The Atlanta Ballet is currently running an ad in the Atlanta Journal & Constitution (Atlanta's major newspaper) to promote its upcoming production of Romeo and Juliet. The ad consists of two bold lines of text: "Two ballet dancers die. What better reason to attend?"
As a professional musician and lover of the performing arts, particularly ballet, I am shocked, as is everyone else I know who has seen this ad. What kind of "artistic director" would approve publicity so severely demeaning and humiliating to dancers and the community--and particularly to the art of ballet?
Michael Markman Atlanta, GA via email
DESIGNED TO DELIGHT
I thought that I was in heaven last month when my tutu design graced the Capitol dome on the front of your magazine [last September], but now an entire issue [October 2000] dedicated to ballet costumes ... what a treat. Bravo! For some reason, ballet costume designers rarely get the attention afforded to opera or theatrical designers. Fashion designers get whole sections of newspapers dedicated to their skill. Ballet costume designers spend their time reading between the lines of a ballet review, hoping for any type of costume comment.
I enjoyed Clive Barnes's comments on the back page. But I want to remind him that the companies in the era of Balanchine and Karinska had a lot more money to spend on costumes than designers do now. When I work with a choreographer in New York or California or Europe, the option of elaborate design comes down to budget. Wouldn't we all love the opportunity to design a Vienna Waltzes, and I don't mean a modern stretch version.
To answer your open forum on men in dresses this season, I applaud the designers who were willing to go out on a limb and try to fill the stage with a new idea. You left out my favorite skirt of the season, and that was the one designed by Carole Diver for Albert Evans in Swerve Poems. Hard to compete with Russell Crowe in Gladiator, but I think Albert gave him a run for his money!
Thank you for a great issue.
Holly Hynes, costume designer Director of Costumes, New York City Ballet New York via email
CARRYING THE DUNHAM TORCH
Thank you for your article on Katherine Dunham [Dance Magazine, August 2000]. It is not often that you can find something about her in today's dance world.
Please allow me to call your attention to a woman who hasn't been mentioned as one of the teachers who keep Dunham technique alive: Mrs. Othella Dallas.
Othella Dallas was a member of the Dunham Company; later, she married a Swiss engineer' and moved to Basel, Switzerland, where she opened her own dance school.
For more than twenty years, people from all over the country have come to her daily Dunham and black tap classes, which she's teaching with the positive energy of a happy woman and an enthusiasm that's just breath-taking.
Thomas Loewe Basel, Switzerland
DANCE AS FAMILY AFFAIR
I received my September 2000 issue of Dance Magazine and was captivated by the wonderful photo of the elegant Veronica Lynn. Ms. Lynn's mother, longtime American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Lupe Serrano, was photographed with Mr. Erik Bruhn some twenty-seven years prior for the cover of the December 1973 issue of Dance Magazine. Is this the first occurrence of mother and daughter appearing on the cover of your wonderful magazine?
Robert W. Chasanoff Locust Valley, NY via email
We think so.--Ed.
JUST NOT JAZZED ABOUT JUDSON
Regarding `Misha's New Passion' [Dance Magazine, November 2000]: This may be theatre avant-garde, but in my opinion, it is not dance. Enough bowing, scraping and glorification. Enough. The Emperor has no clothes.
Kathryn Cardy Highland, MD via email
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|Article Type:||Letter to the Editor|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2001|
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