Haglund's

Britney the Ballet

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Britney the Ballet aka "Meltdown" will be performed by the Rambert Dance Company tonight! Not kidding. Here's the link to Reuter's.

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Haglund's, I see you posted this in the "Heads Up!" forum. I guess that's because we don't have one named "Duck!" (Maybe we should. :dry: )

Well, it will be interesting to read people's reactions. Anyone planning to see it?

Editing to add:

There's nothing specific about it on Rambert's website -- just an announcement that Feb. 1 is an evening of new choreography.

I've never understood the fascination with Britney Spears as either a performer or personality, but the treatment of her obvious suffering as a freak show is revolting. I hope the ballet is at least more humane than the media coverage.

Edited by carbro

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Well, it will be interesting to read people's reactions. Anyone planning to see it?

No, but I hope it comes to ABT.

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I hope the ballet is at least more humane than the media coverage.

I don't think it matters how 'humane' 'Meltdown' is. The timing of it can only make this an attention-getting stunt. Very embarrassing and how unfortunate that the company doing it bears the name of Marie Rambert.

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I hope the ballet is at least more humane than the media coverage.

.....The timing of it can only make this an attention-getting stunt. ....

Wasn't Britney once again taken by ambulance to a hospital's psych ward last night? I can't believe that a company as 'serious' as the Rambert would be doing something as sad and tasteless as this.

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I hope the ballet is at least more humane than the media coverage.

.....The timing of it can only make this an attention-getting stunt. ....

Wasn't Britney once again taken by ambulance to a hospital's psych ward last night? I can't believe that a company as 'serious' as the Rambert would be doing something as sad and tasteless as this.

Long before her current troubles, Philadelphia modern dance company Headlong Dance Theater performed Britney's Inferno, a 2002 dance that was more about audiences and the culture of celebrity than her particular problems (from their website: "an evening-length piece about the rise and fall of a star in a pop-cultural hell"). It was fun, smart, and prescient instead of prurient. (I know, it's not ballet but I thought an interesting point of reference.)

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the treatment of her obvious suffering as a freak show is revolting. I hope the ballet is at least more humane than the media coverage.

Definitely revolting, but the ballet, by merely doing it, is worse than the media coverage, because that is what they do. Turning this into a ballet is an insult to everybody--not just to Ballet, to a troubled girl, to all art everywhere--but to everybody in the world, at least who will read of it.

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A good deal, all rights reserved, of Spears' early performing history is owned by the House of the Mouse. It will be interesting to see how that develops. Any input on how the show went?

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Some input:

About the ballet:

"It portrays Spears as she fends off the paparazzi, shaves off her hair and is carried off on a stretcher"

From the choreographer Hubert Essakow:

"(This is) a modern day tragedy". And later on about watching Britney's footage of one of her nervous breakdown as "inspiration" : "We were horrified at how explicit it was"

From the dancer playing Spears, Gemma Nixon:

"I was a bit embarrassed. It is sort of grotesque this persona"

And again Essakow:

"This is a homage to Britney."

(A "homage"...?!?!?!. Wow, he really has some nerve to state that...) Overall this whole thing is just sad...Shame on Ballet Rambert. They are the grotesque ones...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7218522.stm

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Let us not forget that there are a couple of real positives in all this:

(1) One will not actually have to listen to Spears singing during the performance.

(2) "It could have been about Jerry Springer, the subject of the composer's last opera.

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Let us not forget that there are a couple of real positives in all this:

(1) One will not actually have to listen to Spears singing during the performance.

(2) "It could have been about Jerry Springer, the subject of the composer's last opera.

...and next, why not, about Jenna Jameson...?

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Let us not forget that there are a couple of real positives in all this:

(1) One will not actually have to listen to Spears singing during the performance.

(2) "It could have been about Jerry Springer, the subject of the composer's last opera.

