Author Topic: Ballet Critic tells ballerina she looks fat  (Read 11165 times)

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jimithing

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Re: Ballet Critic tells ballerina she looks fat
« Reply #30 on: December 15, 2010, 11:16:08 AM »
In dance, body shape changes how a movement looks. You can take 5 women of different body types and equal skill, line them up and have them dance the same steps in unison and you will get 5 different dances.

Thank you! That's exactly what I was tr;ying to say - you said it much better!

OK, but how does her saying she apparently overeats tell us anything about her movement? That provides me with no legitimate information.

Red1979

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Re: Ballet Critic tells ballerina she looks fat
« Reply #31 on: December 15, 2010, 11:18:06 AM »
In dance, body shape changes how a movement looks. You can take 5 women of different body types and equal skill, line them up and have them dance the same steps in unison and you will get 5 different dances.

Thank you! That's exactly what I was tr;ying to say - you said it much better!

So then he should have told us about her movement and how her larger size effected that.  A good writer would do that.  The review felt really like the writer couldn't be bothered.  Those people on stage put a lot of effort and work into their production a reviewer worth their salt would put at least a bit of effort into taking it apart.

If her movement was odd or distracting due to her size--just say that.  Just saying she's larger doesn't tell us anything about how her dancing was.
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Sophia

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Re: Ballet Critic tells ballerina she looks fat
« Reply #32 on: December 15, 2010, 11:21:39 AM »
This makes me more convinced of two things I already believed.

One, critics should be ignored. 

Two, I do not want my baby in ballet after the age of 12.  Girls struggle enough with body issues. 

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Ballet Critic tells ballerina she looks fat
« Reply #33 on: December 15, 2010, 11:22:33 AM »
As they say, any publicity is good publicity.

Not if it could, perhaps, send her back into anorexia. It's not good publicity if it kills you.

Going to have to pod that.   Though I hope that her saying he doesn't have to apologize means that she's gotten to a place where she is happy with her body and isn't bothered by other's opinions.

I understand that a dancer's build and weight does matter to an extent, but if a dancer ends up with an eating disorder to achieve that standard, there is something wrong.  

While Riverdance is not the same as ballet, I was watching that the other day and noticing that while the dancers definitely are slender, none of them looked underweight, and their dancing was still beautiful.    But then I love Irish dancing. :)     And the woman, Maria Pages, who does "Firedance" is a beautiful, strongly built woman and still elegant.  


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Miss March

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Re: Ballet Critic tells ballerina she looks fat
« Reply #34 on: December 15, 2010, 01:46:35 PM »
If the critic had said "It was jarring to see an African American ballerina playing the role of the Sugar Plum fairy," then everyone would be in agreement that he was rude to suggest that the color of her skin had any barring on her work. I see his comment that she was a larger ballerina to be similarly offensive.

And I agree-- that he suggests that she "eats too much" is a slap in the face.
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Granny Takes a Trip

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Re: Ballet Critic tells ballerina she looks fat
« Reply #35 on: December 15, 2010, 02:06:55 PM »


I agree with the posters who say that his writing style was the problem. I get what Digital Pumpkin and TD are saying, but I think that is the juvenility of his remark that got me. Also, it is inaccurate-there is not an ounce of fat on that woman, she has a largeish frame, but it is muscle. One does not get that way by eating too many sweet things. In fact, I know aneorexics who when they eat, only eat candy, so go figure.
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Jan74

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Re: Ballet Critic tells ballerina she looks fat
« Reply #36 on: December 15, 2010, 02:22:54 PM »
If the critic had said "It was jarring to see an African American ballerina playing the role of the Sugar Plum fairy," then everyone would be in agreement that he was rude to suggest that the color of her skin had any barring on her work. I see his comment that she was a larger ballerina to be similarly offensive.

And I agree-- that he suggests that she "eats too much" is a slap in the face.

Pod again.

