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BNC's 21st Century Choreography Competition 2008On YouTube


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#1 Ed McPherson

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Posted 27 December 2007 - 04:26 PM

Has anyone been checking out the video entries for the Choreographic Competition that BNC is hosting this year? What are your thoughts?

Competitions YouTube Site

#2 koreografiti

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 09:37 AM

Has anyone been checking out the video entries for the Choreographic Competition that BNC is hosting this year? What are your thoughts?

Competitions YouTube Site


I viewed part or all of each entry. Is this really what passes for choreography? It is more of what what one sees at virtually every performance of so-called contemporary ballet. Most of it is dim and formless. God forbid anyone should actually use real steps to music. It puts me in mind of Balanchine's response to what is lacking is most choreography: namely, skill. Some day there will be a backlash to all this meaningless writhing and flopping. Choreographers would be well advised to work harder and develop a modicum of craft.

#3 Ed McPherson

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 02:22 PM

I generally really like dance. I realized right away how I take the artform in differently when I am at a computer instead of sitting in a theater with nothing else to do but watch. I was surprised at how willing I was to say next and click on to the next one if nothing grabbed my attention in the first 30 seconds.

#4 carbro

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Posted 29 December 2007 - 10:17 PM

I viewed part or all of each entry.

I admire your fortitude, koreografiti. I didn't view nearly as much as you did, but each of the three pieces I viewed had a moment or two that seemed original. Unfortunately, nothing surrounding those moments justified a whole (even if very brief) ballet.

I agree that the aspiring choreographers would do well to learn first the concept of craft and then its application.

I'm glad you finally delurked, koreografiti, and look forward to hearing from you more often. :thumbsup:

#5 bart

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 10:27 AM

I generally really like dance. I realized right away how I take the artform in differently when I am at a computer instead of sitting in a theater with nothing else to do but watch. I was surprised at how willing I was to say next and click on to the next one if nothing grabbed my attention in the first 30 seconds.

I very much identify with this. I wonder what the implications will be as more and more people get their art in on-line formats. Programs consisiting of 30-second ballets?

As for the competeition: am I correct in assuming that these are students who are interested in choreography and are using this competition as a chance to work on ideas that may have occurred to them in an unorganized fashion in the studio or while watching dance videos? I hope that the judges -- Trey McIntyre, whose work I like very much; Gil Boggs; and Wendy Perron -- can give some guidance to those who are competing.

In the pieces I looked at, I missed a sense of structure and development. The failure of several of these pieces to engage on any serious level with the music surprised me the most.

One piece, danced to a score that consisted of simple percussion rhythms accompanied by a tooting trumpet, reminded me of doodling on scrap paper, rather like 19th-century stick-figure dance notation. I was surpised by how many conventional ballet steps and poses were included, alternating with bits like walking on hands and feet. When invention failed, out came arabesques or pirouettes again ... and again. The finale consisted of 20 or more dancers doing a synchronized version of what smaller groups had done earlier. The lights dimmed and the music stopped, which is how -- I suppose -- one was supposed to know it was over.

P.S. Welcome to Ballet Talk, koreografiti. I love your name!


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