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The Dancer or the Dance?...or sets & costumes, or new staging...


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#16 kfw

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 07:14 PM

YouOverThere, I enjoyed your post and I look forward to reading your reactions to what you see as you keep going to the ballet. I've been going to the ballet for over 30 years (with about 5 years off) and I'm still not terribly knowledgeable about step names, but I've never heard of a "foite." Is that an alternate word for fouettes? If there is no such step, they ought to invent or rename one, and meanwhile, thanks for the laugh, because the word is so fitting!

You also made me smile about the modern dance performances that were agony for you to sit through. I enjoy some modern dance choreography very much, but I remember once closing my eyes and bowing my head during a modern piece that followed the Balanchine classic "Agon." Other posters here have confessed to sitting out certain ballets in the theater lobby, and no less a balletomane than Edward Gorey, rumored to have attended every single New York City Ballet performance for many years, sometimes did the same. What is it about something we love that, twisted just the wrong way, turns into something we can't stand?

#17 bart

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 07:36 PM

ballet has a high goose-bump factor.

Yes indeed. And the great thing is, as you watch more performances, you see more and learn more, the goose bumps get even better.

#18 YouOverThere

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 08:18 AM

I've been going to the ballet for over 30 years (with about 5 years off) and I'm still not terribly knowledgeable about step names, but I've never heard of a "foite." Is that an alternate word for fouettes? If there is no such step, they ought to invent or rename one, and meanwhile, thanks for the laugh, because the word is so fitting!


I got the word "foites" from an email sent to me by another poster on this board. If it is mis-spelled, it is all THEIR FAULT.

You also made me smile about the modern dance performances that were agony for you to sit through. I enjoy some modern dance choreography very much, but I remember once closing my eyes and bowing my head during a modern piece that followed the Balanchine classic "Agon." Other posters here have confessed to sitting out certain ballets in the theater lobby, and no less a balletomane than Edward Gorey, rumored to have attended every single New York City Ballet performance for many years, sometimes did the same. What is it about something we love that, twisted just the wrong way, turns into something we can't stand?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I brought up "modern dance" because I don't have a lot of bad ballet experiences to reference. Most of the non-ballet dance performances that I've been to have been by local groups where the quality is very uneven.

#19 carbro

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 11:33 AM

I have been to several performances by "modern dance" companies that were agony to sit through.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I used to avoid Modern performances. My ballet friends kept trying to get me to Paul Taylor, but I insisted "I don't like Modern Dance." They said, "No, you don't like Martha Graham. Give this a try." I finally caved in, and in a little over two hours, I'd fallen in love. :)

There's Ballet and there's Modern. There are good works and bad ones. But I don't think there's any correlation between one to the other. Of course, it may be that there is something about Modern -- the use of weight, the absence of pointe shoes or something else -- that doesn't allow you to be pulled in. I'd recommend trying to track down the Paul Taylor Dance Company video (I doubt it is available on DVD) that includes "Esplanade."

#20 YouOverThere

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 12:09 PM

I have been to several performances by "modern dance" companies that were agony to sit through.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I used to avoid Modern performances. My ballet friends kept trying to get me to Paul Taylor, but I insisted "I don't like Modern Dance." They said, "No, you don't like Martha Graham. Give this a try." I finally caved in, and in a little over two hours, I'd fallen in love. :)

There's Ballet and there's Modern. There are good works and bad ones. But I don't think there's any correlation between one to the other. Of course, it may be that there is something about Modern -- the use of weight, the absence of pointe shoes or something else -- that doesn't allow you to be pulled in. I'd recommend trying to track down the Paul Taylor Dance Company video (I doubt it is available on DVD) that includes "Esplanade."

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


My wording may have been a little misleading. I wasn't intending to knock modern dance. Because most of the "modern dance" performances that I've seen have been by local groups performing their own choreography, it's easier to think of examples of poor dancing and lame choreography from them than from the ballet performances that I've seen. Indeed, the Colorado Ballet has done several works that arguably aren't true ballet, such as "Appalachian Spring" and "Earth Tribe" (a hip hop dance piece). To me, art is art and as long as it's meaningful and challenging for the artists I can appreciate it.


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