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Ballet Competitions.....art versus Technique/math


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4 replies to this topic

#1 Solor

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Posted 13 October 2002 - 07:05 PM

I have won many competions, I have never done Prix de Lausanne(yet) (sRRY GUYS IM BAD AT SPELLIN AND TYPING)but I always felt they were just not OK for the art of ballet......ballet is an art, not a mathmatical exercise that should be critiqued on its perfection. I say this only as a person who has been in ove with the ART of ballet from a very young age. I never fell in love with the obsession people in modern times have with the technique of it. I know that tis is an age old debate, but we can really learn alot from the people of the past who founf more strength in the emotions of ballet and not the technique. Just my opinion. Please leave lots of feedback everyone! Im curious to know how everyone feels, not about what I think, but about what they think of the idea of art verse technique.....competitions to!

#2 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 13 October 2002 - 07:26 PM

Solor, we're not a bunch that will attack someone over grammar. I will admit to being the Spelling Elf and fixing people's posts to make them clearer for other people to read and respond to. And yes, you are giving the Spelling Elf a workout tonight. It's strictly optional, but sometimes it helps to type your post in a wordprocessor with a spell-check and then cut and paste that into the response box.

#3 katharine kanter

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Posted 19 November 2002 - 03:31 AM

If you look up on Internet the Salt Lake City international piano contest, you will note that a Swiss lad called G. Pescia, if my memory serves me aright, won this year with Haydn and Mozart.

You may not be familiar with the music trade, but in such contests, people are expected to strut their Pagannini stuff - Rachmaninov, Liszt, anything, so long as it's contorted.

This is the first time in many a year that anyone has won a major international competition, by simply playing "easy" works, properly.

You are no doubt very professional in your work, and know that there is no such thing as "easy" in art. It is harder to excute a simple enchaînement freely, musically, with elegance and taste, than to fire off a bit from Le Corsaire, where all the public will notice is "how many" or "how high".

Read the interview with Pescia, it's quite instructive. He wanted to impose a certain concept, and he did.

If you are entering competitions to try to get into a top company, I suppose one might see the point. If you are already well on the way to where you want to be, you might want to concentrate your firepower on more important things.

One should bear in mind that a Jury is not Mount Olympos. The jurors are not Gods. They are just ordinary men, who have somehow or other become "a success", and who will often prove to be as susceptible to mercantile, show-biz considerations as any shop-keeper. There are exceptions, BUT....

Where has the competition frenzy taken us ?

It has taken us to the point that there are people today - including the ladies - who can turn ten, even fifteen pirouettes.
There are girls who toss off the 32, with doubles and triples. I'm not, in theory, against that - why not, for fun, occasionally. But, overall, where has that got us ? What have we proven with it ? It's been done before - in the circus.

#4 citibob

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Posted 20 November 2002 - 02:07 PM

I'm in love with the technique and the art. If the technique is good, then every movement will be beautiful. But technique is measured not by how many turns you can do, but by much more subtle issues. I know dancers who obsess on turns and jumps, and think they have good technique because they have flashy turns and jumps. And yet, they can't even land their pirouettes, after going around five times. That is NOT technique!

#5 Mel Johnson

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Posted 20 November 2002 - 06:20 PM

I believe that art is a qualitative concept, and not a quantitative one. In other words, it's about how good it is or not, and that "good" or "bad" are not meaningfully translated into numbers which can be added, subtracted, multiplied, and divided. It even defies calculus, so I let it be. As Bob can tell you, one of the first things they teach in graduate education is how to quantify almost anything. I've tried it with art - it doesn't work!


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