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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Past Links 2011

Danielle DeVor

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The Star.com The Cuban dancer exodus to Canada


On a bitter winter’s day late last month, members of the much-acclaimed National Ballet of Cuba boarded a plane in Montreal to return to sunny Havana after triumphant performances of their signature work, Giselle — except for five dancers who stayed.


When word of their decision slipped out several days later it soon became headline news. Four of the dancers, including Elier Bourzac, a high-ranking principal, came to Toronto and took daily class with our own National Ballet where — Bourzac especially — they were hounded by the media.

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Sarah McLachlan's pas de deux with the Alberta ballet


“I was trying to hold back my tears … it was just so emotional,” McLachlan said after the short rehearsal. “That performance was so beautiful and Jean the whole time was saying, ‘You know this is just the beginning and it’s only half-way done.’ And I’m like, ‘Shut up. This is so gorgeous.’ ”


The ballet, Grand-Maître’s latest set to pop music, explores a woman’s life – not McLachlan’s, specifically, but the life of an Everywoman developed by the choreographer in consultation with the 43-year-old singer.


The two met in rehearsal for the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver Olympics last year; Grand-Maître choreographed McLachlan’s number. A couple of weeks later, at the intermission of the Vancouver premiere of Grand-Maître’s Joni Mitchell ballet, The Fiddle and The Drum, he cornered McLachlan and asked if she would consider letting him choreograph a ballet to her songs.


Please see above link for complete article.

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Danielle DeVor

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and August Wilson Center Launch Partnership



The Other New Alice in Wonderland Ballet



Paris Opera Ballet's Next US Tour to Include (Overdue) Chicago Debut



Prima Ballerina Cynthia Gregory On Dancing And Working In Vegas



Ballet to Sarah McLachlan Songs Makes Sarah McLachlan Cry



Tarnished Silver



"Don "Quixote"


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Thanks. This is an interesting development. Ironically our company (though not ballet-realted) is writing a similar policy. I'm not sure what to think and would love to hear others' thoughts. It's true it seems restrictive and potentially invasive, but I've also seen some photos on Facebook, company-related, that do nothing to further the advancement of the art. I know my own DS has started to wander far, far away from social media. Especially photos. Companies could create full-time positions for people to troll the sites and snag offensive photos, likely taken without permission, before they become public knowledge and do a lot of damage to a company's financial bottom-line.

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I suspect if this were taken to court, the justices would rule that tweeting, posting on Facebook, etc are protected by the First Amendment. The first time somone is fired as a result of one of these policies and it goes to court, my guess is that all such policies will either be struck down are become very limited in scope.

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I read this article and all Mr. Alberda is doing is hurting his own career...why would NYCB ever consider him when his contract is up.

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My mother always taught me "my rights end where another's nose begins". Soooo many people these days either forgot that lesson or never learned it. And the proliferation of the social network, twitter, etc., just exacerbates the infringement of other's 'rights' when folks don't know how to self-censor. So, we end up with employers having to legislate appropriate, professional behavior.

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I read this article and all Mr. Alberda is doing is hurting his own career...why would NYCB ever consider him when his contract is up.



Agreed. And there are plenty of dancers who are waiting to take his place. Very foolish...

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Well, in NJ or PA, there was an academic elementary school teacher who was fired for an anonymous blog in which she complained about her students and work situation. She had her photo on the blog and I guess that was how someone figured out who it was--then they posted some of the blog on FB and then the whole school knew about it.


I don't know if all of this will be considered protected under "free speech." When I sign contracts for some consultant work I sign that I cannot disclose any information about clients, etc. or else I can be terminated. As far as I know that's legal and the NYCB agreement sounds like something similar.

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Yes, by now there are many, many instances of people fired for using poor judgment online -- on Facebook, on Twitter, in personal blogs... And before that, and since, there were many, many instances of people fired for using poor judgment offline. The NYCB just seems to be instituting a code of conduct -- in other words: "Don't step outside of these boundaries, and we won't have a reason to fire you." Free speech doesn't imply an entitlement to free speech without consequences, does it? (This question is only partially rhetorical... I know enough to say that freedom of expression in Canada has taken a very different course than free speech under the First Amendment, but I don't know a lot of detail beyond that.)

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I am a follower of Mr. Alberda on twitter. His tweets are always amusing and are mostly tongue-in-cheek. To single out a few of his comments from the rest do a disservice to a very imaginative person. His profile now says that NYCB (and I paraphrase here...) has no connection to his tweets. I view his musings about Mr. Martins as things I was thinking, but I am too prim and proper to say them aloud. In my mind Mr. Martins’ behaviors are far more egregious, than Mr. Alberda’s comments.


NYCB should revel in the publicity, rather than try to shut it down. I recall that interest in the art of ballet was increased by Mr. Nureyev. The more outlandish his behaviors, dress, makeup, hair, the more people came to the ballet. If Mr. Alberda was saying that Mr. Martins should be punished mightily for driving under the influence, instead of

Thank goodness riding the subway while intoxicated isn't a misdemeanor offense #dontfireme,
then maybe I would agree he shouldn’t comment. His tweet acknowledged the elephant in the room.


Tweeters from NYCB have a range of styles, some interesting, and some dry. Mr. Alberda’s make me want to travel to NYC to see what he is talking about! Isn't that what PR is all about?

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I don't do Twitter so I don't know first hand what he is writing or why anybody wants to "follow" people. But to write stuff about your boss on it?? That sounds to me completely inappropriate and a career risk. One has no idea who all the people following on Twitter are. Showbiz (in all forms) is a small world. My grandma used to always say don't air your dirty laundry in public. Everybody seems to do that these days and I don't see too many people benefitting from that publicity.

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years ago when still dancing professionally it was stated in our contracts that we were not to carry "internal issues" to the public.

It is of course open for debate exactly _what_ constitutes "internal issues", but the implication was clear.


This was years before cell-phones and internet; there was even at that time a sensitivity to the issue.

(but this was not in the USA, so perhaps that is the biggest difference - apparently this has not been a clause in US contracts; is that because of the first amendment, do you think?)



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