Tonight, I decided to catch the end of a show, which featured Jenifer Ringer, 37 year old Principal Dancer at the New York City Ballet. I was shocked and borderline outraged when Oprah mentioned a rather harsh NY Times critic described Jenifer, who was cast as the Sugar Plum Fairy in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, “looked as if she’d eaten one sugarplum too many.” Damn, those are fighting words.
I'm no expert in ballet or really any dance for that matter. I am
Those are some "normal" (or more "normal") looking ballerinas.
Getting back to the slap heard round the world. Alastair Macaulay's comment seemed even more inappropriate after I found out Jenifer had temporarily left the world of dance to address her issues with anorexia and body image. There were a lot of opinions all "if you're not with us, you're against us" type BS. There are two sides to every story and though I was upset by Macaulay's jab at Jenifer, once I'd read the whole review, I realized he said something even more scathing about Jenifer's partner, Jared Angle, whom he described, “seems to have been sampling half the Sweet realm." Ouch. I did a search on Jared Angle and noticed that argument was born and died almost as quickly as my dance career. Alastair Macaulay did not set forth a formal apology, he instead defended his review saying ballet is all putting the body on display. In the 123s of ballet, yeah that's my understanding too. He also addressed his comment about Jared, which apparently fell on deaf ears. Alastair addressed double standards, which I appreciated him drawing some attention to. I don't believe what he said was any less hurtful, but he is a critic and has a history of making weight comments. Why should he have to show preferential treatment?