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creativejuice

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About creativejuice

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  • Birthday 07/07/1962

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
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    Stouffville, Ontario (Canada)
  1. I would like to offer up a tip to Grace. Instead of bluntly stating your opinion of what you saw: You may consider writing up a description of the events in question. Perhaps quote a rather monotonous speech, provide the time frame, and :sleeping: reaction of those sitting in your area. :sleeping: That way, you let the reader decide for themselves whether the pre-ballet activities were worthy of an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest and loudest collective :yawn: ! http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com I recall a ballet premiere eons ago where the above mentioned posturing occurred and a mayor who was particularly long-winded, and not a very good public speaker, stalled the proceedings by a good 10 minutes. None of the Toronto critics commented on this because, quite frankly, too many of them serve up PR for the National Ballet of Canada. I, myself, created a social ballet faux pas by cupping my hands to bellow: I was quickly :shhh: SHUSED :shhh: by those unfortunate enough to be sitting around me but there was also some laughter and applause. So, others did share my opinion. Note: Readers of Ballet Alert. I’ve matured a lot since that boring day. I no longer yell out at the ballet! I do believe it is important to be sensitive to those who provide funding and give to the ballet, but in the end, if you are a true critic, you should be allowed to voice your honest opinion. If you don’t, then nobody will read you and for those who do, you won’t have any credibility. I would much rather read a critic who offers up an honest constructive critique than one whose title should actually be PR writer for providing corporate jobs! As long as you back up what you write with the appropriate facts and observations (as Grace did), well then, the recipient of the critique should as Bogie once said: If you’re honest with yourselves, you will admit that ballet, of all the arts, receives the kindest of reviews by critics. I’ve read reviews of plays, movies, concerts, and sporting events in which the reviewer, while being absolutely honest, was also absolutely ruthless. I assume what we are possibly debating here is whether special consideration should be given to an industry that is struggling to survive and depends on charity for its very existence? Of course, even if Grace had used a softer approach with her prose, the management of West Australian Ballet may still have called her to offer up their opinion of her opinion. It will be interesting to see if any :rolleyes: heads will roll :rolleyes: as a result of ‘the phone call.’ I’m hoping they conveyed their thoughts to Grace in a civil manner. If not, somebody may be out of a job. Of course, this all depends on the work culture and politics involved. In some industries, inappropriate behavior is not tolerated – especially when one is representing one’s company in a work capacity. If I was the management of West Australian Ballet, I would have issued a PR Release publicly apologizing to the public and thanking Grace for bringing the pre-ballet boredom to their attention! This would have created, albeit bad publicity for the ballet, but as someone once said:
  2. It should be noted the lovely Grace was very gracious by not naming the crybaby who called to chastise her over a review! If I was in the same position I would have exposed the big sop and mailed the whiner a pacifier! Indeed, that person, whoever they may be, is very fortunate they did not call moi because I record all my home phone calls. I used the device for interviews a decade ago and left it on and well, it came in very handy one day. I can’t go into it here but well it is perfectly legal to record incoming phone calls to your home. :shhh: FYI: In some industries, inappropriate phone calls, can result in a PINK SLIP! So be careful, you are responsible for what you say whether this be during or outside working hours. :grinning:
  3. Did they phone you at home, Grace? That would give you fodder for another story-Especially, if you had it on tape! I tried in vane to locate Dance Australia Magazine on the web but could not. I assume you must subscribe to view? I’m curious if critics have been criticized by company employees before? Could they bar a critic from the barre or perhaps restrict access to the critic’s lounge where light refreshments and snacks are commonly served? Could they ban a critic from entering a training facility to view a ballet being created? Could the company prohibit dancers from being interviewed by a critic? This certainly has opened up a veritable Pandora of possibilities!
  4. I would like to pass kudos on to Grace for writing what is becoming more and more blurred and a rarity: THE TRUTH! I personally try to avoid opening nights because of the artificiality of it all plus you are likely to see a better performance music wise and dance wise after some repetition of the ballet. I was surprised someone actually called you! I guess they didn’t appreciate you biting the hands that feed them and ultimately feed you because without them, then well there would be no ballet to review. It’s too bad ballet always seems to be in a perpetual state of just trying to survive.
