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Ashley Bouder Makes The Front Page of the NY Times

221 posts in this topic

Isn't what some are doing with Twitter mostly a case of a celebrity doing on line, for himself or herself, what their agent or publicist did for them in print until recently?

Not quite. Tweeting doesn't really allow, as yet, for the kind of elaborate image creation and control you describe. It is another and seemingly more direct way of communicating with the public, though.

Tweeting is like texting to a distribution list not entirely within one's control.

Not that any distribution list -- electronic or not -- is ever within one's control. Once an utterance is out there, be it in ink or in bytes, someone you'd prefer never to see it will find it.

At 149 posts and counting, does anybody else believe that we've squeezed all the blood we're likely to get out of this turnip?

Not quite :rofl:

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At 149 posts and counting, does anybody else believe that we've squeezed all the blood we're likely to get out of this turnip?

Not quite :D

Couldn't agree more. This is the most truly Louis XIV thread I've ever read anywhere, and as such, restores a kind of glamour-ballet that people who never dreamed of 'perfect Auroras' enjoyed. Why, with Lully down the miles-long corridors, how could you lose? And if anybody misbehaved, you could appoint a commission of courtiers, who are known for their no-nonsense discipline--with special skill (from long experience) in banishment to the provinces. Surely, therefore, we need many more posts, perhaps try for the 500 mark.

Seriously, my impression was that the thread was quietly concluded by Pointe1432, in his/her describing of Tweeting among young dancers as being like chatting backstage. And that dancers have always done, just like everybody else backstage that doesn't have to use yoga to 'center themselves'--or at least not at every moment.

Just one of many thoughts:

A lot of dancers follow eachother on Twitter too. We like to see what others are up to and many of us know eachother or at least have mutual friends.

And as far as tweeting during intermission, it's really no more of a distraction than chatting with a friend.

Okay, so that was more like two thoughts. :rofl:

What's left to say after that? If it works to bring in audiences, that remains to be seen. But here we se that lots of dancers themselves like to use it, and they would be using it for quick dance-business things as well as the purely social--anything like this could be just the right place at the right time for just that job that would have gotten a busy signal on the phone or other form which couldn't survive delay.

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Again, I think the saddest thing is precisely that Bouder wasn't inundated with new followers on twitter, despite being the first thing over a million people read on the front of the NYT, she barely picked up more than a couple of hundred new Twitterers.

If only her high-profile status in the Twitterati had been responsible for an explosion of Twitter-stalkers, mystique-busters and Twitter-Twatters. But it wasn't. That speaks far more for the state of the art in the eye of the public at large than a ballerina on the internet.

To answer a previous question, many c'lebs PRs DO use their Twitter accounts posing as the star in question but releasing PR news and tidbits via the Twitter account. You can usually tell when they're doing this because the sudden improvement in spelling, grammar and literacy is dramatic.

Jedward's PR do this a great deal, in case anyone's interested?

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Just one of many thoughts:

A lot of dancers follow eachother on Twitter too. We like to see what others are up to and many of us know each other or at least have mutual friends.

And as far as tweeting during intermission, it's really no more of a distraction than chatting with a friend.

Okay, so that was more like two thoughts. :rofl:

Thanks for sharing both of them, Pointe1432.

To become a principal dancer in NYCB is a high achievement, and of course high achievement is highly admirable and highly attractive. It's an ideal, and ballet itself presents an ideal of beauty far above the mundane.

Sure it is. But I don't think Bouder's tweets do anything to undermine her great accomplishment, and I doubt they will do so for those following her online, who generally know what to expect from Twitter, Facebook, et al.

.......many c'lebs PRs DO use their Twitter accounts posing as the star in question but releasing PR news and tidbits via the Twitter account. You can usually tell when they're doing this because the sudden improvement in spelling, grammar and literacy is dramatic.

:D

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To become a principal dancer in NYCB is a high achievement, and of course high achievement is highly admirable and highly attractive. It's an ideal, and ballet itself presents an ideal of beauty far above the mundane.

