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Cameras clicking and flashing in the audience


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#16 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 06:46 PM

Important Note: NOT than I'm encouraging nor condemning the film-making/Youtube phenomenom...but what about some "Summum Bonum", or even some Bentham-Mill Social Utilitarianism...you know,"the greatest happiness of the greatest number" thing...? (In any case I wonder how non proper would it be to admit enjoying the videos, otherwise unavailable. I do BTW...)
Just a thought...(Please, Mods, delete if the admiting fact doesn't quite fit Rules and Policies...)

#17 Hans

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 07:40 PM

Are cameras (video and still) theoretically prohibited at the Mariinsky and Bolshoi?

#18 Natalia

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 07:57 PM

Are cameras (video and still) theoretically prohibited at the Mariinsky and Bolshoi?


Yes, they are, with announcements made in Russian, then English, languages.

#19 LiLing

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 08:37 PM

...but what about some "Summum Bonum", or even some Bentham-Mill Social Utilitarianism...you know,"the greatest happiness of the greatest number" thing...?


The important thing to remember is that it is dangerous for the dancers. No photo or UTube video is worth someone getting injured, no matter how many of us enjoy them.

#20 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 09:04 PM

Well, Liling, in the case of flashing during the performance...yes...I agree.

#21 sandik

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 09:05 PM

...
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! :)
...


A digression -- this made me smile. Many years ago, when inexpensive cameras with auto-rewind were just beginning to be sold, I went to a family wedding. It was a tense affair, the bride was quite pregnant and her soon to be married and not long after that divorced husband had supposedly stopped dealing drugs, but family is family and we were all there. It was a very small wedding chapel, and the pre-recorded wedding march lasted much longer than it took the bride to get to the front of the room, so she and her hapless fiance stood for what seemed like an age while the tape cranked on and a cousin snapped photos with her new camera. After several shots, she got to the end of the roll, and like your experience, the camera started to rewind and Would Not Shut Up. Like you, the hapless camerawoman was totally chagrined by this, and wound up stuffing it in her handbag and covering it up with her jacket where we could all still hear the whirring and the clicking as it made its way backwards through what seemed like a 500 exposure roll. I was standing in the back of the room with all the aunties, a rollicking group of women who had supported each other through some pretty gruesome experiences, and gradually they started to giggle. I was by far the youngest, and kept trying to shush them till I realized I was being a priss, and just went with the experience. They are all gone now, and I miss them still, especially when I hear a camera rewinding!

#22 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 09:07 PM

On the other side, I was thinking more of the non-flash-(and yes...hidden)-video recording method...(I have a friend who literally has been filming consecutively the Cuban National Ballet for almost 30 years, and at present he even has a network of people who will do the job for him and send him the material when he can't travel to the island. His vast video collection, a few of the samples having made up their way to Youtube, makes up to two rooms, dated by year, performer, Festival Dates and the like. I think he probably owns the most complete and biggest video collection that truly is the HISTORY of the Company. Important, I would say...Someday this people may be actually thanked for instead...
And then, I'm not even getting into privacy/copyright issues, which would be a totally different topic to look at...
Again...just a thought.

#23 sandik

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 09:10 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?)


When the Bolshoi was touring to Seattle in 2004 there was a row of maybe six 20-somethings in front of me at a performance of Swan Lake, dressed up for an event they didn't really understand, text messaging each other during the performance.

#24 bart

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 03:15 AM

what about some "Summum Bonum", or even some Bentham-Mill Social Utilitarianism...you know,"the greatest happiness of the greatest number" thing...? (

Coincidentally, I was thinking about the same thing. But from the opposite perspective.

When we are talking about paying money and taking time to go to a live performance, the "greatest number" are -- by far -- those who wish to be able to focus on the stage and not be distracted by movement, light, and noise created by the behavior of those sitting around them. The "greatest good" to these people is as much silence, stillness, and mutual respect as possible.

There are those, on the other hand, who really do feel that cameras, lights, lighted phone screens, etc., are a purely private and individual matter . They really don't internalize the sense that there is anything wrong wit this. Others of us see this as putting [size=4]ME[/size] before [size=1]them[/size] -- that is, the rest of us.

The extent to which this sort of behavior at public events is tolerated or even encouraged is, of course, largely a cultural matter, varying according to country, class, age group, etc. The YouTube culture the poster refers to has its own plusses and minuses. It does provide a kind of historical record of the work of certain dancers, companies, etc., and this can often be quite useful or entertaining to online viewers. On the other hand, for some people this seems to have become an end in itself -- whether they film compulsively, or watch videos compulsively.

The reports on this thread suggest negatives that I had not even thought about. Consider the stressed-out ushers having to deal with these situation day after day. The person paying hard-earned money to attend one or two special performances a year, who finds himself or herself sitting behind a row of brightly-lighted texters. The music lover trying to ignore the cllicks and whirring.