  5. I think it only apropos we also review Ballet by the Water here! Responding to the Michael Crabb quote posted by Paquita in another forum: I have to agree 101% with Paquita. :yes: Quoting a review by budding ballet critic, Michael Goldbarth, of a regular season performance by the National Ballet of Canada: To compare a light piece like this to Apollo would be similar to a film critic reviewing an Adam Sandler comedy (Happy Gilmore) and bemoaning it can’t be on par to a masterpiece like Lawrence of Arabia or It’s A Wonderful Life. I laughed (LOL) watching Happy Gilmore and watched in awe at the cinematography of Lawrence of Arabia and went through a box full of nose blowers crying my eyes out during It’s A Wonderful Life! You can enjoy both genres of movies-as you can ballets. Showing Judgement of Paris was perfect for a small venue like Ballet by the Water and also perfect for a mixed card appealing to a wide audience. In this case the audience (as usual) was right! In the end, it’s only their opinion that counts. Everybody, even a snobbish critic like Michael Crabb, is entitled to his opinion though. I also think this was an important piece to show if only to make ballet more inviting for those intimidated by the snobbish stigma of its Paris Opera past through serving up the desserts of the ballet. In this case, the yummy Lorna Geddes, bouncy Jennifer Fournier, and the sultry Victoria Bertram! I think it reasonable to assume Anthony Tudor had no intentions of topping a classic like Apollo when he created this obvious fluff chef d’oeuvre back in 1938. I can only surmise that grizzled veteran ballet critic Michael Crabb suffered some sort of heatstroke reviewing :sweating: under the unrelenting hot sun at Harbourfront! :sweating: Crabb spends most of his existence reviewing inside the cozy confines of air-conditioned venues like the Hummingbird Centre. I was actually quite surprised so much attention was paid to a FREE performance during the pre-season. Perhaps the NBoC has regained its lost glory of the 70s and 80s when Toronto was a hotbed for ballet! Now I’m sorry I couldn’t make it down to Ballet by the Water to see what all the hullabaloo was about!
  6. I have to agree 101% with Paquita. :yes: Quoting a review by budding ballet critic, Michael Goldbarth, of a regular season performance by the National Ballet of Canada: To compare a light piece like this to Apollo would be similar to a film critic reviewing an Adam Sandler comedy (Happy Gilmore) and bemoaning it can’t be on par to a masterpiece like Lawrence of Arabia or It’s A Wonderful Life. I laughed (LOL) viewing Happy Gilmore and watched in awe at the cinematography of Lawrence of Arabia and went through a box full of nose blowers crying my eyes out during It’s A Wonderful Life! You can enjoy both genres of movies-as you can ballets. Showing Judgement of Paris was perfect for a small venue like Ballet by the Water and also perfect for a mixed card appealing to a wide audience. In this case the audience (as usual) was right! In the end, it’s only their opinion that counts. Everybody, even a snobbish critic like Michael Crabb, is entitled to his opinion though. I also think this was an important piece to show if only to make ballet more inviting for those intimidated by the snobbish stigma of its Paris Opera past through serving up the desserts of the ballet. In this case, the yummy Lorna Geddes, bouncy Jennifer Fournier, and the sultry Victoria Bertram! I think it reasonable to assume Anthony Tudor had no intentions of topping a classic like Apollo when he created this obvious fluff chef d’oeuvre back in 1938. I can only surmise that grizzled veteran ballet critic Michael Crabb suffered some sort of heatstroke reviewing under :sweating: the unrelenting hot sun at Harbourfront! :sweating: Crabb spends most of his existence reviewing inside the cozy confines of air-conditioned venues like the Hummingbird Centre. I was actually quite surprised so much attention was paid to a FREE performance during the pre-season. Perhaps the NBoC has regained its lost glory of the 70s and 80s when Toronto was a hotbed for ballet! Now I’m sorry I couldn’t make it down to Ballet by the Water to see what all the hullabaloo was about!
