Posted 26 June 2009 - 03:14 PM
Most of the formats we've been talking about -- biography, memoir, ghost-written memoir, etc. -- focus on the major figures but exclude the experiences, points of view, and contributions of those who are not so well known. If every star in the world had a biography, we would learn a lot about stars. How much, however, would we learn about the full complexity of the ballet world?
What about an oral history project focusing on less well-known participants, a kind of "history from the bottom up." An example would be a project devoted to NYCB during it's transition from City Center to Lincoln Center, or the effect on the company of Balanchine's illness and death. Similar topics could be devised for almost every major company in the world.
There are plenty of former students, corps members and behind-the-scenes people who might add tremendously to our knowledge of the period or the person, if given the chance to open up in front of a well-trained, well-prepared interviewer. The material gathered, organized, and conserved might teach us things about ballet we don't always think to ask about.