Sure it is. But I don't think Bouder's tweets do anything to undermine her great accomplishment

No they don't, and that wasn't my argument. :rofl:

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To become a principal dancer in NYCB is a high achievement, and of course high achievement is highly admirable and highly attractive. It's an ideal, and ballet itself presents an ideal of beauty far above the mundane.

Sure it is. But I don't think Bouder's tweets do anything to undermine her great accomplishment

No they don't, and that wasn't my argument. :)

Thanks for clarifying. :)

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We seem to have a number of conversations going on this thread, and I confess that it is difficult sometimes to remember who said what. :)

For those interested in the content of so many tweets, here's a comic take from the April 12 New Yorker:

Geoff Sarkin is Using Twitter!

It's Mr. Sarkin's wedding day, and he just can resist tweeting whatever happens to be going through his head. And what goes through his head as he waits for his new bride to join him in bed?

· Anyone see “Law & Order” last night?

· The new Lady Gaga video is crazy scary!

· Would u rather be an elephant or a giraffe? I’d rather be a giraffe.

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I don't find all the stuff all that interesting, but that's me, and many, many people do and Bouder's tweets may be a hook for some to get them to "try" ballet.

It's another generation(actually more than one), and another world really, but a kind of "hook" particular to the day and time is what got me as a high school age kid to get on the bus from suburban New Jersey and get a ticket for a Lincoln Center performance in NYC.

On the plane ride back from NYC, I watched the DVD of "Dancing for Mr. B". In it Mary Ellen Moylan said her mother sent her to NYC after reading about SAB in an article, and Darci Kistler said she wanted to join NYC after reading a magazine article that described how Balanchine used to pick out perfume for each dancer so that he could tell who was where in the theater by smell.

You never know what will trigger someone's imagination.

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Not Twitter, but social media: The Antony Tudor Trust has a Facebook page, and they've been publishing photographs and asking for help in identifying the photographers, dancers, contexts, etc.

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pag...67747009?ref=ts

I think this is a brilliant way of spreading the net farther and wider. It means having to sift a bit more to get corroboration, but what potential.

With Twitter, potential biographers have far more info from the horse's mouth.

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Not Twitter, but social media: The Antony Tudor Trust has a Facebook page, and they've been publishing photographs and asking for help in identifying the photographers, dancers, contexts, etc.

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pag...67747009?ref=ts

This should definitely be posted on Heads Up! or other relevant forum where it can get maximum exposure to our members.

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Given the number of hits on this thread, I would say that this is the ideal location for the news to receive our readers' attention. (Thanks, Ashley and Twitter! :))

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Simon, I'm not familiar with Cooper's tenure and my memory may be faulty, but the exclusivity I remember him speaking of -- and, in any case, the exclusivity I'm speaking of -- is one of atmosphere, not ticket prices or other actual impediments to access. "Elite" is a better word than "exclusive," actually, although "exclusive" is the word I remember, and I know "elite" is out of favor -- precisely, I guess, because it now connotes exclusivity.

Hi Kfw,

I realised what you meant, what I was responding to with the "ticket sales alone" thing was the attitude of an Opera House being an exclusive environment - the questions being who exactly is being excluded, why are they being excluded, what exactly is the product that is so rarified or elite or exclusive that it's best appreciated by an exclusive minority and in which case if that's the way you want it, why ask for any subsidy out of Government or tax purses (which are NOT exclusive) - support yourself on your own, by ticket sales nothing else, to that exclusive market you feel is worthy of the product you produce.

If ballet is to have any worth, it must be absolutely catholic in who it appeals to, and I believe it is, I love ballet, it's just a pity so few agree with me - which is reflected by the fact pretty much every company throughout the world operates in the red.

Ballet has to see itself as a business, it can't afford to be any other way and its product has to reach as wide a demographic as humanly possible if it's to survive. If no one's buying tickets what's the point anyway?

