Sunday, August 30, 2009

Update on ballet things

A few days ago I wrote a piece for Free Times about financial and sort-of legal dramas at the Columbia City Ballet. Nothing really huge, but with a little more news value than usual. The day that story appeared I published here a commentary on the larger issue the ballet faces - lack of quality work. (It is below.)

I was shocked by the lack of response the pieces received. A colleague did call me one night about the Free Times piece and told me he was having trouble finding the news in the story. Yep, you got a point there I told him. A few comments at the end of the on-line version of the Free Times stories came in - the usual expected things calling me an idiot and saying the City Ballet did work as good as any dance company in the world.
I told Dan Cook, Free Times editor, "Well obviously, no one give a rat's a... about this."

Wait, he said, more comments are coming in. And now there a bunch, not dozens, but several. The comments thought don't appear to be about the story in Free Times, but either the commentary on Carolina Culture or some independent conversation taking place in the community about the City Ballet. Several people talked to me about the commentary over the weekend at various events I attended and i did finally get a comment directly at the end of the commentary.)

So, take a look at the comments at Free Times


  1. No one has mentioned the fact that Starrett never, on his own volition, took a cut in HIS salary to help pay CCB's debt. How can he sleep at night knowing he makes $99,000. a year but yet, his Company is in debt?
    Someone, please tell us!

  2. I think the lack of response means that nobody's really surprised. Even synthetic hips can jump the shark.

  3. And why isn't Starrett busy raising money for the ballet like an Exec. Director is supposed to do, rather than appearing on WACH-57 as a guest arts reporter?

    Just so you know, though, there's plenty of discussion on this in person, and always has been, going back through assorted business managers who have come, gone and been run off dating back to the 80's. Most just don't have time/desire/inclination to discuss it at the Free Times website is all. :)

  4. Well, I heard a great deal about this back when the Jonathan Green show ran over, and heard that a great deal of the reason was Starrett's fees.

    and some of us don't want a "cease and desist" letter coming our way. ;)

    It would be interesting to contrast Starrett's total compensation package with Radenko Pavlovich's.

  5. Hi!
    Who can comment? Who's an "expert"? What are the requirements for being an "expert"? "Cease and desist" letters are a scary possibility when considering this situation and the liklihood that other letters might be sent....from more than one person.

    I've often said that I'm NOT a ballet expert, but I'm setting the "barre" for expertise quite high. Of course I have an opinion....but once upon a time I was only a PARENT of a wannabe dancer. How could I have commented then? Once upon a time I was on a ballet board. How could I have commented then? Once upon a time I gave money to BOTH COMPANIES during the same season. How could I have commented then? Once upon a time I had season tickets to both local companies and NCDT. How could I have commented then? Were comparisons even fair? Now I'm the mother of a professional dancer....and I mean a PROFESSIONAL DANCER with a 52 week contract plus benefits. How can I comment now? Most assuredly my viewpoint has changed but I can honestly say I'm not about to publicly comment now!

    Most people in the arts community are happy, in person, to talk about the ballet scene and all its problems (and your article and blog posts have only touched upon them)....but NEVER publicly!

    I once blogged about ballet here in town....some of the comments were totally vulgar. Be happy that you didn't get some of the comments that you might have received like: Some comment on other posts had to be removed.

    Your article had keen insight and the comments that were written were often more than a little amusing!


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