THE ASSAULT ON RENT CONTROLLED/STABILIZED TENANTS HEATS UP

Absolutely essential reporting by DW Gibson and Michael Sorkin in The Nation on the increasingly aggressive harassment of rent-controlled and stabilized tenants: “The Inside Story on Dumping Tenants and Making a Fortune in New York City Real Estate.”It comes at exactly the propitious moment for me, because this is how I’m being treated by my landlord.
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BALLET IN THE BIG WORLD

“On their night off, Peggy Guggenheim invited the entire company to a party at her palazzo, across the Grand Canal from the Piazza San Marco. Dusk was coming on and lanterns were strung everywhere. Lavish platters of hors d’oeuvres were arrayed throughout the rooms, filled with Guggenheim’s fabled collection of modern art. There were also interesting guests from outside the ballet world. Dressed to the nines, Wilde and Le Clercq went by gondola together. . . .”

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QUANZ HAS TCHERNICHOVA ON HIS MIND

In the current, Summer 2015 issue of Ballet International there’s a lot of coverage of Peter Quanz’s choreography as well as an obit by him on Elena. She brought him to the Mariinsky in 2007 to create the ballet Aria Suspended. Twice during that process I was there in St. Petersburg for a few days, staying at Elena’s (who lived, I discovered in Victoria Tennant’s book on Baronova, next door to the mansion Baronova’s mother had grown up in!) Quanz was staying with Elena, too, and it was all fun, frenetic, stressful, and wildly eventful! His ballet was beautiful, though–it’s on the cover of the issue.

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THE REAL AGENDA

Just as austerity in the United States has been a scam designed to funnel money to the one percent, while bringing catastrophe to so many in the balance of society, as well as short-changing societal-at-large needs like education, infrastructure–in other words, everything–
SO IS
Democracy in Greece being undermined by the European troika, which insists that no amount of mutilation administered to Greece is ever sufficient.

The great economist Joseph Stiglitz writes for Project Syndicate about the ruling-economic-class troika’s stealth attempt to crush Greece’s left-wing government as a condition of financial succor. Nothing, but nothing must get in the way of tyrannical imposition of neo-liberalism, no matter how calamity tts precepts bring out.

And Fox News and GOP (they are one and the same) where are your denunciations of “elitism” now??

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AND THEY’VE EVEN GOT NAMES

I recently read that a teacher of mine in junior high school had gone on to become a principal somewhere else, was now retired and teaching as an adjunct in the education dep’t of a university. And I realized that I’d never known his first name, and actually it wasn’t what I’d thought it would be. And I’m sure back then I had wondered about it.

You see, teachers never used their first names with us. It was always Miss, Mrs. or Mr. And therefore what the first name was would become an enduring topic of speculation. Was he/she a this, a that—different name possibilities would somehow shed a different light on the imagined personality of that teacher.

Eventually of course, one student would spy a piece of mail or something telltale and the coveted missing link would be apprehended, then immediately disbursed throughout the classroom. It might even be laughed about.But no matter how close or how far to what I and other kids might have imagined, it would somehow define the teacher in a new way.

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BALLET RISES IN THE EAST

Asia is sending the world better and better dancers.

The Mariinsky’s Kimin Kim was guest star with ABT for Solor in La Bayadere–dancing splendidly. He definitely can deepen his characterization, but it was sound and convincing. He has a good sense of where his body should be in space at all times to project emotionally.
He’s Korean. BTW wasn’t his dad in the Mariinsky also?

This week at ABT I saw Zhiyao Zhang in Swan Lake twice: in the act 1 pas de trois and in McKenzie’s act 3 Neapolitan duo. He’s Chinese. Very good. Stylistically a little abrupt at times. But although he, like Kim has done the competition circuit neither registers as competition dancers–they’re not going to hit it out of the ballet stage into the ballpark–or vice versa.

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WHEN PRICES BECAME CHEAP, BALLET BECAME MORE POPULAR

As a teen-aged ballet lover, I once discussed the early New York City Ballet seasons with Roslyn McDonald, a family friend who went frequently in the early 1950s, when she was studying social work. An influx of men into the field after World War II was one of the ways that social work was being transformed. Innovations in her own discipline seemed to MacDonald correlated to artistic innovation onstage at City Center, and to a new, more egalitarian audience for ballet attracted–at least initially–by the low prices.

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OBAMA GETS TO SMOKE JAMIE’S CIGAR

He delivers another win for the one percent.
Disillusioned yet, cheerleaders?

The shit is really going to hit the fan if Obama does win fast-track authority, and the bill is finally made public.
Oh, he’ll have his legacy all right.

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THE LOOK THAT SAYS. . .

I’m a manual laborer; I only write about ballet for the money.

More about that in a little bit.

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TEMPUS DOES KIND OF FUGIT

Got that full circle feeling last Saturday night.
There I was at ABT for Sleeping Beauty, Alexei Ratmansky’s production based on the Stepanov notations made at the Mariinsky in 1903.
Diana Vishneva was Aurora and Veronika Part was Lilac Fairy.
Sixteen years and one month or so earlier —
there I’d been at the Mariinsky itself, watching the world premiere of Sergei Vikharev’s Sleeping Beauty, based on the Stepanov notations. Starring in the performance had been–you guessed it–Diana Vishneva as Aurora and Veronika Part as the Lilac Fairy.
Has time stopped, I asked myself. No, on the contrary, but indeed history had repeated itself. And I’d gone along for the ride.

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