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The art of discovery or how you found yourself here.


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28 replies to this topic

#1 Estelle

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Posted 25 October 2002 - 06:28 AM

As Major Mel, I saw Alexandra's messages on alt.arts.ballet about this site, and so after a while I had a look at it... and quickly became addicted! :)

#2 Estelle

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Posted 25 October 2002 - 10:23 AM

Originally posted by atm711
Not since the days of my early years of ballet going as a standee at the old Met  have I met a group of people who feel as I do about ballet.  My family and friends listen to me politely but I suspect they think I am a bit daft on the subject of ballet.


I know what you mean atm- even if for me it was a much shorter period... I started being interested in ballet around 1991, when I was 16, my parents accepted to attend a performance occasionally but weren't especially motivated, and neither my friends. What a relief it was to discover alt.arts.ballet in 1995, just after I had got some access to the Net in my university in Lyon (and in that period there weren't many web pages about ballet, most companies didn't have a web site yet), and to see that there were some other people sharing my passion! And I find reading this site much more convenient than reading a.a.b., thanks to the moderation and the existence of various sub-forums- I just regret that some a.a.b. regulars seldom post...

#3 Giannina

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Posted 26 October 2002 - 09:32 AM

For both publications write to:

Dance View or Ballet Alert
P.O. Box 34435
Martin Luther King Station
Washington, DC 20043

Bellet Alert is $25/year (6 issues)
Dance View is $30/year (4 issues)

Giannina

#4 Mel Johnson

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Posted 25 October 2002 - 03:36 AM

I recall Alexandra announcing on alt.arts.ballet that she was building a site of features and pages just for classical ballet alone. I viewed from the very earliest days, when all the pages were light blue, but Silja was already "our" ballerina, and I've been here ever since, now so involved that I hardly ever have time for a.a.b. anymore! But the friendliest and smartest of a.a.b.ers seem to make it here, anyway, so I'm definitely not deprived!

#5 Alexandra

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Posted 25 October 2002 - 07:45 AM

Gosh, that's a toughie :)

I'd wanted to have a site for my magazines -- though not a message board at first -- but I couldn't get on line as I had an old computer. I finally had enough money to buy a cheap PC in July of 1998, and within a month of getting on line I'd designed this site.

The message board came later -- and was inspired by Giannina. She was a DanceView subscriber, and we'd corresponded. She mentioned that there was a dance newsgroup that was so argumentative, and occasionally nasty, that she felt uncomfortable posting there. I posted to the same newsgroup and was bothered by the nastiness too -- not from everybody; there are some terrific people there (many of whom now also post here!). But because newsgroups aren't moderated, some loony can come on and attack people, and some loony generally does. I also grew tired of arguments along the lines of "Boy, are you stupid. Of course Matthew Bourne's "Swan Lake" is a ballet." And the attempted explanations that yes, it's a ballet in the sense of the general use of the term to describe a theatrical piece using dancing, but not ballet in the way Petipa's "Swan Lake" or Balanchine's "Concerto Barocco" or "Agon" is. So I wanted to set up a site for people who wanted to discuss ballet and who knew what it was, or were curious about it.

I thought it would be a niche site, very small, a kind of side chamber to the newsgroup, where people could come and discuss ballet in some detail. I put up a little Frontpage message board -- there are only about 10 people still here from that one -- and some of the first posters -- God knows how they found us -- were kids. "Hi! I'm 15. I stopped dancing 3 years ago. Can I still become a ballerina?" I "knew" Victoria from the newsgroup and thought her answers sensible and asked her if she would be willing to answer their questions. She said yes, and I don't know what I'd have done without her! (Ban children, I think. :) )

I started looking for better message board software, found one in October 1998, and Ballet Talk as we know it dates from then. Slightly bigger than I'd intended, and still occasionally contentious, as people misunderstand the purpose of the site and sometimes thought it was anti-modern dance, or that we were making a silly, arcane artificial distinction by limiting discussions to ballet. But the vast majority of people have gotten it, and I'm very glad to have you all here. :)

Thanks for the kind comments!

#6 Alexandra

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Posted 25 October 2002 - 10:21 AM

I remember you from the quizzes, atm! -- and several others here. Steve Keeley and Estelle were the Ballet Alert! Quiz Champions!

I almost miss doing the quiz, but it took 2 hours every Sunday and I eventually ran out of questions!!!!

#7 Alexandra

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Posted 25 October 2002 - 10:31 AM

To stick in yet another 2 cents, it's not a matter of "either/or." There are several people here who post on more than one newsgroup or discussion board :)

I also just checked our current members' totals and 4078 people have registered here since October 1998!

#8 Alexandra

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Posted 26 October 2002 - 09:44 AM

Thanks for the plug, y'all. I think DanceView (a quarterly review of dance, with long reviews, commentary, interviews) and Ballet Alert! (a bimonthly, more or less, newsletter, with news, previews, interviews, Victoria Leigh's column for young dancers) would make terrific Christmas gifts.

I don't want to mislead anyone -- these do not look like Pointe or DanceMag. They're black and white -- lots of photos, but black and white -- and no ads.

And, you can save a stamp :) Subscribe on line:

http://www.balletale...tm#anchor138471

If you want to give this as a gift, drop me an email afterwards telling me who you are and who you'd like the gift to go to.

Back to discovery :) This is fun -- it's nice to know where everyone came from, and why.

#9 atm711

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Posted 25 October 2002 - 10:11 AM

I had just bought a computer and one of the first things I did was to enter the keyword 'ballet' and discovered BA. I was immediately hooked on the 'quiz'. It was great to have found a group of people on my 'wave length' concerning ballet. Not since the days of my early years of ballet going as a standee at the old Met have I met a group of people who feel as I do about ballet. My family and friends listen to me politely but I suspect they think I am a bit daft on the subject of ballet.

#10 kfw

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Posted 29 October 2002 - 06:26 PM

The NY Times had a paragraph or two about Ballet Alert in '98. And if they hadn't, I'd probably still not know about the board.

#11 Manhattnik

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Posted 25 October 2002 - 06:21 AM

I found all the cool people were drifting away from a.a.b, and I just assumed I'd driven them all away, so I decided to follow them to BA where despite my best efforts, here they remain.

(Actually, there are still cool people on a.a.b; they're just not as loquacious as they used to be.)

#12 flo

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Posted 25 October 2002 - 04:53 AM

I found someone's copy of Dance View Magazine and wanted to know more. I either wrote a letter or searched the internet, but somehow I reached Alexandra, got a subscription, found the website, etc. It was a great discovery!

#13 glebb

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Posted 24 October 2002 - 06:02 PM

My good friends Victoria and Mel guided me towards Ballet Alert/Ballet Talk, and I am addicted.

So much information at my finger tips. :)

#14 Tancos

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Posted 25 October 2002 - 05:43 PM

I came across Ballet Alert while surfing ballet links. "Ballet Talk" caught my attention because it was moderated -- the other message boards I've come across for men who dance are the sort of sites I only visit once. BT is always a pleasure to visit.

#15 vagansmom

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Posted 24 October 2002 - 05:53 PM

I'm showing my age. I don't remember how I found BalletAlert :( But I'm glad I did :P

But I think I do remember telling you, BW, to check this forum out:D


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