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#16 Mel Johnson

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Posted 30 May 2001 - 10:00 PM

I'm both with you and without you on this one. The clatter of pointe shoes across a stage is a bit distracting, yes, but for me, it carries with it the recollection of the old Metropolitan Opera House in NYC, with its near-perfect acoustics. Lousy sight lines and all, I miss the old place!

There was a story that used to be told of the place: Once, in a performance of Lucia di Lammermoor, the sextet had proceeded as advertised, sounding wonderful, and at the grand pause before the final notes, from somewhere out of the chorus was heard, "...and two eggs...."

#17 Nadezhda



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Posted 03 June 2001 - 08:10 AM

I am annoyed by more or less everything that was mentioned here and also by audience who claps when the artists just only ENTER the stage. OK, I agree, from a star of "international" caliber you are expecting a good performance, but still - can't they just wait for the end?
An example of this which really made me cry with anger was on the ABT Dance in America video. Julio Bocca and Alessandra Ferri dancer the Balcony scene pas de deux from Romeo and Juliet and this pdd begins with very silent music when Juliet enters the balcony. And during that silent, lovely, spiritual music the audience dared to clap and they ruined all of the atmosphere the music created. Not only that this happened once, the audience loudly clapped when Romeo entered.

I hate it when this happends. How can you clap to somebody when they have not yet danced one step? Besides it ruines the whole atmosphere. :)

[ 06-03-2001: Message edited by: Nadezhda ]

#18 Giannina


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Posted 03 June 2001 - 10:06 AM

Ah, Nadezhda, you are a woman after my own heart. Bad enough they applaud when they haven't done anything yet, but when they DO do something, anything, it's another clapping cue. No one applauds in the middle of an aria when a singer hits a beautiful note; oh, that that sentiment would spill over into ballet. There are plenty of built-in dancing breaks for appreciative applause.


#19 felursus


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Posted 03 June 2001 - 11:23 AM

I second all the complaints heard so far and would add two of my own: 1) wearing of personal jewelry on stage (the Russians used to do this all the time. One would notice pendants, crosses, etc. virtually hitting dancers in the face) 2) dancers who do not perform in the spirit of the original choreography or the production and have to show off their super-high extensions all the time (eg. 180 degree arabesques penchees in the grand pdd from Act III of Sleeping Beauty in the reconstructed Maryinsky version causing the longer-style tutus to flop over the dancers' heads).

By the way, Diana L., in reference to your complaint about claw-like hands, I had a friend who joined the NYCB in the 60s. When she first joined she was told to bring a ball to class and to keep it in the free hand while at the barre. After a while she was told to discard the ball but to keep her fingers in the same position. Eventually, she was allowed to be more 'natural', but to maintain the idea that the audience should be able to see all 5 fingers. I guess that this was what Balanchine wanted at the time. It seems to have perpetuated itself. Unfortunately - IMHO!

#20 Dale


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Posted 04 June 2001 - 05:50 AM

Felurus, the Russians still wear personal jewelry on stage. Last time the Kirov was in town, I had never seen so many diamond rings on so many peasants. Plus, long painted finger nails.

#21 Melissa


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Posted 04 June 2001 - 10:10 AM

I agree with everyone's pet peeves, but especially Victoria Leigh's remark regarding the lack of musicality in many dancers today. It's mind boggling that a quality so essential to dancing is such a rarity. I find myself having to watch videos of Margot Fonteyn and Natalia Makarova to see dancers who truly have music in their bones. I suppose a feel for music is something that one is born with and can't be taught.

#22 ralphsf



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Posted 04 June 2001 - 01:04 PM

Lack of attack when it's needed. I don't like mushy dancing. Sloppy work in the arms and especially the torso. I don't like dancers who are tight in the torso and shoulders. Related to lack of musicality (a big problem) is sloppy phrasing. Dancers who don't know how to punctuate a phrase. Dancers who don't hold their beats long enough. Dancers who look like they're counting onstage, not dancing and experiencing the music and/or performing a breathing character. General lack of stage sense and projection. I see many dancers who just look lost onstage. Ballet is a performance, not just an extension of class. A lot of dancers just don't know how to deliver when the time comes.

