Is the Lewis Segal “I hate ballet” fuss still brewing? In the end, I was in too overwhelmed a moment in life to organize my own arguments or follow the blow-by-blows. But Allan Ulrich has summarized the issues most astutely at Voice of Dance:
“Segal, I know, gets around a lot. But he is primarily addressing a local readership that may have sat through more than one lackluster Romeo and Juliet or droopy Swan Lake than is good for the health or soul of any ballet public. It must sometimes be dispiriting for a dance critic to ply his craft in one of the few major world cities that ballet forgot. Still, you need to have the ballet company at hand before you demand innovation or relevance from it. If Segal?s polemic can arouse his city to produce the kind of company that meets his high and not unreasonable standards, it will have fulfilled its mission.”
It’s a balanced response that studies Segal’s argumentation carefully instead of devolving into insider cat-fights, and for that, I recommend it.