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Annoyance...


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5 replies to this topic

#1 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 08:34 AM

Having to hear on the radio-(as I don't have cable)-Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker's score in tragic renditions as a form of advertisement from car dealers to spaghetti brands is just almost unbearable.  How sad this is the way America is getting exposed to such wonderful score...



#2 kfw

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 09:13 AM

Having to hear on the radio-(as I don't have cable)-Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker's score in tragic renditions as a form of advertisement from car dealers to spaghetti brands is just almost unbearable.  How sad this is the way America is getting exposed to such wonderful score...

 

It would turn my stomach to hear it in an ad. But I think the reason it's being used is that America already knows and loves this wonderful score.



#3 Helene

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 10:10 AM

When "Rigoletto" was being staged, Verdi knew he had a hit on his hands with "La donna e mobile," and he tried to keep the rehearsals closed.  However, the song was leaked or extracted by a spy, and, before the premiere the organ grinders were playing the tune on the street. 

 

Public exposure leading to familiarity is one of the reasons that opera was a popular art form in its day.  I see commercial uses of the "Nutcracker" as positive reinforcement of the score in the general public's imagination, especially children's, since they thrive on repetition and juxtapositions of music and context.



#4 California

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 01:01 PM

I was impressed that "Major Crimes" (TNT on Monday nights) had a Nutcracker subplot in the new episode 12/9. One of the detectives has two young step-grandsons taking ballet class and the detective wanted to invite the department head (Sharon Raydor) to go see their Nutcracker with him and tell him if his daughter was getting her money's worth in ballet classes. Raydor supposedly has a daughter (never shown on the series) who is a dancer with American Ballet Theatre, so "she's probably seen thousands of Nutcrackers," as one of the other detectives said.

 

It was interesting that they named ABT. The show is set in LA and the entire production staff is also located there, so the writers could easily have seen ABT on its annual visits. But a knowledgeable writer would be aware of the fact that ABT has gone for many years without a Nutcracker, after the Baryshnikov version and before the new Ratmansky. It would have made more sense to have the daughter dance with San Francisco Ballet, which has had a continuous Nutcracker all these years, and also has what is probably the best school in California.

 

I was impressed that nobody made cracks about boy dancers being sissies and instead seemed to take their classes seriously. Indeed, I'm glad the writers had the step-grandchildren be boys, to suggest that is perfectly normal nowadays (or should be). Did anybody else see this? I'm pretty sure this episode will be rebroadcast next Monday one hour before the new episode. (I'm also pretty sure they didn't use any Nutcracker music in the episode, which was also interesting.)



#5 Jack Reed

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 01:31 PM

I sympathize with Cristian.  Presenting cheap renditions everywhere smacks too much of dumbing stuff down because "they won't know the difference."  I think they - the uninitiated - might often respond to something good on the spot, and that they should have the chance to find out, the chance to make that discovery.  

 

In other words, it's better to enable people to rise to something good and rewarding rather than to diminish it, to lower it to their supposed vulgar level, to cheat them.

 

(This may be going farther than Cristian implied.)

 

But kfw has a point as well.  The Nutcracker is fairly widely and favorably - if not always very accurately - known, as something for these holidays.  (I've overheard people say, "Oh, the Nutcracker isn't ballet!"  Honest, friends!  More than once.  I would have liked to have tried to explore their concepts - Nutcracker on one hand, ballet on the other, had circumstances allowed.  I gather it's thought of as something to take the kids to, and that's it.)

 

As for California's comments, points well taken, but maybe, unknown to us, the practice of "product placement" - where for example you get the producers of a film to get your brand of whatever into the picture, preferably in a positive way, so the audience will think well of it - was at work, in mentioning ABT.



#6 sandik

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 07:08 PM

But kfw has a point as well.  The Nutcracker is fairly widely and favorably - if not always very accurately - known, as something for these holidays.  (I've overheard people say, "Oh, the Nutcracker isn't ballet!"  Honest, friends!  More than once.  I would have liked to have tried to explore their concepts - Nutcracker on one hand, ballet on the other, had circumstances allowed.  I gather it's thought of as something to take the kids to, and that's it.)

 

Nutcracker is certainly a ballet in a dance historical context, but in the life of a ballet company, and in the larger cultural life of the community, it is very much a "holiday show," in a group with other offerings like dramatizations of A Christmas Carol and performances of the Messiah.  It's scheduled and marketed in a very different way than any other work in the course of a typical ballet company season.  In part, it has to do with the family outing audience, but it's also a part of adult holiday entertainment. (no, not that kind of adult entertainment!)  My partner and I went to our local Nut last week and watched the audience as they came in the gate -- many, many, many date night couples who seemed to have little previous experience with this theater, but it's the holidays and it's Nutcracker.

 

 

As for California's comments, points well taken, but maybe, unknown to us, the practice of "product placement" - where for example you get the producers of a film to get your brand of whatever into the picture, preferably in a positive way, so the audience will think well of it - was at work, in mentioning ABT.

 

In general, "product placement" deals with commercial items, but this reference may come from a preference amongst the writers or elsewhere in the staff.  I'm pretty sure that wherever it comes from, it was an intentional choice.




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