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sandik

so who decides what we see?

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4 hours ago, kfw said:

 

... But pop is easily approachable. Is bringing it into a place devoted, for the most part, to work that is more demanding, work that to be fully understood and appreciated requires effort and education, justifiable outreach, or is it pandering, is it checking off the diversity box? And if it's outreach, is it working? Is there evidence the hip-hop crowd is buying, say, Alvin Ailey tickets? 

 

The short answer is that some work label "pop" is capable of inspiring and supporting deep analysis, while some work that would seem to be in the "high art" box is considerably more shallow.  So perhaps what you're really asking for is a venue that supports the complex stuff, whatever the label.

 

And yes, apparently the hip hop crowd does buy tickets to Ailey.

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6 hours ago, sandik said:

 

The short answer is that some work label "pop" is capable of inspiring and supporting deep analysis, while some work that would seem to be in the "high art" box is considerably more shallow.  So perhaps what you're really asking for is a venue that supports the complex stuff, whatever the label.

 

And yes, apparently the hip hop crowd does buy tickets to Ailey.

 

The Center has traditionally brought the complex stuff, yes, and the stuff which isn’t all over the airwaves and the news and the street already. In regards to what’s sophisticated and what’s shallow, sure, absolutely, there are exceptions to every rule.

 

Is there evidence that just bringing pop fans to high art venues sells a significant number of tickets? 

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Hip hop as a rule relies on complex lyrics and rhythmic interaction between the musical beat and lyrics.  Many hip hop lyrics would put opera librettos to shame and is the equal to the lyrics of many "high" art songs.

 

I think conflating hip hop and pop music is not accurate.

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Hip hop is popular and it's music, so it's popular music. That seems self-evident. It may be good pop, but it's still pop. For complex interaction, they can bring back Cecile McLorin Salvant. A quick check brings up only one appearance of hers. 

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3 hours ago, kfw said:

 

The Center has traditionally brought the complex stuff, yes, and the stuff which isn’t all over the airwaves and the news and the street already. In regards to what’s sophisticated and what’s shallow, sure, absolutely, there are exceptions to every rule.

 

Is there evidence that just bringing pop fans to high art venues sells a significant number of tickets? 

 

I'm not aware of a specific study right now -- my "evidence" is anecdotal, and mostly from conversations with press agents and marketing people.  This kind of outreach is generally part of a larger, long term plan with specific marketing and programming.  Part of the goal is usually to increase public recognition of the company (venue) -- there is evidence that bringing a cohort into a venue creates a more positive image of the venue. 

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59 minutes ago, Helene said:

Hip hop as a rule relies on complex lyrics and rhythmic interaction between the musical beat and lyrics.  Many hip hop lyrics would put opera librettos to shame and is the equal to the lyrics of many "high" art songs.

 

I think conflating hip hop and pop music is not accurate.

 

This is the basic argument about symphony pop concerts.

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Up to a point, I am in favor of trying to cultivate young audiences, but I am less convinced than I used to be that older audiences mean an audience is dying out altogether, as I've met people who came to the performing arts later in life. I wonder if that isn't also an important slice of any traditional 'arts' audience.

 

Drew, I don’t think it has always been true that the audience for the arts has skewed older, but it is true that often people come to them later in life (and deeper in pocket). As I understand it, the concern arts organizations have these days is that younger people are no longer replacing older patrons as they die off in the same numbers they used to, hence the aggressive efforts to pull in younger people, as sandik notes.

 

Pandering to whom, kfw?

 

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1 hour ago, dirac said:

Pandering to whom, kfw?

 

Pandering to people who don't appreciate the Center's core offerings. 

 

Sandik, no doubt a few people buy tickets just because they're there and see something advertised. Beyond that, it would be nice to think that this kind of outreach makes a significant difference. I know some creative artists in the fields of jazz, dance and drama are using and/or being influenced by hip-hop. Naturally. And I see a couple of upcoming Center programs that fit the bill. The breakdance contest they had last fall does not, and could have found another venue. I also remember the hip hop the NYCB ballet audience was forced to hear between acts of Jewels a couple of years ago. That was a rude way to treat paying customers.

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Related to this discussion, DC TV stations are running ads to publicize the Kennedy Center's  "JFK 100th Birthday Open House" on May 27 (this Saturday). ALL of the footage is of hip/hop musicians, rappers and skateboarders on the plaza. There's not one second of footage of anything traditionally classical. Yet, I see on the schedule that the Washington Ballet will hold an open rehearsal at 1:30pm, then perform Stiefel's new ballet FRONTIER (for free?) at 3:15pm in the Opera House venue. 

 

http://www.kennedy-center.org/pages/specialevents/openhouse

 

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3 hours ago, Natalia said:

 

 

:clapping:I was wondering why WB didn't have a matinee where I could buy tickets.  It was decided to make it free as part of the celebration. As per the KC no tickets for anything but the concert hall shows-those are also free but you wait in line that day.  Only things to pay for on Sat the 27th  are 6,9 pm Shear Madness and 7:30 WB.   Food is not free.  WB matinee is first come first served with no assigned seats as of now. 
1:30–2:30 p.m. 
The Washington Ballet
Watch dancers prepare in an open ballet class
3:15–4 p.m.
The Washington Ballet
Frontier, a new ballet inspired by JFK

Edited by maps

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17 hours ago, kfw said:

 

I don't mean to say all high art is good art, or all pop is bad, or even always of less value. But pop is easily approachable. Is bringing it into a place devoted, for the most part, to work that is more demanding, work that to be fully understood and appreciated requires effort and education, justifiable outreach, or is it pandering, is it checking off the diversity box? And if it's outreach, is it working? Is there evidence the hip-hop crowd is buying, say, Alvin Ailey tickets? 

