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barbk
12-16-2010, 10:30 PM
Holley -- Those are some amazing photographs your husband took. Does he ever photograph skaters?

euterpe
12-17-2010, 12:16 AM
Is Wendy Whelan still dancing? I haven't been to NYC Ballet in years. I used to have season tickets for the fall and spring, but we let them go when week-ends became too busy with daughter's own ballet obligations. I remember being lucky enough, one year to see the Nutcracker with Darci Kistler as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Damien Woetzel as the Cavalier, and Wendy Whelan did the Arabian Dance. It was amazing! I also saw Wendy Whelan do The Cage, it was brilliant, and very eerie.

I go to the City Ballet every year for the spring series.

Wendy Whelan is still dancing, and she is still very thin. However, since she got married, she started looking better (less emaciated) than she did in the past. There were times when I couldn't bear to watch her in a leotard ballet because you could see every bone in her body. When her back was to the audience, you could even see her hipbones! Wendy probably wouldn't have been chosen by Balanchine because she is on the short side and is very short-waisted (he preferred the long torso and long legs). But she is a wonderful dancer.

Darcy Kistler retired this past season, and Damian Woetzel left the year after Jock Soto. NYCB has a dearth of top men since those two left. Most of the men are on the short side now, so of course at the beginning of the season, any excess weight will be more in evidence than if they were taller.

I've seen Jennifer Ringer dance many times in the spring, and to me she looked in perfect shape. There have been other dancers that I thought were borderline out of shape, and one (Nilas Martins) who in his last season, was downright portly.

emason
12-17-2010, 01:49 AM
I've seen Jennifer Ringer dance many times in the spring, and to me she looked in perfect shape. There have been other dancers that I thought were borderline out of shape, and one (Nilas Martins) who in his last season, was downright portly.

Ah, Nilas Martins, the epitome of the textbook definition of nepotism.

4rkidz
12-17-2010, 02:21 AM
That reviewer is very much the 'old school' attitude toward ballet dancers..

I was a fairly serious ballet dancer until my late teens and I am so pleased that things have changed in the ballet world. I have a former staff member who works with the national ballet and they no longer require daily weigh ins, they no longer obsess over a certain 'shape'..
and I'm sorry - I think its bullXXit that audience members can really tell if someone has put on five pounds.

Thank goodness many of the national ballet companies now are not so obsessed with a certain body type..:soapbox: Athleticism and the ability to do specific ballet moves is far more important that someone who may have gained 5 pounds.
I heard all the comments (fat doesn't fly etc.,) and I'm so pleased that ballet schools and ballet companies are now promoting 'healthy lifestyles'..

in my day we lived on the nicotine caffeine lunch.. laxatives were the norm and too many sad stories :wall:.. back then I would not have let my daughter attend a national ballet school - today I would..
:)

Holley Calmes
12-17-2010, 01:29 PM
Holley -- Those are some amazing photographs your husband took. Does he ever photograph skaters?

No-Although he did a few shots when we went to SLC and the Men's Gold event (Alexei fanatic here...) We live in Atlanta and while there is some skating, not as much. It's hard to capture skaters-much moreso than dancers. They're going faster! I have so much respect for our FSU folks who send us such great event photos!

cruisin
12-17-2010, 01:54 PM
No-Although he did a few shots when we went to SLC and the Men's Gold event (Alexei fanatic here...) We live in Atlanta and while there is some skating, not as much. It's hard to capture skaters-much moreso than dancers. They're going faster! I have so much respect for our FSU folks who send us such great event photos!

Yes, and you have no control over the lighting - florescent lights and a reflective white surface :eek:.

But, I am sure that Richard could do portraits off ice stunningly.

Rob
12-17-2010, 04:11 PM
in my day we lived on the nicotine caffeine lunch.. laxatives were the norm and too many sad stories :wall:.. back then I would not have let my daughter attend a national ballet school - today I would..
:)
Remember Ayds? We lived on coffee and Ayds. I had to weigh in to high school everyday.

barbk
12-17-2010, 06:55 PM
Remember Ayds? We lived on coffee and Ayds. I had to weigh in to high school everyday.

There was a reason I didn't let my D take serious gymnastics or ballet, and knowing she came from a gene pool that never would have been candidates for a boob job was a big part of it.

Holley Calmes
12-17-2010, 09:37 PM
I was in a pre-pro during high school, but it wasn't anything on the order of Rob's training! However, I am NOT a thin person. Even when I weighed 95 pounds at 5'4"....I still was "curvy." But the summer before my senior year I simply decided to starve myself, and I lost about 15 pounds which put me in good dance body weight (about 105.) The response I got when dance restarted for fall was so drastic in a positive way, it's easy to understand how young women would be very affected and want to stay thin or thinner. I then promptly got extremely sick and developed trenchmouth! Really! I never starved again.

I never developed anorexia probably because I am extremely self indulgent and food is a constant source of comfort. I managed to stay relatively slender while I danced, but since then is a different story....though not "fat," I am curvier than I want to be!

