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EBU Ballet Competition

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8 replies to this topic

#1 Pamela Moberg

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Posted 23 June 2001 - 05:59 PM

We have now sat through the competition which was held in London.
It was a complete bore, very badly televised in Sweden. Debora Bull presented, but she was removed after two words and a Swedish voice came on. Yes, the woman is a professional so I feel free to say what I think. She said,in a completely inane way amongst other things: Watch now, she is going to do TWO pirouettes! Holy smoke! I almost fell off my chair because of this woman.
The dancers, well, nothing outstanding, hardly a classical dance between them. A pas de deux of two Polish guys won first prize.
Well, in all, a great disappointment all around. Any other posters saw it on TV? Anybody at all saw it live? Please give your views!

#2 Alexandra


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Posted 23 June 2001 - 07:48 PM

Thanks, Pamela. Sounds dreadful! Forgive my innocence, but what is EBU?

#3 Guest_David M_*

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Posted 28 June 2001 - 10:44 AM


This competition to find the European Dancer of the Year and broadcast by the European Broadcast Union was held at the Lindibury Studio at the ROH, i believe last week.

I enquired re attending the competition but was advised that because of the television cameras , no seats would be given to the general public.

This was a huge dissapointment as in previous years the competions were held in main auditoriums of theatres and it would have provided an ideal show case to show the rest of Europe the restored Opera House.

Yes i know the Kirov are in residance but this is a premeir competition and should have been treated as such.



#4 Natalia


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Posted 28 June 2001 - 01:24 PM

Thanks for the insights, David, as I had not heard of this competition.

Pamela, the sort of narration that you describe ("...watch the height of his rivolvade...") incenses me to no end and only serves to add fuel to the arguments of people who see high-quality, UNESCO-sponsored competitions as sport. [Insences me about the TV presentation...not Pamela, of course! :)] If this were a sport, then the judges would ask dancers to perform grand jete and measure the coverage in centimeters, as in the Long Jump...or have a fouette-endurance event (see who can turn the greatest number of revolutions before going off-axis).

A judgement of beauty-in-art does not need such absurd blow-by-blow commentating! Can you imagine this at a Van Cliburn Piano Competition? ("...now listen for the crispness of this arpeggio...look at that wrist-action!")

[ 06-28-2001: Message edited by: Jeannie ]

#5 Terry


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Posted 28 June 2001 - 01:31 PM

In fact, if you ever attend major international ballet competitions, you will see that dancers who only show interest in highlighting their technical gifts will not do very well. It has to be both the artistry and the technical strengths combined. I would say that the ballet competition that really serves as the ultimate "artistic" competition would be the Paris International Ballet Competition. Here, a contestant A once did quadruple sets of pirouettes for her variation in finals, but the person who won the gold was contestant B who did a double pirouette with classical elegance and purity. And, Contestant A did not receive anything.

#6 Natalia


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Posted 28 June 2001 - 01:47 PM

Good point, Terry. I have seen so many examples of what you describe:

* At the 98 Jackson IBC, a technically-powerful female dancer thrilled the audience with the rarely-performed Laurencia solo (Plisetskaya-style stag jumps around the periphery of the stage). Audience screamed & "wooo-hooo'ed" as if she had performed the triple axel. Sure - a great technician...but a "bully approach" with no nod to artistry. Audiences were stunned that she did not progress to an award of any sort.

* At Varna 2000, the top medal in Junior Ladies was shared by a technically-sparkling but shortish-height girl (a very pretty soubrette-type) and a technically-weaker, long-limbed beauty with the 'Giselle style' to die for. Many screamed "foul - the short girl should have won the medal all to herself!"...but judges obviously saw the importance in rewarding, at the same level, the exquisite lines and style of the weaker girl. In other words, the technical soubrette was not placed ahead of the pure-stylist.

* At a mid-1990s Vaganova Prix, a now-Kirov-principal male earned a medal on the basis of his beautiful line, especially his feet...despite mediocre technique at the time. The judges were looking for beauty of form, rather than tricks.

In sum, the "tricks-only" approach doesn't cut it at the top-flight competitions.

[ 06-29-2001: Message edited by: Jeannie ]

#7 Guest_David M_*

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Posted 28 June 2001 - 06:13 PM

Hello Again

The Euoropean Dancer of the Year is meant to be held every two years in rotation with the European Musician of the Year, run by the European Broadcasing Union.

I think that the last time it was shown on British TV was in 1988, i may be wrong, but T Kumakawa of Royal Ballet won it that year.

Tonite i went to the ROH to see Swan Lake/Kirov. I heard that highlights of the above competition will be shown on BBC later in July 2001.


David :)

#8 Sonja



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Posted 29 June 2001 - 04:31 AM

Haven't watched it this year yet - one hour synopsis will be broadcast in German TV (ZDF) on Sunday, 1 July, at 0.45 am (so in fact it's already Monday...)
Forgive me if I am wrong, but I think Christina McDermott won a prize in this competition (early 90s?) and so did Zenaida Yanowsky in 1997 (??) - I remember she did a beautiful, although "typical competition" solo from Esmeralda pdd...

#9 beckster



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Posted 29 June 2001 - 12:25 PM

For those in the UK, the Eurovision Young Dancers 2001 is meant to be repeated on BBC Knowledge (cable) and on BBC2 in July, but rumour at the ballet.co site tells me that the BBC2 program may have been cancelled. God forbid that any ballet would ever be shown on terrestrial TV - despite the fact that the UK now has "celebrity ballerinas" like Darcey Bussell, Adam Cooper and Deborah Bull, who could add to all the celebrity chefs, gardeners etc. who fill our airwaves at all times.

Anyway I'll get off my soapbox now. Heres the information ...


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