Much as I love the image of that Ballets Russes/Fonteyn era/Soviet Golden/Balanchine's star ballerinas etc era of ballet, the ideal of lost perfection, the mystique of the ballerina etc it's over, it's gone, it was a time that no longer resonates or is in tune with the time that we live in. But if ballet can't or won't adapt to produce and market its product to the era in which it exists it will die, and perhaps it deserves to. And in truth that image of the ballerina as sacred goddess when applied to today does make me slightly queasy - it's like the Ballets Trockadero without the irony, wit, humour or intelligence.

I also refute that notion of celebrity or "star" within ballet, let's face it, that will never happen again and indeed did it ever except for those rare occasions such as Fonteyn/Nureyev/ Baryshnikov when celebrity was tied to greater societal influences and events. Ballet could do with the odd celebrity cropping up - the prevalent image of dance in the general public is one of "So You Think You Can Dance" not Ashton/Balanchine/Cunningham/Graham etc

And I know absolutely this is a crying shame and it shouldn't be this way, and it's not fair - but around the age of five every kid starts to learn that saying "it's not fair" won't change the fact of it not being fair or right. Ballet has to grow up in the way it perceives and markets itself or it won't have any future at all. And if Twitter, Facebook, Bebo, Myspace are tools by which it does this, brilliant. I only wish Bouder had been inundated by Twitter followers.

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I realised what you meant, what I was responding to with the "ticket sales alone" thing was the attitude of an Opera House being an exclusive environment - the questions being who exactly is being excluded, why are they being excluded, what exactly is the product that is so rarified or elite or exclusive that it's best appreciated by an exclusive minority and in which case if that's the way you want it, why ask for any subsidy out of Government or tax purses (which are NOT exclusive) - support yourself on your own, by ticket sales nothing else, to that exclusive market you feel is worthy of the product you produce.

Strangely enough, I took "elite" to mean the very best possible "product" in the most beautiful place, not who gets to see it.

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Simon, you’ve made your point of view clear, but I haven't said dancers should cultivate images of sacred goddesses, I made a distinction between celebrities and stars, and I don’t think the issue has anything to do with fairness. Of course ballet needs to try to attract new audiences. Whether Twitter will do that is another question.

Toe dancing is a dandy attention getter, second only to screaming. --Agnes De Mille.

:wub: Great quote, Mme. Hermine, and in context, very funny!

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I've just reread this thread, trying to get an overview of a wide-ranging discussion. So far I THINK the following generalizations are true.

It appears that no one disputes that ballet needs to attract new audiences.

Similarly, no one doubts that having a Facebook and Twitter presence is considered necessary for anyone pursuing a high-level professional career in the performing arts. This is a truism in our contemporary culture.

It is not possible to predict -- because there is no long term data -- whether this strategy will have a significant impact one way or the other for those who do not employ skilled publicity professionals to manage their public image, including their public statements.

This leaves us with a real disagreement over what we admire or don't admire about the content of an ballet dancer's public statements and how this affects our perceptions of them as artists in this particular art form..

Whew ! :wub:

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<BR>If ballet is to have any worth, it must be absolutely catholic in who it appeals to, and I believe it is, I love ballet, it's just a pity so few agree with me - which is reflected by the fact pretty much every company throughout the world operates in the red.......And if Twitter, Facebook, Bebo, Myspace are tools by which it does this, brilliant. I only wish Bouder had been inundated by Twitter followers.

There's the famous Balanchine quote that ballet is not for everybody, but it's for anybody. Already ballet companies and other arts organizations are establishing a presence in social media and in some cases encouraging their performers to do so and I don't think that's going to go away any time soon. Given the amount of time that people are spending pecking at electronic devices these days it's probably inevitable.

I also refute that notion of celebrity or "star" within ballet, let's face it, that will never happen again and indeed did it ever except for those rare occasions such as Fonteyn/Nureyev/ Baryshnikov when celebrity was tied to greater societal influences and events. Ballet could do with the odd celebrity cropping up - the prevalent image of dance in the general public is one of "So You Think You Can Dance" not Ashton/Balanchine/Cunningham/Graham etc.........

We can't start up the Cold War again, alas. :wub: During the dance boom ballet did have celebrity- slash-stars that "transcended the sport" as they like to say nowadays. It seemed to help, not hurt, the tide benefiting all boats, etc. But those days are not returning and arts organizations, not only ballet, have to move with the times.

