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The Turning: Room of Mirrors
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The Turning: Room of Mirrors

Author: iHeartPodcasts and Rococo Punch

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In every ballet studio, there is a wall of mirrors. It reflects the people within. They’re part of a closed, elite group that asks for sacrifice and devotion from its members. This insular community produces iconic artists. It’s founded on a strict power structure, often with one man at the top. By tracing the origins of this unusual lifestyle, starting with the legacy of choreographer George Balanchine and the intimate stories of young dancers, we expose the beauty of an artform and the complexity of ballet culture.
29 Episodes
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If you make a lifelong vow, what does it mean to break it? Can you truly give yourself to God or will your humanity get to you first? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Introducing: Dear Alana

Introducing: Dear Alana

2023-08-3033:491

Simon travels to Boulder to meet Alana’s mother Joyce, and becomes determined to help her understand what happened to Alana. To hear more Dear Alana visit apple.co/dearalana or on the iHeartRadio app. For ad-free listening and exclusive content subscribe to Tenderfoot+ at tenderfoot.tv/plusSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
PART ONE - We enter a hidden world behind convent walls to learn what it’s like for a young sister to join the Missionaries of Charity. MC sisters take strict vows of poverty, chastity, obedience, and wholehearted and free service to the poorest of the poor. As aspirants, they start to learn the rules of this closed society, one that contains secret ceremonies and countless ritualsFor additional content and information, follow the show on Instagram @RococoPunchThis series was inspired by Mary Johnson’s memoir, “An Unquenchable Thirst.” Find it HERE - https://amzn.to/3whsTeOTRANSCRIPT - https://www.rococopunch.com/transcripts Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
PART TWO - The sisters learn more about sacrificial love and what it means to be married to Jesus. Mother Teresa believed suffering brings you closer to Christ, so the sisters look for opportunities for sacrifice – including sacrifices Mary never expected. She also meets a charismatic sister who makes her question whether God’s love is enough.For additional content and information, follow the show on Instagram @RococoPunchThis series was inspired by Mary Johnson’s memoir, “An Unquenchable Thirst.” Find it HERE - https://amzn.to/3whsTeOTRANSCRIPT - https://www.rococopunch.com/transcripts Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
S1: Ep 3 - Mother

S1: Ep 3 - Mother

2021-05-2547:193

PART THREE - She wasn’t always a saint. When Mother Teresa is 36 years old, she hears a mystical voice on a train. Then she has visions — visions she believes are sent by God to tell her to bring souls to Jesus. Little does she know these moments of near ecstasy will lead her to international celebrity. But her path to founding her own religious institute is dotted with challenges and skepticism, even spiritual darkness.For additional content and information, follow the show on Instagram @RococoPunchThis series was inspired by Mary Johnson’s memoir, “An Unquenchable Thirst.” Find it HERE - https://amzn.to/3whsTeOTRANSCRIPT - https://www.rococopunch.com/transcripts Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
PART FOUR - The world’s most admired woman lived a life dedicated to helping the poor – but was it always in their best interest? After Mother Teresa became famous, controversial claims about her work began to emerge. Dangerous medical practices? Secret baptisms? In this episode, we meet Mother Teresa's biggest critics and hear from sisters who were there.For additional content and information, follow the show on Instagram @RococoPunchThis series was inspired by Mary Johnson’s memoir, “An Unquenchable Thirst.” Find it HERE - https://amzn.to/3whsTeOTRANSCRIPT - https://www.rococopunch.com/transcripts Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
PART FIVE - MC sisters are forbidden from having “particular friendships.” They’re not supposed to get close to anyone. They’re supposed to detach from their human relationships so that they can focus on God. They live a vow of chastity to the extreme. But even in the convent, secret love emerges, and two sisters begin a forbidden relationship.For additional content and information, follow the show on Instagram @RococoPunchThis series was inspired by Mary Johnson’s memoir, “An Unquenchable Thirst.” Find it HERE - https://amzn.to/3whsTeOTRANSCRIPT - https://www.rococopunch.com/transcripts Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
PART SIX - Siblings Joan and Sue both join the Missionaries of Charity, and they steal secret moments on the third floor — the only time they can be alone to talk. Like all MC sisters, they live by the vow of obedience. Their story shows how power works in the order: who has power, and what happens when you push back on it. Sue grapples with this from above, as a superior; Joan from below. Content warning: This episode includes a mention of suicide. If you are having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the United States at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). You can find a list of additional resources at SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources.More support (via text) can be found at: https://www.crisistextline.org/For additional content and information, follow the show on Instagram @RococoPunchThis series was inspired by Mary Johnson’s memoir, “An Unquenchable Thirst.” Find it HERE - https://amzn.to/3whsTeOTRANSCRIPT - https://www.rococopunch.com/transcripts Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
S1: Ep Bonus - Kelli

S1: Ep Bonus - Kelli

2021-06-2240:49

BONUS - You know Kelli Dunham from previous episodes. Kelli joined the Missionaries of Charity looking for a life that made sense. That’s not what she found. She had a painful exit from the MCs. But there’s so much more to her story. We talked with Kelli about her life before the Missionaries of Charity and after. About her faith. About her comedy. But mostly about her complicated relationship with her mom.For additional content and information, follow the show on Instagram @RococoPunchThis series was inspired by Mary Johnson’s memoir, “An Unquenchable Thirst.” Find it HERE - https://amzn.to/3whsTeOTRANSCRIPT - https://www.rococopunch.com/transcripts Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
S1: Ep 7 - Silence

