Lynette H

Funding and cinema screening of ballet

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In the UK, the Arts Council recently announced its funding plans for the next three years (2015-18) and produced a detailed report on opera and ballet funding. One thing that caught my eye, buried in the report was that companies would be required to include screenings of opera and ballet as part of the "success measures" within their business plans for the period.

The Royal already have an established plan for ballet screenings, but some of the other companies supported do not. Perhaps this might make more productions more widely available.

The report is at

http:/www.artscouncil.org.uk/media/uploads/Report-on-analysis-of-Opera-and-Ballet.pdf

(It's an interesting read. Heartening to see that the audience for ballet in the period examined - 2008/9 to 2011/12 - seemed to grow substantially).

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Thanks for the link (adding it to the big pile of stuff to read and watch -- where did I ever get the idea that summer was a slow time?)

This is a fascinating wrinkle. I know that in the US, there would have to be some negotiating with performer unions to make that cinema requirement possible -- are there any similar contractual issues for UK companies?

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I'm not so sure how great this is. My understanding is that either a theater is equipped for transmission or an independent producer has to bring equipment along. Unless the Arts Council is planning to fund the filming and transmission infrastructure -- in which case they are investing in the arts for everywhere in the country there are compatible cinemas, not just ballet and opera but anything that is performed in these theaters -- it seems to me to be a huge burden to place on companies without the equipment or the lure to independent producers, most of whom seem to be in France. It's like blaming the poor for being poor.

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I agree with Helene. What's the likelihood that Northern Ballet is going to find someone willing to underwrite (and provide the equipment for ) a live broadcast of their Cleopatra, for instance, or Birmingham Royal Ballet their Prince of the Pagodas, instead of the Royal Ballet's Swan Lake? David Bintley at BRB has gone on record as saying BRB essentially lost money on the live broadcast of their Cinderella. And that was CINDERELLA.

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Perhaps the arts council should put their money into a film unit that could travel from company to company, supplying the technical equipment and expertise for these kind of projects. Big guess, they might be able to prep and shoot maybe one or even two productions a month (Amy, is that realistic?) Over a year, that would be a pretty impressive number of broadcasts.

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Good idea sandik, and actually the same occurred to me. But everything also depends on the scale of the production; both the one being peformed, and the company filming it. PBS uses an average of 7-9 cameras (including the remote/booms) for a Great Performance/Live from Lincoln Center type perf, but I've also recorded performances single camera from different angels on separate nights and then edited to create a simulation of multi-cam productions. So, to do a full-size production with 'remote' production vans (think tractor-trailer size) takes logistics to schedule around a country - even one smaller than the USA. But a small, independent-size prod.company could be manageable. If funded.

BTW: Has anyone read the latest NEA report on audiences and performing arts in USA - sorry forgot what it's called, though it comes out every 4-5 years.

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I wonder if certain ACE guidelines might not be established for those companies 'short of the recognised international ones'; - say for a specified three camera shoot - and as Sandik suggested have a funded pool of equipment and trained/training personnel to help support the fulfillment of their stated requirements.

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Live broadcast to cinema is also increasingly important in the theatre in the UK. The NT Live programme doesn't just cover plays at the National Theatre. It also includes some broadcasts from theatres in London's West End. Currently on the list for example is David Hare's Skylight, which is playing at Wyndham's. (Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan, international transmission 23 Oct.) So they must have worked out how to run the technology from outside their NT base. DV8's new dance theatre piece coming this autumn at the NT is also scheduled for broadcast. It seems the expertise is available - potentially.

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I've also recorded performances single camera from different angels on separate nights and then edited to create a simulation of multi-cam productions.

different angels, eh? I guess you have to have really good connections to get them on staff... ;-)

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BTW: Has anyone read the latest NEA report on audiences and performing arts in USA - sorry forgot what it's called, though it comes out every 4-5 years.

I haven't seen it yet. Do you have a link at hand?

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DV8's new dance theatre piece coming this autumn at the NT is also scheduled for broadcast. It seems the expertise is available - potentially.

Oh, this is great news -- I hope they get a DVD out of it, for those of us who live outside their broadcast area.

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