Jump to content


Ashley Bouder Makes The Front Page of the NY Times


  • Please log in to reply
220 replies to this topic

#1 abatt

abatt

    Sapphire Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,672 posts

Posted 29 March 2010 - 04:51 AM

Hi all. The front page of the NY Times contains an article about how Twitter has demystified ballet dancing and dancers. The article contains a photo of Bouder (on the front page) tweeting. Several NYCB dancers who tweet are mentioned. Also, Asheley is quoted in the Quote of The Day portion of the paper.

#2 cubanmiamiboy

cubanmiamiboy

    Diamonds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,244 posts

Posted 29 March 2010 - 08:56 AM

Hi all. The front page of the NY Times contains an article about how Twitter has demystified ballet dancing and dancers. The article contains a photo of Bouder (on the front page) tweeting. Several NYCB dancers who tweet are mentioned. Also, Ashley is quoted in the Quote of The Day portion of the paper.


I am all against the "demystification" of ballet/ballet dancers, I confess, but still...nice to see Miss Bouder making it front page. :blink:

#3 abatt

abatt

    Sapphire Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,672 posts

Posted 29 March 2010 - 09:10 AM

The article references that NYCB and other companies do not have a policy about dancers using Twitter regarding their performances. Beyond prohibiting the revelation of confidential internal information, I don't see how any ballet company could curtail the free speech rights of dancers to use twitter.

#4 Krystin

Krystin

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 77 posts

Posted 29 March 2010 - 09:18 AM

I loved this article! I think Bouder, Simkin and Morgan are making smart choices for their careers by building strong fan bases. Also, it's more fun for those of us who are interested in what they're doing! It will be interesting to see if more dancers follow their lead after this story. According to Bouder and Morgan's Twitters, they have already scored many new followers thanks to Kourlas' article.

#5 Jack Reed

Jack Reed

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,526 posts

Posted 29 March 2010 - 11:53 AM

The most startling line in the article for me was this one, from Ashley Bouder:

“That’s the main reason people get interested in something — you get all the dirt, you get to know someone and you become attached, and in the dance world, we’re like a face, not a personality.”


I know that's not how I got interested in ballet, and I don't think it's how my friend Cristian did either. I think at some point we found we liked the feelings we got from experiencing some kinds of art -- responses we have a hard time describing and a harder time explaining. Something hard to explain is a mystery, right? So in time we grew to love this particular kind of mystery, and enjoy its effects, and maybe even enjoy that it isn't easily explained or can even talked about the way we talk about the details of everyday life. I think that's the mystery Cristian wants to remain in our perception and appreciation of ballet, and so I also would hate to see it taken away, I'd also hate to see ballet de-mystified. That would just make it more like everything else in the daily world wouldn't it? What kind of a goal is that?

Others may not have got to that degree of comfort with the mysterious, I suppose, and want ordinary details about things. As it happens, I also enjoy the art of a certain architect who didn't pay his bills reliably, abandoned his family at one point, and so on. But does knowing this dirt make him interesting? Aren't many people hard to get along with? What art did they make for us? That's the difference. For me, the artist's art comes first. Then I might be curious -- or repelled, as with this architect! -- about them as people. When I experience their art, knowledge of their life is a distraction from it.

When you watch dancers dancing, do you have anything about them personally in mind? Doesn't that crowd out some of the attention you could be paying to their moves and their music and how they go together? It does for me. If somebody falls, I may think about that for a moment, before I get back to seeing the dancing.

BTW, does anybody wonder why is this on the front page of the New York Times, and not farther back with the performing-arts material? It gets more attention on the front page. Does the NYCB publicity department need help? If they can't sell enough tickets to the performances on their merits -- I mean, what you see and hear in the theatre -- do they have to play up the personal angle? I think it's a distraction from learning to appreciate the grace and beauty they can experience in the theatre.

