Thank you for your precious article about "Why Dallas can't dance" [June 22].
As a former dancer and extra for Dallas Ballet and Dallas Opera, I agree that Ballet Dallas is a victim of its own mediocrity. It takes a courageous paper to stand up and say the emperor has no clothes.
Thom Clowers seems to be a victim of artistic jealousy and ego that is uncommon in classical dance. Really great dance is a shared achievement that everyone can take pride in. There is no room for Salieris in such a small, undeveloped dance company.
Thanks for telling it like it is, and keep up the commentary on Dallas' dance scene.
One reason why "Dallas can't dance" is because of articles such as yours, which continue to espouse the negative attitude that all local arts groups made up of people who for the most part are educated and trained in Dallas are inferior to their more elite (and much wealthier!) counterparts in other cities that are run by big-name international stars of the ballet world.
Certainly Ballet Dallas has a long way to go before reaching the stature of other companies, and undoubtedly there is much dissent among the ranks of how their company should be run and by whom. No organization of any kind is immune to these problems. Why present such a negative article? What purpose does it serve? Anyone who had the slightest inclination to attend a Ballet Dallas performance will certainly not do so now.
Having just read Ms. Pierce's scathing article, I feel compelled to write. I am just an ordinary dance lover, not an aficionado like Margaret Putnam, quoted so liberally throughout your article, but I saw Vampire's Folly and Dancer's Persona this year and I have never seen anything more exciting or wonderful anywhere.
I am also sick of hearing complaints about the canned music. If you want to hear great music, go to the Meyerson. If you want a live orchestra for Ballet Dallas, support them so they can afford one. If you want them to have better-looking backgrounds and costumes, support them. Some of their works are breathtaking and need to be acknowledged by the arts community of Dallas, and deserve your support and patronage.
While I am not a critic, and would not attempt to evaluate its performance capabilities, I believe Ms. Pierce has seriously underestimated the quality of the teaching that occurs at The Conservatory.
My son, Adam Hougland, has been a student in The Conservatory for the past five years. During that time we have paid no tuition, because he received a scholarship. This has been a very good deal for Adam, who would not have attended as many classes without some help.
Based on that training, in addition to that of The Arts Magnet High School, Adam has recently gotten himself admitted, also with a scholarship, to the dance program at The Juilliard School. I can only conclude from this that Thom Clower must have taught him something.
Your article was clearly a punch in the kidneys. While continuously working on its leg strength, the young D demonstrates a lot of maturity zeroing in on its target market ["Wick's world," June 15]. What most readers see is a magazine that is obstinate in its pursuit of improvement. I find D to be a bold and welcome fresh face on the local publishing scene.
Your article becomes not too amusing when D's new publisher's demographic and geographic focus is portrayed as exclusionary. Having looked at the addresses of each of your advertisers, I am on firm ground when I charge the Observer with hypocrisy. It seems the new kid (D) is moving in on what has historically been Observer turf.
Keep on swinging, D. When the Observer starts throwing sucker punches your way, you have arrived.
Andrew Calhoun III
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