Ballet in San Francisco
Posted 26 June 2001 - 12:06 AM
Posted 26 June 2001 - 12:07 AM
LMTech, I certainly agree with everything Leigh said. I've been watching, and liking, modern dance for the same amount of time I've been watching, and liking, ballet -- nearly 30 years. This question has been raised before, and I must say I'm puzzled by it. If this site were Tennis Alert!, would someone assume I didn't like badminton, or golf?
We never intended this to be a general dance site, and have addressed this issue, and the reason for it, frequently. There's also a lot of material on the main site about why the site was founded, etc.
I'd like to especially underline one thing that Leigh wrote -- The assumption that classical ballet is outmoded, irrelevant or somehow just a waystation on the road towards the enlightened state of contemporary ballet or modern dance is one that I think will be questioned here every time it's mentioned.
Posted 26 June 2001 - 12:23 AM
I think hiring dancers unversed in the native style of a company is about the best argument possible insisting that any dancer you hire be able to assimilate into a company style. Do you really think the fact that dancers were not trained into a style is an acceptable reason to lose the style? Then for heavens sake, TRAIN them in the style when you hire them!
I agree with you that suitability of dancers is a good reason for a company to choose repertory. I'd argue then, however, that most contemporary companies should avoid classical work entirely. They don't have the budget to do it, nor usually the money to afford the shoes for the women to do consistent pointework. The point is, in the tension between a classical and a contemporary style, someone is almost always the loser, it's usually classical dance and I for one don't want to see that. Make a choice, do what you do well, but don't put a woman dressed as Odile on the front of your season brochure and don't claim to be a classical ballet company if that's not what you are and not what interests you. And I'd have to admit, I think the situation is most dire when people know longer know if they are doing one or the other and that is happening as well.
[ 06-26-2001: Message edited by: Leigh Witchel ]
Posted 26 June 2001 - 12:49 AM
I'd also comment that the notion that all dancers want to do only contemporary ballet is also not true. There are some -- and there are some companies, especially in Europe, that are proudly contemporary dance. (Rambert Dance Company changed its name from Ballet Rambert, one of the rare examples of truth in advertising.) But there are also dancers who are fighting for classical ballet. Nearly every interview we've published in DanceView or Ballet Alert! with a dancer in the last few years has touched on this subject, and the dancers are worried. (Another reason why I started Ballet Alert!)
Posted 26 June 2001 - 10:09 AM
Posted 26 June 2001 - 10:48 AM
[ 06-26-2001: Message edited by: alexandra ]
Posted 26 June 2001 - 04:44 PM
Posted 26 June 2001 - 05:48 PM
But I digress...how does all this affect SF?
Do you think it's good or bad that we have all this contemporary ballet here. I think it offers more dancers a chance to make a living. Dancers who don't fit the classical ballet mold.
Posted 26 June 2001 - 06:20 PM
Posted 26 June 2001 - 06:28 PM
Your question is such a good one, I'm going to pull it out and start a new thread, and then start a discussion on it.
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