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Cameras clicking and flashing in the audience


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#1 bart

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 04:14 AM

The following statement -- from one of chiapuris's wonderful posts about the Mariinsky Festival -- caught my eye.

Tonight's audience was loaded with digital cameras and flashes that kept going off throughout the performance- particularly bothersome during the lake scene.


Considering the huge number of unauthorized videos from Russia on YouTube, I can imagine that this could be quite an extensive problem. What is going on? How extensive is this? Where else in the ballet world do you find it? Why doesn't management do something about it?

#2 vrsfanatic

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 06:04 AM

Where else in the ballet world do you find it?


Broward Center of the Arts, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Miami City Ballet, Sunday, March 15 matinee :off topic: :dunno:

#3 Hans

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 07:52 AM

I haven't seen it at the Kennedy Center. These 'fans' might want to consider that they are putting the dancers they claim to love so much in danger, whether it's the women on pointe or the gentlemen landing complicated jumps. Can you imagine trying to spot during pirouettes with little flashes going off in front of you? Even in moments of seeming repose, dancers have plenty of distractions and things to worry about. They don't need more!

#4 Helene

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 08:54 AM

There was way too much flash from the audience in San Francisco in the two performances of "Swan Lake" that I saw. Some ladies near me flashed away, and then acted like children doing something naughty and having gotten away with it, without regard to the potential consequences.

#5 zerbinetta

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 09:20 AM

Carnegie Hall and every theater at Lincoln Center make announcements before the curtain goes up. The Met is particularly strong in enforcing this, with ushers patrolling the aisles after the lights go down.

#6 TutuMaker

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 10:17 AM

I saw it once at the Kennedy Center. The usher had the patrons camera in under 30 seconds!

#7 sandik

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 10:45 AM

Where else in the ballet world do you find it? Why doesn't management do something about it?


Last night at Pacific Northwest Ballet -- during Slaughter on Tenth Avenue if I remember correctly (though might have been Carousel) I see the company two or three times for each rep, and over the season I'll see a flash probably five or six times. They don't seem to have the pre-show "turn off your phones and remember there's no photography" announcement anymore, though I'm not sure that would deter the people who are snapping away.

We also get people who look at their cell phones during the performance (the backlit screen is just like waving a flashlight at the people sitting behind you) and yes, the musical dingle of ringing phones.

It's very annoying for the audience, and I imagine a real pain for the performers.

#8 bart

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 11:31 AM

vrsfanatic, I haven't noticed this at the Kravis Center, just 45 minutes north of the Broward Center. Maybe you should drive up here next time. :)

The Kravis audience is, I admit,, on the older side. It also tends to have long-term experience attending all sorts of serious classical arts. They (we) are usually quick to shush or complain about any disruptive behavior. There's always an annoucement about the prohibition on phones, cameras, etc., but I'm like sandik on this: I don't know whether such announcements, repeated performance after performance and year after year, actually are listened to any more.

I am always amazed at people who seem to record entire performances on their cameras or phones, surreptiously one assumes, and then rush home to post them on YouTube. there do seem to be people who constantly snap photos at tourists sites and imoprtant occasions, paying very little attention to what they see through their own eyes. Perhaps our culture is experiencing a turning point in which camera images seem to have more validity -- more "reality" -- than live experiences.

How about Europe in general? Which countries -- or theaters -- have the most and/or most egregious offenders?

#9 carbro

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 02:03 PM

We also get people who look at their cell phones during the performance (the backlit screen is just like waving a flashlight at the people sitting behind you) ...

Oh, you mean like the woman recently sitting in front of me who, when I asked her to close her phone because it was shining in my eyes, insisted I couldn't possibly see it? (So how did I know it was open?)

In City Center's rear mezz, the ushers have taken to aggressively "following the light" to get patrons to put phones and cameras away. For audience members of course, their up-and-down the aisle patrols are more distracting than the lights themselves.

#10 dirac

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 02:43 PM

I wish they'd patrol in San Francisco, distracting or not. I'm less inhibited about asking people to close their phones than I used to be. It's really, really distracting.

#11 Natalia

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 02:56 PM

At both the Mariinsky and Bolshoi, I've recently seen not only the flashes but also MANY idiots unabashedly filming by holding of their cellphones. [That's how we get that crappo-quality stuff on YouTube.] I've even seen people filming with regular movie camcorders, with their full LED screens popped open. Always - at every performance...and I sit near Tsar's Box, not the cheap-tix upstairs.

#12 Pamela Moberg

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 04:23 PM

:wub: Folks, are you ready for a confession? Yes, I am on my knees. :huh:
Well, many years ago I went to the Vaganova school performance, wonderful stuff indeed and the second part was "The fairy doll". I was sitting in the Maryinski (now I think it was a dream, but I was actually there), in the very front row just behind the conductor who then happened to be Gergiev. I had a camera with flash and thinking that this is once in a lifetime - later I have realized that it was indeed once in a lifetime - I did indeed took a few pics with flash. I knew it was not the thing to be done, but considering the circumstances I threw all my manners and good behaviour to the wind.
Worse was to come, the film in my camera was finished and then it wound back automatically. This winding back made a considerable noise, Gergiev turned his head and looked angrily (that man can really look mean if he wants to, otherwise I think he is very cute) at me. The damned camera continued whirring loudly, I put it under my skirt and finally I ended up sitting on the damned thing! :)
Anyway, I got my pics, they were not so good, but a nice souvenir and memory for me. But I must admit, I behaved very badly and will never do so again, so I beg for forgiveness to both the performers and Mr. Gergiev for this lapse of good manners. :bow:

#13 bart

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 04:33 PM

I put it under my skirt and finally I ended up sitting on the damned thing! :)

Sounds like an episode in a spy novel, Pamela.

As the poster who started this thread, please allow me to assist you to remove your overpowering feelings of guilt: I seem to remember that the formula goes like this: "Ego absolvo te a peccatis tuis."

THAT should do it. Now, when you see someone taking pictures at the ballet, you can give them your most menacing and self-righteous Gergiev look. :huh:

#14 Pamela Moberg

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 04:48 PM

Thanks, Bart, there must be forgiveness in this world. It is very important.

#15 Giannina

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 06:03 PM

At just about every ballet performance I've attended there's been an announcement forbidding flash photos; I've found that people really do follow the rule. Bows between acts and the ballet's end were OK for flash. The only exception was when I saw The Bolshoi when they were performing in their tiny temporary theater while their actual theater was being renovated; no announcements were made forbidding flash photos and the flashes abounded, including from my camera. Loved it!!!

Giannina


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