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Frightening news from Britain -- can it happen here?


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#1 Alexandra

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Posted 01 April 2001 - 01:46 AM

I can't bear to type a recap. See for yourselves.

[url="http://"http://www.danze.co.uk/dcforum/news/768.html#1"]http://www.danze.co....news/768.html#1[/url]

#2 BalletNut

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Posted 01 April 2001 - 03:14 AM

Does the mandate apply to using real animals on stage [as with the hunting dogs in Giselle] or to material that "advocates" cruelty to animals [like Swan Lake's hunting party]?

And I thought the Keefer thing was bad!

#3 Terry

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Posted 01 April 2001 - 03:43 AM

OHHHHHHh, THIS IS TERRIBLE!!! I CANNOT believe this! I am really shocked.... but if they're placing a ban like this for ballet productions, they must do so in EVERY other performing arts productions, whether they are movies, plays, musicals, ETC...or it wouldn't be fair!!! Ballet is already considered somewhat "exclusive" and this ban is making the exclusiveness worse. Less people will be willing to become "members" just to see these performances, if they aren't passionate ballet fans like us... Oh this is really sad..... Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

#4 Manhattnik

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Posted 01 April 2001 - 04:03 AM

Why stop with animals?

Ballet portrays any number of social/ethnic groups in inflattering manners, and it's high time it cleaned up its act. Wiccans everywhere must be horrendously offended at the unflattering portrayal of Madge as a "witch." Not to mention the nasty stereotype of "evil" sorcerers like Von Rothbart.

I could go on about all those embarassing and uncorrect ethnic dances which must be cleansed from the repertory, but I'll just mention the most oppressed group of all -- aristocrats. When did you ever see a ballet which didn't portray nobles as a bunch of overprivileged, overdressed fops with nothing better to do than leer at peasant girls and drink interminable toasts to each other?

#5 Drew

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Posted 01 April 2001 - 05:05 AM

Perhaps this is one of those "tone" things that's hard to get properly over the internet -- but I assumed the article was a joke, and a rather nasty one at that. (Ross Stretton boasting of bagging a 'roo or a koala bear? The Arts Council using the term "re-education?" unlikely.) But people's responses on this board sound as if they aren't reading it as a joke...Anyway, if someone were to ban the use of live animals for theatrical productions I'd have mixed feelings about it. Animals add atmosphere, but they often do look really miserable. I don't think anyone is about to ban Swan Lake or, for that matter, censor Grimm's fairy tales. On the other hand, they may be trying to satirize the animal rights lobby out of business. And if that's the case, I'm with the animal rights lobby. But perhaps everybody here is joking and I'm the straight man...

[This message has been edited by Drew (edited April 01, 2001).]

#6 Juliet

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Posted 01 April 2001 - 10:23 AM

Happy April Fool's day!

#7 Alexandra

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Posted 01 April 2001 - 10:33 AM

Yes, this is Bruce Marriott's annual April Fools Joke. I always fall for it, too, especially with the offficial insignia down the side. Sorry, Drew, but I don't think it was at all nasty.

Manhattnik, there's already been some PC dance criticism in Britain. One critic last year quite seriously complained about "La Fille Mal Gardee" -- mocked the retarded and rural folk, as well (memory fades) as some displeasure at the animals.

[This message has been edited by alexandra (edited April 01, 2001).]

#8 felursus

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Posted 01 April 2001 - 07:03 PM

Bruce always does a bang-up job of providing a good April Fools satire in the time-honoured British tradition. So how many of you fell for the one last year about the "newly discovered 3rd act of Giselle"? It was an extremely well-written piece that reported that someone had discovered archives in a library in Idaho (if I remember correctly) that was the libretto of the 3rd Act of Giselle - in which it turns out that Giselle, and everyone else, experienced Act II as a hallucination - that in fact Giselle never had died at all. The 3rd act is taken up by Giselle and Albrecht travelling the world (lots of ethnic dances) before returning home in triumph.

Britain has a proud history of such "hoaxes.
The BBC once did a piece on the "Spahetti Harvest in Italy". It depicted happy natives in national costume climbing ladders placed against the spaghetti trees and carefully harvesting each strand, so it would not break. Then there was the Guardian's centrefold (c. 1977) about the small, Indian Ocean nation of Sans Serif - a country consisting of two islands shaped like a ;. Now the Guardian frequently had centrefolds about different nations. There would be articles about the politics, geography, economy, main industries, tourism, etc. about these countries - so they did the same for Sans Serif. (For those of you who don't know, sans serif is a kind of type face.) They even threw in a photo contest for readers' best holiday snaps from Sans Serif. Posted Image

#9 mussel

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Posted 01 April 2001 - 10:58 PM

People's serious responses are as funny as the joke itself. Was it last year or the year before that a news release from Bruce about the EU's new job safety regulation that prohibited the 32 fouette and all dancers must wear protective head gears?

#10 Sonja

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Posted 02 April 2001 - 10:41 AM

Great one - any chance to drag links to such previous April jokes from the archives for relative newcomers like me??

#11 Alexandra

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Posted 02 April 2001 - 12:30 PM

Good question, Sonja. I'm sure they're archived at ballet.co.uk, but I don't know where. Jane Simpson, or any other ballet.co regulars, if you're reading this, do you have any ideas?

The first one was the best, I thought, simply because it was the first, and so nobody thought it was April Fool's. It was that the Royal Ballet was going to do an ice show. A very, very tacky ice show. It had photos, and everything!

#12 cargill

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Posted 02 April 2001 - 01:31 PM

Alexandra, The Brits still have a sense of humor! It was an April Fool's joke.
Sorry, I just saw your first note. I didn't realize the cover had already been blown.

[This message has been edited by cargill (edited April 02, 2001).]

#13 ~A.C~

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Posted 02 April 2001 - 03:31 PM

I think I've had enough of April Fools jokes. (There was one on every forum I go to!) But this ban on animals thing was hilarious! Good job to Bruce!

Anyway, with that horrible MAD COW lingo going around in the U.K., do you think the British government will make a ban towards cattle in the performing arts?

#14 cargill

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Posted 02 April 2001 - 05:14 PM

This is actually not an April Fool's joke, but I just read that a play in New York has a sign posted in the lobby warning the audience that the play contains "excessive violence and cigarette smoking".

#15 Kevin Ng

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Posted 02 April 2001 - 07:06 PM

Originally posted by Sonja:
any chance to drag links to such previous April jokes from the archives for relative newcomers like me??


Here is Bruce's 1 April joke last year.
[url="http://"http://www.danze.co.uk/dcforum/news/330.html"]http://www.danze.co....m/news/330.html[/url]


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