I have always hated my body because I wasn't naturally thin (though not motivated enough to do anything serious about it-lazy!) Then I married a serious runner...and let me tell you, they are just as bad or worse than dancers and skaters. My husband even wore a tee shirt that had a skeleton running in Nikes on the front and thought it was hysterical. Yes-the same guy who takes pictures! And he's still skinny at age 66-he still runs 5 miles a day 6 days a week! He's just lucky his hips and knees have held up because he's also 6'3".

kwanfan1818
12-18-2010, 02:10 AM
I've seen Jennifer Ringer dance many times in the spring, and to me she looked in perfect shape.
She has a tendency to need a while at the beginning of every year to get back into shape. I was surprised that she had opening night, but "Nutcracker" is always a scheduling nightmare for the big companies that allow their dancers to guest, and they have to cast around schedules. (Many dancers go back to their home training grounds to be the headliners in their old schools or for smaller companies, and those "Nutcracker" ticket sales are the budget for the rest of the season.)


Ah, Nilas Martins, the epitome of the textbook definition of nepotism.
Have you ever seen the documentary "Dancing Bournonville"? It's from the late '70's, when Henning Kronstam was Director of Royal Danish Ballet. There are clips from performance and rehearsal of "Konservatoriet" when he was still in the school and probably around 13. His musicality and phrasing were heads above the other kids in the ballet. He was very musical, and it isn't surprising that he is a musician and composer.

I don't think being hired was the epitome of nepotism. I think the trajectory of his career was by North American standards. By European royal/state company standards, it was expected. These companies have been multi-generational from the beginning and continue to be. It's no surprise that Martins maintained the tradition/behavior as head of NYCB. He even hired Nilas Martins' half brother, Ask Le Cour, the son of Nilas' mother, Martins' ex-wife Lise Le Cour.

emason
12-18-2010, 01:04 PM
Have you ever seen the documentary "Dancing Bournonville"? It's from the late '70's, when Henning Kronstam was Director of Royal Danish Ballet. There are clips from performance and rehearsal of "Konservatoriet" when he was still in the school and probably around 13. His musicality and phrasing were heads above the other kids in the ballet. He was very musical, and it isn't surprising that he is a musician and composer.



No, I've never seen "Dancing Bournonville", but I've seen Peter Martins dance 100s of times and Nilas Martins dance dozens of times and the comparison isn't flattering to Nilas. NM is not held in high regard by any City Ballet goers that I know. The man who sits next to me says he has refused to give any $$$ to City Ballet's fund-raising until Nilas Martins is off the payroll - which he thankfully is.

Disclaimer, however: I am down on City Ballet these days. I only go twice a year. (I share a subscription with 3 other people - we each get one ticket a season, spring and fall.) Nothing, and I mean nothing, I have seen there in the last 10 years has made me want to go out and buy a ticket to see anything else. At best, the evenings have been pleasant, but that's it. City Ballet is a shadow of its former self and not the revelatory experience it was 30-35 years ago.

kwanfan1818
12-18-2010, 05:36 PM
No, I've never seen "Dancing Bournonville", but I've seen Peter Martins dance 100s of times and Nilas Martins dance dozens of times and the comparison isn't flattering to Nilas.
That's an indictment, since I was not really impressed by Martins Pere, whom I almost always found stiff and a Balanchine wannabee, except in "Chaconne".

Not that I was all that impressed with NM at NYCB: I think he didn't live up to that great potential he showed as a student, where showed a much greater understanding of music than his father did at the height of his career, IMO.


NM is not held in high regard by any City Ballet goers that I know. The man who sits next to me says he has refused to give any $$$ to City Ballet's fund-raising until Nilas Martins is off the payroll - which he thankfully is.
If I were going to take a stand like that, it would have been when he allowed Kistler, his wife, to dance long enough to make three decades and to be the last surviving Balanchine Ballerina. Or so she thought: she may have been the last one Balanchine trained and hired, but hampered by a string of injuries, she stopped being a Balanchine ballerina midway through her career and was simply a limited Martins dancer by the time she retired, which was enormously sad to watch.

Peter Martins may be a crap choreographer and manager, but SAB has been pumping out bumper crops of beautiful dancers for the last decade. More women than men now, which has always been cyclical, but far more than in the '90's.

emason
12-19-2010, 02:43 AM
If I were going to take a stand like that, it would have been when he allowed Kistler, his wife, to dance long enough to make three decades and to be the last surviving Balanchine Ballerina. Or so she thought: she may have been the last one Balanchine trained and hired, but hampered by a string of injuries, she stopped being a Balanchine ballerina midway through her career and was simply a limited Martins dancer by the time she retired, which was enormously sad to watch.



I cannot disagree with this; Ms. Kistler is another NYCB principal who stayed too long at the party. She was also on the hit list of the man who sits next to me.

Rob
12-19-2010, 03:39 AM
Oh yes, I was quite shocked the last time I saw Serenade with Kistler, I think the year before she retired. Brittle to say the least.

We used to call Peter Martins "Dudley DoRight."
I actually skipped an NYCB performance recently. It was cold, I was stuck in traffic, and I said forget it and went home. It wasn't that great the last 2 seasons.

kwanfan1818
01-04-2011, 05:40 PM
Here's Polina Semionova, one of my favorite Black Swans: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4q0z5nSiLUY&feature=related

She is pure :EVILLE: here.

I just got a email press release from ABT that Semionova is guesting with the company this spring, on 21 May in "Don Quixote" and as Odette/Odile on 2 July. Hallberg will be her partner for both.