#6 DeborahB

DeborahB

    Bronze Circle

  • Inactive Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 252 posts

Posted 29 March 2010 - 12:14 PM

BTW, does anybody wonder why is this on the front page of the New York Times, and not farther back with the performing-arts material? It gets more attention on the front page. Does the NYCB publicity department need help? If they can't sell enough tickets to the performances on their merits -- I mean, what you see and hear in the theatre -- do they have to play up the personal angle? I think it's a distraction from learning to appreciate the grace and beauty they can experience in the theatre.



Twitter is white/red hot right now -- that's why this story is on the front page of the NYT.
As for the mystery etc. Interesting points.
As a veteran arts/publishing/food publicist, I will say that Twitter/FaceBook helps (a lot) with branding/publicity and public relations. All good things, in my opinion. I use both to help get my client's messages out. It's fun, it's easy, it doesn't hurt anyone. What's not to like?
And most companies (including the NYT) do have Twitter/FB rules for their employees.
However, the great thing about social networking is that you don't have to use it. Not interested in what a ballerina who tweets may be doing, or what she's thinking at any given moment?
Don't subscribe to her Twitter feed. FaceBook is even more easy -- people have to approve you in order to be their "Friends."

Most of the tweeting dancers are young. By putting themselves out there (especially on Twitter) they understand that bringing a bit of personality into the equation is a good thing these day. It could help build new audiences.

#7 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,320 posts

Posted 29 March 2010 - 12:25 PM

Bouder's phrase "you get all the dirt" is probably the biggest downside, in my opinion. These dancers are doing p.r. for themselves, which I understand. They are also, contributing to a tendency in the culture to personalize everything. When this happens, more is lost than the mystique. The larger picture -- especially the artistic context -- often goes down the drain as well. As does, all too often, the complex nature of reality.

I hope that those fans who are attracted to this material will, if they actually get to a real performance, find themselves wanting to look beyond the individual personality and discover the genuinely collaborative, multi-dimensional artistic endeavor that the ballet at its best always is.

#8 Jack Reed

Jack Reed

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,526 posts

Posted 29 March 2010 - 01:44 PM

...personaliz[ing] everything. When this happens, more is lost than the mystique. The larger picture -- especially the artistic context -- often goes down the drain as well.


I think so. In plastic art -- I mean art where there is a made object, like a building or painting -- it's easy to get the personality of the artist out of the way and receive the effect of the thing the artist made, because it's an enduring object independent of the artist, but in performing art, we're more aware of the artist's continuing presence, so there's the possibility of distraction from the full artistic experience into speculation about the artist's life.

As for those who "actually get to a real performance", will they be in any way oriented to take in anything beyond the individual personality they came in for and discover the whole endeavor? To me this orientation, best carried out in the metaphorical language good critics use -- the New York Times's current chief dance critic is the best example I can think of, and the handiest, too -- although we use it here on BT a lot, as well -- is essential, and missing from the everyday, personalization approach, although performance-watchers can develop it on their own by continuing experience, too. I've developed both ways.

So that's "what's not to like" about the social-network approach, DeborahB. Fans come in looking for something else from what's essential to the art. (Sometimes I think dancers are unaware of it themselves, although the best stagers are aware, but that's another story.) Interesting to hear from someone in the public-relations business. I only wish I understood better what you said.

#9 Mel Johnson

Mel Johnson

    Diamonds Circle

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,311 posts

Posted 29 March 2010 - 01:57 PM

The article references that NYCB and other companies do not have a policy about dancers using Twitter regarding their performances. Beyond prohibiting the revelation of confidential internal information, I don't see how any ballet company could curtail the free speech rights of dancers to use twitter.


You would be AMAZED at what managements of all sorts of businesses can consider "confidential internal information".

#10 Farrell Fan

Farrell Fan

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,930 posts

Posted 29 March 2010 - 02:08 PM

I did not find this article "super interesting," to use Ashley Bouder's word, but if the NY Times found it interesting enough to put on its front page, who am I to complain?

#11 Jack Reed

Jack Reed

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,526 posts

Posted 29 March 2010 - 02:31 PM

I don't see how any ballet company could curtail the free speech rights of dancers to use twitter.