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arts organizations, not only ballet, have to move with the times.

Regardless of the value or lack of value of tweeting or of any individual's tweets, I don't think the choice is between following all the latest trends or being forgotten. The other choice is to react thoughtfully to the times, which may mean going with them, or opposing them, or leading them in another direction. Dancers don't have to tweet "I'm having coffee" just because some pop star is doing the same. They may or may not gain fans that way. But they don't have to do it.

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They may or may not gain fans that way. But they don't have to do it.

I didn't say they did, and that wasn't my argument. :wub: I hope that clarifies matters. I think we must agree to disagree. :)

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They may or may not gain fans that way. But they don't have to do it.

I didn't say they did, and that wasn't my argument.

I am sorry to misunderstand you.

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They may or may not gain fans that way. But they don't have to do it.

I didn't say they did, and that wasn't my argument. :wub:

I am sorry to misunderstand you.

Didn't mean to sound tetchy. I was just quoting back one of your responses to me earlier in the thread, by way of a small joke. :) We don't know where this social media thing is going to go so it is hard to say whether it will become a "must" for companies or if something else will come along, but in any case it's hard to envision a future where dancers will have to tweet.

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Dancers don't have to tweet "I'm having coffee" just because some pop star is doing the same. They may or may not gain fans that way. But they don't have to do it.

Maybe they just want to tweet they're having coffee, I mean I agree the absolute banality of some tweets is teeth-numbing, but everyone's doing it.

There's been another Twitter-scandal here in the UK today Stuart MacLennan a Labour MP London Parliamentary candidate was sacked after foul and abusive Tweets, about all manner of subjects, including political rivals. Most unforgivably and totally worthy of being sacked and exiled to political Gulag for life, he made abusive tweets about Jedward. I know, I'm having a hard time coming to terms with that myself; I mean political rivals, sure but Jedward?????

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/election/a...ts-Twitter.html

Actually we should have a balletalert Twitter account and a Twitter forum, so we can all Tweet about performances we're watching mid performance.

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Simon, I think we already seem to have it, in this very thread--that proves just how great old meat-world ballet is. You know, managing to integrate Twitter into an old-fashioned discussion board without having to do it officially, just by graceful inference. In that way, we have preserved the Old Glamour despite our best intentions. From my own good offices have come recent publicity about Susan Boyle to Shanghai media conglomerate blogs, which made them talk about her, even though I plagiarized your 'Susan Boyle is soooo last year' and wouldn't tell them about Jedwerd, just 'cos I wanted to have the power.

More seriously, I just read an extraordinary new poem by a writer of software who also Twitters and is even vain about his looks while being an Andrea Dworkin advocate, which makes him feel guilty about having fathered two children but wanting to remain a heterosexual even so. I could not believe how truly good it was by any standard, new or old, so I mention this only because the perfect and great artwork can and will emerge no matter what interference is run either by others or by one's own addictions to these state-of-the-art awesome media-culture accessories.

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It would be interesting to know if any studies have been done on the effect, if any, of tweeting during an activity - such as a performance. I am not so concerned about a dancer tweeting because if you are not interested you don't have to follow them. I do wonder though about the effect of tweeting on the performer's concentration and mood.

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Simon, I think we already seem to have it, in this very thread--I plagiarized your 'Susan Boyle is soooo last year' and wouldn't tell them about Jedwerd, just 'cos I wanted to have the power.

Patrick,

I'm disgusted, to not share the magic of Jedward isn't retaining power it's abusing power, there's a difference.

And as a pre-emptive measure should balletalert ever enter the Twittersphere I request that you be banned from contributing, your measured posts are borderline scatalogical at the best of times, I shudder to think what shenanigans you'd get up should your stream of consciousness be given free reign.

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And as a pre-emptive measure should balletalert ever enter the Twittersphere I request that you be banned from contributing, your measured posts are borderline scatalogical at the best of times, I shudder to think what shenanigans you'd get up should your stream of consciousness be given free reign.

:wub::):rofl:

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