Posted 13 March 2006 - 08:51 PM
A really good performance is only momentarily disrupted by intrusive applause, anyway.
Posted 13 March 2006 - 10:45 PM
Francia Russell once mentioned that while Balanchine didn't like the music to be interrupted, the dancers felt the same way as the ones you've known. She also said that the dancers can feel when an audience is engaged and responsive over the footlights.
Dancers I've known have told me they LOVE to hear applause when they've done something difficult and nailed it. It gives them an energy boost and makes them want to push the level higher.
Speight Jenkins said on Saturday night after Cosi fan Tutte, a very witty production directed by Jonathan Miller, that the performance was as good as any in the run and that one of the reasons was that the singers heard the laughter and enjoyment from the audience, and that spurred them on to give their best. A win/win situation.
Posted 14 March 2006 - 05:39 AM
Posted 14 March 2006 - 01:49 PM
Posted 14 March 2006 - 04:20 PM
In more extroverted ballets, it sometimes seems odd when people DON'T applaud certain combinations or exits; almost like the dancer has failed somehow.
Posted 15 March 2006 - 02:13 AM
Posted 15 March 2006 - 09:06 AM
And this before he even appears!
Posted 15 March 2006 - 11:39 AM
I'm going to veer a little off ballet here -- the worst case of this I've ever witnessed was during the performance of Rigoletto in the 1970's in which Ingvar Wixell made his Metropolitan opera debut in the title role. Originally scheduled to sing with him were Reri Grist and Luciano Pavarotti. I had been at the Opera Guild dress rehearsal in which neither appeared and was prepared, and, sure enough, the pre-curtain announcement came that both singers had the flu-of-that-year. A man just below us in the Balcony yelled out an expletive at full voice and stormed out before the performance began. The audience was kind to the Gilda, who I think was Gail Robinson, but had no tolerance whatsoever for the tenor, Enrico diGiuseppe, whose third act aria was greeted with a number of boos. I just thought of this the other night, when I read his obituary in Opera News.
I think the absolute worst audience reaction is the groan that follows the announcement, "Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. X is unable to dance this evening. Instead, Mr. Y will be dancing the role of Albrecht." Very ungracious to the unscheduled dancer, who may have had to throw the performance together under less than optimal circumstances, possibly with an unfamiliar partner.
And this before he even appears!
Posted 16 March 2006 - 01:16 AM
had no tolerance whatsoever for the tenor, Enrico diGiuseppe, whose third act aria was greeted with a number of boos. I just thought of this the other night, when I read his obituary in Opera News.
That's so rude! No audience should behave like that, even if the performer is not very good, which I imagine was not the case in the situation described above.
Edited by Kate B, 16 March 2006 - 01:17 AM.
Posted 16 March 2006 - 10:54 AM
Posted 04 April 2006 - 10:46 AM
But, last week, the Royal Opera House was staging La Bohème, and the audience was mad, clapping at almost every aria end. In december, in the Auditorio, I attended a Messiah. I couldn't believe when I heard the bravos after the Alleluiah...
Opera and ballet... A very different approach in Madrid.
Posted 08 April 2006 - 04:25 PM
also, the corps de ballet loves to get applause. they work for hours trying to match each other, reviewing every detail of the head and arms. so if their formations are neat and they move in unison, please let them know you appreciate it!
Posted 08 April 2006 - 05:32 PM
Thanks, jessemoo, for making these points.
if the audience is too reserved, then it can be a bit of a letdown to the dancers and they will lose some of their performance energy. it will make them feel as if they haven't engaged their audience. i feel that some of the best performances are done for children because the kids laugh, gasp, boo, scream, etc. whenever they feel like it. that shows they are captivated by what they are watching and the dancers know they are really reaching out to the audience.
I am conscious of trying to attend ballet as a supporter of the art rather than just as a consumer. Sometimes, if I'm deeply involved in a ballet -- for example, at recent performances of Balanchine's Serenade -- I tend to get lost in my own feelings and thoughts and have to remind myself to communicate this to the dancers -- and to my fellow audience members.
When you are able to attend a number of performances by a single company, you quickly learn to tell the difference between a curtain call smile is mostly a formality and one that communicates ... "wow! they love us! and isn't that great!" Audience enthusiasm does make a difference.
Posted 10 April 2006 - 11:58 AM
I'm sure the dancers can tell the difference between pin-drop silence because the audience is so profoundly engaged and the muffles of an inattentive house. I have sometimes been made aware of the audience's oneness of sharpened attention at peak moments. I've also seen dancers feed off that brand of quiet.
I completely agree.
In any case, there can be no "rules" for applause. Applause ought to be an organic thing.....something that happens in the moment. No audience is right, and no audience is wrong......they are just The Audience. The Audience that nite does what it does....that's what makes it real and not gratuitous or phony.
Sure I am distracted sometimes when an audience claps at a time I would perfer it not; but then I sometimes get annoyed when a audience seems relunctant to clap. And of course the scariest time is when YOU are the first to clap. I did this just in the last couple of weeks (perhaps for the 1st time). It just errupted out of me (yes, it was at the end, and the music stopped); there was a rivetting silence; someone had to break it; it happened to be me; I felt my instinct was right on (thank God!).
When all is said and done, I remember a comment Jonathan Poretta once said at the Q&A after a PNB performance when someone asked this very question. His answer (paraphased): "We love clapping; there can never be too much clapping; clap as much as you want".
(But having said all this, the most magical of all I think is what happens as stated in the quote above. The piece ends and all sit stunned in silence having been transported. I too have experienced "audience's oneness of sharpened attention" and that is the most magical of all.)
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