I feel like… ballet rant…

you all need to stop

I was minding my own business tonight, and was going to go to bed early tonight. I went to a charity dinner with the food was crazy amazing. At most charity events the food is awful, but at this event the food was bangin. So, I get home and was getting ready for bed, and as my nightly routine has it… I go on youtube and social media, and see what is going on, or if I missed anything while living my life, LOL. I was in an Ailey mood tonight. Yes, I know it isn’t ballet, but it is just as good, just as inspiring and just as beautiful and sometimes more beautiful.  While ballet tells fairytales, or captures movement, it lacks the reality of art.  I believe that art is a reflection of our times, and ballet seems to lack that.  Ailey’s Repertory is a reflection of that  beautifully unspoken narrative. So, with that being said, there are some nights you just need to sit down and watch Revelations from start to finish (if you have not seen it in full, order the DVD). Not only does it inspire you, but it reminds of you that America then and America now really hasn’t changed, and how if you are a minority the struggle is a part of your life.

With everything going on in America, I realized that Misty’s promotion has kind of masked what is really going on in ethnic America, and was slightly disturbed.  I then decided to watch the Kennedy Center honoring Judith Jamison… And then this lead me tonight’s rant…

If you are a teacher, or choreographer and it is time to do a show… DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT TRY TO DO THIS… It is so awful. If you are going to use the music as a tribute to gospel or just inspired by the music, then fine. But I do not recommend it… Just like I don’t recommend using the music from Serenade… Just don’t.  Because, not only are you being unoriginal by teaching your students the choreography from a video or something, but it is so disrespectful… I don’t care if you are paying tribute to the choreographer, the company or ethnicity (which is also borderline offensive… And yes, I saw your video descriptions… Like seriously some studio’s theme was Dance Around the World, and they used Wade in the Water as “Africa”… SMH, I had to report that video, it was just too much)… Just don’t touch the choreography… Just don’t. It is so awful. Don’t use the fans, don’t try to glam it up, don’t try to make it sparkly, definitely don’t try to make it a ballet (I saw that too), don’t imitate the costume… just seriously… don’t. Like don’t do the choreography, choreography that resembles it, formations and blocking that resembles it, don’t use the props, definitely don’t use it for competition, don’t even use the Ailey recording- find a different version if you are inspired by gospel music….. but seriously, just please stop

I think it is so disrespectful on so many different levels: the choreographer, the dancers, the company, the legacy… Just stop. Figure something else out. It is so frustrating… For some reason, this is more upsetting then studios doing awful versions of Serenade …( Then again I get offended watching Paris Opera do Serenade… mostly because the music seems to be slower and there is just not the Balanchine attack that is so beautiful)  I think it is because the lack of technique at these studios? At least when studios attempt Serenade they are ballet studios… and not competition schools trying to do epic ballets. After seeing all of these “tributes” via random studio, school, church etc… There is no technique, where Ailey dancers have a very specific look to them… Like City Ballet dancers.  Ailey Dancers are trained in Graham, Horton and ballet- they also have this sense of abandonment, which is why I love watching them. But watching some random school in podunk America trying to do Revelations based off a video… that is a little bit much.
Ugh, other than that, I need to go to bed…But here is a photo of crazy good food.

3 responses to “I feel like… ballet rant…”

  1. I enjoyed reading your rant but was disappointed when you never attempted to explain/explore what was so offensive. I was hoping to learn more from you. Please, next time spend a little more time and effort and actually educate us? Thanks.

  2. How can you say Paris Opera lacks technique? Maybe they lack the Balanchine style, but technique? I respectfully disagree, but I still enjoy reading your blog. 🙂

    • sorry that was an incomplete thought – i was saying that studios attempting to do Serenade when not approved by the Balanchine trust or even have a repitiuer is offensive. Sorry for the lack of clarity- will edit.