maternity leave at the same time. What a headache for the management!
Yes, theatres don’t make announcements about it. It would be especially problematic for the administration of the Bolshoi or Mariinsky, with their personnel in thousands. At the same time I don’t know any ballerina, or any other mother incidentally, who wouldn’t enjoyed being congratulated on this occasion, obviously most significant in her personal life. Therefore, I don’t feel uncomfy when rejoicing at happy motherhood.
In fact, my message expressed just a joy that the excellent ballerinas happily achieved what they were yearning for, which is the most important, and that we can now look forward to enjoying their art again in a few months.


Last edited by Soutenu on Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:09 pm 
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Sorry, was posted twice in error.


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:21 pm 
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Posts: 1746
Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
NataliaN wrote:
Catherine, ABT's On Pointe magazine (which I assume is now available digitally, in addition to in-print) regularly publishes wedding and 'baby news' photos. I remember the lovely photos of Julie Kent's wedding, for example. I seem to recall similar news about NYCB dancers in that troupe's magazine, too. One soloist couple's engagement was just announced, for example. Maybe it's just in America that such news is 'news'?


Natalya, I think that is a different issue: ABT, where the dancer is employed, is announcing that news in such a case. I have, for example, in reviews been asked to remove any mention of dancer's personal lives. I mean for larger print publications. It is not considered ethical ... unless you have permission to publish about the personal life of the individual, as a writer, you tread a thin line to do so with an official publication.

Since ABT prints their own "On Pointe" magazine the dancers in question are obviously aware of the announcement being printed. And yes I think probably it's more common in the US, and with larger name dancers. Although I know some smaller companies also make announcements. It depends.

Quote:
At the same time I don’t know any ballerina, or any other mother incidentally, who wouldn’t enjoyed being congratulated on this occasion, obviously most significant in her personal life. Therefore, I don’t feel uncomfy when rejoicing at happy motherhood.

Absolutely. I never suggested it is not a joyful occasion. I'm speaking of the ethics behind publishing the information as a professional journalist without the individual's direct permission.

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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season
PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 2:54 am 
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Location: USA-Switzerland
Soutenu, I certainly share your feelings about the joyfulness and also the human significance in the ballet world. Natalia, you have illustrated a perhaps changing and healthy direction, by citing ABT's On Pointe magazine's openness and and general good will in this area.

Catherine, I certainly understand your concern for responsible journalism and it is indeed a thin line that journalists have to respect.

Also cultural differences can be viewed differently.

I think that you all have made excellent points and expressed a lot of sincere and deeply felt thinking.


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season
PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 7:56 am 
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Posts: 374
Buddy, I began subscribing to On Pointe in 1978...in response to the brief commercial during the PBS live telecast of the triple bill that featured Baryshnikov/Kirkland in Theme & Variations! The issue that I received, even then, had baby and wedding photos. It's nothing new. Then again, 'back in the day' only the news about traditional engagements/weddings would be published; never 'Ms X and Mr Y are shacking up in an apartment.'

In a way, I wonder if the 'ethics' about not publishing wedding news or baby news now is because it may now be considered NOT-PC to focus only of traditional couplings? (i.e., To focus only on conservative couplings, as before, may be considered discriminatory against those who choose to not be wed in a civil court or house of worship...or, if LBGT, do not have the option in most US states to even marry, if they wish.) Most remaining newspapers today seem to have stopped publishing photos of brides in their white gowns, for example, so as not to offend people who choose to not marry or simply cannot.

related to this - One of my recent clients (a company) stopped the practice of throwing wedding or baby showers after complaints from employees that this is discriminatory. One dear colleague of mine would not attend baby showers because he felt that it was 'like a knife in the stomach' because he would likely never be able to marry his boyfriend and adopt, in his conservative state/locale. Celebrating wedding or baby showers in an organization that receives public funding is an ethical no-no. (Of course, a group of friends can privately hold showers off-site, away from the office, if they wish.)


Last edited by NataliaN on Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:53 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season
PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:01 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:57 pm
Posts: 33
[/quote]
I'm speaking of the ethics behind publishing the information as a professional journalist without the individual's direct permission.[/quote]

Oh Catherine, what information we are talking about? This is not about who loves whom, who flirts with whom, who spent a weekend with whom, who divorced whom, etc.
In this case we have information about the new human beings born. No ballerina wants to hide this event she is so proud of. Whenever I interviewed and wrote about dancers with children no any other question received more enthusiastic response from them as the question about their offsprings.
Congratulations to mothers don’t call for ethical guiding or, in other words, moral philosophy, including its professional application. This is exactly the case when “the individual's direct permission” is not required. No need to hesitate whether congratulations are right or wrong, will help or harm. It is an absolutely clear-cut case.


