Cubans prevented from dancing Sylphides
Posted 13 October 2003 - 05:26 AM
Posted 13 October 2003 - 06:05 AM
It is Trademarks, not copyrights, which must be enforced, at the risk of not being able to enforce them at all. If ABT had wanted to let the Cubans do this, all they had to do was nothing. If they had wanted good PR, they could have done something along the lines that Mel has indicated without legal consequences of any kind.
Posted 13 October 2003 - 06:38 AM
Posted 13 October 2003 - 08:34 AM
Just a question, why do many people"hate" ABT so much?
That's a topic unto itself.
Posted 13 October 2003 - 12:07 PM
Also the Prelude was quite different: she did not go to stage center (point 5 Vaganova, back turned to the audience, arms raised "a la Isadora"), but rather she went to point 4, 4th arabesque plie pointe tendue, arms as if "sweeping" the air. There were other changes in the Prelude I do not recall right now.
Also in the ballerina's mazurka, she did pas de bourre in 6th position (i.e. feet parallel) between each of the 3 grand jetes in the diagonals. She did not chasse, or coupe - coupe as ABT does.
Posted 13 October 2003 - 02:55 PM
Posted 13 October 2003 - 10:29 PM
Bingham -- many, if not most, posters to this board love ABT -- no quotation marks necessary! -- but I think a lot of people are kind of floored by this policy. It doesn't help that Alonso herself is one of the icons of ABT's history...
Posted 14 October 2003 - 02:40 AM
Posted 14 October 2003 - 04:35 AM
Posted 14 October 2003 - 04:51 AM
Posted 14 October 2003 - 06:01 AM
Posted 14 October 2003 - 07:34 AM
I note that, in the Times Article, it was the Chairman of ABT's Board who personally took responsibility for preventing the Cubans from performing this, expressly noting that ABT had paid a great deal of money for the work and was not about to let anyone else perform it. That, I think, settles the question. Whatever the Fokine Estate's position, the Chairman of ABT's Board -- and not the artistic staff of the company -- chose personally to take responsiblility for this action, and for the express reasons he gave. There is no reason to create scenarios therefore to take the Board or the Company off the ethical/moral hook. The record speaks for itself.
With respect to what productions must look like to conform to a copyright, that can be up to the copyright holder if, as the Balanchine Trust or Estate does, it creates a functional test, saying that what conforms to its copyright is what one of its repetiteurs says conforms to its copyright,or that it licenses only what its repetiteurs say is ok. But if the license agreement simply remains silent, and the estate later thinks the work as performed does a disservice to the original intellectual property, it will -- at least in dance -- have no say at all in correcting this. This is the traditional, previously the only scenario.
Thus, the area of artistic fidelity and what a post above calls "Quality Control" can be dictated in the license agreement and increasingly, since Mr. B's death, estates have attempted to do this. Traditionally, however, "Quality Control" was not really a copyright issue.
There has been, in the visual arts, a set of laws enacted according to the doctrine of what was called, when the idea originated in Europe, "Droites de Suites." This doctrine indeed concerned itself with "Quality Control." It was meant to protect the artist's reputation by enabling the artist to prevent someone using their name on the work when the work had been defaced and altered in such a manner as to detract from the artist's reputation in the public's eyes should the work as mounted continue to be associated with the artist's name. Note that one has to prove that the representation is so degraded that it would harm the artist's reputation. New York has such a law.
The thing is that, as so defined, Droites de Suites will pick up only where Copyright leaves off. That is, it is only when the original Estate or Artist says, "that is so bad it is no longer my work, don't use my name" that the right arises. But by definition, at that time, if you continue to mount a work as, say, "After Petipa," or under a totally different name (e.g., "Alica Alonso's meditation upon Chopin"), you are not infringing a copyright. There are hard cases at the boundaries and unfortunately most of the cases liable to arise fall into this category, but at least in intellectual principle the holder has by definition said "this is not mine."
This is somewhat simplistic, but lays out the general concepts in a confused and developing area.
Posted 14 October 2003 - 07:58 AM
Posted 14 October 2003 - 12:53 PM
We're used to that kind of behavior from for-profit corporations --- they answer only to their shareholders and only secondarily to their customers. But non-profits are different, since there aren't really shareholders in the traditional sense.
I think this is probably the result of someone who decided that ABT needed to be managed more like a "real" corporation, so it can balance its bottom line. Probably, the board brought in some top management brass with corporate experience. And now we see a company that looks more and more like Coca-Cola every day --- first in its advertising and marketing, now in its possesive approach to intellectual property as well.
Whatever the cause, I think that if you make contributions to ABT and you like to watch ballet in New York, then you need to ask why the company is now doing something that will diminish --- not enhance --- your experience as a ballet lover.
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