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Bravo or something else

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Re-reading an Arlene Croce review, I came across a statement from the 1970s that implied that the "falsetto whoof" was replacing the bravo in New York City performances of the day.

I've always felt that dancers usually deserve an audible, enthusiastic responsel, and I am willing to be noisy when the curtain falls. In my pedantic youth, I used to look closely at the stage prior to shouting either bravo, brava, brave, or bravi, depending on gender. Now I go for the unadorned bravo or the whoof.

What do you do to signal your appreciation of performance? In what circumstances do you do it? What's the furthest you will go? Do you ever signal disapproval audiblyl?

And if you are or have been a dancer, what audience tribute did you appreciate the most?

P.LS. Croco broods about the whoof: "Is [this] another mark of the Me generation? Bravos, oles -- all the traditional audience vocables -- say, YOU were wonderful.; they're directed to the performer. These wordless woofs say, I'M wiped out." Another of those wonderful, intense Croce pontifications that (alas) make you think: Maybe there is less to this than meets the eye.

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I also go for the bravo or the whoof...mostly the "bravo". It's what I prefered as a dancer (and I was one). But, I hung up my pointe shoes in 1985, so that was some time ago...I only bravo if I'm truly bowled over by a performance. I would never show disapproval by booing or anything of that nature. I would consider this to be incredibly boorish. Artists work so hard that even if a performance is truly dreadful, I just would not have the heart to do this. I always try to find some good or positive even if less than a stellar performance.

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I'm a clapper. "Woof" never felt right, but "woo hoo" works for sporting events :thanks:

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I am an enthusiastic woofer, although I usually leave off the "f". I didn't know it was supposed to have one. :)

My vocalisation, after a stellar performance, usually starts with a loud "wooo!" or "bravo/a" (I, too, attempt to match gender, but am thinking of giving it up) and is followed by palm-reddening clapping, my hands rising from my lap to a mid-air position somewhere near my head.

Of late, the acclaim at the performances I've been to has taken on a Russian flavour, as the beat-your-own-drum North American applause morphed to the let's-all-clap-in-unison Russian cadence, which speeds up according to the pleasure the audience as a whole had in viewing the dancers.

Personally, I try to get in a few more "wooo"s if the dancing warranted it. I'm usually moved to do more than I do, but rein myself in because by nature I am conservative and stop before my seat neighbours think I've gone bonkers. :thanks:

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I usually clap loudly, seldom shout bravo, and sometimes stamp my feet, which is what is done here.

The simultaneous clapping is quite common in Germany, too; I had no idea it was considered Russian.

When I was dancing, I was pleased if people clapped loudly and long, and any bravos or whatever was also great.

I agree with Gina Ness that booing or anything like that is not on. And, anyway, usually it was not the dancers' "fault" for whatever went wrong with a production.

So, unless those responsible come onstage, I feel it best to withhold a negative response.

(editing to add: and even then I am a bit conservative and tend to give them all the benefit of the doubt)

-d-

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I am a dancer of a smaller company in a small city, because we have many "recreational" dance groups, parents tend to "woo hoo" "woof" all the time, while the louder the better attitude reigns here, i think bravos show the crowd is proud of the work, and not just yelling for their daughter...

(must admitt, the louder, does give the dancers a rise, showing that the audience really liked the performance)

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The simultaneous clapping is quite common in Germany, too; I had no idea it was considered Russian.

Diane, I almost wrote "European" clapping, assuming it to be prevalent all over Europe, but with no proof, stuck to what I knew.

The Russians here in Canada and in the U.S. (at least New York) have started to make up a large part of the audience for certain ballet performances, and it is clearly they who start the rhythmic clapping. I also know that it goes on in Russia, hence my attributing its origin to the Russians.

Does anyone know if this kind of clapping is native to Russia or did it begin elswhere?

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The Russians here in Canada and in the U.S. (at least New York) have started to make up a large part of the audience for certain ballet performances, and it is clearly they who start the rhythmic clapping.

This may mean we're in for some confusion. :( In the U.S., rhythmic clapping is considered rude. It's usually done as an expression of impatience, as when the audience is seated and the curtain doesn't go up.

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In the U.S., rhythmic clapping is considered rude.  It's usually done as an expression of impatience, as when the audience is seated and the curtain doesn't go up.

You're right, Ari! But I don't think anyone will get mixed up. With the globalization of ballet, dancers and audiences unused to it will begin to realize it is a supreme accolade.

So far, I've only witnessed this phenomenon occuring at the very end of the performance, and, at least in North America (for now!) it is preceded by the kind of applause we are used to hearing.

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It really depends on what the ballet was and the ways I was affected. I can't see myself doing anything other than "Bravo/a/i!!!" for a Pillar of Fire or a Mozartiana that brings me to tears, but a rousing DonQ, definitely warrants a "Whoooop!" Then there are those middle ground ballets -- most ballets. I guess whether I bravo or whoop for them depends on the specific performance, but it seems to me that as time goes by, I've become more of a whooper than a bravo-er.

