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Classical Notes

Classical Notes: December 14, 2010 Archive

Dear Nutcracker: Does this tutu make me look fat?

Posted at 5:47 AM on December 14, 2010 by John Birge
Filed under: In the media

'Tis the season for Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker, and George Balanchine's Nutcracker at New York City Ballet is causing a bit of a scandal, after the New York Times dance reviewer criticized one of the dancers for her weight. Alastair Macaulay said ballerina Jenifer Ringer, as the Sugar Plum Fairy, "looked as if she'd eaten one sugar plum too many."
The fact that Jennifer Ringer has been public about her history of eating disorders started a lively discussion about ballet and body image.
Here's a link to the brouhaha, including a Today Show television interview with the ballerina - and critic Alastair Macaulay's excellent, nuanced response.

The whole incident brings to mind the Royal Opera's firing of soprano Deborah Voigt when she couldn't fit into the cocktail dress.

Winter Biking with Bill

Posted at 4:08 PM on December 14, 2010 by Daniel Gilliam (3 Comments)
Filed under: The blog

(Some thoughts from Bill Morelock)

As one of the bike delivery guys for Peace Coffee says, "It's not the cold, it's the snow."

This not-so-old (ice) saw, I've found, is as valid as its summertime variant.

It's the beginning of another four-month two-wheeled defiance of the elements.

Bike commuting through a Minnesota winter, though eyebrow-raising, isn't so uncommon as you might think. Riding to downtown St. Paul last week I met three bikers heading the opposite way, all bundled as I was. I call that a crowd. It's at least a quorum which blunts a bit Bob Christiansen's too-perfect retort to my too-solemn pronouncement regarding my transportation intentions Me: "Apparently I'm committed to this." Bob: "Or will be."

So, armed with wicked studded tires, masks, goggles, and enough layers to render me as mobile as the robot in "Lost in Space", I try it again. Exactly why, is a battier story than anyone probably cares to hear. I can say that once I make it to, and then from, work, the effort and the mild discormfort always confers a certain pleasure, even a meaning, that the ordinary work day only inconsistently delivers.

Wish me luck. I assure you I'm a humble bike rider, and obey the laws of the state and common sense. Since cars and trucks are very large and I am very small, my deference is worthy of a Jeeves or a Bunter. And if you're committed to this, or will be, good luck to you. For now, neither of us will know, who was that masked man/woman?

- Bill Morelock, Weekdays 7pm - 11pm

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