What goes around dances around on point. A few years back a judge ruled that the publicly funded, land-expropriating entity known as Lincoln Center in New York is "within its rights to restrict events to those with artistic content." What he meant was: "Lincoln Center has the right to put out any political message it wants and call it artistic, and tell us all to shut up." Isn't that what Kulcha's all about?
Judgie didn't know what he was getting into. The new foot-high typography on the side of the New York City Ballet's theater isn't particularly artistic, but it certainly has political content: it renames the building "The David H. Koch Theater." First the Teabaggers, then Wisconsin, now this:
Of course the New York City Ballet's been in an economic tailspin for a while, they need all the help they can get. For me the New York City Ballet's been in an aesthetic tailspin for the longest time as well, undoubtedly for the same reasons, but my friend George is more patient than I am, he even attends most games at Yankee Stadium.
Still, patience has its limits, even for a Yankees fan:
Mr. Peter Martins,
The New York Ballet
20 Lincoln Center Plaza
New York, NY 10023
April 29, 2011
Dear Mr. Martins:
After considerable thought, I have decided not to renew by subscription to the New York City Ballet after having two orchestra seats for twenty-five years. I have been uncomfortable walking into a venue named after David H. Koch, an avid advocate of anti-democratic, right-wing causes whose explicit agenda is the destruction of federal support for the arts. It is ironic that the City Ballet, as a historic beneficiary of New York City and New York State governmental support at City Center and Lincoln Center, is now beholden to the likes of Mr. Koch. If I were to continue my subsc-ription, entering Koch Theater would be like a Jew entering a performance space named after Joseph Goebbels.
I fully understand that money talks particularly in hard economic times: He who pays the piper, calls the tune. On the other hand, I have deep admiration for luminous figures like Toscanini, Casals, Bartok and Balanchine whose consciences precluded their collaboration with totalitarian and extremist regimes. With affection, I remember when extremely nervous City dancers stood in front of the curtain asking us to write letters of support to legislators to keep public funding for the arts intact.
I am grateful for many wonderful afternoons spent with the City Ballet, but to everything there is a season. I hope there will be a time when public patronage of the arts will counter the insidious effects of elitist, big money and private agendas on the Arts.
G. S. G., New York
If life hands you a restriction from making political statements, make a political statement by restricting yourself. Nietzsche put it more bluntly: "If it totters, push it."
[Shiver]: Lord of the Dance.