Friday, October 13, 2017

Chosen and Forgotten

I have been met with some weird stuff in this odyssey of finding "The Chosen Ones" but there is nothing weird about Companies who not only HAVE no photos of their dancers but don't even CARE.
If you were Chosen in the 1990's and you weren't a "Pietragalla" you were an employee.  One Company is like Soviet Russia - there are no photos of five of the dancers  and they claim one is dead.  She's not. The dancers will not talk to me but for one and I found an obscure article where one of the girls cried foul on the company.  But I can't find her either.  It's  like an iron curtain.  One Chosen One is on the 1996 program which is the only proof of her existence. On the right.

NOW.  There is another company who's Chosen Ones are all over the internet.  You can not get away from them because they're like over-indulged children and the world is theirs' for the taking.  Good for them.

But two of their dancers from the 1990's seem to have disappeared into thin air like a rumor  but for the fact they are not.  They are very much alive and visible, dancers, teachers and contributors to the dance world.  Just not the dance world of the 1990's where they sort of put the company on the map with "Le Sacre du Printemps", but hey what do I know but everything.

One dancer responded to my contact that the role was "just a blip" in her career and thanked me not to ask for a photo.  Blip my ass.  It's likely the most difficult 5 minutes in a dancer's life.  I can only assume she was terrible as the company is threadbare, limping to the barn and the collection won't suffer without her blip.


The last 40 seconds are just cruel.  Did Nijinsky hate his sister?  I think so.

Somehow this company in England came to believe they are, indeed, royalty and "Le Sacre du Printemps" was nothing more than an obligation, like a snowflake or a waltzing flower. Only one dancers' photo is out there with just the company's name.  I tracked her down. It's Molly.  In case anyone cares. It's Molly.

While I have tried so hard for photos of these warriors who understood the importance and significance of Le Sacre, I have found only one thing:  they weren't respected, they weren't acknowledged. 

That's why the Chosen One collection is important.  Each dancer should be acknowledged and though the "stars" don't give a shit....believe me.. I don't give a shit about you either.  You are in the collection, just another photo.   A place where you aren't all that important.

Of all things.

Yours for the price of a cocktail,


(top photo:  Beatriz Rodriguez, Herbert Migdoll)

Thursday, October 12, 2017


Once you see Le Sacre very up close, you realize the ballet actually exists in the first act.  It is fraught with impossibilities made possible.  Nijinsky saw things no one could have possibly imagined.

Everything after that is foggy.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


They too were Chosen though not recognized and left to obscurity - employees, not artists and courageous artists.   But here they are on a list: 4 dancers from the 1994 - 1997 Finnish National Ballet, warriors who took on what is likely the most difficult 5 minutes in ballet:

Marjo Räisälä
Susanna Vironmäki.
Katja Frank
 Kirsi Tiiliharju 

I had the good fortune to work with Kirsi on a tribute video to Millicent Hodson, the woman behind the restoration of Nijinsky's lost masterpiece.  There are no performance photos of her or any of these dancers.  But Kirsi's recall of how those 5 minutes impacted her are amazing.  I need only to find the other three,...

Here is Kirsi's video:

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Five Minute Survivors

I've been editing clips of the various watchable Chosen One performance down to the last moments:
The Dying Moment

Newcomer Tatiana Tkachenko makes it her own.  Please visit The Chosen Collection.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Have You Read Fatova Lately? She Sucks.

Yeah.  I have.  She is writing on this site  Lackademik.  

But she is totally unrecognizable.  Alright, this third person shit is for the NFL and every drama on BET. 

I am losing my voice.  My sarcastic, caustic, rude tone is drowning in the correctness one must adopt when teetering between the gracious company of their previous targets and their quickly-thinning target audience.

Let it rip, let it rip. 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

beatriz rodriguez (orig from Oct 2010

About a year ago someone wrote me here and asked if I knew anything about Beatriz Rodriguez, the Joffrey dancer who had the first honor of dancing the role of the The Chosen One in the 70 year-in-the-making reconstruction of Vaslav Nijinsky's choreography to Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" or Le Sacre du Printemps - considered by many to be the single greatest musical work ever. I'm on board with that of course. 

Rodriguez debuted the ballet to the world in fact when The Joffrey Ballet televised the performance out of San Francisco in what we all know today as the 1987 debut of "the reconstruction" and I hate that.  I refer to it as the recovery of Nijinsky's ballet and soul and he was at last recognized thank you Millicent.  Big stuff. 

I like to compare the reaction of the Chosens when they are ..chosen!  All are unique.  But here...I look at B-Rod's face and you see her surpsise AT the other girls.  As if the schoolyard bullies stopped yelling and hit her but they have selected her to die, something she knows might befall her but when it happens... 

Her face registers that "how could you!" and from there she is in no state of graceful ballet.  She spins in that circle in confusion.  And this stuff is not lost on the kids/people watching the 87 Joffrey on my YouTube channel. 

This little 10 second piece shows what I mean .  She registers the emotional shock and I think she conveys the libretto with such frightening drama that she holds people in those minutes.  It's so barbaric and she is terrified.  

Some kid wrote:  "see how she runs to each side of the circle?  I think she is trying to escape."

This is not some pedestrian observation.  It is the huge spiritual aspect of Le Sacre which is why I am shuffling over here to Lackademik

So there were rumors that she was not "light enough" for the role. That is, she is ethnically not perfect. Thank goodness she wasn't dancing for Mary Wigman in France in '38.  She would have been on a freight train in no time - yes, Wigman DID hand her Jewish friends over.  Genius - nope. Nazi - yes.

I digress.  It's possibly true for that time though it;s foggy and I can't get a real grip on it. I read an article today where B-Rod hints at this in '95 with the Chicago Trib.

So, I was asked - when I first wrote this piece in 2010 - if I knew anything more on Rodriguez because Inquiring Minds Want To Know. And a year later, I have this site with 3 pages of Herbert Migdoll  slides from Joffrey performances of days gone by featuring Beatriz but not as a Chosen One.  What you do find is black and white shots and my God she was TINY! 

So who knows?  Beatriz and the company and so to you who have asked, I know as much as you. Sorry I lost track of you. It's been a terrible year. 

5 years later

UPDATE::  Along with a wild Hungarian dancer named Andrea Ladanyi, some SERIOUS progress has been made.  Thank you to the "heavy hitters" who have gotten involved.

Beatriz is a mythical creature to the thousands of viewers/commenters on the YouTube video.  They want to know more.  And they hate dance.  They swear and say stupid things and insightful things and then...they come back.  And they have learned more.  Just like I did in my beginning.

Tonight when I heard from one of the THREE ORIGINALS of the 87 Joffrey - Gates, Rodriguez and  Carole Valleskey  I was over the moon.  Took 7 years but I may actually communicate with her and you know what?  It needed to take 7 years.  In that time, that peformance on YouTube has transfixed and transformed so many people.   She has a curtain call left.  With us.

Carole Valleskey...BLESS YOU for sharing this which will be shared and so excitedly received.