  7. Below is an excerpt from an article I posted on CBC Infoculture: “The Sugar Plum Fairy has left the building!” For me, it explains the style of Kudelka’s version of classical dance. If you were to pick one ballet that shows off the Kudelka genre the best, it would be the Four Seasons. I’m 100% confident you will enjoy this more so than The Firebird. The Four Seasons is a much more layered work that can sustain several viewings without becoming tedious. You always see something new it. ...Glasco believes in Petipa. Kudelka is the anti-Petipa. A duet hopelessly doomed from the very beginning. Marius Petipa, master chef of the Imperial Ballet (1818-1910), excelled in stirring sophistication into classical ballet. He created choreography to serve up the ballerina. Kim Glasco would have been the main dish of his ballet. James Kudelka, the urban peasant of the National Ballet of Canada (1956-), excels in stirring modern movement into classical ballet. He creates choreography to serve up his own choreography. Kimberly Glasco is nothing more than a seasoning for his ballet. To one, the ballerina whirls the ballet; to the other, choreography stirs the ballet. How can it be that Glasco sticks her toes into the dough of Kudelka’s choreography but makes Petipa’s ballet rise? Kudelka’s signature ballets—The Four Seasons and Terra Firma—just happen to be as anti-Petipa as you can possibly get. Kudelka’s dancers dress down: hip, with-it and cool. They sweat! Petipa’s ballerinas dressed up: all a glitter, the rage and très chic. They would never do anything as distasteful as sweat. Petipa’s ballerinas glowed with dew. One was a tutuhorse, the other a smart shopper. Both dressed appropriately for the circles they danced in. Petipa’s ballerinas danced with the upper crust; Kudelka’s dancers dance with common folk. The worlds they danced in could not be more different: one opulent, the other down-to-earth. Dance maker Petipa loved mime. Dance maker Kudelka let his dance do the talking. One prefers 4 act ballets; for the other, one is enough. Petipa froze time to spice up his dance. He loved to take a photograph of his choreography for the audience. Kudelka keeps his bodies in perpetual motion. All those moving bodies thickens his choreography for the audience. One made ballets that would pause for applause. The other makes ballets that wait for applause. Petipa loved the pas de deux while Kudelka loves the pas de beaucoup. These choreographers could not be more different: one a show-off, the other beauty unadorned. One loved harmony. The other likes a little disharmony. Petipa’s ballerinas hardly ever intertwined full of passion. Kudeka’s dancers almost always intertwine full of passion. Petipa drew precise classical lines with dynamic pointe work. Kudelka paints modern circles with softer pointe work. For Petipa, balance should endure. For Kudelka, balance is fleeting. They even had different ways of creating. Petipa planned everything in detail at home before going into rehearsal. Kudelka prepares too but prefers to create more so in the studio with the dancer as his inspiration. These choreographers were the flip side of one another. One prefers to have a man dance through The Four Seasons of life. The other would have made a woman for all seasons. Kudelka wants to eliminate the traditional role of the ballerina as the focus of ballet. To him, the silhouette of Kim Glasco clouds his choreography. For Petipa, the ballerina was the focus of ballet. To him, the heartbeat of ballet was the ballerina. Neither choreographer is right or wrong. It’s all a matter of taste. Kudelka is simply balancing out Petipa’s ballerina excesses. For Petipa, man was born to support woman. For Kudelka, man, woman, doesn’t matter everybody supports everybody. There is one very important distinction to be made between their creations. Kudelka makes athletic dancers. Petipa made elegant ballerinas. Kudelka’s dancers have to move to many languages. From MacMillan’s Manon to Kudelka’s Four Seasons to Cranko’s Taming of the Shrew to Petipa’s Swan Lake to...well you get the idea. The National Ballet of Canada presents ballets from a veritable smorgasbord of choreographers. For the 1999/2000 season, the NBoC will be stretching the boundaries of ballet to its very limits with a work by Èdouard Lock of La La Human Steps. This looks like a blatant attempt to sell seats. I can’t envision the harsh physicality of Lock’s dance gelling with classical ballet. Perhaps Kudelka has plans to change the National Ballet of Canada to the National Dance of Canada. It appears Kudelka believes Glasco is incapable of wrapping her toes around a wide variety of choreography. I agree to a pointe but not to the extent of Kudelka. No dancer will excel in every kind of ballet. Next season, the National is presenting 4 ballets Glasco absolutely shines in: Cinderella, Onegin, Les Sylphides and Giselle. In Kudelka’s mind, Glasco dances not for him but for Petipa. Glasco stomps all over his choreography with Petipa’s ballet method. Nobody can compete against a ghost. From my view of the stage, it appears Kudelka doesn’t believe he can teach an old ballerina new tricks. I can only surmise he doesn’t care for any dancers who can’t dance the Kudelka way. Of course, Mr. K. has proven he can go toe to toe with Petipa. I just don't believe you can include the Nutcracker and Swan Lake as original Kudelka creations. In the case of the Nutcracker he improved upon it by doing away with Drosselmeyer, adding his bears along with a dancing horse. Twenty years or so from now when ballet historians evaluate his career The Four Seasons and Terra Firma will be identified as the Kudelka style. If he can’t bring out what he wants from Glasco I think he should share some of the blame. There certainly appears to be enough other ballets to keep Glasco’s tootsies busy during the course of next season.