#23 LMCtech


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Posted 05 June 2001 - 04:53 PM

Audience members who start to leave before the curtain call is over in order to avoid traffic at the parking garage. THIS ISN'T A MOVIE, PEOPLE!

#24 Yvonne


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Posted 05 June 2001 - 07:40 PM

Gee.......I'm one of those "people" who sometimes leaves during the curtain call - maybe it's because I don't enjoy spending as much time waiting in the parking garage as I do sitting in the theater watching the performance! :)

#25 Katharyn



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Posted 06 June 2001 - 02:43 AM

Ooo... I agree ralphsf, I HATE dancers who are tight in the torso! That "I have a poker down my back" kind of dancing aggravates me. Like they are too scared to venture from their centre lest something dreadful happen...
I don't like seeing sagging elbows. At professional level it just Shouldn't Happen... but I see it in pirouettes all the time.

Victoria, the leg too far to the side is also something I don't like. I see it all the time in competitions, and it's alarming to see the same thing happen at a professional level. Especially in a promenade.

[ 06-06-2001: Message edited by: Katharyn ]

#26 beckster



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Posted 06 June 2001 - 06:58 AM

Sitting near to someone who "just can't help themselves" singing or beating along with the music. No-one is so musical that they cannot prevent themselves from hitting the back of my seat in time with the music. Or worse, out of time with the music. And the overture, or any famous part of the score, is not an excuse for a singalong. I always want to turn round and tell them: No-one is impressed by your amazing ballet knowledge and musicality that you are able to hum along to the dance of the sugar plum fairy. I am here to watch the dancing, not to have someone hum in my ear. :)

[ 06-06-2001: Message edited by: beckster ]

#27 Diana L

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Posted 06 June 2001 - 08:22 AM

When dancers "eat air". I know it's hard to breathe, but watching someone gulp air kills for me whatever amazing thing they just did was.

#28 Ed Waffle

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Posted 06 June 2001 - 09:45 AM

The horror! The HORROR!

beckster wrote "Sitting near to someone who "just can't help themselves" singing or beating along with the music. No-one is so musical that they cannot prevent themselves from hitting the back of my seat in time with the music."

While I have never had someone beating time on my seat back, the ones who hum accompaniment to the orchestra are purgatory for me. Many of them actually seem unaware of what they are doing--it starts when some familiar measure is played, often something that has been used in a commercial, a movie or a cartoon. The big Puccini works really set this off.

It is easy to deal with talkers--just tell them to be quiet in a more or less polite way. Less is sometimes better. And since talkers are annoying other people and since they also are aware in some way that their behavior is unacceptable, it works. Except in one case, which must have been the result of a deeply rooted psycho-pathology.

With hummers, since they often don't know what they are doing, it can be more difficult to get them to be quiet. If anyone has a good method to deal with this I would appreciate reading it.

#29 Natalia


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Posted 06 June 2001 - 10:09 AM

This is all too funny!

My pet peeve is seeing a dancer -- especially a female -- who is afflicted with a condition that I term "Guppy Mouth." (Have you seen profile photos of guppy-fish?) The ballerina's mouth constantly open in a small "O" circle, lips sticking out. It is even more ridiculous when coupled with the "eyes-of-wonder/raised eyebrows" look, which usually appears right after the dancer has completed some technical feat...even if it was not done so well.

Are dancers *coached* to make these faces??? Can't anyone correct them???

#30 Kristen


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Posted 06 June 2001 - 11:08 AM

I'm with those who are peeved by the HUMMERS! This problem is found in epidemic proportions in south Florida. I'm sure age and deafness contribute to the problem. As Ed Waffle said - they don't even seem to be
aware they're doing it. I've often pictured the newspaper headline LIBRARIAN SHOOTS HUMMER AT PALM BEACH BALLET PERFORMANCE.

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