Posted 22 September 2002 - 06:20 PM
I have to admit, I think Madonna is fantastic, Kurt Cobain's death was a loss and I'm a big sports nut. But I also love ballet.
I don't think ballet is an elite art form. I think like football, like pop music, like politics, it's something that you can't necessarily understand from the first viewing, but you'll know enough whether or not you want to attend again. Having said that, you can't force market it to people that may not be ready for it.
While I disagree with a certain age being "ready" for ballet, I think the enormous price you ask people to pay for a ticket, is more to preserve an artform than it is to be entertained for 2 hours. Ballet has become a business and in that lost much of it's art. There are people that love it and people that like it and there is a vast chasm between the two groups.
I learned much of my ballet knowledge from an aunt who thought Broadway shows at the time were "horrible" so she took me to the ballet, I hated it for years, then I started dancing myself.
I cannot speak on behalf of those that have no direction to the ballet. But I think it's the attitude that my generation suffers on many levels that we're just not "old enough" to understand certain aspects of culture. We have never had a president shot in office (thankfully) and we've never had a genius in the ballet world. Instead, like much else in culture today, we have crash and burn situations. People that are elevated through the press only to be replaced by the next best thing.
Perhaps the reason so many young people are not found at the ballet right now, is because the ballet is... quite boring. There's nothing "exciting" happening, with the exception of Ashton and the Kirov in NY this past year, it was quite a disappointing year.
There's no "corner market" for the arts anymore. The monies that used to be ear marked for the arts by patrons, it's not really a thought for my generation. People talk about how the arts are suffering, yet we're bombarded by images of countries plagued by illness and starvation.
Sorry, this is a bit on the long winded side. But I am a ballet supporter and I am tired of hearing how there are/not many "young" people in the audience. Sometimes I go, but I have far more choices now. I have far more opportunities to see other companies, other than the hometown one. My loyalties don't lie with a particular one, but to the art form. And maybe the reason there aren't so many of us in the seats all the time, is we're a bit more selective. I've gone to see more ballet at festivals these past 2 years than I ever have.
And along the lines of Alexandra's, you don't go to the Mozart to hear rap. Yet these ballet companies try to entice, I'm not quite sure who, but people in with "pop" meets ballet and it's a bit insulting (if it's geared at my age group) yet you can listen to pop music that his incorporated classical music in it. While I'm not a fan, Vanessa Carlton was doing a Q&A session with some kids and they asked her about the classical music in a particular song. She explained that the basis of the song was a waltz. The kids were like "oh, that's cool".