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Ballerinas and Candy Wrappers


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33 replies to this topic

#16 papeetepatrick

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 11:53 AM

this less than cataclysmic subject


:(

I am now a Farrell Fan Fan.

#17 Kathleen O'Connell

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 12:25 PM

What has led me to post again on this less than cataclysmic subject is the extraordinary explanation of the remedy by Cristian, which amounts to "YOU ARE BEING WATCHED!" Is this the atmosphere we want to encourage at the ballet? :(


Well, every now and then when it looks like they're phoning it in, I do kind of want to remind the dancers on stage that they're being watched :( "Hello! We're here! We braved the elements just to see you!"

Just for the record, no one was phoning it in at NYCB's Tuesday (1/13/09) Coppelia -- everyone was just terrific. Well done!

#18 kfw

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 12:58 PM

What has led me to post again on this less than cataclysmic subject is the extraordinary explanation of the remedy by Cristian, which amounts to "YOU ARE BEING WATCHED!" Is this the atmosphere we want to encourage at the ballet? :(

I think we want to discourage littering in general, on the street and in the theater.

#19 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 01:00 PM

What has led me to post again on this less than cataclysmic subject is the extraordinary explanation of the remedy by Cristian, which amounts to "YOU ARE BEING WATCHED!" Is this the atmosphere we want to encourage at the ballet? :(

Yes...I am a strong believer in that old Cuban/Spaniard saying "La letra con sangre entra"-(which in a rough translation would be something like "One certainly learns when bleeding". It used to be the mantra of my homeland old generation of school teachers. They had a wooden stick, which they would use to punish those who didn't want to follow the classroom rules. It was very effective, and until today I will remember those attentive, silent classes, made of respect...and yes, probably fear too. But i DID learn...
And yes...I make sure I look deep into the eyes of theater offenders-(candy eaters, cell phone addicts and the rest...)-AFTER shushing them...
A wooden stick here and now would probably be too much... :(

#20 Natalia

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 01:06 PM

I'd "shhhh" them. That usually gets other people to also "shhh" at the offenders because it is bothering everyone around.

#21 Hans

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 01:23 PM

"...less than cataclysmic subject"--yes. However, kfw is also right; littering ought to be discouraged. Once the ladies returned, before the lights dimmed, I think the polite thing to do would be to kindly assist them in picking up the wrappers, under the assumption that they were unable to see that they had fallen to the floor in the darkened theater. :(

#22 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 01:35 PM

"...less than cataclysmic subject"--yes. However, kfw is also right; littering ought to be discouraged. Once the ladies returned, before the lights dimmed, I think the polite thing to do would be to kindly assist them in picking up the wrappers, under the assumption that they were unable to see that they had fallen to the floor in the darkened theater. :(

...what if there's no assumption to make...? What if one KNOWS that this behavior took place as the simple result of lack of manners...?

#23 Hans

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 01:38 PM

I don't think it's really possible to know that sort of thing beyond the shadow of a doubt; however, if I saw, for example, someone toss a wrapper onto the floor in what seemed to be an intentional manner, I would simply say to them, in a polite tone, "Excuse me, I believe you dropped this," and pick it up and hand it to them.

#24 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 01:41 PM

I just can't stand the vision of an Opera House that looks like the streets of the homeless section of Downtown Miami, full of empty bottles, candy wrappers, tissue papers and all kind of stuff. I've seen this situation many many times here, and I'm still amazed at how can it even happens...
It's still a totally non comprehensible issue to me. Unacceptable.

#25 papeetepatrick

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 02:07 PM

"...less than cataclysmic subject"--yes. However, kfw is also right; littering ought to be discouraged. Once the ladies returned, before the lights dimmed, I think the polite thing to do would be to kindly assist them in picking up the wrappers, under the assumption that they were unable to see that they had fallen to the floor in the darkened theater. :(


That's all right, but this thread is two-pronged. We've had many about various kinds of disturbances at performances, and littering can be included. That is not all that this one is about. I think what Farrell Fan and I are on to is that the second 'prong' is that 'beautiful ballerinas' acted like common wenches and that, on further delving, we find that a male dancer has gotten 'bad publicity' for something he was at least to some degree possibly at fault (I realize the tip-toe nature of these things and it is galling sometimes.) There was another dancer in his car and I recall that the outcome left
Ramasar (or however you spell it) as being somehow more legally culpable. But Nilas became a 'good person' upon holding the door for someone, and the beautiful ballerinas 'lost their beauty' by what is by any measure a minor infraction--whereas in the other a possible felony was involved. I can't speak for Farrell Fan, but to me that is what is annoying and trivial about this: I agree with kfw, cristian, and hans about the LITTERING IN GENERAL, and however you want to tell them about their littering or talking or text-messaging--discipline them if you want. And do the same thing for 'beautiful ballerinas' and dancers who get to do Apollo without being able to. But don't judge them on such a purely superficial basis--that they did or did not follow all the rules of Louis XIV's court--in which case they were either banished to the provinces (poor mistreated Nilas Martins got 'sent down' to...Manhattan...) or allowed to remain courtesans of the New York State Theater while committing high crimes and misdemeanours.

