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Nutcracker Chronicles - NYTimesRequest for photos and memories


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#1 innopac

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 01:14 PM

"Readers who ever shared the stage with Drosselmeyer, watched a loved one dance with him or simply attended a cherished performance of “The Nutcracker” — I have a request: send us your photo memories and comments on this very American holiday classic."

Nutcracker Chronicles -- Alastair Macaulay

#2 kitcat

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 10:56 AM

I will be very interested to hear what he has to say about his Nutcracker journey when it is complete!

#3 innopac

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 12:11 PM

I will be very interested to hear what he has to say about his Nutcracker journey when it is complete!

It would be an interesting documentary... fingers crossed!

#4 kitcat

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 12:40 PM

It would be an interesting documentary... fingers crossed!


Great idea! I hope he takes a camera crew... :thumbsup:

#5 canbelto

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 07:39 AM

MacCauley's Nutcracker Chronicles kicked off with the Joffrey and the Moscow Ballet:

Joffrey and Moscow Ballets

I really like this article, and the whole idea of really seeing different productions of Nutcracker. MacCauley seems to be using his position as NY Times critic to broaden his horizons, always something admirable in a dance critic.

#6 sandik

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 09:00 AM

I saw AM in the lobby at Pacific Northwest Ballet's performance on Saturday afternoon, so I imagine we'll be hearing about that production somewhere along the line. I must say I'm in awe of his travels -- he's been here several times since he started at the Times, as well as many other places all over the country (not to mention getting back home to England occasionally!) As a critic, I love to visit other dance communities, but as a freelancer it's all on my dime. Congratulations to AM and to the Times for supporting this kind of travel!

#7 abatt

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 09:10 AM

I saw AM in the lobby at Pacific Northwest Ballet's performance on Saturday afternoon, so I imagine we'll be hearing about that production somewhere along the line. I must say I'm in awe of his travels -- he's been here several times since he started at the Times, as well as many other places all over the country (not to mention getting back home to England occasionally!) As a critic, I love to visit other dance communities, but as a freelancer it's all on my dime. Congratulations to AM and to the Times for supporting this kind of travel!



The Times has fired large numbers of people during 2009-2010 because of financial difficulties and decreased advertising revenue. It makes you wonder about their allocation of financial and human resources when you know that they are spending huge sums to send arts critics around the globe.

#8 kfw

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 10:31 AM

The Times has fired large numbers of people during 2009-2010 because of financial difficulties and decreased advertising revenue. It makes you wonder about their allocation of financial and human resources when you know that they are spending huge sums to send arts critics around the globe.

It makes me think perhaps his articles and reviews are generating ad revenue by getting lots of hits online. :)

His descriptions, in his review of NYCB's opening night, of how Balanchine matches choreography to music, will send me back to my DVD soon.

#9 bart

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 11:30 AM

His descriptions, in his review of NYCB's opening night, of how Balanchine matches choreography to music, will send me back to my DVD soon.

A great idea, kfw. When I read the article I was very much struck by his insights into the "four nondance scenes [that] make the drama altogether larger." Despite many viewings of the Balanchine, I had not thought about those scenes in this way until I read Macaulay.

I'm glad I'm getting the chance to verify his insight for myself this weekend, when Miami comes to West Palm.

#10 Helene

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 10:43 PM

Macaulay's comment about Jennifer Ringer's weight is getting coverage in more than ballet press.

Entertainment Weekly's "Pop Watch"

Huffington Post

In the Huffington Post, Jennifer Edwards gets quotes from Eva Yaa Asantewaa, who is not Macaulay's fan:
http://infinitebody....r-macaulay.html

which is a bit like asking the Heritage Foundation to comment on Obama's healthcare plan.

What I find, sadly, not amazing, is that Macaulay was far harsher on Jared Angle's weight, but it's the comment on Ringer that the non-dance media is writing about.

#11 sandik

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 11:16 PM

Other comments aside, I appreciated his observations of the Pacific Northwest Ballet production, and his discussion of the "theater inside a theater" - "is this real or just a dream" elements of the work. It reminded me of the scene at the end of The Wizard of Oz, where Dorothy insists that all her friend were in Oz with her "and you were there too," but none of them believe her.

#12 miliosr

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 05:56 PM

Alastair Macaulay has responded to the furor regarding his comments about Jennifer Ringer and Jared Angle:

http://www.nytimes.c...t.html?ref=arts

I believe Macaulay is correct in saying that discussing a dancer's body weight in a review should not be completely beyond the pale. However, where I think he went wrong in the review is that he spoke about Ringer and Angle in too clever/snide of a manner. He could have made the same point about the two dancers being off-form without trying to find the most sarcastic putdown possible.

I feel terrible for Ringer and Angle.

#13 dirac

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 06:13 PM

I thought Macaulay's original comments were to the point and I doubt if he could have rephrased them in any way that would satisfy those who were offended. You appear onstage for the appraisal of critics and public and you take your chances. This does not excuse gratuitous cruelty of the kind which John Simon could sometimes be guilty in his criticism of performers' looks, of course, but it's absurd to say, as Ashley Bouder did in The Huffington Post, that dancers get enough criticism about their bodies elsewhere and critics shouldn't pile on. What anyone is or isn't saying to Angle or Ringer offstage is not Macaulay's concern. What appears onstage is.

What I find, sadly, not amazing, is that Macaulay was far harsher on Jared Angle's weight, but it's the comment on Ringer that the non-dance media is writing about


It is generally acknowledged that in our culture, weight and looks are more fraught issues for women than for men, and women are routinely judged more severely in this regard. This phenomenon is not limited to the dance world. (To say this is is not to say that men have no such worries, merely to point out the obvious.) Macaulay was actually being equal-opportunity in his comments, but that doesn't prevent him getting dinged for sexism anyway. But I'm inclined to think that's because people are increasingly aware of the special cultural and social pressures on women in this area and more inclined to speak out about them. Not a bad thing, even if said pressures seem to be intensifying rather than receding with time.

#14 miliosr

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 06:21 PM

This does not excuse gratuitous cruelty of the kind which John Simon could sometimes be guilty in his criticism of performers' looks

"Funny" you mention John Simon because he is precisely who I thought of when I read "looked as if she had eaten one sugarplum too many" and "seems to have been sampling half the Sweet realm".

#15 vipa

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 07:30 PM

Alastair Macaulay has responded to the furor regarding his comments about Jennifer Ringer and Jared Angle:

http://www.nytimes.c...t.html?ref=arts

I believe Macaulay is correct in saying that discussing a dancer's body weight in a review should not be completely beyond the pale. However, where I think he went wrong in the review is that he spoke about Ringer and Angle in too clever/snide of a manner. He could have made the same point about the two dancers being off-form without trying to find the most sarcastic putdown possible.

I feel terrible for Ringer and Angle.


I believe discussions about a dancer's weight should be in the context of the performance. Macaulay states the Lynn Seymour and Mark Morris gave wonderful performances despite their weight. Agreed, I witnessed both, however in the Nutcracker review all we know is Macaulay's opinion about weight. Was the dancing heavy, labored, line distorted, choreographic intent not achieved? We don't know any of this. All we know is that Ringer and Angle were too heavy looking for Macaulay's taste.


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