His preconceptions of how the Sugar Plum Fairy have nothing to do with her skill as a ballet dancer, which is what he is supposed to be critiquing. If he'd said "She is large, so when she and her partner do the Pas de Deux, he appears to be struggling to hold her" - that would be weight criticism related to her work. Just "She looks like she ate a sugar plum too many" is not.

Winterlight

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Re: Ballet Critic tells ballerina she looks fat
« Reply #37 on: December 15, 2010, 02:33:09 PM »
The fact is, this is a highly educated, well trained author for the NY Times. Any 5th grader can make a lame joke about the fat ballerina who eats too many sugarplums. If he wants to have his critique taken seriously, I think he could come up with something much less juvenile, and something that was actually constructive.

I don't think the backlash is because he talked about her body at all. But the *way* he went about it.

I agree. He should have phrased it better if it was necessary to discuss her weight at all.
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Rosey

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Re: Ballet Critic tells ballerina she looks fat
« Reply #38 on: December 15, 2010, 03:16:52 PM »
For those of you who think he should have linked her size to the way it changed her movements, if he had done that, would you have excused it?

The question is whether or not he owes an apology. Jimithing mentioned Kathy Griffin (Griffith?). I can't stand that woman. She, like Sarah Silverman, makes a living crucifying people to make a joke. However, an important distinction here is that Griffin and Silverman could use anything to make a joke, but they choose people.

This man's job is to critique dance. I don't know nearly enough about ballet to articulate the differences that a woman's body size makes, but I do know that I'm in no position to say an expert is wrong for making a comment about her size. Again, even she said that her body is part of her art form.

I'm really surprised how many people are disagreeing. In a forum where we see restaurant goers say that everything from the music, to the table tents and condiments, to the demeanor of the host/server/manager/bartender affects their enjoyment of their meal, I'm really surprised to see that the *only* thing he should be allowed to criticize is whether or not she did the specific motions well.

All of that aside, there is a question of how he phrased it. I see his job as two parts. One is to critique dance. The other is to write. I would give a very poor grade to a paper that said, "She danced well. She weighs too many pounds." Writing, like dance, requires creativity and imagination, and he found a creative way to say it. It was an ironic play on words. If he had made a reference to her aforementioned anorexia, then I would object. As it stands, I don't see anything wrong with what he did.

Granny Takes a Trip

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Re: Ballet Critic tells ballerina she looks fat
« Reply #39 on: December 15, 2010, 03:20:53 PM »
For those of you who think he should have linked her size to the way it changed her movements, if he had done that, would you have excused it?

The question is whether or not he owes an apology. Jimithing mentioned Kathy Griffin (Griffith?). I can't stand that woman. She, like Sarah Silverman, makes a living crucifying people to make a joke. However, an important distinction here is that Griffin and Silverman could use anything to make a joke, but they choose people.

This man's job is to critique dance. I don't know nearly enough about ballet to articulate the differences that a woman's body size makes, but I do know that I'm in no position to say an expert is wrong for making a comment about her size. Again, even she said that her body is part of her art form.

I'm really surprised how many people are disagreeing. In a forum where we see restaurant goers say that everything from the music, to the table tents and condiments, to the demeanor of the host/server/manager/bartender affects their enjoyment of their meal, I'm really surprised to see that the *only* thing he should be allowed to criticize is whether or not she did the specific motions well.

All of that aside, there is a question of how he phrased it. I see his job as two parts. One is to critique dance. The other is to write. I would give a very poor grade to a paper that said, "She danced well. She weighs too many pounds." Writing, like dance, requires creativity and imagination, and he found a creative way to say it. It was an ironic play on words. If he had made a reference to her aforementioned anorexia, then I would object. As it stands, I don't see anything wrong with what he did.

If by 'creative' you mean snide, cheap and immature, I have to say that I disagree with you, then. It is the sort of thing that a school bully would say. I am not saying that he should not have critiqued her weight. It is the silly way he did it that rubs me wrong.
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Jan74

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Re: Ballet Critic tells ballerina she looks fat
« Reply #40 on: December 15, 2010, 03:24:56 PM »
For those of you who think he should have linked her size to the way it changed her movements, if he had done that, would you have excused it?


