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Mariinsky JEWELS being released on DVDat long last; filmed 5+ yrs ago


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#31 Helene

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 08:18 AM

The sad reality is that they will end up, some day, with their wish: the ballets will be so secret that only people in the company will care. I can picture whoever is the last Chairman of the Balanchine Trust taking her little box of treasures to a grave. How smart is that?

Then everything would come full circle, since Ballet Society was set up like an underground club for the arts.

#32 Natalia

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 08:26 AM

"Non-Members not welcomed." So many years from now, an archeologist of the 22nd Century will find a skeleton in a fetal position, hugging a box with a flashdrive containing the films of Balanchine ballets. Maybe the Smithsonian of the future will air them publicly and 'average folk' who do not live in NYC or another of the handfull of cities where Balanchine ballets are performed, will finally get to see the works in full. By then, will anybody care?

#33 sandik

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 09:13 AM

The general assumption is that the NYCB contracts with their various unions makes film and video projects too expensive to be commercially viable -- the archive films that go into the the various collections fall under a different set of copyright rules because they are not for commercial distribution and so probably skate under some of the contract language.

The part of this puzzle I find the most frustrating is that since most of the available video of the company and the repertory is at least 20 years old, the image that people outside the current NYCB audience have of the group is of that older version. One of the myriad things that film and video can do in the current world is help create and reinforce the general perception of your ensemble -- when I show students my old videos of Balanchine's works, with dancers who have long since retired, it looks like NYCB is a historical artifact, not a living entity.

#34 Helene

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 10:53 AM

When people see Francia Russell's PNB stagings, they are often an older version than the DVD versions. Also Balanchine changed ballets for the filmings from the late '70's shot in a Tennesee studio. Some changes he kept -- in "Dancing for Balanchine" Merrill Ashley noted that the circle of pique turns didn't film well, and he changed the choreography to add fouettes, and she was rueful that he kept them -- and others people would never see in any version on stage.

Similarly in "Dancing for Mr. B", Maria Tallchief relates that she said she was teaching the versions that she knew, not the most up-to-date versions, and he agreed.

When John Taras owned the rights to "Symphony in C", he insisted on specific choreography, and Francia Russell said in a Q&A that Peter Martins told Taras that if he insisted on it, a different version than performed by NYCB, Martins would pull it.

#35 EricHG31

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 12:35 PM


What,exactly, is the reason of NYCB and ABT not doing the live screening? Is it too expensive to do so? :dunno: :wallbash:


Especially since they film so much of it and just stick it in the library :<

Although that's common nowadays I think. I know in New York nearly every significant Broadway production (and more and more Off and regional productions too), since tyhe late 70s with some earlier examples has been filmed for the Lincoln Center Archives at the NYPL. Most of these can be viewed as I'm sure you know--if you got here and make up a valid sounding excuse--they're only harsher with certain titles usually due to copyright holder reasons. But these can never be released in a commercial format, largely as it would just be so cost prohibitive. I suspect it must be the same with ballet (although at least with a lot of ballet you wouldn't have to worry about paying the music, and maybe even choreography, fees as they're public domain).

But it is frustrating,a nd I think more and more in the media age we live in (mjust look at all the clips on youtube), they really have to reconsider this. As others have said here, it's too bad that the Mariinsky seems to have missed the boat (it's interesting that it often seems, from a Western point of view, that either the Mariinsky/Kirov or the Bolshoi is most in the Western mindset, but rarely both at the same time).

Personally, I feel especially in the current age, if they want their company to grow, and their reputation to grow, more commercial releases is the only way to do it. (I'm still gobsmacked--as I'll probably repeat forever--that the Mariinsky didn't release a DVD of their Sleepign Beauty reconstruction which, no matter what the people working their think, would certainly have been a healthy seller relatively speaking). I don't know ANY ballet fan who, after having a commercial DVD and falling in love with the work, would then have no desire to ever try to see that ballet live--it actually works the other way, mostly. But many many execs still seem to feel that if their work is available commercially, it will make live performances less "special".

#36 ViolinConcerto

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 02:26 AM


Sandik, it's not so much 'June Taylor' or Busby Berkeley (directly overhead & stationary) as it is a camera that is 'floating' or skimming across the stage, sometimes weaving between dancers. One never knows where it's going to stop. I've seen this 'skycam' -- literally set up on thin wires strung up across a stage or an arena, tiny camera can zoom on the wires, every which way -- method employed at figure skating events. It's ridiculous above the ice and it's ridiculous here, too.

ITA with Cygnet that the Mariinsky (and NYCB and ABT) have missed the boat here due to 'closed door' policies & not jumping on the 'live ballet in cinemas' bandwagon. Very soon, if not already, the American public at large will be able to claim the Bolshoi or POB as their preferred 'home company' because of the accessibility via the cinema events AND their often-available DVDs. America knows and loves the POB and Bolshoi dancers probably more than those of NYCB and ABT...certainly more than NYCB. For cryin' out loud, there's even been more DVD releases with La Scala Ballet in the past 6 years than there's been of NYCB and ABT (and the Mariinsky?) combined. (OK, so NYCB has agreed to throw hoi poloi a bone in the form of that 'rarity' from the Balanchine oeuvre...Nutcracker! Wowee! That one has never been seen! How about Live on PBS/Cinemas performances of Symphony in C, Agon, Concerto Barocco, Dances at a Gathering, Goldberg, West Side Story Suite, etc?)

