Are you a Balletomane...?
Posted 11 May 2009 - 11:04 AM
Posted 11 May 2009 - 11:46 AM
a) You have purposely gone to another city to see "your" company perform, or
b) You have planned your vacation around seeing a ballet.
Farrell Fan -- How *do* you pronounce PAMTGG? "Pamteg"? "Pamtug"?
Posted 11 May 2009 - 12:37 PM
Posted 11 May 2009 - 03:51 PM
- you have chosen to live within a five-minute walk to your favorite venue, obviating the whole telephone voice recognition business
- you generally buy your tickets at the very last minute, so you don't get stuck holding a ticket for an unwanted cast.
Great topic, Arizona Native!
Posted 11 May 2009 - 04:25 PM
I love the criteria lists and identify with many points! May I submit that a balletomane is prone to
A ten and a half year old Ballet Alert quiz (it doesn't say who wrote it) gives the following pronunciation for PAMTGG:
Scroll down to last quiz/answers -- it's the first question: Ballet Alert Quiz
The following review gives a pronunciation closer to Farrell Fan's:
1971 Time Magazine review
I have always (mistakenly, I guess) read and said "Pamtag". I did see the ballet, more than once, but don't remember it at all, even after reading about it on BT and in old reviews. Not one thing rings a bell, not the runway lights, the strange costumes, the clouds and stars -- nothing! I can't believe I have absolutely NO recollection of how it went.
Posted 11 May 2009 - 04:49 PM
Posted 11 May 2009 - 04:54 PM
"Swan" is "luik".
Posted 11 May 2009 - 05:29 PM
And in New York you rate the ballets--or symphonies--by what streets you cross and you're still talking about them, such as 67th, 70th, or, if it's a great great performance, you're still going on about the ballet when you hit Fairway.
In San Francisco it's on the wonderful aquarium of the 47 or 49 Van Ness bus where a lot of ballet conversations take place. But here no one goes beyond the level of first names. If only.
The worse part is being so dense you have conversations with company dancers and don't realize who they were until afterwards. I've done this twice. One of them told me that Balanchine was "the past," and that he was totally uninterested in his work, but I notice he's been dancing very well in two parts of Jewels this year.
Posted 11 May 2009 - 08:19 PM
Posted 12 May 2009 - 02:29 PM
You know you're a balletomane if...
Posted 12 May 2009 - 09:36 PM
True Friggin' Confessions this is....
Posted 13 May 2009 - 01:30 AM
The use of the word balletomane has only changed over time due to its misuse in newspapers.
In describing the Russian ballet devotee of the end of the 19th and early 20th century, the word balletomane was used to describe not the regular fans in the seats in “Paradise” at the St. Petersburg Maryinsky, but instead, the educated nobility and Imperial family members who were habitués and the artistic and literary fraternity of the Russian capital. Ballet had become a significant past-time of the Russian elite.
When Russian Ballet eventually arrived in Paris with Diaghilev’s “Saison Russe” in 1909 it was the artist and intellectuals of Paris that became ardent aesthetic balletomanes.
Both Haskell and Beaumont use the term in their writings and they were still using the word in its meaning of the cognoscenti.
Clues to the term’s various meaning can be seen in the Spanish words for balletomane “aficionada al ballet” and the Italian “maniaco del balleto” which appear to give the distinction between balletomane and fan.
In the early 1960’s in London at least, the more polite aesthetic use of the word for serious admirers of balletic art began to be abused by the press when they began to use balletomane when they meant the newly arrived category of “fans” a shortening of fanatic.
The word fan is considered by some to come from 19th century usage to describe a boxing “fancier” which meant a committed admiration for boxing and over time got shortened to fance and then fan which gives it obvious links to the modern use of the obsessive fanatic in a sporting context.
If academic classical ballet(ACB) had generally not been torn from its throne as a high art, I would as a serious admirer of this art form be quite happy to be called a balletomane. But as ACB
has through the influence of athletic neo-classicism and a gradual move towards gymnastic displays and may now, be in the process of becoming generally “sportiv” as several former Russian ballerinas have stated.
I have sympathy with SandyMcKean’s point of view but I feel it is financially difficult for a lot of people to go to every cast change of a particular ballet and I would add that a balletomane knows which performance to go to and those to avoid.
All ballet companies are followed by serious balletomanes, but I undertake various manoeuvres to avoid the dreaded fans in London because as soon as they open their mouth to speak, they rob a performance of its aesthetics and drag it down to a narcissistic obsessive response.
I remember an example of one obsessed Nureyev fan who like others people had travelled to Zurich to see him dance and she was following in his shadow wherever he went. When they were at the airport to return to England, the obsession took on mythic fanlike behaviour. With nothing in view except her adored one, she followed him straight into the gentleman’s toilet and came out pretty quickly but not abashed by the event. Was she a balletomane? I think not, she was most definitely a fan.
Posted 13 May 2009 - 02:54 AM
Posted 13 May 2009 - 03:46 AM
That’s understandable as London ballet fans are uniquely partisan and insular in their opinions in my view, though that hasn’t always been the case.
The Nureyev fan story made my jaw drop and I’m tempted to ask if Leonid knew the name of the lady in question; and if so was the surname by any chance the same as that of a leading UK economist elevated to the peerage? If it was I can confirm that the lady made a habit of doing what is described.
I went to Zurich to see Nureyev dance in a new full length production of Raymonda in 1972 and a large number of fans had gathered from around Europe for the event. A couple of them invited me to lunch the day after the last performance at the restaurant of the hotel where Nureyev had been staying (he had flown off early that morning). It was a happy lively meal but near the end the eldest of the group, an English lady of advanced years, disappeared for long enough for her friends to become anxious. When she eventually reappeared she was asked where she had got to and coolly replied that after a trip to the ladies she had gone into the gents to ….er… soak up the ambience, as Nureyev may have gone in there.
For once I was speechless, but worse was to come when at the end of the meal certain of the party started to pocket articles of cutlery from the table because Nureyev just might have used them: downright theft in my opinion.
In spite of everything I still consider myself a Nureyev fan, but the actions of those women on that day appalled me and from then on I regarded them not as much fans as poor deluded souls with a serious mental aberration.
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