Do you enjoy the ballet more if you know the dancers?
Posted 12 April 2003 - 07:14 PM
Posted 13 April 2003 - 12:41 AM
Posted 13 April 2003 - 07:19 AM
Posted 13 April 2003 - 07:50 PM
However, there is nothing more gratifying than spotting an exciting, new kid in the corps, becoming a fan, and then watching them develop and advance. On the other hand, there is nothing more frustrating than spotting an exciting new kid in the corps, becoming a fan, and watching as they languish , wondering, for crying out loud, why management can't see the Star who is before their very eyes.:confused:
Posted 14 April 2003 - 04:47 PM
I do enjoy "following" a company's dancers - such as in a subscription to a series over the years... After reading on Ballet Talk about NYCB's "face" book of company members, we decided to buy it and I'm glad we did as it helps to put names to the various dancers who are not designated soloists or prinicpals, but who are nevertheless very good dancers. I like putting names to faces.
Since we live not far from NYC, we tend to see NYCB and ABT...so "know" them better.
I do like to read the ballet programs and the dancers' bios of visiting companies...just wish I had more time to get to know them all! So yes, in general, it is more fun.... though I still come can come away mesmerized even if I don't.
Posted 15 April 2003 - 02:24 PM
I am lucky enough to be able to get to really "know" dancers by meeting them sometimes and ,yes, that really helps me to enjoy their performances more. Even a short meeting with them helps me to connect with them while they perform. Attending pre or post performance talks by dancers is a great way to get to meet and know them as a person. That adds to my enjoyment of the who experience.
Posted 16 April 2003 - 10:14 AM
The other side to it is that, when you see a dancer very regularly, you stop seeing all kinds of things about them which you noticed and responded to the first few times. Habit (and recognition is a kind of habit) dulls perception a good deal.
(For instance, first time I drive through a strange city I'm full of perceptions and notice so much; by the one hundredth time I "commute" I can drive the whole way without seeing or remembering a thing -- I wouldn't want to push the analogy too far but it illustrates something).
For example, there is a particular dancer at a local company who is extremely idiosyncratic in build and lines -- so much so that, on first viewing, you may wonder whether it is appropriate for them to be a principal dancer at all, no matter how well they move. I've watched that dancer enough, though, to stop seeing the imperfections. Then when someone who doesn't know the company well mentions them, I have to go back and try to remember how actually weird and perhaps "off key" they really are. A friend has likened it to how you don't see your dear old aunt Cyrano's enormous nose any more. In ballet, however, features, build and size do matter.
Posted 18 April 2003 - 05:41 AM
For example, it was a delight to watch Polyana Ribiero rise through the ranks at Boston Ballet. Now that I am in DC, it is possible to watch Washington Ballet this way.
Similarly, as I have gotten to know the young people at the place where I take adult classes better, it has become much more interesting and enjoyable to watch them perform. In fact, I find that watching them more sharpens my sense of their strengths and weaknesses.
Of course, it is also nice to be in a place where a very wide variety of top-notch companies can be seen, though I do sometimes feel a bit "lost" when looking at the names in the program.
It would be hard to choose between seeing a performance by a new, unfamiliar company and an additional performance by a familiar one.
Posted 20 April 2003 - 10:53 AM
Besides, sometimes absence makes the heart grow fonder.
I wish all the companies would stay home and work on their home crowd and let themselves develop a reputation worthy of being out on the road.
Posted 20 April 2003 - 01:36 PM
Posted 21 April 2003 - 05:24 AM
Posted 25 April 2003 - 12:27 AM
I can't really watch anything with dancers I know except the videos of our own performances. In these cases, like Doris said, i focus more on the one dancer and watch their performance rather than the general choreography.
Posted 23 July 2012 - 11:02 PM
In the two weeks since I decided to become a ballet fan I have watched the Royal Ballet almost exclusively (on DVD and Blu-ray, not in person!), with only brief forays into the recordings of other companies.
This concentration means I can already pick out most of the principals and a few of the soloists (YUHUI CHOE!), some by their faces, a few just by the way they move. And knowing who they are, connecting this performance in this ballet to that performance in the other one, developing a feeling for the company and its style and its parameters, makes it all just so much more interesting, especially to a neophyte who has only her emotional impressions to go on.
For me the "way in" to a new art form is always a connection to one artist in particular -- and, pursuing that one, one's attention is arrested by others (YUHUI CHOE!), and then every performance seems to contain at least one person for whose entrances one waits in breathless anticipation...
I'm really not such a critical theatregoer, and I doubt I'll ever make a critical balletgoer. I'm in it for the thrills, frankly.
(This utterly pointless post brought to you by the fact I have to write ten of 'em in order to unlock the full potential of membership on Ballet Alert. ;) )
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