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SFB Principal Dancer Videos


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#1 PeggyR

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 04:45 PM

San Francisco Ballet is getting on the 'new media' bandwagon; recently their website was upgraded to include some nice, 60-90 second videos on each of the principal dancers. Watch them here.

#2 vipa

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 06:43 PM

San Francisco Ballet is getting on the 'new media' bandwagon; recently their website was upgraded to include some nice, 60-90 second videos on each of the principal dancers. Watch them here.


Good for them. I wish ABT would go more into the video thing. I have to say, I enjoyed the SFB videos, but because of the format of quickly cutting from one ballet to the next, it was hard for me to distinguish the qualities of one dancer from the next.

#3 Quiggin

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 08:20 PM

They're a great publicity tool, but, by cutting the performances into snippets -- into M&Ms -- the little films don't make a good case for the dancers' best qualities of phrasing and musicality. The men look beefier than they appear on stage and more mechanical and samey. Tiit Helimets and Sofiane Sylve seem to come off the best.

I think using slower tempoed and unshredded & intact pieces, with the music that was written directly for them, maybe less contrasty lighting, more pastel colors would help a lot. Informal rehearsal videos captured in a limited compass of space might be good way to highlight a particular dancer's style, integrity, and subtlety of phrasing.

Compare Het Nationale Ballet:


Etudes

Vier temperamenten

#4 swingline

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 09:57 AM

I believe they are cut this way due to copyright issues. There is generally a specific cutoff for showing a video of a ballet without having to pay royalties, etc.? Don't quote me on this, but that could be the reason for the fast cutting of different ballets. Unless the ballet is in public domain, such as many of the classics.

#5 PeggyR

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 06:54 AM

I'd guess, too, that the primary target audience for this kind of promotional video is not the one looking for artistry and musicality (that audience has already bought its tickets), but the people looking for something different to do on Saturday night. Emphasis on the more blatant pyrotechnics is likely to attract their attention; presumably the hope is that once they get into the theater, they can be educated about the rest, or at least they'll be interested enough to come again.

#6 Quiggin

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 12:24 PM

I agree with you, PeggyR, about the publicity value, but for that group it sets up a predisposition to boredom if the real thing isn't like that. It also becomes a public record and reference of the dancers' artistry and there is little left -- you would have not idea that Joan Boada has a wonderfully sense of time -- and dance is all about time and stretching it out and compacting it again.

I'm a great fan of the jump cut and could watch J-L Godard and Dziga Vertov until the cows come home (as a college professor always used to say), but this jumble of nervous jump cuts -- as if they're afraid something real would happen otherwise -- begins to creep into the choreography itself.


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