Why do we need Ballet?
Posted 03 October 2009 - 12:33 PM
Posted 03 October 2009 - 12:49 PM
Posted 03 October 2009 - 01:02 PM
Posted 03 October 2009 - 01:37 PM
Why do we need any form of art? Why not ask the fundamental question of philosophy "why is there something instead of nothing?" and apply that to ballet.
The simple answer is we don't need ballet, what does ballet actually do? But it exists and has done for hundreds of years, so why then does it exist?
The question itself is meaningless because the answer would be meaningless - we don't need it, yet we have it and it exists, evolves and enriches, though were it not to exist would something else enrich equally? If it didn't exist would something else have come into existence to replace it.
Instead of actually asking a question which is so open ended why not ask yourself what you'd like to know about ballet, and take your question for the essay from there?
If all you want to know is "why do we need it?" the answer can only be we don't, the world existed before ballet came into being as a codified art form and were it to be eradicated from the face of the earth tomorrow the world would continue to exist.
Why do we need Picasso, Elliot, Wagner, opera, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Ghandi, Einstein, painting, sculpture, poetry, literature, sheet music, orchestral music, pop music, Jazz, Gaugin, Da Vinci, Martha Graham, Swift, Pepys, etc etc etc ad infinitum
The simple answer to any of those is that we don't, but how much poorer the world would be if we didn't have them.
Posted 03 October 2009 - 02:15 PM
But, J. Dickerson, just 'Why do we need Ballet?' as a literal question, I do agree with Simon it's meaningless. And his suggestion
Posted 03 October 2009 - 08:41 PM
Aren't you supposed to do your own homework?
Posted 03 October 2009 - 09:09 PM
Aren't you supposed to do your own homework?
Posted 04 October 2009 - 03:23 AM
As I'm sure you know, Ballet Talk is only one of numerous sources that would help you to think in more detail about your Big Question, forumulate questions, and develop your own answers. Our Search Engine might be of help in this.
I hope that you'll share your thoughts with us as you go along.
Posted 04 October 2009 - 05:26 AM
Posted 04 October 2009 - 05:36 AM
We don't need anything but food, water exercise and health. Everything is needn't because the human spirit likes to create something from his external and internal environment so that his mind and body can find pleasure in it.
Posted 04 October 2009 - 06:26 AM
Posted 04 October 2009 - 08:15 AM
Posted 05 October 2009 - 01:02 AM
What I took from that article though is that we don't need the arts. But they give life purpose, and empower us in a way to distinguish us from animals. Everything else we do can be seen in the animal kingdom...working to survive, a capacity for love, compassion for others and playing. But when animals sing, dance or create an artistic display of some kind, it's to attract a mate for procreation. They can't create art out of passion.
But back to the topic of funding, even with a lack of funding the arts can never be eradicated. There was amazing art being created during the Great Depression, and it might just be that desperation is what fosters the growth of the finest art. This is something Carlos Acosta feels has made him a better dancer than many others because for him, ballet is truly his life, while in a society like America which has many luxuries, art becomes a hobby and artists are regarded as hobbyists. An interesting sub topic might be how money has affected ballet, which is regarded as one of the more opulent and expensive arts and how it could/would continue when there isn't so much money to go around. Or why it should continue as is, when it is indeed so expensive.
Posted 05 October 2009 - 07:26 AM
I don't know if any ballet or other dance was created as a result of these programs during the Depression, but that might be an interesting avenue to explore: governments tend to focus on 'needs' and if scarce funds were allocated for the arts, then somebody must have thought the arts and artists were 'needed' in some sense beyond simply providing the basic necessities of life (e.g., food and shelter) for the general population.
Posted 05 October 2009 - 11:39 AM
And in the US and the former Soviet Union and Cuba, the arts -- most especially ballet -- got a second financial wind as a result of the Cold War.
Patrick, I tried to find a juicy Adorno quote to follow your thought but they're difficult to cite intact, and I can only wade out so far. Doesn't Adorno also say something like art is at war with its own materials, what it comes out of, and this gives it its form -- which makes it a little less cozy of an ideal.
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