Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sugar Plum Fairy doesn’t want apology from critic who called her fat

I posted an earlier article about Jenifer Ringer, having a baby and getting back into dancing. No one is harder on themselves than a professional dancer. Dancers do not need critics personifying their personal beliefs on a new, young mom.

New York City Ballet dancer Jenifer Ringer said Monday that she doesn't want an apology from a New York Times critic who called her fat in a review of "The Nutcracker."

"As a dancer I do put myself out there to be criticized, and my body is part of my art form," she said on NBC's "Today" show. "At the same time, I'm not overweight. I do have, I guess, a more womanly body type than the stereotypical ballerina."

Ringer said different body types should be celebrated in ballet, not criticized.

The dancer suffered from anorexia when she first joined the company. She left the company, recovered, and recently had a baby. Online, writers and fans leaped to her defense, which she said surprised and encouraged her.

"It did make me feel bad about myself, but I really had to tell myself it was one person's opinion out of the 2,000 people that were there last night," she said.

New York Times critic Alastair Macauley wrote in a Nov. 29 review that Ringer, as the Sugar Plum Fairy, "looked as if she'd eaten one sugar plum too many."

He defended himself in a follow-up column, saying that no one expressed outrage when he criticized Ringer's male dance partner for also appearing overweight. "Fat, apparently, is not so much a feminist issue as a sexist one. Sauce for the goose? Scandal. Sauce for the gander? No problem," he wrote, adding that he also has body image issues. "I am severe — but ballet, as dancers know, is more so."

Yahoo News, By Liz Goodwin, Mon Dec 13, 12:57 pm ET

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