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MCB clips on YouTube(split from a larger thread)


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#1 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 09:35 AM

Moderator note: this has been split off from another thread. Please post your thoughts about the video clips here.

BTW, some sequences of clips are running at the moment on Youtube from MCB, "Symphony in C" and "Ballet Imperial" among others...


#2 cahill

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 12:08 PM

Thanks for the heads up. Looking forward to the season!

#3 bart

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Posted 16 October 2008 - 12:54 PM

Thanks, Cristian, for the link. Does anyone know if this is a Symphony in C performance from spring/2004? Deanna Seay is mesmerising, but I can't get a clear image of her partner. I saw her with Isanusi Garcia-Rodriguez, but that's not the dancer in this particular clip. Yann Trividic? The two soloists seem to be -- in my fuzzy version -- Joan Latham and Tricia Albertson. I can't make out the other men in the second clip.

Watching Seay in this movement makes me pray even more that she'll be one of the Odettes Balanchine Swan Lake Act II coming up this fall.

It also makes me wish that Villella would give up on the Balanchine trradition of dancer-anonymity. You shouldn't have to hold up a magnifying glass to a computer screen and try to catch the faces of dancers in hopes of identifying them. They should be listed. (Harumph. Harumph.)

By the way, Symphony in C will be back this coming spring, on a program with Robbins's In the Night and Balanchine's Sonnambula.

New Yorkers can see the ballet at one of the 2 progams MCB is dancing at City Center in January. Here's the complete program information for that:
http://www.nycitycen...anceNumber=3806

#4 leibling

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Posted 19 October 2008 - 07:53 PM

After some intense scrutiny- including squinting at the computer screen- here is the casting I could see in the clips I could find...
Swan Lake- not the current version- Deanna Seay and Carlos Guerra

Nutcracker- Sugar Plum- Jennifer Kronenberg: Spanish- Patricia Delgado and Didier Bramaz: Arabian- Michelle Merrell: Flowers- Katia Carranza as Dewdrop. Video #4 is the finale.

Symphony in C- 2nd movement- Deanna Seay and Yann Trividic with Demi soloist women Patricia Delgado and Charlene Cohen

Don Quixote- 3rd act pas de deux- Katia Carranza and Carlos Guerra

Ballet Imperial- Soloist- Tricia Albertson- Principal couple- Jennifer Kronenberg and Carlos Guerra

In The Upper Room- Stompers Callie Manning, Jeanette Delgado, Tricia Albertson, Daniel Baker, Jeremy Cox and Daniel Baker. Ballet group- PAtricia Delgado, KAtia Carranza, Mary Carmen Catoya, Deanna Seay, Luis Serrano, Dider Bramaz, Carlos Guerra

Foxtrot:- Yann Trividic with Callie Manning, Jennifer Brie, Andrea Spiridonakos and Irene Balague ( I ahd to pull out the old program books for this one!)

It looks like MCB is trying to reach out to new audiences by posting so many videos. Wow.

#5 Jack Reed

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 12:39 PM

(from Fort Lauderdale, FL, for what that's worth) Many (if belated) thanks, leibling!

Looking at MCB's videos some more, I still think they're far from the worst I've seen, but I think they might easily have been a little better. For example, when one camera shows the whole stage, it shows a lot of surrounding blackness too, and I think a "tighter" shot, in which the whole stage just fills the whole screen would have the advantage of making the dancers' images larger and letting us see them better.

Also, the transitions from one camera to the other are made by slow dissolves where we often get distracting double images. I like quick dissolves best, because they're like "soft" cuts, so you don't really notice them. Cuts (as in the Upper Room clips) are better than slow dissolves, I think, and maybe they have a rhythm more suited to ballets like that. They're probably easier to make, too. (Even editing DVD recorders can make cuts. That way we can get rid of the commercials!)

Beyond that, though, it gets complicated: The few times I've done something like this myself, I put in many hours watching rehearsals, learning the floor patterns in the music and planning my shots. Listening during the performance, I knew where the dancers would be just a moment ahead of time and I could do what I wanted to do: Show the space the dancers would use and let them dance in it. But this amount of preparation may be a luxury whoever did MCB's videos couldn't afford.