 

Carnegie Hall has been presenting healthy doses of Not-Classical music for lo these many years without crowding out performances of what is more generally understood as Classical fare. 

 

What's "popular music" these days anyway? There's a ton of thoughtful, well-wrought, demanding music out there that is neither "classical" nor "popular" in the sense of lots of people finding it approachable and liking it. Jazz comes immediately to mind, of course, but yeah, there's some hip-hop that would fit the bill, too.

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5 hours ago, kfw said:

Hip hop is popular and it's music, so it's popular music. That seems self-evident. It may be good pop, but it's still pop. For complex interaction, they can bring back Cecile McLorin Salvant. A quick check brings up only one appearance of hers. 

I'm hardly an expert, but I am pretty sure 'pop' music has both a customary and professional usage that is more specific. It is not just any popular music. At least, if I remember my American Idol watching days correctly, judges made quite a point of distinguishing 'pop' voices (and songs) from 'rock' or 'country' or 'hip-hop' or 'Broadway.' It's a genre so to speak. To take a different example, a radio station that plays 'pop' exclusively does not play 'hip-hop' and vice versa. I suspect some people still use the term as a catch all -- especially if they don't follow these genres -- but I don't think people who follow a lot of this music are that casual.

 

But I remain very sympathetic to the idea that Kennedy Center -- whatever else it does and however they judge it best to build audiences -- should be leading the way in support of performing arts traditionally labelled as 'high.' We desperately need institutions in this country that support ballet, opera, and concert music and that do so in a way that respects their histories. (NOT placing those histories beyond criticism which is something different and turns them into so much ideology.) 

Edited by Drew

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55 minutes ago, maps said:

:clapping:I was wondering why WB didn't have a matinee where I could buy tickets.  It was decided to make it free as part of the celebration. As per the KC no tickets for anything but the concert hall shows-those are also free but you wait in line that day.  Only things to pay for on Sat the 27th  are 6,9 pm Shear Madness and 7:30 WB.   Food is not free.  WB matinee is first come first served with no assigned seats as of now. 
1:30–2:30 p.m. 
The Washington Ballet
Watch dancers prepare in an open ballet class
3:15–4 p.m.
The Washington Ballet
Frontier, a new ballet inspired by JFK

 

Isn't that grand? Of course, we'll be dodging the skateboarders and covering our ears on the way to the free ballet but it's free ballet!

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52 minutes ago, Natalia said:

 

Isn't that grand? Of course, we'll be dodging the skateboarders and covering our ears on the way to the free ballet but it's free ballet!

I live in the DMV and frequent the KC.  Last fall we came out of 2 shows-Eisenhower and Opera House- and could not hear anything conversational.  I don't remember if it was rap or hip hop. I actually got a test and have the hearing of a Doberman on guard patrol.  Has the KC cut back on NSO and Opera for other stuff also?

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39 minutes ago, maps said:

I live in the DMV and frequent the KC.  Last fall we came out of 2 shows-Eisenhower and Opera House- and could not hear anything conversational.  I don't remember if it was rap or hip hop. I actually got a test and have the hearing of a Doberman on guard patrol.  Has the KC cut back on NSO and Opera for other stuff also?

 

Not on NSO but the opera company pared down to (I think) five productions per season, from a high of 8 a season during the pre-Domingo and Domingo-led years.  

 

As to the skateboarders & hip hop music, I was just referring to the upcoming JFK Open House. Look at the program, other than the ballet. :)  

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2 hours ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

What's "popular music" these days anyway? There's a ton of thoughtful, well-wrought, demanding music out there that is neither "classical" nor "popular" in the sense of lots of people finding it approachable and liking it. Jazz comes immediately to mind, of course, but yeah, there's some hip-hop that would fit the bill, too.

 

Agreed about the "ton." And if the artists need financial support, and their music needs support because it hasn't already found its largest possible audience, it has a place at the Kennedy Center in my opinion. There may be some hip-hop that fits that bill, but I'd be surprised. 

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On 5/17/2017 at 9:10 PM, Natalia said:

Poor old  Ashton - too WASP, too Euro for DC? (He don't have da funk?)

 

 

On 5/17/2017 at 9:10 PM, Natalia said:

ps - I write just about the KC. I'll give someone else the honor of writing about the recent brouhaha concerning the selection of the first inductees to the Lincoln Center Hall of Fame that omitted Balanchine, Kirstein & Robbins. I guess they didn't have da funk

 

Funk is a quite different genre.

 

If this is meant to be shorthand for something else, it's not welcome in this discussion.

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I agree, Helene. Poor choice of words. The intention was to show that the old traditionalists are no longer "hip" or "with it" enough to qualify for the new Ballet Across America or the Lincoln Center Hall of Fame. Will correct above!

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On 5/18/2017 at 5:57 AM, Natalia said:

"el colmo" (Spanish for "the straw that broke the camel's back")..

OT here...but..is this REALLY the shortest English translation for "el colmo"..??

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12 minutes ago, cubanmiamiboy said:

OT here...but..is this REALLY the shortest English translation for "el colmo"..??

 

"That's what really took me over the edge!" also works...but it's even longer. The simple word "culmination" does not really express what's meant by colmo, as you know.

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