Author Topic: Ballet Critic tells ballerina she looks fat  (Read 10279 times)

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Jolie_kitten

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Ballet Critic tells ballerina she looks fat
« on: December 15, 2010, 10:26:46 AM »

http://www.care2.com/causes/womens-rights/blog/nyc-ballerina-tells-critic-i-m-not-fat/

(In short: In a review of The Nutcracker, ballet critic Alistar Macaulay made a  catty comment about dancer Jennifer Ringer’s size. Ringier has struggled with anorexia in the past and is now a healthy weight for her health.)

What say you, ehellions? Is an apology in order?
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Rosey

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Re: Ballet Critic tells ballerina she looks fat
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2010, 10:33:07 AM »
I don't think he needs to apologize for doing his job.

The ballerina even said he didn't need to apologize.

Maintaining her body is part of her job, and his job is to write about whether or not she is doing her job well. She has a beautiful body, but it is certainly larger than what you might expect to see of a professional ballerina.

Miss March

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Re: Ballet Critic tells ballerina she looks fat
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2010, 10:37:18 AM »
I saw a report on this on tv the other night, and it showed a clip of the ballerina performing in the play in question. All I can say is that she danced the part perfectly, and I thought she looked lovely.  If a critic wants to say that a dancer didn't do their job well, then I think that's fair. But for a critic to criticize a dancer NOT for how she performed, but rather for how he perceived her weight, I thought that was bang out of order. I understand that the critic has since posted another article saying that he had every right to comment on the ballerina's body, and that dancer's are fair game to be judged by their looks as their body is their tool for their job. I do not agree. I feel that as long as the dancer is able to perform as flawlessly as this woman did, and that she was able to please her director and move her body through the routine, then that is all that matters. I don't think anyone gets to sit back and comment on the dancer's hair color/skin color/breast size/body size/ etc just because she's in a physical job. This is not a beauty pageant-- it's a dance performance. And she danced perfectly. That's as much as a critic should comment on.

And yes, I am a Gilmore Girls fan, and I am flashing back on Rory's review of a play in which she wrote about a ballerina with rolls of "back fat." I can't say that was right either, but that was a comedy tv show and not meant to be taken seriously.
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TurtleDove

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Re: Ballet Critic tells ballerina she looks fat
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2010, 10:38:33 AM »
I say no apology in order.  This was a critique of the performance.  And POD to Rosey.

ShadesOfGrey

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Re: Ballet Critic tells ballerina she looks fat
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2010, 10:40:44 AM »
I don't think he needs to apologize for doing his job.

The ballerina even said he didn't need to apologize.

Maintaining her body is part of her job, and his job is to write about whether or not she is doing her job well. She has a beautiful body, but it is certainly larger than what you might expect to see of a professional ballerina.

Did you see the news segment with her?

I agree.  Ballet is a profession where your body is part of the art form.  It's fair game to be criticized (this is direct from the ballerina herself, but I agree) regardless of the ballerinas personal struggles with her body.  She also said that part of the NYC ballet is employing people of all different body types. 

He's a critic, he's allowed his opinion. 
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jimithing

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Re: Ballet Critic tells ballerina she looks fat
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2010, 10:42:16 AM »

Maintaining her body is part of her job, and his job is to write about whether or not she is doing her job well. She has a beautiful body, but it is certainly larger than what you might expect to see of a professional ballerina.

I totally disagree. His job is to write about the show and the performance. To take a jab, not a constructive, helpful comment about her performance or skill, isn't helping or being productive.  It was a low blow. And maybe I need new glasses, but her body is amazing. I think comments like his help to perpetuate eating disorders among the dancing world, which are highly prevalent anyway.

jimithing

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Re: Ballet Critic tells ballerina she looks fat
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2010, 10:43:03 AM »
I say no apology in order.  This was a critique of the performance.  And POD to Rosey.

How is taking a jab at her weight critiquing the *performance*, though? It just seems completely unnecessary.

TurtleDove

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Re: Ballet Critic tells ballerina she looks fat
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2010, 10:47:44 AM »
I say no apology in order.  This was a critique of the performance.  And POD to Rosey.

How is taking a jab at her weight critiquing the *performance*, though? It just seems completely unnecessary.

I suppose any criticism is unnecessary, but then there is no reason to have reviews.  Whether I agree with his critique or not, I think it is valid to give his impressions of the performance and the performers.  You don't have to agree with him.  I imagine there are numerous reasons why various people would take issue with his critique for any number of reasons.  It is, by definition, his opinion of the performance.  Reviews exist so that the public has a sense of what to expect should they view a performance.  If this guy just randomly wrote an article about some person he saw on the street, then perhaps an apology would be owed.  But here, performers know they will be critiqued.  They would be silly to expect no criticism.