As I said, I would be ok with him saying something like "She is large, so when she and her partner do the Pas de Deux, he appears to be struggling to hold her" or anything else related to how her size affects her movement. But when it is something that comes off like "She doesn't look like I think a Sugar Plum Fairy should look" you get too close to bigotry for my taste.

jimithing

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Re: Ballet Critic tells ballerina she looks fat
« Reply #41 on: December 15, 2010, 03:26:56 PM »

I'm really surprised how many people are disagreeing. In a forum where we see restaurant goers say that everything from the music, to the table tents and condiments, to the demeanor of the host/server/manager/bartender affects their enjoyment of their meal, I'm really surprised to see that the *only* thing he should be allowed to criticize is whether or not she did the specific motions well.


I'm actually really surprised at home many people don't believe his wording was inappropriate or irrelevant to the review.

The difference I see with comedians, or even about the show Glee, in which I started another thread about, it that is what they do. They make fun of people. That's their job. When you listen to them, you know exactly what to expect. I write a humor/satire blog, that has a fairly decent size audience. I am known for writing about pop culture and making fun of celebrities. I would never post my blog posts here on Ehell, because what I write about isn't *polite.* It doesn't fit in this setting. But on my personal blog, it does.

For someone who is working for an extremely popular paper, as a journalist, to write a review about the performance, making a fat joke just seems inappropriate. And again, I think this is what most of us posters take issue with.

hyzenthlay

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Re: Ballet Critic tells ballerina she looks fat
« Reply #42 on: December 15, 2010, 03:27:18 PM »
that Griffin and Silverman could use anything to make a joke, but they choose people.

Well no you can't choose anything. Split level houses, or grains of salt don't usually yield up a lot of hilarity. All comedians return to the actions of people as their primary source for humor.

My problem is the critic used a childish insult (which is neither clever nor indicative of good writing) and failed to say why he was annoyed the dancers were fat. He didn't say their weight distracted from the performance, he just said they were overweight.


Jan74

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Re: Ballet Critic tells ballerina she looks fat
« Reply #43 on: December 15, 2010, 03:28:42 PM »
that Griffin and Silverman could use anything to make a joke, but they choose people.

Well no you can't choose anything. Split level houses, or grains of salt don't usually yield up a lot of hilarity. All comedians return to the actions of people as their primary source for humor.


How dare you make fun of grains of salt! My grandmother was a grain of salt!

People would be equally offended by humor about anything...  ::)

Granny Takes a Trip

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Re: Ballet Critic tells ballerina she looks fat
« Reply #44 on: December 15, 2010, 03:29:51 PM »

I'm really surprised how many people are disagreeing. In a forum where we see restaurant goers say that everything from the music, to the table tents and condiments, to the demeanor of the host/server/manager/bartender affects their enjoyment of their meal, I'm really surprised to see that the *only* thing he should be allowed to criticize is whether or not she did the specific motions well.


I'm actually really surprised at home many people don't believe his wording was inappropriate or irrelevant to the review.

The difference I see with comedians, or even about the show Glee, in which I started another thread about, it that is what they do. They make fun of people. That's their job. When you listen to them, you know exactly what to expect. I write a humor/satire blog, that has a fairly decent size audience. I am known for writing about pop culture and making fun of celebrities. I would never post my blog posts here on Ehell, because what I write about isn't *polite.* It doesn't fit in this setting. But on my personal blog, it does.

For someone who is working for an extremely popular paper, as a journalist, to write a review about the performance, making a fat joke just seems inappropriate. And again, I think this is what most of us posters take issue with.

POD. It was unprofessional, and actually counterproductive-instead of making people think whether in fact there is a superior aestethtic in having a more petite ballerina, they have rushed to defense. A sensationalist line has provoked a sensational response.
I have a thousand parents. Sadly they
Dissolve in their own virtues and recede.