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pumukau

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About pumukau

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    dancer, videographer, critic
  • City**
    Wisconsin
  1. I came upon this photo essay on the BBC site today; http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/pict...cher/html/1.stm This seems so important to me. The school is near the river just outside the Green Zone, so what used to be an upscale neighborhood is now the scene of insurgent attacks on the US installation.
  2. Once I sat next to a girl of about four who was at her first ballet with her mother. She was VERY excited about the ballet and full of lucid questions which she asked in a whisper and her mother answered quietly. I was really enjoying her until the guy in front of her turned around and glared and barked at her to be quiet. I almost smacked him, because none of us enjoyed the rest of the performance as much as we had with the little girl's help. I'm not a silence nazi anymore. The last time I shusshed anyone she turned out to be the proud mother of a young man who was doing his first perfo
  3. Buy this book and read it. I have never read a ballet novel that rose above the level of execrable. This one is a masterpiece. That the NY Times gave it a merely descriptive review should only alert you to the noncommittal torpor into which their book section has drifted of late. I went to a reading Mr. McCann did here and everyone spent the evening cooing about Nureyev; I saw him here, we worked together there, seeing him on tv inspired me to........ nobody said a word about how brilliant this book is, least of all Mr. McCann, who seems genuinely surprised by it, as if he awoke one Eas
  4. Didn't Wisconsin look green? Surely the program erred on the side of heterosexual display if you're from the coasts, but non troppo. Here in Wisconsin the most common response to "I'm a ballet dancer" is still "That Roodolf Brishnakov, din't he die of......" so I appreciated it. They were clearly playing to the diverse PBS audience. Partnering ballerinas would have expressed this more eloquently than the locker room asides, however. I admit I cringed when I saw Ethan without a helmet too, but then I used to work in an E.R. This is Harley country, remember. A cultural thing. Brett Fav
  5. Amy wrote"; (I assume one can have a male muse?) Interesting. Nijinsky/Diaghilev for example?
  6. Amy wrote"; (I assume one can have a male muse?) Interesting. Nijinsky/Diaghilev for example?
  7. Here's a game: which ballets are the most explicit messages from Mr. B to his muses? Certainly Don Quixote when he felt too old to be with Farrell, similarly Midsummer Night's dream. Tzigane when she came back from exile (you gypsy!... the first time whe wore red on stage). These just off the top of my head. I have read that his creative flourish right after there was no more hope that Le Clerq would dance again changed the whole relationship between men and women in his ballets.
  8. Here's a game: which ballets are the most explicit messages from Mr. B to his muses? Certainly Don Quixote when he felt too old to be with Farrell, similarly Midsummer Night's dream. Tzigane when she came back from exile (you gypsy!... the first time whe wore red on stage). These just off the top of my head. I have read that his creative flourish right after there was no more hope that Le Clerq would dance again changed the whole relationship between men and women in his ballets.
  9. I saw the Oct. 20 evening show, which included the complete George Harrison ballet. I thought the two Georges were a surprisingly good match. Balanchine and Harrison were both men who never sought the spotlight even at the height of their celebrity. They both demonstrated to the American public that sexual love and the love of beauty on the one hand and the love of God on the other were not as incompatible as the Puritans lead us to believe. Ballet is the perfect vehicle for depicting this refinement of the flesh. Within You Without You is a balletic examination of five aspects of love and s
  10. I saw the Oct. 20 evening show, which included the complete George Harrison ballet. Please redirect me if the following should be a new topic; as you can see I'm a new member. I thought the two Georges were a surprisingly good match. Balanchine and Harrison were both men who never sought the spotlight even at the height of their celebrity. They both demonstrated to the American public that sexual love and the love of beauty on the one hand and the love of God on the other were not as incompatible as the Puritans lead us to believe. Ballet is the perfect vehicle for depicting this refinem
  11. One other thought, Jenny, could you post your paper when you finish it? You don' t have to of course, but I've always thought that threads that begin "I have to write a paper about...." should at least end with the finished product!
  12. I agree with Mel; it's hard to see much of what Marx wrote in the society that Stalin created. But it is always instructive to study how Russia's unique mix of genius and brutality, freedom and repression, xenophobia and xenophilia (?), wealth and poverty shaped and was shaped by art. "Between Heaven and Hell....The story of a thousand years of artistic life in Russia" by W. Bruce Lincoln is a great read and a good resource to give you a perspective. The chapter on Socialist Realism applies to your paper. The index backs up Mel's observation; in a 500 page discussion of art and repression
  13. Isn't it interesting that ballet was one of the last arts to become "plotless" and it's wedded to the first; music. I think the problem comes from people who think that going to a theater means going to a play. I don't think anyone was shocked that Well Tempered Clavier had no plot line. And that sort of goes back to the discussion of the relationship of libretto, music, and choreographic ideas. I suppose the anthorpologists out there would have something to say about it. The music as a spiritual content and the dance as the more human physical aspect of the process. By imitating huma
  14. Well this thread is titled how to watch a ballet and we seem to have strayed into how to write about one. But communicating your subjective impressions of the ballet experience is so much a part of watching and learning that that is as it should be. Something that I learned, to my delight, when I started writing about ballet on the Internet, was that to the extent that anyone's opinion counts, the opinion of the complete newcomer who kind of thinks they might like ballet is next in importance after the critic in your hometown paper and the chairman of the board at your local arts funding d
  15. I chose Ballets Russes too. But this got me thinking. Yes, dance is ephemeral and many ballets have disappeared. But how exciting it is to live in 2002 and have ***some*** information about ***all*** these eras to call upon when we're making our dances! What better time machine exists than the music steps and costumes of a 200-year-old ballet?
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