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taped music

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Guest jonathan s

My impression of working to tape is that dancers have to work much harder in order to make it look good. They have to look as if they have never heard the music quite like that before (even though they have heard the tape a hundred times) It's a matter for research, but I have a feeling that with tape, dancers are never quite on the music - not so much as to be unmusical, but just far ahead in nanoseconds to make the performance look dull. I wonder if it's because they know what's coming, and so never have that energy that comes from having to anticipate the next move of the orchestra.

I'm not against taped music, since it enables many small companies - and big principals too - to entertain in small theatres and the fact is, we would see an awful lot less than we do if it weren't for tape.

But I agree with Alexandra that as it becomes standard practice to use tapes, the whole joy of music & dance as a live collaboration will get pushed aside. It also behoves modern composers to create works that make hearing live music exciting.

I was amazed to read that when Johann Strauss II went to the States last century, an orchestra played the "Blue Danube" waltz to an audience of 100,000, with a choir of 20,000 singers. He had to relay his beat to a HUNDRED conducters scattered among the choir to get it together. That's a sensation that could never be reproduced by a tape or video.

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This is a very interesting debate...

And I would like to point a few things out about the choice of live or taped music for touring...

The base of the problem is of course economics...But when a company is faced with the decision, it is not only the Artistic Director's integrity that matters.

What is appealing to presenters is a cost-effective company...a famous company (preferably), cheap to bring, that will guaranty sell-out...(because of the economy in their country, the Bolshoi and Kirov are very cheap companies to present).

I think we should blame presenters integrity and interest also !

An the audience members need to raise their opinion, they are the one buying the ticket, if they were not satisfied with taped music, the presenters need to hear about it !

And Jonathan, you are right about dancers having a much harder time to make ballet look good with tape...Dancers start to forget the music, they don't have to pay much attention to it, it becomes a second nature and you loose the spontaneity of the dance...they loose connection and don't get any opportunity to play with the music, to respond to it or to use it properly !

Long live LIVE !!!


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I'm going to close this thread, because it's so long it took my computer nearly two minutes to load it! Please continue posting on the Taped Music #2 thread.


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