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Ballet, Dance and Religion


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#16 Alexandra

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Posted 20 March 2002 - 01:45 PM

In re-reading this thread after Paul and then BW raised it again, the general feeling here seems to be that the effectiveness of a work is more related to talent than religion. I think the same thing works with politics. No matter how heartfelt the sentiment, or how noble the cause, if the work can't stand on its own without the content, then I don't think it's a great work. (Now THERE'S a formalist position for you; the expressionist may well be of the opinion that content is all that matters.)

One of the great works to spirituals that's still performed, of course, is Ailely's "Revelations." That may well have been an expression of his faith -- I don't know -- but it transcended the personal. Otherwise, I think Jeff and BW have a good point -- it's preaching to the choir.

(And thanks for the Bintley as Widow Simone observation, Paul smile.gif )

#17 Brendan McCarthy

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Posted 20 March 2002 - 01:47 PM

A footnote to my interview with David Bintley, referred to earlier in the thread.There was more material than I used in the piece, which was not for a dance periodical. This exchange from the original interview may be of interest:

No artist, I imagine, would want to be portrayed as a ĎCatholicí artist. You need distance. Is there a danger of being perceived as somehow Ďtoo Catholicí?

"I donít think I am anyway. If youíre not doing a piece thatís in your face like The Protecting Veil, people arenít really aware of that. The first thing that I am trying to do is make good work. Full stop. Being a Catholic will not help you make better ballets. I know a number of Christians who make good ballets, and others who donít. I would prefer that the works of mine that have a human context are looked at just like that. I would not separate myself as a Catholic from anyone who takes a forgiving and a compassionate view of humanity. Thatís what a lot of the narratives that I do are about. I like the people that I choreograph about. Even if they are deeply flawed. Even if they are monsters. I like them and I understand them. Is that because I am a Catholic? I donít know. Perhaps it is".

[ March 20, 2002, 01:51 PM: Message edited by: Brendan McCarthy ]

#18 Paul Parish

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Posted 20 March 2002 - 02:04 PM

Brendan, -- thanks so much for contributing that passage --


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