Did I ever see...?
Posted 11 March 1999 - 10:04 AM
If you've been watching a fairly large, stable company over a number of years, how do you keep track of who/what you've seen? I'm always wanting to know things like, how many times did I see Kirkland's Juliet, did I ever see Dowell in Sleeping Beauty, was I there at Lesley Collier's Swan Lake debut, etc etc etc
Obviously I can remember the red letter performances, but otherwise what alternatives are there to searching through the (100s of) programmes? For years I kept a complicated system that told me everything I could possibly want to know but it was time consuming and I gave it up when I realised I was more than a year behind - I've tried working out a computer system using a relational data base but decided I needed about 4 dimensions to make it work properly. Has anyone tried using a spreadsheet? Or worked out a simple database solution? Or do you keep index cards? Or am I the only one who likes doing this sort of thing...? I told you it was nerdish!
Posted 11 March 1999 - 10:33 AM
Posted 11 March 1999 - 10:51 AM
Also kept every program and every souvenir bok. The programs and scrapbooks got tossed in a "I've got to do something to make a living" phases a few years ago, to my everlasting regret.
There should be a way to do a computer database but, alas, what to do about those 25 years of lost performances?
Luckily, I have a good memory. And so do my friends.
Posted 11 March 1999 - 11:23 AM
Posted 11 March 1999 - 08:14 PM
I've been a lurker at Ballet Alert for a while and love this site. I might have lurked indefinitely, but just had to put in my two cents' worth concerning Jane's experience with computerizing her dance data. (I admire your energy and high level of organization Jane!) I'm far from being a computer expert, however, as a library/archival student I've been warned that technology obsolescence is serious problem if you want to preserve data in the long term. For example, if you invest a lot of energy and time into putting your data onto the computer and the technology changes, it may be difficult to migrate the data to a new system. (Maybe it's not such a big problem if you stick with products of major companies like Microsoft.) Do any of the engineer ballet fans have some insights into this?
Posted 11 March 1999 - 08:42 PM
It would be a fairly simple matter to create a database in Microsoft Excel and enter in the date of the performance, the principals, soloists and even corps, as well as comments about what struck me at the time. But I'm too lazy.
Posted 11 March 1999 - 11:33 PM
I tried it, using a very simple and easy to use program called Info Select. Not even sure if it is marketed anymore, but there must be other programs that are like it--easy to use, free form entry (no fields and records) will search on any string of characters. I would start with a stack of programs, determined to be as diligent and obsessive as it would take to get everything entered, but ALWAYS get distracted by the memories of the performances I was cataloging, either opera or ballet. I would call someone who had seen the performacne or put on a CD or video featuring the artists or the work I was entering--and the best intentions would be forgotten.
Please let me know if you solve that problem, since I haven't been able to.
Posted 26 March 1999 - 05:27 PM
* a "Performance Tracker"--with fields for date, title of work, company, dancers, roles, and a "comments" column,
* Video Database of nearly 300 cassettes-- # on shelf (as I file chronologically, as I purchase), title, choreographer, ballet troupe, type (live, studio, doc, etc.), solo dancers, corresponding roles, comments
* Music (CD, tapes) Database -- # on shelf, composer, title of work, ballet title (in case music was not specifically written for the ballet) orchestra,
Books -- # on shelf, subject, title, author, comments
It took a while to set up but, once up-and-running, it is really easy to maintain.
I have another database for my 350-odd figure skating tapes since 1980, but I won't get into that here. Running out of shelf space...the Ballet Room is extending into the Living Room!!
[This message has been edited by Jeannie (edited March 26, 1999).]
Posted 29 March 1999 - 10:03 AM
I used Filemaker PRO, which seems to work really well on PowerMacs (what I have). It's very similar to two other user-friendly software, MSAccess & Lotus Approach. - Jeannie
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