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Dont you hate when.......


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#1 Solor

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 12:16 PM

you get a video of a live performance, your all excited to see whats gonna happen and how good the production is going to be, and then when the scene comes up and u want to see the stage effects, special effects are used (like in a movie) in place of whats goin on on stage, or sometimes they have 2 images at once, you know, one over the other so u can see both. I just got a DVD of the Kirov dancing "The Sleeping Beauty" (Lezhnina, Ruzimitov) and at the scene where Lilac and the Prince are sailing to the castle where everyones snoozin, right before the final scene of ACT II, special effects were used in place of the stage action. I hate when that happens. Also in my Royal Ballet "La Bayadere" Video, the same thing happens at the end with the destruction of the temple. You can see that the temple is collapsing and that it looks really cool, and over that they have all the dancers running around in a close up in slow motion and you cant really see whats goin on as far ass the stage effects. ARRRRRRRR!

BTW just felt like nagging, and I was wondering if anyone else felt the same.

#2 Giannina

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 01:06 PM

OK, just had to add my pet peeve about ballet videos. Facial close-ups. Why would anyone zero in on a facial close-up while the dancers are DANCING? There are plenty of other opportunities, and even if there aren't I want to see dancing forcryingoutloud. Like you, Solor, I've had this happen in favorite spots of ballets and I'm reduced to weeping.

Sorry; I couldn't resist. Now I'm upset just writing about it.

Giannina

#3 BalletNut

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 03:19 PM

Yes, I do hate it. You're not alone.

Let me add the cases where they do away with the stage sets altogether and film it "on location" the way they did for the ABT Giselle with Fracci and Bruhn. And in that one, they also did plenty of facial close-ups and general photographic weirdness: what does seeing the double-vision manipulation of autumn leaves reflected in a stream have to do with Giselle? Which reminds me of Balanchine's Nutcracker, with that "photo montage" of Marie's memories of the Christmas party, and the flying bed. Oh, and they had a narrator too, and all those sound effects ("Ma-Gic, Ma-Gic") :D

By the way, let me state for the record that while I agree that facial close-ups are annoying, close-ups on other body parts are even worse. Especially feet, which they tend to zoom in on during difficult, often climactic, parts of ballets, namely fouettes and beats. Grrrr.

Bottom line: When I watch a ballet video, I like to pretend I'm seeing a performance in a theatre. If I want special effects, I'll go to the movies. The end. :glare:

#4 Amy Reusch

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 10:15 PM

Sometimes when seemingly inappropriate close-ups are used, it's because someone screwed up somewhere and the editor needed to cut away to an incomplete image so that you won't notice. Of course, when it's someone other than the artists on stage who screwed up....


... well, lets just say that it's a rare to find a professional who would rather allow themselves to look bad than anyone else.

#5 Ari

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Posted 12 January 2005 - 05:09 AM

Which reminds me of Balanchine's Nutcracker, with that "photo montage" of Marie's memories of the Christmas party, and the flying bed. Oh, and they had a narrator too, and all those sound effects ("Ma-Gic, Ma-Gic") :yucky:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


According to Arlene Croce, the children really do whisper "Magic!" during performances of the ballet, but you have to sit very close up in order to hear them. I've never had the privilege.

The narrator was added after test screenings showed that the audience didn't understand what was happening. I think the producers had hoped that the film would have success in theaters as a children's Christmas entertainment rather than as a ballet film. It would be nice if they'd formatted the DVD so that you can turn it off, though. (Come to think of it, maybe you can. I've never tried.)

#6 Mel Johnson

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Posted 12 January 2005 - 06:24 AM

To use the melon analogy: Did you ever stop to think why you get pre-sectioned canteloupe at the grocers'? It's because one spot on that fruit was rotten. So when they cut away to an extraneous super on the fringe of the action, it could easily mean that the central action wasn't very good. At least it's better than some I've seen where they cut away to the conductor while the dancing is still going on, or worse yet, the trombone player!

#7 canbelto

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Posted 12 January 2005 - 06:58 AM

I HATE all the weird photography in that Giselle, particularly the incessant shots of the villagers eating fruit, and all the "underwater reflection" shots in Act2, plus the closeups of the feet, in their sweaty, cuto-out-toed glory. I also thought Erik Bruhn didnt take well to closeups -- he looks his age, plus his face constantly has a puzzled look that reminds me of Will Ferrell impersonating Bush on SNL. Otherwise, I love the film, especially Fracci's heartrending Giselle.

#8 E Johnson

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Posted 12 January 2005 - 07:44 AM

The narrator was added after test screenings showed that the audience didn't understand what was happening.  I think the producers had hoped that the film would have success in theaters as a children's Christmas entertainment rather than as a ballet film.  It would be nice if they'd formatted the DVD so that you can turn it off, though.  (Come to think of it, maybe you can.  I've  never tried.)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


As someone who used this video to get a small child ready for the real thing, I'm in favor of the narration. There isn't too much of it, but it really helps someone not familiar with the story follow along.

#9 rg

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Posted 12 January 2005 - 10:59 AM

with regard to the 'MA-jik' sounded out by the childern in drosselmeier's direction in the party scene, arlene croce is correct to note hearing it when she did, but i learned soon there after that when mr. b. heard it he disapproved and called a halt to it. there were any number of things over the years that crept into nycb's staging of THE NUTCRACKER that can nowadays seem 'gospel' but that are no such thing and in some cases antithetical to balanchine's vision of the ballet.

#10 Herman Stevens

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Posted 12 January 2005 - 09:36 PM

The all-time winner in this respect has to be Plisetskaya Swan Lake video, where we get close-ups of rapt audience members during the climax of the pdd - and not even very good-looking audience members.

I don't think the cantaloupe theory applies here (or M.P. would have been a very spotty dancer). The soviet camera definitely wants us to see that ballet is a wonderful thing, as you can tell by the looks of the audience.

#11 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 13 January 2005 - 02:40 AM

don't know if this applies but i've always liked that moment in the film of swan lake with dudinskaya and sergeyev, in the black swan pas de deux (which starts with the black swan variation!), at the moment where siegfried recalls odette, instead of a vision of her, we get a cartoon white swan flying by, and Odile then tears up and throws away a feather! :D

#12 mohnurka

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Posted 13 January 2005 - 12:55 PM

Oh, yes, those special effects in Sleeping Beauty are so annoying. What, is the audience going to be bored? Well, if they're bored they can fast-forward. No need to ruin the wonderful part with special effects. :angry: Also, in POB Bayadere, when one of the shades was dancing (can't remember which one), instead of showing the end of the variation, the corps de ballet was shown. :D

#13 art076

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Posted 13 January 2005 - 04:26 PM

Also, in POB Bayadere, when one of the shades was dancing (can't remember which one), instead of showing the end of the variation, the corps de ballet was shown.  :D

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Oh I remember this part distinctly - it is the end of the sceond shade's variation (which is normally the first variation in most productions). At the end of the variation she goes into arabesque, then does this "hop" type thing where she keeps going up onto point then coming back down - please excuse my lack of technical knowledge to give this the proper name, but a book seemes to call it a releve-elance in first arabesque. Well the camera seemed to think this was repetitive and unimportant, so it cuts to a shot of the corps de ballet's legs, standing along the side of the stage in pose. Perhaps an error in the filming as was noted earlier? But this always infuriates me while watching the POB Bayadere video.

#14 mohnurka

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Posted 13 January 2005 - 06:01 PM

The POB Bayadere -- that transfer of the camera MIGHT have been caused by the dancer struggling with that movement perhaps? That is just my guess :D.


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