  8. Thanks, I found one Philips 985 priced at about $570 Canadian. Not too bad. When dubbing from VHS to DVD, how do you find the quality? How much is lost in the transfer?
  9. Below is a link on how to convert from VHS to DVD: http://www.post-gazette.com/interact/20020...829lindich5.asp Most of the websites I researched charge between $10 to $25 to convert from VHS to DVD: The cost sometimes of a DVD. http://www.videoscreams.com/DVDVHSCONVERSIONS.htm Below is information on converting laser discs to DVD: http://www.xpmce.com/PNphpBB2-viewtopic-t7215-f-.html FYI: I also own The Prince of the Pagodas – only in video format.
  10. Unearthing a well-produced ballet DVD at a reasonable price is very much like panning for gold! You almost need a Web Bloodhound to sniff out the gems from all the over-priced lemons! I can only comment on finding ballet DVDs from Canada. I try to buy from Canadian venues because of shipping costs ($3 to $8) per DVD and the cost of failing to sneak a ballet through Canada Customs (add 20 to 40% to price). So that Swan Lake DVD you thought was a steal at $20 (Canadian dollars), all of sudden shoots up to $39 with shipping and Customs! Egad! My favorite Canadian website is http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/tg/browse...6832136-8115244 Amazon offers the best value, free shipping (if your order tops $39), and good reviews by Amazon reviewers and customers. My least favorite website is :green: http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/default.asp?...A611C44EDFB1304 :green: Most of the titles are out of stock, offer just a brief description, and are overpriced. For example http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/item.asp?N=3...40B51A8739A2504 Compared to http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000...6832136-8115244 Other sources include ballet companies (often $10 more than priced in stores) and http://www.ebay.ca/ or http://www.ebay.com In Toronto, you can sometimes find bargains at HMV (especially on Boxing Day) and the World’s Biggest Bookstore (which also carries DVDs). Tip #1: Shop, shop, shop, shop AROUND!!! Of course, the best deal of all is TV! :grinning: PBS and CBC will show full-length ballets from time to time. The only problem here is VHS tapes don’t last forever and don’t offer the same quality as DVD. I can’t afford a DVD recorder. When I do buy DVD ballets I look for Royal Ballet productions, which have never disappointed. Be careful when buying abroad. You want to ensure the format matches yours. * Ballet Alert should rename this topic DVDophiles because Videophiles will soon be extinct! Unfortunately, many ballet companies have yet to make the conversion of offering ballets in DVD format. I would dearly love to purchase Balanchine ballets but unfortunately they are only available in video format http://www.nycballet.com/nycballet/balvid.asp
  11. Speaking of cows, I think it is long time they too be allowed to attend the ballet! Or, perhaps the ballet could come to them! It’s only fair. The average Holstein produces 128 glasses of milk per day! That’s a lot of nipple pinching! Cows don’t have it easy having to produce homo milk, 2%, 1%, skim, chocolate milk, and untold varieties of ice cream! BBBBrrrrrr! Below is a link to a little Cow Ballet Poetry: http://www.poetry4kids.com/cowtownballet.html :rolleyes:
  12. Okay, I admit I employed a little hyperbole with the above comments. Though I have experienced all of the above at one time or another. I have never seen a Holstein at a ballet performance at the Hummingbird Centre.
  13. Sorry, I had to update it to Studio Two. They used to call it Studio One. Anyway, it’s on TVO weekdays from 8 to 9 pm and repeated from 11:30 to 12:30 pm.
  14. Grace, could you please draw a picture of the above and post it to my message? The sight of a Holstein sitting at the Hummingbird Centre chewing gum and smoking while yakking away on a cell phone would surely produce a hearty guffaw!
  15. Hopefully TV Ontario’s Studio Two will replay their 10-minute feature on Patrick Lavoie and the lovely Julie Hay for Mom2! The hosts said the corps de ballet supplies future stars for the National Ballet of Canada and they couldn’t have been more prophetic: Lavoie is now a 1st soloist and Hay was promoted to 2nd soloist. Studio Two showed footage of them in class at the Carsen Centre along with historic photos. Julie Hay certainly made a wonderful impression revealing she likes to sleep in, see movies, work on her house, and make jewelry in her off hours. She also revealed many dancers will often dance through injuries and that she finds dance very rewarding. Julie Hay certainly gave me the impression she’s very talented, sensitive and serious about her craft. This may have been a rebroadcast (July 17) because its focus was the corps de ballet. At the start of the season, Patrick Lavoie was already a 2nd soloist.
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