“This may be the artistic organization that finally mobilizes the elusive community spirit in dot-com land, the one that channels all that newly acquired wealth into a legacy for the future. The South Bay will have a fully professional company to call its own. And, in an era when anybody with big bucks, a ballerina chum and a serious case of artistic amnesia can found a suburban vanity troupe, the work of Ballet San Jose’s executive director Andrew Bales and his staff deserves a fanfare or two.” – San Francisco Examiner


New study says that the punishment ballet dancers inflict on their bodies is comparable to professional football players or wrestlers. “Ballet is physically grueling and the fact that other dancers are competing with them adds to the physical stress. They often perform hurt and are afraid someone will take their place. Many dancers have eating disorders and they lead very, very stressful lives. The level of precision required is comparable to that of an Olympic gymnast.” – Chicago Tribune


There’s been an exodus of dancers from the Australian Ballet. Is it just a seasonal thing as contracts come up for renewal or is there something more worrisome? “Right now, many dancers of the Australian Ballet are unhappy. And while it’s easy to say dancers are always fearful, their state of mind matters because they are the assets of the company. And if the assets are unhappy, word gets out.” Sydney Morning Herald


A New Zealand dance teacher conducts a survey of teaching dance in New Zealand and finds widespread abuse – “splinters of glass deliberately being placed in the shoes of a young ballerina, a mother pushing her daughter’s rival down a flight of stairs, a mother giving her daughter alcohol and drugs to calm her before ballet exams, and girls forced to diet to maintain the thin ballerina’s figure.” – New Zealand Herald

  • DENIAL? Most of Auckland’s ballet teachers met at an emergency meeting  to discuss the survey, which attracted wide media attention this week. – New Zealand Herald 10/13/00
  • PROTESTS: New Zealand’s ballet world is “up in arms over the survey, which was initially based on 40 students’ experiences.” – New Zealand Herald 10/14/00
  • DEFENSE: “It is disconcerting to realise that there are obvious parallels to be seen between the 19th-century model of a perfect female and the 21st-century model of a desirable ballet student/dancer. – New Zealand Herald 10/16/00


“One of these two men is ‘the world’s greatest living choreographer’. Or the other one is. They have both been called it, by rival camps. They are the twin faces of contemporary dance: the one experimental, abstract, visual; the other athletic, emotional, musical. The followers of dance divide fiercely on who is the master, with Taylor commanding delight from those who find Cunningham abstruse, and the Cunninghamites sometimes scorning Taylor for being too ‘accessible’.” – The Telegraph (London)


From the ashes of failure in Cleveland, the Cleveland San Jose Ballet company is reborn this week as a new company in San Jose. “It is the latest and most important chapter in a tale of artistic integrity and civic pride, of all-American optimism and resourcefulness, of triumph. What could have been a major tragedy for dance in the Bay Area – and what in fact was a senseless loss for Cleveland – has been turned into a major victory for American culture.” – San Francisco Chronicle