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Use of video-recording for rehearsals etc.


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#1 Ann

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Posted 30 November 2001 - 06:59 PM

There is a discussion on Ballet.co at the moment on the use of video recording for both training and archival purposes, during which it has emerged that the 'scratch-tapes' used by companies to record rehearsals etc are of inferior quality, and usually shot from the back of auditoriums or on the main stage at a wide angle. This is partly because companies do not have the funds to record properly - that is, employ and pay for professional cameramen and use more than one camera so that the action can be shot simultaneously from different angles.

As for studio rehearsals I was undoubtedly naive in thinking that you only needed one camera probably operated by one of the dancers not involved in the action (ha!). I wonder if anyone on this board can say what the practice is with US dance companies? Where a new work is being created, is it routine to have it meticulously recorded by both notation and professional video recording? It seems to me that's the way it should be.

#2 Alexandra

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Posted 02 December 2001 - 10:50 AM

I've seen house tapes in the Danish ballet archives, and they're usable. They do have professional cameramen, and use the back-of-the-house wide angle so that every inch of the stage is shown at every minute. They have a few tapes that used two cameras -- one on Teresina, say; the other on Gennaro. Not only does that mean that everything in the back, or other side, is lost, but during the dreadful moments when Gennaro's camera, for whatever reason, didn't work (this was a tape from the 1960s) all you see is Teresina sitting on a stool.

(The Danes videoed the entire 1979 Bournonville festival, two tapes per ballet. One in practice clothes, so that the steps would be clear; the other in costume.)

Amy Reusch, a videographer, sometimes peruses this site. I'd like to hear her comments -- as well as others. I don't know the current practice in American companies. Does anyone else?


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