#25 Quiggin

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 09:13 AM

Yes, but what about the case of Ann Barzel, who took brought a wind-up 16mm Bell & Howell or Cine Kodak along with her and preserved those great moments of early Balanchine and Ballet Russes performances for us? Those old cameras made a pretty intense droning noise. And there was a wonderful meandering black and white clip of Veronika Part in Swan Lake on You Tube that will be the only opportunity I will have had to have seen her. Will all this have to be disallowed in order create to the perfect audience experience?

The only thing I really mind are candy wrappers and coughing during slow movements--everything else is a little ok. Actually I sort of like those videos from Cuba that show everyone madly clicking away bathing the dancers in the light of approval.

And the sad thing about the flash is it really doesn't do much good--the camera is too far away--but it's almost impossible to override the default settings, as it is to forego the auto rewind feature mentioned in earlier posts.

#26 aurora

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 09:17 AM

...but what about some "Summum Bonum", or even some Bentham-Mill Social Utilitarianism...you know,"the greatest happiness of the greatest number" thing...?


The important thing to remember is that it is dangerous for the dancers. No photo or UTube video is worth someone getting injured, no matter how many of us enjoy them.


Without debating the ethics of videotaping performances to put up on youtube, I think it is worth mentioning that as the thing that imperils dancers is camera flash, and there is no reason for a flash to be used in videotaping, there is absolutely no reason to believe, as was implied above, that videotaping a performance in any way leads to performer injury.

#27 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 03:57 PM

When we are talking about paying money and taking time to go to a live performance, the "greatest number" are -- by far -- those who wish to be able to focus on the stage and not be distracted by movement, light, and noise created by the behavior of those sitting around them. The "greatest good" to these people is as much silence, stillness, and mutual respect as possible.
performances a year, who finds himself or herself sitting behind a row of brightly-lighted texters. The music lover trying to ignore the cllicks and whirring.

bart, going back to the original matters of this thread made me realize that we all-(me included)-agree on the non-tolerance policy to noise coming from the audience, whereas it comes from candy wrappers, shopping bags-(oooh, how do I hate those...!! :wallbash: )-miss behaved/crying children-( :wallbash: :wallbash: )-and all sort of NOISY/FLASHY electronic devices. I'm actually pretty up front about giving dirty looks to the offenders and if that doesn't work, shoosh them right then and there. So that is well established.
About Youtube and the underground filming...mmm, well, that would be probably a whole totally different thread to discuss, but echoing Aurora's statement , I don't really think the two subjects have a lot in common. Let's not forget that the ultimate purpose of this surreptitious/secret filming is not to be caught...to be as silent and non evident as possible.
And then, a little :lol: , I do confess to be a little compulsive on my ballet viewing on Youtube. At the end, I don't see another way that I could have possibly ever seen Anna Pavlova! :)

#28 LiLing

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 05:15 PM

I stand corrected, flash photography and video are two different issues. I think I lumped them together because they have both upset me, flashes while on stage, distracting cameras while in the audience. :lol:

Cubanmiamiboy makes a good point about the historical value of pirated video. There is an issue of the dancer's and choreographer's rights however. They have not approved the quality of, or been compensated for these videos.
Another point, the union regulations (at least in the US) for filming make it quite expensive for companies, and maybe those regulations are out of date, and need to be revised, given the advances in the development of equipment and the increased importance of video. If only companies could release their own videos in quantity there would be less pirates, more happy fans, and a source of income for the co. :wallbash:

#29 bart

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 05:39 PM

About Youtube and the underground filming...mmm, well, that would be probably a whole totally different thread to discuss, but echoing Aurora's statement , I don't really think the two subjects have a lot in common. Let's not forget that the ultimate purpose of this surreptitious/secret filming is not to be caught...to be as silent and non evident as possible.

I do see this and now agree with both you and LiLing. I guess I assumed, incorrectly, that any kind of camera work would be distracting to those in the area. If it's silent and unobtrusive, it is indeed a different matter. And a different topic for BT. :lol:

#30 sandik

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 11:48 AM

About Youtube and the underground filming...mmm, well, that would be probably a whole totally different thread to discuss, but echoing Aurora's statement , I don't really think the two subjects have a lot in common. Let's not forget that the ultimate purpose of this surreptitious/secret filming is not to be caught...to be as silent and non evident as possible.

I do see this and now agree with both you and LiLing. I guess I assumed, incorrectly, that any kind of camera work would be distracting to those in the area. If it's silent and unobtrusive, it is indeed a different matter. And a different topic for BT. :)



This reminds me of Victor Jessen, and his faithful recording of the Ballet Russe. I have a copy of the Dance Films edit of his Gaite, and have used it in dance history classes. Despite its flaws, I still think it's a wonderful example of that period and style -- without Jessen and his overcoat our knowledge of that time would be much diminished.

You're right, that this is a discussion for a different thread, but it is closely connected to this topic.


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