PeasNCues

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Re: Ballet Critic tells ballerina she looks fat
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2010, 10:47:57 AM »
If it were an accurate statement and she was actually overweight, I could see it (but still think he was a jerk since obviously the weight didn't affect her dancing).

But that "one sugarplum too many" is muscle - this is a woman who is extremely fit, which is why she is such a superb dancer. As she said, she was unable to maintain a high level of quality dancing as a stick, so she put on muscle and got healthy and dances wonderfully. So, it's not that she's flabby. I just don't understand, I guess.
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TurtleDove

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Re: Ballet Critic tells ballerina she looks fat
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2010, 10:51:14 AM »
In some ways, this review has bolstered the dancer's career.  Had any of us heard of her before?  Look at the outpouring of support she has gained!

As they say, any publicity is good publicity.  And yes, she is a lovely woman.  As a prima ballerina she is held to a different standard than a non-athlete would be (or than a gymnast would be, or a runner, or a swimmer). 

jimithing

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Re: Ballet Critic tells ballerina she looks fat
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2010, 10:51:47 AM »
I say no apology in order.  This was a critique of the performance.  And POD to Rosey.

How is taking a jab at her weight critiquing the *performance*, though? It just seems completely unnecessary.

I suppose any criticism is unnecessary, but then there is no reason to have reviews.  Whether I agree with his critique or not, I think it is valid to give his impressions of the performance and the performers.  You don't have to agree with him.  I imagine there are numerous reasons why various people would take issue with his critique for any number of reasons.  It is, by definition, his opinion of the performance.  Reviews exist so that the public has a sense of what to expect should they view a performance.  If this guy just randomly wrote an article about some person he saw on the street, then perhaps an apology would be owed.  But here, performers know they will be critiqued.  They would be silly to expect no criticism.

Of course they will be critiqued, but I think the way he chose to express his opinion was just below the belt. Even if he had said, "The Sugarplum Fairy is played by a dancer with a larger than average ballerina body.", I think that would have even been more constructive than basically calling her a fattie.

ETA- I read his review, and my issue is that his only critique of her was that she looked like she had eaten too many Sugarplums.  As someone who would read a review to determine if I wanted to see the performance, that gives me no valuable information at all.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2010, 10:56:05 AM by jimithing »

Sharnita

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Re: Ballet Critic tells ballerina she looks fat
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2010, 10:52:34 AM »
I would expect a review about a ballet performance to have criticism about whether she lifter her leg high enough or what have you.  SOmebody could be 80 pounds and not able to dance so I don't see weight as having a correlation with her skill at dancing.  EIther she did the steps/moves well or she didn't.  Tell me about that.

ShadesOfGrey

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Re: Ballet Critic tells ballerina she looks fat
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2010, 10:54:06 AM »
If it were an accurate statement and she was actually overweight, I could see it (but still think he was a jerk since obviously the weight didn't affect her dancing).

But that "one sugarplum too many" is muscle - this is a woman who is extremely fit, which is why she is such a superb dancer. As she said, she was unable to maintain a high level of quality dancing as a stick, so she put on muscle and got healthy and dances wonderfully. So, it's not that she's flabby. I just don't understand, I guess.


But the ballerina aesthetic is petite - not muscular of her size.  It's great for her that she can shake this off, that she's a strong athletic woman, but that doesnt invalidate his critique.
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hyzenthlay

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Re: Ballet Critic tells ballerina she looks fat
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2010, 10:54:53 AM »
"No one took issue with what might be considered a much more severe criticism, that the two danced “without adult depth or complexity.”

No jerk face, because that is legitimate and adult criticism which is appropriate when reviewing an artistic event. Rather then childish insults about appearance.

His point is mostly that he thinks she (and her male counterpart) look too big for these particular roles. That may be a legitimate point, but it's not a point that's best made by saying “seems to have been sampling half the Sweet realm.”

That's an insult that makes them sound fat and out of shape, rather then simply not the shape he wants to see playing a fairy.


jimithing

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Re: Ballet Critic tells ballerina she looks fat
« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2010, 10:56:30 AM »
If it were an accurate statement and she was actually overweight, I could see it (but still think he was a jerk since obviously the weight didn't affect her dancing).

But that "one sugarplum too many" is muscle - this is a woman who is extremely fit, which is why she is such a superb dancer. As she said, she was unable to maintain a high level of quality dancing as a stick, so she put on muscle and got healthy and dances wonderfully. So, it's not that she's flabby. I just don't understand, I guess.


But the ballerina aesthetic is petite - not muscular of her size.  It's great for her that she can shake this off, that she's a strong athletic woman, but that doesnt invalidate his critique.

But what does calling her fat have to do with her performance?