An A for B-boys
I read your article on Mrs. Wood and Fly in an ecstatic state ["B-boys to Men," by Lauren Kern, June 17]. I was one of her students more than ten years ago, and she honestly changed my life. She gave me permission to be who I am. I would love to walk into her studio and surprise her. Thank you for the article. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed it.
Thank you very much for the feature on Fly Dance Company, and thanks for this coverage of contemporary dance in Houston, one of the most neglected art scenes.
However, Fly is not about Kathy Wood mothering young men behaving badly. It is more than that. It's about a dance company that uses unconventional dance technique to cross into contemporary dance through an unusual collaboration that bridges cultural and age differences -- and not without difficulty.
Can the Houston Press report positive facts, or does the paper need to report the negative trivialities such as were the bulk of the article?
I found particularly objectionable the repeated reference to the dancers as "kids" and "boys." Ms. Kern was made aware that only one dancer is 18, while the other four are 22 to 23. This was disrespectful and demeaning to these young men.
The "blind prejudice" came from an incident of racial prejudice unrelated to the Jewish Community Center, which has been one of the biggest supporters of Fly and contemporary dance.
Why does the paper need to use comments thought to have been made in confidence that are hurtful to people, many of whom may not be reporter-savvy? I feel Ms. Kern betrayed our trust.
Mike Wood, Fly manager
Lauren Kern replies: I'm surprised by Mr. Wood's response to what I think was a positive look at the dance company. To address his points:
(1) I meant no disrespect by referring to the dancers as "kids" or "boys"; those terms were simply characterizing their relationship with choreographer Kathy Wood.
(2) I have checked my notes and stand by the quote in question and the context in which it was said.
(3) I used no comments that I thought were made in confidence. Neither Ms. Wood nor the dancers ever went off the record, and I visibly took notes throughout my reporting.
I am a single parent of a grown daughter. I know it is very difficult finding day care anywhere that accommodates the early, long and late hours of anyone working in a hospital ["Family Unfriendly," "Bye-bye, Baby, Bye-bye," by Margaret Downing, June 3 and June 24].
It seems that these institutions have no insight. They come up with answers that basically say that children do not matter, while telling the public that their hospital is "the most caring." What do they think makes their hospital caring? Happy, unworried employees are able to give the best care. Even if it is a small portion of their employees.
Having on-site day care gives those children emotional stability by being able to see their parents during the work day. This seems to be one small way of helping our future generation grow up as secure, functioning adults, but profit to the few wins out. It amazes me that with the size of the Texas Medical Center and all the bright minds it employs, officials have not been able to come up with a plan for good permanent day care for their employees' children and our future nurses, doctors, etc.
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