S1: Ep 7 - Silence

2021-06-2957:483

PART SEVEN - This episode contains descriptions of alleged sexual abuse. Listener discretion is advised.We meet two former sisters who say they wanted more than anything to be part of the Missionaries of Charity. Along the road to taking their first vows, they allege their mistresses took advantage of the vow of obedience. They claim they were sexually abused by the women tasked with guiding them through the early days of their religious vocation — one in 1987 and the other in 2014.This episode was produced in partnership with Type Investigations.For additional content and information, follow the show on Instagram @RococoPunchThis series was inspired by Mary Johnson’s memoir, “An Unquenchable Thirst.” Find it HERE - https://amzn.to/3whsTeOTRANSCRIPT - https://www.rococopunch.com/transcripts Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
PART EIGHT - "She used to tell us, ‘If ever I will be a saint, I will be the saint of darkness.’ ... And we didn't know what she meant."For additional content and information, follow the show on Instagram @RococoPunchThis series was inspired by Mary Johnson’s memoir, “An Unquenchable Thirst.” Find it HERE - https://amzn.to/3whsTeOTRANSCRIPT - https://www.rococopunch.com/transcripts Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
PART NINE - Is this a cult? How do you leave?For additional content and information, follow the show on Instagram @RococoPunchThis series was inspired by Mary Johnson’s memoir, “An Unquenchable Thirst.” Find it HERE - https://amzn.to/3whsTeOTRANSCRIPT - https://www.rococopunch.com/transcripts Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
S1: Ep 10 - Out There

S1: Ep 10 - Out There

2021-07-2051:031

PART TEN - “I couldn’t come to any clarity unless I took off the habit and was seen.”For additional content and information, follow the show on Instagram @RococoPunchThis series was inspired by Mary Johnson’s memoir, “An Unquenchable Thirst.” Find it HERE - https://amzn.to/3whsTeOTRANSCRIPT - https://www.rococopunch.com/transcripts Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
BONUS - Jenna Cooper is a 36-year-old consecrated virgin who lives in Winona, Minnesota. She tells us what that means, what her life is like now, and what it’s like to feel called when you’re 12 years old.For additional content and information, follow the show on Instagram @RococoPunchThis series was inspired by Mary Johnson’s memoir, “An Unquenchable Thirst.” Find it HERE - https://amzn.to/3whsTeO Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
A closed, elite group asks for sacrifice and extreme devotion from its members. It produces elegant dancers, but at what cost?See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
PART ONE - "He used to say, 'What are you looking at dear? You can't see you. Only I can see you.'"   For more content, follow us on Instagram @RococoPunch TRANSCRIPT - https://www.rococopunch.com/turningtranscriptsSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
PART TWO - "I would experiment a little. I would go to the theater, and the lights would go down, and I would say, 'Okay, I'm going to give you my mood. I'm going to give you all these troubles, and you do something with it,' said I to the stage. And then I would walk out, and I felt like somebody had rinsed me."For more content, follow us on Instagram @RococoPunchTRANSCRIPT - https://www.rococopunch.com/turningtranscriptsSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
S2: Ep 3 - Risk All

S2: Ep 3 - Risk All

2023-01-3149:171

PART THREE - "There are no windows, because we don't need windows, because the outside world doesn't matter. He was God in the theater. Ever observing, ever present. Are you a patriot? Are you a citizen? Are you willing to do whatever I ask you to do?" For more content, follow us on Instagram @RococoPunch TRANSCRIPT - https://www.rococopunch.com/turningtranscriptsSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
S2: Ep 4 - The Muses

S2: Ep 4 - The Muses

2023-02-0756:171

PART FOUR - "Balanchine was so fond of perfume that leaves the scent of that dancer behind, and it still permeates." For more content, follow us on Instagram @RococoPunch TRANSCRIPT - https://www.rococopunch.com/turningtranscriptsSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
S2:Ep 5 - The Prince

S2:Ep 5 - The Prince

2023-02-1453:38

PART FIVE - "Gone unchecked, bad things can happen. And they did." For more content, follow us on Instagram @RococoPunch TRANSCRIPT - https://www.rococopunch.com/turningtranscriptsSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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Comments (13)

Marjan de Ruijter

Great series, thank you.

Feb 4th
Reply

Melissa

great podcast

Feb 1st
Reply

Melissa

imagine just considering the lilies. You know?. Super hard thing to do.

Feb 1st
Reply

WhitneyW

absolutely fantastic. my sister is a nun at a convent in Kentucky and it is really nice to finally have some insight into her life.

Aug 14th
Reply

Holly Matt

An excellent podcast. Truly eye opening hearing the stories of these women.

Feb 4th
Reply

Astrid Stansted

This is a job very well done. Amazing podcast!

Jan 24th
Reply

Chris Baklinski

This podcast was very well done, and I have recommended to several people. I was in the Legionnaires of Christ for 9 years and that was a strange trip. Maybe you can do a podcast on the Legionnaires. The founder turned out to be a pedophile, had secret families, and ended up under house arrest by order of the Vatican.

Oct 4th
Reply

RachelleTayGold

This is truly one of the best podcasts I’ve listened to in a very long time. The writing and the rawness of the witnesses is incredible. Very well done. #therurning

Jul 8th
Reply

M.Rob

I am really enjoying the content, but would appreciate more of a differentiation between the ads and the story. Sometimes it is difficult to tell when one transitions to the other.

Jun 22nd
Reply

Constance Taylor

Skopje is now part of the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia (FYRM) to appease the Greeks because they have an area called Macedonia. North Macedonia does not exist.

May 30th
Reply (2)

Jenni Quatro

the editing jumps all over the place, it would be great if this was updated with a corrected version

May 25th
Reply