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season
PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:39 pm 
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Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
Soutenu, again, I am not speaking about personally congratulating a dancer (in person) about a pregnancy or marriage.

I will repeat what I wrote above: "Absolutely. I never suggested it is not a joyful occasion. I'm speaking of the ethics behind publishing the information as a professional journalist without the individual's direct permission."

I am saying that professional publications typically do not (and numerous times have asked me to remove for the sake of ethics) mention offstage relationships. Unless the focus of the article is on the relationship itself (which is unfortunately rather rare these days).

As moderator of this forum I am NOT allowed to post news of pregnancies and marriages by the dancers unless the press office issues that information. It is considered unofficial otherwise, and an intrusion on the individual's privacy, should they not want that information made public. It often occurs that news is heard "word of mouth" and then is passed through the chain and ends up on a forum. Perhaps the dancer did not want that information published? Were they asked?

I know for a fact of at least one marriage by a Mariinsky dancer that was purposely kept quiet and not publicized. Could I have printed that news here on the forum? Sure. Would it have been right to do so? No.

As a side note some of the dancers who just gave birth do NOT have photos of their newborns on facebook. This is also a privacy issue.

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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season
PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 4:43 am 
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Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
Today's News (May 1, 2013 in Russia) --

Today, on May Day, Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, who is currently visiting St Petersburg, has awarded Valery Gergiev the title Hero of Labour of Russia. The title has been awarded for the first time in the newest history of Russia. Besides Maestro Gergiev, four other Russian citizens received the title today.

Vladimir Putin established the title Hero of Labour of Russia on March 29, 2013. The title was established in order to raise the public recognition and prestige of selfless and conscientious labour. The Hero of Labour of Russia title is awarded to Russian citizens whose work, whether in state, public or economic capacity, has particularly contributed to Russia’s welfare and prosperity.

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Author, "Vaganova Today: The Preservation of Pedagogical Tradition" (available on amazon.com)


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season
PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 6:49 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 2:40 pm
Posts: 50
We also have to remember that in this day and age there are reasons to keep your child out of the limelight (although more important for Hollywood stars probably). There are kidnappings, threats, etc. Sometimes the two parents could be feuding and separated and so the mother wants to keep info private for legal, safety, and other reasons. There is no way to know. We can't always assume that a mother wants her info trumpeted to the world.

I am sure a mother is always joyous when she has a baby, but I think if I were a ballerina I would feel it is nobody's business. I wouldn't care if the info got out, but I would wonder, "Why does anyone care? Just watch me on stage and let me have my privacy!" but maybe I am strange.


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season
PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 7:08 am 
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NataliaN wrote:
One dear colleague of mine would not attend baby showers because he felt that it was 'like a knife in the stomach' because he would likely never be able to marry his boyfriend and adopt, in his conservative state/locale.


I wish he didn't feel that strongly. To me that comes off as "sour grapes"....I don't mean to pass judgment on your colleague. He's probably a very nice person. But a "knife in the stomach" seems a bit extreme. As a gay man myself I am never upset by someone celebrating something I can't celebrate. Although, on the flip side, I have given many, many wedding gifts to friends and their marriages lasted maybe 5 years. And I have had to give a NEW gift to the same person for her second marriage. Meanwhile, I have been with my partner for 20 years, and can't receive gifts! LOL Well, I guess now I am having "sour grapes."

Sorry to the moderator for going too off topic. To put it back on, I do think there is a blurring of the lines between work and personal lives. I think it sometimes can't be avoided, because we are human beings, who care about our friends and family members, etc. but I think public figures (and ballet dancers are public figures) probably crave a little more privacy than average people do, since they are a magnet to crazies. I have been backstage at operas and seen how some people want to monopolize a star's time even if there is a long line of other people waiting for an autograph. Most of the really famous stars have someone who guides the person away so it does not look like the opera singer is being rude, rather the employee of the theatre or the star's manager trying to get everyone his/her turn. So I think you have people who for some unknown reason want to insert themselves into these stars' lives, and some are crazy. So these opera singers or ballerinas have to be careful. These art forms are already a magnet to obsessives like myself! We collect every cd (studio and bootleg) we can get our hands on of an artist). But some of us just want the artistry and do not care about the person behind the artist. Others can be very intrusive in these artists' lives. And I bet it can be very scary at times.