I'd let this just pass, but Spears does have a real, if minor, talent. From a purely vocal standpoint, she sings better than Madonna ever did--on a CD from 2003 I recently listened to just to inform myself, although she is not truly great like Natalie Maines of The Dixie Chicks (hardly anybody in pop is right now.) So no way would hearing her sing be on the level of this repulsive 'ballet' (what a ridiculous misuse of the work, and in this case, one does not even have to see it to know, the only indisputable case of this I am sure of: Ms. Croce didn't think she needed to see 'Still/Here', I know I don't need to wait to see 'Britney the Ballet' before passing judgment); and Cristian's quotes are appreciated, as these two, Essikow and Nixon,seem want to add a disclaimer to their complete and total indulgence in a shameful project--almost as if they were forced to do it against their will, hence this deep 'homage'. I wonder if they ever heard of career suicide. They definitely have earned a few lean years and a few dark theaters.

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"It could have been about Jerry Springer, the subject of the composer's last opera.

Springer, like him or hate him, was well able to make the decision that the opera would do him no harm, and may even help his reputation (it did). And I suspect he was at least consulted, if not deeply involved.

Spears is deeply disturbed, and this is a very nasty thing to do. And not just for her; mocking mental illness should have stayed in the 19th century.

Shame on the Rambert Dance Company - and anyone who buys a ticket. I see it came to London's South Bank last week.

"Essakow said he believes Spears's story is a 'modern-day tragedy' but called his work an "homage" to her." - that's not so. It's a homage to exploitation.

It's one thing to do this to historical figures, where (hopefully) the facts are known, and behaviour can be seen in context. It's inexcusable when the story is still unravelling, and this could actually influence events. I suppose we can but hope that Spears has been unaware of the whole thing.

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Worse, it could have been about Maury Povich. Can't you see, in dance medium,

"Tyrone, you are NOT the father." (TYRONE looks angry)

"But, Maria, you are not the MOTHER, either! (TYRONE and MARIA look poleaxed)

"WHAAAA? What was all that for nine months, with the big belly and all?"

"Really bad gas."

"Well, then, who's this kid?"

"Darned if we know."

or

"LaTanya, LeRoy is the father, but he's been sleeping with your brother!"

There are worse things than Britney.

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Well, it will be interesting to read people's reactions. Anyone planning to see it?

No, but I hope it comes to ABT.

Any casting suggestions for ABT? I am thinking that Diana Vishneva (in a long blonde wig) has the edgy desperation for the part and the dramatic range. How about Marcelo Gomes as her paparazzo boyfriend? Angel or Ethan Stiefel as K-Fed? Ethan could do the slacker/stoner thing very well. The mind boggles... Perhaps Kevin McKenzie could come back to the stage in the mime role of Dr. Phil?

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Well, it will be interesting to read people's reactions. Anyone planning to see it?

No, but I hope it comes to ABT.

Any casting suggestions for ABT? I am thinking that Diana Vishneva (in a long blonde wig) has the edgy desperation for the part and the dramatic range. How about Marcelo Gomes as her paparazzo boyfriend? Angel or Ethan Stiefel as K-Fed? Ethan could do the slacker/stoner thing very well. The mind boggles... Perhaps Kevin McKenzie could come back to the stage in the mime role of Dr. Phil?

I don't care who does it. All they need is the sets for the current production of 'Sleeping Beauty', tart them up a little more, maybe have some guesting from NYCB, Ashley Bouder for the Paris Hilton drunk-party-period. I only said the original flip remark because of various forms of ABT publicity. The twain therefore will therefore soon meet, since these things do happen. Each TV persona must have his/her own ballet, including Connie Chung, who won't be content with a mere 'Maury'. Yeah, I know, who's connie chung by now? The Boston Globe referred to her as 'The China Woman from Television', and I agree that in this discussion such a title is the first really fine idea I've yet heard (use the same 'Sleeping Beauty' Valentine's Candy Box sets for that too).

A seriously interesting something or other really could be made called 'Celeb DUI' because it now is so epidemic that little choreography is needed and celebs themselves could play themselves inside Car Cutouts (every time Britney does a new stint in something or other, she is immediately seen driving all over L.A., fresh from rehab or whatever and with or without a license). This can include then, Tom Sizemore, Paris, Britney, Paris's brother (maybe the parents will have been caught by then, too), Tom Sizemore, Amy Winehouse, Ben Affleck, Gary Collins, Lindsay Lohan and Heidi Fleiss, who always needs the publicity. Could be done on the cheap.

