Long vs. Short
Posted 02 March 2000 - 09:17 AM
Posted 02 March 2000 - 09:44 AM
Posted 02 March 2000 - 12:28 PM
Posted 02 March 2000 - 12:57 PM
Pmeja, I think the Balanchine quote is, "You have a boy and a girl. How much story do you want?"
Jeannie, I certainly agree with you on the article. I think, too, that a "critics versus audience" dichotomy often doesn't work. I know fans who detest "Merry Widow," et al., and critics who think they're great (and, of course, vice versa). I've often had total strangers come up to me at the Kennedy Center and (gently, nicely) chide me for "wimping out" in a review. the point I was trying to make about critics and story ballets is that for many, the common criteria is good choreography, good productions. The "Balanchine critics" are quite happy with his ballets, because they meet those criteria. And, back to your comments on the article, I agree, too, that puffery is everywhere. Unfortunately, it usually works.
Douglas, thank you for that thoughtful response. I think we always see the superficial first -- there's no other way to do it. We work at a ballet from the costumes and the dancers (whether they're appealing or not) on through. Some people -- probably most of the audience -- doesn't go much past that, and I don't think anyone expects them to. (But I don't think "elites" mock this) There are probably lots of people who could go to a ballet 50 times and be perfectly happy just watching the outer layer, and there are others who "get" the outer layer after a time or two, never break through to the inside layers, and therefore dismiss the ballet, or the entire art form.
I thought your summary of Shakespeare was terrific, and I think the greatest theatrical art still uses those "rules," and it's always been one of the criterion by which works are judged. Great art has depth. Something for the casual viewer, something for the fan, something for the groundlings, but also something for those -- often in the gallery -- who come back night after night to drink from that well.
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