(It was easier for me that I used a single camera for small-cast performances on a small stage. My "transitions" were gentle pans and zooms, as unobtrusive as I could make them.)

Then there's the choice of what bits of the ballets to show. These mostly look randomly chosen, and I'll bet I'm not the only one with a lot of favorite moments that might be shown intact within a minute and a half, unless there is a copyright restriction about showing showing something completely?

How about the principal woman's impressive circle of the stage into a turn and jump into the right wing in the first movement of Ballet Imperial? Or the opening of the second movement, where the principal man, gazing into the space over our heads, turns slowly toward left and right, while the two lines of corps girls trailing behind him drift from side to side? Or the moment in the second movement, I believe,* where her partner promenades her around the center and one by one, the corps bows to her? (This is about the only moment that looks arguably "imperial" to me in this version of the ballet .)

We could probably fill up a thread with suggestions like these, or better ones, and I think they would make stronger effects than what has been posted, mostly. Not that I think MCB was wrong to start doing this! (yeah, like leibling says, "Wow!") I've long felt there are lots of people "out there" who like ballet but don't know it because they've never seen any, and what they need are some free samples.

(Then there's the question of getting the "samples" seen. These have had about 700 views. Maybe if they were still better, there'd be more word of mouth (or word of email), but this is a topic for another thread, on publicizing ballet or something.


*Well, I sure got that wrong, didn't I? It's in the first movement, at the end of the pas de deux, and the corps of sixteen bow to her in groups of four, not one by one, as the principals promenade around the center. I hope those who caught this mistake got a chuckle out of it!

Edited by Jack Reed, 17 January 2009 - 07:18 AM.


#6 bart

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 01:30 PM

Thanks, Jack, for that really useful analysis. Possibly the videos were originally made for the record -- or without a clear idea of future use. Trividic, for example, has not been with the company for 6 years or so. Now that "posting videos" is an important part of ballet marketing, I suspect that MCB will have to take a different tack. They've already improved their website immeasurably, after a slow start.

Reading you excellent post, I have compiled a short list of Guidelines to assist MCB's video-makers/editors in the future.

1) KEEP THE SHOTS TIGHT; AVOID THAT DARK WASTELAND OF SPACE AROUND THE EDGES.

...
when one camera shows the whole stage, it shows a lot of surrounding blackness too, and I think a "tighter" shot, in which the whole stage just fills the whole screen would have the advantage of making the dancers' images larger and letting us see them better.



2) QUICK DISSOLVES -- OR EVEN ACTUAL CUTS -- WORK BETTER THAN SLOW DISSOLVES

[T]he transitions from one camera to the other are made by slow dissolves where we often get distracting double images. I like quick dissolves best, because they're like "soft" cuts, so you don't really notice them. Cuts (as in the Upper Room clips) are better than slow dissolves, I think, and maybe they have a rhythm more suited to ballets like that.


3) RESEARCH AND PLAN YOUR SHOTS BEFORE YOU FILM

The few times I've done something like this myself, I put in many hours watching rehearsals, learning the floor patterns in the music and planning my shots. Listening during the performance, I knew where the dancers would be just a moment ahead of time and I could do what I wanted to do: Show the space the dancers would use and let them dance in it.


4) SELECT CAREFULLY WHICH BITS YOU WANT TO SHOW

Then there's the choice of what bits of the ballets to show. These mostly look randomly chosen, and I'll bet I'm not the only one with a lot of favorite moments that might be shown intact within a minute and a half, unless there is a copyright restriction about showing showing something completely?


Jack adds the following:

Then there's the question of getting the "samples" seen. These have had about 700 views. Maybe if they were still better, there'd be more word of mouth (or word of email), but this is a topic for another thread, on publicizing ballet or something.


Any thoughts and/or suggestions on this -- or on any of the above?

#7 Jack Reed

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 07:23 AM

Thanks for your nice words, bart. I do hope some people find these ideas helpful at least as food for thought, whether they are behind a camera or just in front of a video screen, and that we will get more discussion of this subject.


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