What,exactly, is the reason of NYCB and ABT not doing the live screening? Is it too expensive to do so? :dunno: :wallbash:



My recall (or is it assumption?) is that the Trusts do not want the choreography stolen, misattributed or misappropriated.

#37 puppytreats

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 06:52 AM

Cameras used to be prohibited in concert halls and stadiums. (Don't ask how I used to sneak cameras into stadiums to get pictures for my personal memories and pleasure). Now, video of every rock and pop concert appears in whole or part on the internet, and pictures abound. The shows are still packed. The audience has not disappeared.

#38 Kathleen O'Connell

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 08:54 AM

Maybe the Balanchine Trust is afraid that Beyoncé will steal all of Mr B's best moves. "First she came for Bob Fosse, and I didn't speak out because I was not Bob Fosse. Then she came for Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker and I didn't speak out because I was not Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker ... "

Seriously, I understand the various Trusts' desire to insure that the choreography in their custody isn't stolen or bastardized, but how likely is this to happen just because a major company produces and distributes a video through legitimate channels? Maybe I'm naive, but I can't imagine that a reputable company would add a work by Balanchine, Robbins, Tudor, Cunningham or whoever without securing the requisite license to do so. And I don't think they're going to produce bastardizations along the lines of the hilariously-titled Chinese Harry Potter rip-offs. Are the Trusts perhaps concerned that no one will be interested in producing works live--and paying royalties for the privilege--if a video version is available for streaming on NetFlix or Amazon? Somehow, I don't think locking masterpieces up in the vault is going to put butts in seats.

Are they concerned that the company affiliated with the Dolly Dinkle School of Dance will mount a rip-off of T&V because Mme Dinkle happened to see a clip on YouTube, or, heaven forfend, downloaded the whole thing from The Pirate Bay? Are they afraid that Dancing with the Stars will lift stuff wholesale from "Who Cares"? That Kanye West's next ballet-themed video will rip off the adagio from "Symphony in C"? I understand the vigilance needed to protect intellectual property rights -- but as J. K. Rowling's experience shows, simply standing athwart the barricades shouting "no" at digital distribution is futile. None of the Harry Potter books are available as legitimate ebooks, but fans have scanned them all and used readily available software tools to turn them into ebooks in any and every format that you can find and download for free with two mouse clicks.

#39 EricHG31

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 10:54 PM

The concert thing is interesting. I remember seeing Madonna around 2005, and there was still a policy about cameras, they'd check bags, etc. Of course some snuck in, but... A few years later, they had basically completely given up, I guess as they can't take away everyone's cell phone--and it's true the concerts all end up youtube now--I think most promoters have realized it, if anything, makes more people go to them. Most who watch the low quality clips end up buying the pro DVDs, or going to the tours anyway. (That said, thank God most people haven't taken to filming things with their phones in theatre-- and it still is mainly frowned upon--I find it distracting even in a pop concert situation). But that's a good point.

#40 puppytreats

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 07:36 AM

The concert thing is interesting. I remember seeing Madonna around 2005, and there was still a policy about cameras, they'd check bags, etc. Of course some snuck in, but... A few years later, they had basically completely given up, I guess as they can't take away everyone's cell phone--and it's true the concerts all end up youtube now--I think most promoters have realized it, if anything, makes more people go to them. Most who watch the low quality clips end up buying the pro DVDs, or going to the tours anyway. (That said, thank God most people haven't taken to filming things with their phones in theatre-- and it still is mainly frowned upon--I find it distracting even in a pop concert situation). But that's a good point.


I have only used a camera inside the theatre during curtain calls. It is too distracting to use the camera during the performance. I have stopped using the camera during concerts for this reason. I would rather be in the moment.

#41 4mrdncr

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 09:38 PM


What,exactly, is the reason of NYCB and ABT not doing the live screening? Is it too expensive to do so? :dunno: :wallbash:


Especially since they film so much of it and just stick it in the library :<

Although that's common nowadays I think. I know in New York nearly every significant Broadway production (and more and more Off and regional productions too), since tyhe late 70s with some earlier examples has been filmed for the Lincoln Center Archives at the NYPL. Most of these can be viewed as I'm sure you know--if you got here and make up a valid sounding excuse--they're only harsher with certain titles usually due to copyright holder reasons. But these can never be released in a commercial format, largely as it would just be so cost prohibitive. I suspect it must be the same with ballet (although at least with a lot of ballet you wouldn't have to worry about paying the music, and maybe even choreography, fees as they're public domain).


Though Mr. Tchaikovsky or Mr. Petipa may be long gone, that doesn't mean they are public domain and anyone filming the ballet can do it for free. Permission must be granted, and usually the payment of license fees are still necessary for filming/distribution of ballets...both to choreographers (or their trusts), and to the composer (if living or if they have an estate)/orchestra that performed it/music publisher/music distributor of the music or CD/DVD etc.etc....Case in point: for "In the Upper Room" I had to get permission (and in two cases,pay a fee) from both the choreographer AND music publisher, AND music distributor, AND Mr. Glass' representatives.

#42 EricHG31

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 10:37 PM

That's a great point, and I stand corrected. I guess I meant in general it's less expensive for a smaller company to, for example, put on a production of Nutcracker than try to recreate a Balanchine ballet. I believe virtually all music from pre 20th century is publi domain, but of course whoever did the recording, or getting an orchestra, etc, is a different manner.

#43 Andre Yew

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 08:02 PM

Who of Ostreikovskaya and Selina is the redhead?


Selina is the redhead.

#44 Helene

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 09:52 PM

Selina is the redhead.


Many thanks!


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