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Stage Right

Senior Member
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About Stage Right

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    Senior Member

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    Ballet Teacher, Former Dancer, Ballet Lover
  • City**
    Ithaca
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**
    NY
  1. Great dancers&great choreography

    Perhaps it is not that there aren't very many 'great dancers' now, as that perhaps there are SO many of them! When there are just a few stellar ballet dancers, they get all the attention by the public and the critics and everyone wants to see those few. When there are a great many, the attention by public and critics gets diluted, and thus the 'greats' aren't clearly lionized to the same extent. This could be exacerbated by the number of companies today compared to the "Golden Age", and by our access to international dancers via youtube, et. al. Now mind you, I'm not saying that this is actually my opinion, because I do cling to the memories of those dancers I saw then, but it's just a thought that occurred to me while reading these posts.
  2. NEA Study Finds a Drop in Arts Attendance

    Interesting, Sandik. I too, would have to mull that over, wondering what kind of effect that change might have had. And how and why it took place (economics, no doubt). I also wonder if ballet companies now assume that since we all seem more mobile than back in the days of Hurok, et al., that audiences can simply be expected to come to them, rather than vice versa. If there is that assumption, I wonder if it is working out as assumed. (Just wanted to add a telling incident here in my small city.... I moved here several years ago, and decided to start a ballet class for adults (not liking 'retirement'), I told a new acquaintance about it. She is a very intelligent woman, a yoga teacher. She looked at me visibly startled, and said, "Ballet for adults? But ballet is just for children!).
  3. NEA Study Finds a Drop in Arts Attendance

    Yes, Sandik, i realize that there were many influences on the "dance boom", but I do believe that the extensive tours by international ballet companies played an important part in the USA, beginning with the various iterations of the Ballet Russes. People in even small cities or towns were aware of ballet and the big name dancers in a way that I find just does not exist now outside the larger costal cities primarily: NYC, San Francisco, Atlanta, Miami, and others. Smaller cities, even such as mine, even where there is a highly educated population, will not recognize any of the names of dancers spoken of on this forum, or choreographers such as Wheeldon, Ratmansky, and certainly not any below that level. If you talked to many people here, I think they would be completely uninterested in ballet, and perhaps characterize it as a dying art for elites only. I think this is a problem for ballet going forward.
  4. NEA Study Finds a Drop in Arts Attendance

    Dance on film of any kind really doesn't compare, IMO, to live performance. A whole dimension (pun intended) is completely lost. When I was a child/teenager in Detroit, MI, I had the great good fortune (and good mother!) to be able to see The Royal Ballet, The Bolshoi Ballet, the (then) Kirov Ballet, The Royal Danish Ballet. ABT. NYCB, The Eliot Feld Ballet, and I may be missing one or two, between the ages of 5-20, or 1956-1972. Some I saw more than once, and all in Detroit! A lost world, truly. Perhaps there is a connection between those opportunities that abounded then, and the "Ballet boom" shortly thereafter?
  5. NEA Study Finds a Drop in Arts Attendance

    I'm not sure if this has been mentioned yet in this thread, but I also wonder if some of the drop in attendance could be due to the fact that the large companies no longer tour smaller communities as they did up until around, perhaps, 1965. They may send out occasional small performances with younger members of their companies, but large-scale tours are now, I know, prohibitively expensive. I live in a mid-size city in a large northeastern state in the US. It has a well-known Ivy league university, and a highly educated, culturally aware population with a relatively high income level. But we never get a touring ballet company here. We may get small, second tier modern dance/jazz/ethnic companies about once a year (true!!), but NO ballet. There is a "high-school dance company", but for a true ballet lover this does not suffice on any level. Also, those who might have been exposed to excellent ballet in the past, and developed a life-long love of it, no longer do. For me to see a good ballet company requires a five-hour bus trip there and five hours back again--another expense in addition to tickets, plus perhaps the price of a hotel in NYC if wanting to stay overnight. This is not possible more than once in a blue moon for me.
  6. Biopic of Matilda Kshesinskaya

    Thanks, Canbelto, for the picture. Ugly??????? The only thing ugly was whoever made that comment!! She has a lovely, strong and open face, with a beautiful smile and striking eyes. Most of us should be so fortunate!
  7. NEH Chair Resigns

    Huh?? That seems like a lot of money to be devoted to closing something, doesn't it? Or am I just naive?
  8. Plastique

    My interpretation of the term "plastique" is rather different to the responses above. Perhaps I made it up! But when I hear or read about a dancer possessing "plastique" I think of a dancer who has a sort of controlled, yet highly expressive and beautiful flexibility in her movement. (I suppose it could be 'his' movement as well, although I've usually encountered this term applied to female dancers). I think of Allegra Kent. Perhaps I'm way off base.
  9. La Valse

    I saw La Valse once many years ago.....I was probably in my mid-teens, and on a trip to NYC with my mother. I remember loving it; there seemed to be a darkness to its beauty that appealed to me at that age (and might still, who knows). I wish I could say something more definitive about it, but I was young, drinking in whatever I saw of ballet, without much ability to discriminate or analyze. Just remember that I loved it and it stayed in my mind. I think Mimi Paul was one of the leads.
  10. I really wanted to like this movie too. But......I could barely make it through the first half hour. A fun premise for the opening, the freeway and the traffic jam and dancers, but it went on way too long with very predictable dancing. Also, I guess I'm old-fashioned (sure of it, in fact :), but the editing was so fast and vertiginous that I couldn't really enjoy much of anything I saw. The plot in the first half hour was not well-established. I lost interest and left.
  11. Ballet History

    Ditto to Sandik's list--my college students also used many of these texts. For something visual, if you can find a copy, I HIGHLY recommend "Ballet Russes" DVD, on such places as netflix.
  12. Can Someone Identify This Dancer?

    I agree--it doesn't look like Fonteyn at all to me.
  13. Name 5 ballets.

    The Sleeping Beauty (first ballet I ever saw, age 4) The Nutcracker (from dancing in it) Les Patineurs (same) Swan Lake Les Sylphides
  14. Keith Money book about Christopher Gable

    I'd love to see this but can't open the link??
  15. Where ballet is illegal

    That is a fascinating article. it is a great credit to the dancers and teachers in Iran that they manage to persist under those conditions.
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