'Exiled from Saratoga' is gonna knock everything else off the best-seller lists.

#26 dirac

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 02:51 PM

I'm glad you raised the point that throwing candy wrappers on the floor caused no discomfort or annoyance to others. It has really helped me understand my negative reaction. The incident caused discomfort to me because I realized that just because a person is a beautiful dancer does not mean she knows or cares about throwing litter on the floor. Why is throwing candy wrappers on the floor objectionable? Isn't it a matter of live and let live? In New York State Theater, a beautiful theatrical space, it is inappropriate to make a mess, and a mess for others less fortunate than you to clean up, namely, the cleaning people. You are spoiling the beautiful space, you are creating an unfortunate impression on others who see what you do, and if you are a dancer with NYCB, you are making subscribers think that dancers are merely a beautiful image, not necessarily good people.


I agree, erpollock, and I think you handled the situation well. (And welcome to Ballet Talk!) I can only imagine what Balanchine, who didn’t even like to see anyone leaning on a piano or using it as a barre, would think of dancers littering the floor. Littering is plain bad manners, not to mention illegal in many circumstances, and has no place in a theatre or anywhere else. Not only can it cause discomfort to others but it makes a public space ugly and unpleasing.

I don't think dancers are any better or worse than anyone else – they’re just people, after all. Throwing your trash on the floor doesn’t make you a bad person, though – only a rude and/or thoughtless one.

#27 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 03:38 PM

I don't think dancers are any better or worse than anyone else – they’re just people, after all. Throwing your trash on the floor doesn’t make you a bad person, though – only a rude and/or thoughtless one.


Amen! :(

#28 PeggyR

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 07:35 PM

Thank you for gently making a point. Now, if you could find a way to discourage the noisy unwrapping of candies, that would be a great help. (I have been known to suggest, during an applause break after a divertissement or variation, "Now would be a good time to unwrap your candy," usually to no avail :( )

When I used to have season tickets to the opera, someone sitting a few rows away began unwrapping candy (or whatever) the second -- I mean the nano-second -- the curtain went up. The beginning of every performance, after every intermission. I have no idea what it was or what happened to the wrappers, but the noise, the NOISE went on for a good ten minutes every single time. Many an intermission was spent consulting with the other patrons in my row trying to figure out who the guilty party might be -- triangulations were involved -- but we never determined the offender (lucky for him/her: proposed solutions ranged from a quiet word before the next performance to BB guns under cover of darkness).

Yes, the candy wrapper issue is relatively trivial, but learning/teaching respect for the environment, be it national park or theater, is not. In a perfect world, the complainant would have politely confronted the miscreants and explained their crime, they would have been eternally grateful for the enlightenment and forever ceased dropping candy wrappers on floor, street or meadow. However, on this planet erpollack's response seems reasonable given the possible consequences of confrontation. Maybe they learned a lesson, maybe not. At least nobody resorted to BB guns. :(

#29 Mel Johnson

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 05:32 AM

Apparently, very little changes in audiences over the years. Robert Benchley complained of similar behavior in his Vanity Fair and New Yorker articles, and those were in the teens and '20s. In Chinese archæology, a mummy from about 200 BCE showed up of a wealthy woman who had apparently been immobilized by a spinal injury, and spent her final years simply enjoying "the good life", being entertained during all her waking hours. They were able to get a little better idea of what her activity was like from the remains of her last food which were found in her stomach. There were melon seeds. She had been scarfing sweet goodies while she watched the show.

#30 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 15 October 2011 - 05:49 AM

I have redirected my and Helene's OP from the Mark Morris forum because it really belongs here.

In the meantime I decided to fight my neghbours...one lady in the front texting compulsively, another on my right eating non stopping out of a cellophane bag and a third one on my back holding a baby who decded to play...WTH A RATTLE!!!..yes, mid-performance. I wanted to shoot myself, but that, my friends, goes to that other forum on theater behaviors.


I'm sorry that your neighbors were behaving like they were at the circus.



At one point as was so sick of the whole situation that I stood up in a rage and went out to call the usher on the lady with the cellophane bag-(yes...not one candy, but a whole bag). Once I got his attention and explained the situation, I got the shocking news. This is the dialogue that went on between the usher and me. You be the judge.

"C-Hi.I need your help for a second please...
U- How can I help you?
C- I need you to come with me and tell the lady sitting in front of me to please stop making noises. She has spent the entire performance compulsively eating candy from a cellophane bag. I understand that the theater policy calls for not allowance of food and drinks during performances...
U- I am so sorry I can't help you. For this particular performance food and drinks have been allowed.
C- Since when did the Arsht Center changed the policy...?
U- It s not the Arsht Center, Sir...The Mark Morris company, who rented the theater, has the right to institute specific policies for their performances, and we were advised that they would allow drinks and food inside the hall during their performances.There's nothing I can do about it"

I was-(still am)-in complete shock...so


SHAME, [size="5"]SHAME[/size], [size="7"]SHAME[/size] ON YOU, MMDG...!!!

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