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 4:06 am 
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Location: London UK
PenneallaNorma wrote:
Sorry to the moderator for going too off topic. To put it back on, I do think there is a blurring of the lines between work and personal lives. I think it sometimes can't be avoided, because we are human beings, who care about our friends and family members, etc. but I think public figures (and ballet dancers are public figures) probably crave a little more privacy than average people do, since they are a magnet to crazies. I have been backstage at operas and seen how some people want to monopolize a star's time even if there is a long line of other people waiting for an autograph. Most of the really famous stars have someone who guides the person away so it does not look like the opera singer is being rude, rather the employee of the theatre or the star's manager trying to get everyone his/her turn. So I think you have people who for some unknown reason want to insert themselves into these stars' lives, and some are crazy. So these opera singers or ballerinas have to be careful. These art forms are already a magnet to obsessives like myself! We collect every cd (studio and bootleg) we can get our hands on of an artist). But some of us just want the artistry and do not care about the person behind the artist. Others can be very intrusive in these artists' lives. And I bet it can be very scary at times.


I couldn't agree more, there are umpteen instances of 'crazies' making the lives of dancers/singers miserable due to their personal obsessions, indeed I wrote a piece on just this subject very recently : viewtopic.php?f=33&t=36809

Perhaps artists see these people as an occupational hazard and whilst I imagine most are happy with being asked (courteously) to sign a programme or CD, I'm surprised at how pushy some people are becoming. To give an example last month I was waiting with a friend outside a stage door for some dancers that we spending the rest of the evening with. The stars of the performance emerged and were immediately surrounded by people demanding they sign numerous cast sheets (for sale on ebay?) and pose for photos with them. It wasn't polite and the stars in question did not look happy, particularly the girl. To me that's a form of bullying; though of course there are far more sinister forms of obsession that some artists have been known to face.


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 5:44 am 
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Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
PenneallaNorma wrote:
We also have to remember that in this day and age there are reasons to keep your child out of the limelight (although more important for Hollywood stars probably). There are kidnappings, threats, etc. Sometimes the two parents could be feuding and separated and so the mother wants to keep info private for legal, safety, and other reasons. There is no way to know. We can't always assume that a mother wants her info trumpeted to the world.

I am sure a mother is always joyous when she has a baby, but I think if I were a ballerina I would feel it is nobody's business. I wouldn't care if the info got out, but I would wonder, "Why does anyone care? Just watch me on stage and let me have my privacy!" but maybe I am strange.


PN, yes, I share these sentiments exactly.

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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 9:37 am 
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Cassandra wrote:
I'm surprised at how pushy some people are becoming. To give an example last month I was waiting with a friend outside a stage door for some dancers that we spending the rest of the evening with. The stars of the performance emerged and were immediately surrounded by people demanding they sign numerous cast sheets (for sale on ebay?) and pose for photos with them. It wasn't polite and the stars in question did not look happy, particularly the girl. To me that's a form of bullying; though of course there are far more sinister forms of obsession that some artists have been known to face.


I bet it is more annoying than it used to be now that eBay and online sites exist. I think in the past fans only wanted personal items (programs or recordings they were keeping) signed.

A good friend's mother-in-law was a well known soprano no longer with us, and he said sometimes fans would have a whole stack of LP records that they wanted her to sign. Not only is that obnoxious to the star but it is obnoxious to the other fans who just want one signature.

In my 20s I went backstage and got an autograph occasionally, but over time I realized that a signed Leontyne Price cd meant nothing to anyone I knew. They were like, "Who is that?" And I also realized I didn't really care that I had a signature. I simply cared about seeing the person on stage. Their performance in my memory is the big thing. All that plus witnessing a soprano lash out at some fans after she was fired from the Met made me realize, "Why do I even come back here? I'm not getting anything out of it, and some of these stars obviously don't like it, so why bother?" and I never went backstage again after witnessing the "battle"..... It is also a big waste of time to wait for the star to change clothes and come out and wait your turn for an autograph that won't really mean anything to you years from now. So now I just enjoy the performance on stage and if it is great I try to burn it into my memory and that is enough.


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 10:03 am 
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Location: London UK
This item concerning Daniil Korsuntsev that I found on Ismene Brown's blog, deserves an airing here:

http://www.ismeneb.com/ismeneb.com/Blog ... guard.html

Korsuntsev went front of house to watch a colleague dance and was ejected by a security guard. Unthinkable not so long ago but perhaps indicative of the low esteem in which the dancers are held in the present Kirov set up.


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 Post subject: Re: Mariinsky 2012-2013 (230th) season
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 12:44 pm 
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Posts: 374
Very sad commentary, Cassandra.

Just saw the gala live on ARTE. I coulnted 7 ballet numbers (including the modern Sacre) and 14 non-ballet (opera or other)...15 non-ballet numbers, if you count Putin's speech (ha-ha). I guess that ballet was lucky to scrape one-third of tonight's program.

Loved Kondaurova in Dying Swan the best, although Lopatkina's Pavlova & Cecchetti, Alexander Sergeev (with Yesina) in a modern ballet, and Kolegova/Kimin's Etudes were also fantastic. By the way, who was the 2nd solo guy in Etudes? Schklyarov??? Hard to see.


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