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Using subject matter based on the life of a living celebrity who has courted and profited from close exposure of his or her personal life does not ipso facto seem to be a reprehensible thing. It depends on how it's done.

Does anyone here know for sure that this work will be "mocking" -- or that the level exploitation will go beyond your everyday norms in the pop field?

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Using subject matter based on the life of a living celebrity who has courted and profited from close exposure of his or her personal life does not ipso facto seem to be a reprehensible thing. It depends on how it's done.

Does anyone here know for sure that this work will be "mocking" -- or that the level exploitation will go beyond your everyday norms in the pop field?

I suppose not, I'm probably only 99.99% sure. It becomes then difficult to explain why it's obvious that using a celeb's own tactics to get attention would be inappropriate to ballet, especially the totally lame remarks by the makers that Cristian quoted. Even if a 'homage to Britney' was possible, that's a total contradiction in terms for ballet dancers to do it. No such homage exists except in the imaginations of the bubble-headed fans and the TMZ.com junkies, so it's clear at least to me that Rambert was only doing exploitation PLUS. Of course, they could pretend to be sincere (and have done), so it's according to whether you believe anything they say. Even if it's not 'mocking', to be more specific, it's exploitative on some level, and IMO that's hard to get around, at least some form of obvious exploitation. It's difficult to see a 'ballet homage to Britney' growing up as some organic thrusting force. Their attempt at 'sincerity' seems even dumber than just using it like Britney herself does (but with considerably less innocence, as they're not being committed to hospitals and then allowed to drive, etc.)

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LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!!!!

SHE'S A HUMAN!!!!

:helpsmilie:

[Channeling Chris Crocker]

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Using subject matter based on the life of a living celebrity who has courted and profited from close exposure of his or her personal life

does not ipso facto seem to be a reprehensible thing. It depends on how it's done.

Does anyone here know for sure that this work will be "mocking" -- or that the level of exploitation will go beyond your everyday norms in the pop field?

I have not been following this story closely, but my understanding is that Spears is mentally ill. Even if she weren't I still wouldn't say that it's open season on her. Be that as it may, the main issue here is whether , it's appropriate for a dance company with any claims to seriousness to be doing such a piece at this time and in these circumstances, and I think it's pretty clear that it's not.

Even if it's not 'mocking', to be more specific, it's exploitative on some level, and IMO that's hard to get around, at least some form of obvious exploitation. It's difficult to see a 'ballet homage to Britney' growing up as some organic thrusting force.

Exactly. It's just a really tacky thing to do.

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It depends on how it's done.

It's called Meltdown. That's probably a clue.

Think about it; it has to either mock her, or glorify her recent behaviour. Anything in between would be simply boring.

Neither choice is attractive. And 'everyday norms' is not a term I understand in the context of exploitation. "Two wrongs", as they say, "Never made a right".

I hold no brief for Spears, and I fully understand comics and the gutter press using her mental health problems for profit. That's what they do. I just feel it's a little sad that a once reputable dance company chooses that particular shortcut to a fast buck.

But that's my last word ... I don't want to see a Rambert "special" based on my rants! :helpsmilie:

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Like dirac, I don't know much about the Spears story.

I also don't know what actually happened on stage.

A quick Google search of "britney" and "rambert" turns up a great deal of publicity, and reactions to the publicity, about a performance that was to have taken place last Friday. But I find no reviews -- or of any cancellation. Is this possible, or am I missing something?

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A quick Google search of "britney" and "rambert" turns up a great deal of publicity, and reactions to the publicity, about a performance that was to have taken place last Friday. But I find no reviews -- or of any cancellation. Is this possible, or am I missing something?

Bart, the Britney Spears piece had one performance last week as part of Rambert's annual showcase of choreography by company dancers. Ten pieces were shown over two evenings. Shows like this don't usually get many reviews, but there was one in the Telegraph, and you can also see some audience reaction on the Rambert site. I didn't see the programme myself so can't comment on the piece.

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