I think "free speech rights" might refer to Constitutional guarantees, such as those in the First Amendment, but these are protections against government restrictions on such things as speech, press, assembly and so on, which protections do not extend to businesses like the ones Mel refers to.

As to the Times's discretion, FarrellFan, I'm one of those who think that less trivia in media might have helped us avoid some of our present troubles (I know, that's OT, so I won't go further) and, more relevant to our concerns on BT, that NYCB may have wanted it "placed" where it was. DeborahB has posted as the supposed benefit of it from her point of view.

(I will venture a little further. I think the New York Times is sometimes brilliant, doing great public service; I just want to see more of that in it and elsewhere. We need more of it.)

#12 cubanmiamiboy

cubanmiamiboy

    Diamonds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,244 posts

Posted 29 March 2010 - 02:45 PM

I hope that those fans who are attracted to this material will, if they actually get to a real performance, find themselves wanting to look beyond the individual personality and discover the genuinely collaborative, multi-dimensional artistic endeavor that the ballet at its best always is.

Hopefully, but somehow things are happening all the way around..! Isn't it healthier first to be exposed and successfully attracted to this multi-dimensional endeavor that the good ballet is all about, hence resulting in the lack of needing to dig into individual personalities-(and all those twitter trends and the ones still to come...)-?

#13 Paul Parish

Paul Parish

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,925 posts

Posted 29 March 2010 - 02:51 PM

The Times has manhy irons in many fires. They're trying very hard not to look like a dodo in hte internet age -- so if they can make a splash with anew angle on Twitter, they score pretty big. Not necessarily with the rulers of the internet, but with the people their advertisers want to impress, and also with what remains ofthe general public -- those who pick up the paper 9or read it online0 "to know what's going on."

#14 richard53dog

richard53dog

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,401 posts

Posted 29 March 2010 - 02:51 PM

Twitter is white/red hot right now -- that's why this story is on the front page of the NYT.

However, the great thing about social networking is that you don't have to use it. Not interested in what a ballerina who tweets may be doing, or what she's thinking at any given moment?
Don't subscribe to her Twitter feed. FaceBook is even more easy -- people have to approve you in order to be their "Friends."

Most of the tweeting dancers are young. By putting themselves out there (especially on Twitter) they understand that bringing a bit of personality into the equation is a good thing these day. It could help build new audiences.



I'm pretty much with DeborahB on this. If this kind of information distribution runs contrary to how you look at your ballet experience, it's easy enough to sidestep all the Facebook/Twitter type material.

But it's important to meet new potential audiences half way, particularly the under 25 set. It's crucial to get this age group to participate. And today's audiences are consumer conditioned and expect to be marketed too. And this is not just the under 25 set.

For those that treasure the mystery component as part of their world, there's nothing saying they need to give that up. Don't subscribe to twitter, don't join facebook. And remember, things run in cycles. Five years from now, old-style mystique may be the hot new idea.

I guess I don't want to be part of an audience that is collectively getting older, and older, and older...

#15 Jack Reed

Jack Reed

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,526 posts

Posted 29 March 2010 - 03:00 PM

Isn't it healthier first to be exposed and successfully attracted to this multi-dimensional endeavor that the good ballet is all about, hence resulting in the lack of needing to dig into individual personalities-(and all those twitter trends and the ones still to come...)-?


Actually, not that I think I'm typical or that everyone will follow the same path, but for many years I pointedly did not go around to the stage door and meet dancers coming out, or get to know them, because I didn't want to see them on stage as people I knew, or knew about; I wanted to "get" their sublime art undistracted by such mundane thoughts. Do I sound like a purist? I am! I want the experience pure, undiluted, and strong!

Anyway, I thought it would work better. I still think this was the best way for me, although it might not be for everyone. (Can't imagine how the personalized approach would help anyone, though. Part of my concern here is to try to help the under-25s, if that's who they are, to the large -- and enlarging -- experience of mystery, which I think they may be missing, and which they also would hugely enjoy.)

Edited by Jack Reed, 29 March 2010 - 06:16 PM.



0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):