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Estelle

POB 2004-2005 season

33 posts in this topic

Naoko, you pointed out a very interesting thing: what the dancers want and think. From what I have heard from some POB dancers, they are as sorry as us about next season and for two main reasons.

Did you really hear that, Juliette? It does sound like news to me.

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Yes, I spoke with some young dancers from the corps and they told me that and a friend told me two dancers have told her the same. But perhaps they don't all think that; I don't know and I just wanted to tell that even dancers could be disappointed.

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Juliette,

>>Of course they are interested to work with new choreographers and on different things, but they want new ballets to stay classical,

Yes, you've really summed up the stance every ballet company should *ideally* take, I think. For a long time I was led to believe POB's stance towards contemporary works were that way, but now a catalyst seems to take over the main frame, which is a tragedy..... (How can dancers enrich their reading or cultivate the depth in classical roles when they are rarely given opportunities to dance - the best teacher for young dancers to absorb classical roles I think is nothing but experiences...... )

I've read your observations on French public's attitude towards dance/ballet with great interests. Well influential people do exist in any field of art, or in any country, but personally I'm inclined to think it's more to do with the company's directions. One AD can make an epoch-making change, as Nureyeve once did to POB - if as Estelle pointed out Mme Lefèvre's old frames with modern dance were still going strong after decades, well, things aren't really looking favourable to us at least in her tenure......

Estelle,

>>(e.g. any "cultivated" person is expect to know at least a little bit about, say, Bach or Beethoven, or who composed "Carmen" or "La Walkyrie", but that's not the same for Petipa or Fokine) and that probably influences the reactions or many people.

Sadly your point seems relevant - and it looks like a universal phenomenon to me. Let's just say that opera in general is more accessible art than ballet :( - it's actually true as opera doesn't take a lot of efforts for viewers to appreciate - if music was good and presented in a good manner it would work, whereas appreciating ballets perhaps takes repeated viewings and background knowledge on narratives are also desirable as there's no word to explain what's going on on the stage.

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POB spectators wrote a petition under form of "open" Letter to the Direction against the classical and neoclassical crisis in POB due to the next Season.

For sign this petition, you must print it and send it to the indicated mail address !

Petition

Thanks to all the foreign spectators to send it :unsure: More we are numerous, more we could have a 2005-2006 season more exciting.

By the moment, text is in French unfortunately, but we will make translate it !

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Merci, Francoise!

I'm very glad the French balletgoers are letting the management know what they think!

There have been many interesting comments on this thread. We're having the same problem here (except our non-classical ballet often tends to be pop dance, dance to pop music). What Estelle wrote about "culture generale" is true in America, too:

I'd say that there are many prejudices against ballet (in the classical sense), and unfortunately in France it often is considered as"not intellectual enough", not a "serious" form of art (while classical music or opera, for example, would be treated better), ballet is not considered as part of "culture générale"

(e.g. any "cultivated" person is expect to know at least a little bit about, say, Bach or Beethoven, or who composed "Carmen" or "La Walkyrie", but that's not the same for Petipa or Fokine) and that probably influences the reactions or many people. If the Comédie-Française, for example, said "well, next season we will perform only one play by Molière, nothing by Corneille, Racine, Marivaux, etc. and only works dating from the last 20 years" , it's likely that there would be a lot of surprised and angry reactions in the press... But it's not the same for dance.

One of the big problems in American dance writing is that the editors, at both publishing houses and newspapers, are no longer "cultivated" in this sense of the word -- as they would have been a generation ago. It's a symptom of the same problem: there's little arts education; education in the performing arts was once done privately, in families, and that seems to have stopped.

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I've just read this petition and it's exactly what a lot of people think here!

I signed it and I hope a lot of people will do the same.

(And if you need a translation, it will be soon available)

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Juliette,

I put up a Japanese translation of the petition (based on your English translation) in a forum of a Japanese POB fan-site. (Thanks Karen for your kind help!) Don't really know how many of so-many Japanese POB fans out there would take notices though. And even if they did, taking an action was quite another story; please remember we are a nation of notoriously *shy* people - particularly so in making ourselves heard. But let's see....

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Thanks Naoko to post our petition on japanese forum. I think we have nothing to loose or to be frightened, sending the petition :rolleyes: .

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