If I think people near me are overreacting in their enthusiasm, I applaud less, to compensate. :(

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I am a very vocal ballet-goer, stemming from my 40-years as a devoted opera fan. Yelling "bravo/brava/bravi" (when it's deserved, of course) is fun. Once in a while I will let out a high "whoop" though I feel rather undignified doing it at my age. Once I actually screamed - for Wendy. I couldn't control myself! I think the dancers love to be cheered.

I have only booed once at the ballet and that was at the NYC premiere of the Balanchine COPPELIA when I and some friends booed Danilova because we hated her staging of the second act. And I still basically don't like it, but since I rarely go to COPPELIA anymore it doesn't matter.

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I'm shocked that you booed Danilova, Oberon. Have you also booed Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy? I hope you have a new group of friends.

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I don't believe in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy. We weren't the only ones booing, either.

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Clapping is my chosen method, as loud as possible if the performance warrants it (unless the people in front of me turn around and express displeasure, as happens sometimes) and hands over head for added carrying of the sound to the stage. Sometimes a bravo/a/i or two, if there's not too much water in my pipes.

What's the farthest I'll go to show my appreciation? I'll write out a check, and send it to the company...

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Well, the gentleman behind me at Pacific Northwest Ballet last Friday is part of the "bravo" school, but he seems to swallow the first syllable and shout the second, so it was "...Vo! ...Vo!"

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I think silence is much more effective and dignified than booing.

I also don't think a staging should ever be booed unless the stager has misrepresented the choreographer's intentions. Staging is not choreography; it is an attempt to reproduce what someone else has designed. Therefore, booing a stager is like shooting the messenger.

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I agree with Hans! Booing is just rude.

If I really hate something, I just don't clap. If I like something even a little bit, I do clap, just to acknowlege the effort. If I really like it I clap louder.

I have even been brought to my feet in admiration of an outstanding performance, while continuing to clap.

I cannot under any circumstances bring myself to "whoop," even for a relative or friend who is performing. In fact, the "whooping" (or whatever it's called) really bugs me. :)

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Re-reading an Arlene Croce review, I came across a statement from the 1970s that implied that the "falsetto whoof" was replacing the bravo in New York City performances of the day.

I've always felt that dancers usually deserve an audible, enthusiastic responsel, and I am willing to be noisy when the curtain falls.  In my pedantic youth, I used to look closely at the stage prior to shouting either bravo, brava, brave, or bravi, depending on gender.  Now I go for the unadorned bravo or the whoof.

What do you do to signal your appreciation of  performance?  In what circumstances do you do it?  What's the furthest you will go?  Do you ever signal disapproval audiblyl?

And if you are or have been a dancer, what audience tribute did you appreciate the most?

P.LS.  Croco broods about the whoof:  "Is [this] another mark of the Me generation?  Bravos, oles -- all the traditional audience vocables -- say, YOU were wonderful.; they're directed to the performer.  These wordless woofs say, I'M wiped out."  Another of those wonderful, intense Croce pontifications that (alas) make you think:  Maybe there is less to this than meets the eye.

Personally, being a dancer I have to say I love getting a brava & some whistles. :blush: For some reason being on stage & looking out into the audience after a great performace & hearing those bravas gives me a rush. I love the feeling.

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i have a friend that says:

"bravo" at the opera

"brava" at the ballet

and a quick inhale then sigh at modern dance concerts...

he's also the guy who says that modern dance is the art of running into

imaginary barriers...

sooooo funny!

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I make a lot of noise at performances, sometimes at the end of a variation, even -- if it was really well-danced, sometimes I can't help myself. For some reason, Sarah van Patten makes me do this rather more than most.

And i don't know what's going to come out of my mouth -- sometimes it's brava!, sometimes it's "you go, girl!", sometimes it's 'wow!"

but at the bows, for some reasons, what I seem to say is "hooray!" -- and hte weird thing is, it comes out when the dancer actually bows -- like at hte moment when s/he drops her eyes, that's when the impulse takes me....

I've almost never felt like booing at the ballet. At a modern dance performance once, where a man was doing unspeakable things to a bag of hamburger, I hollered "demasiado!" (since everything about hte show was in Spanish).

And he stopped.

There've been times at the opera lately where I wanted to boo hte stage director -- at SF opera, they've started "choreographing" the chorus, who have to come on and DO THINGS which they are obviously embarrassed to do.... the whole section of the audience around me will be seething with embarrassment and indignation at these bizarre stagings (for exmple at the ball in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, which normally has a real ballet to the Polonaise, the chorus did some very awkward step-halt things for 15 minutes, while a colossal chandelier lit itself via som fantastic mechanism that caused little flames to run around it for nearly the whole 15 minutes, which was obviously some designer's hare-brained idea of how to make up for the lack of a ballet.... I REALLY wanted to boo that idea and everybody responsible for it -- but not the chorus, who had merely to suffer, it wasn't their fault. And only a few months later, something equally ludicrous was perpetrated on hte wedding dances in Tchaikovsky's "Queen of Spades" -- the singers looked SO embarrassed, and we were all beside ourselves.

But this seems to happen much more often in opera....

Oberon, I'm surprised you SURVIVED booing Danilova. i think I'd have asked you to step outside.

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