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About danc1988

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
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    New York City
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  1. It's not clear - there is a biographical summary on Cao Shuci in the playbills but she did not have a major character role in any of the Peony or Red performances.
  2. I saw Wednesday's performance of Peony Pavilion and Saturday evening's performance of Red Detachment. I thought Peony Pavilion was OK - I wasn't a big fan of the Kunqu singing and the postmodern score but the ballet had its moments. Red Detachment, by contrast, was stunning - Zhang Jian in particular did a tremendous job as Wu Qinghua (those head-kicks!) but it was all-around a standout performance for the whole company. The audience frequently burst into applause enraptured by the bravura score and choregraphy (including clapping along to The Song of the Detachment as well as the synchronized
  3. Oops. It was a dark set in Infra and hard to distinguish who was whom from fourth ring.
  4. I attended the Royal Ballet performance tonight. The good- Generally superb divertissements, especially Choe/Campbell in Voices of Spring set to Strauss's music and Acosta/Lamb in Carousel ('If I Loved you') pdd which stood out in terms of their theatricality, humor, rhythm, and athleticism Infra - a ballet about urban/metropolitan life set under a LED banner with moving stick figures which reminded me in many ways of NYCB's Glass Pieces. It was enthralling with a particularly touching moment being a grieving woman (Nunez I believe) ignored while a crowd surges past her The OK- Nunez/Bone
  5. I attended this evening's performance by the Polish National Ballet - overall it was amazing, what talented young dancers. The Rite of Spring was by far my favorite of the bunch. The Adagio & Scherzo was boring and I was dozing off a bit until I was jolted awake by Stravinsky's music and the energy of the five dancers. The final Moving Rooms was generally entertaining with tremendous energy and athleticism but the music was a bit too grating at times.
  6. Admittedly, it's been a while since I've last seen a ballet as my interest waned over the past year. The only other performance I saw this year was the Balanchine Black and White III compilation by the NYCB earlier in the season. Nevertheless, I was tempted enough by the new Ratmansky production of SB to give it a shot - and Vishneva/Gomes did a good job on the final performance in ABT's run this year, as far as my dilettante eyes could see. However I did have some mixed impressions: -Songbird fairy variation in the prologue was a bit strident - this was never my favorite part of SB -Loved
  7. My goodness, where do I begin with this? From which cellar do they find all the desaturated, washed-out colors, the excessively frilly costumes, and the dusty sets? And in this respect, their Giselle actually even isn't that bad compared to their Nutcracker (Cojocaru/Dowell 2001) all-around or even the well-danced Sleeping Beauty (Cojocaru/Nunez 2006) with the ridiculous costumes for the king/queen. What a contrast to the solid, bold, lush, and vibrant color schemes we saw in the Bolshoi last month (in line with a modern, 21st century, "sans-serif" aesthetic that we associate with quality the
  8. And please tell me when I have derided hip hop. I can't say I respect all aspects/schools of it depending on its subject matter/content (twerking? we can agree to disagree), but there are most certainly very respectable elements in some hip-hop schools. But it's a fact that professional ballet dancers can and have been noted to transition into hip-hop but never vice versa which reflects the relative differences in complexity. Tap/jazz I never opined on except to say yes it is as complex as any other Renaissance art but hasn't as of yet had the lasting global impact the Renaissance arts have, t
  9. Agreed on the Royal Ballet in that its patronage was different from the other houses. So aside from that, what exactly are we still arguing about, i.e. which of the three assertions I made towards the end of my last post do you disagree with. And no, not all evolution required patronage, but the "origins" did, is my point, it takes tremendous effort and imagination to invent a sophisticated dance form and codify words to describe the basic elements within the dance form (fouette', port de bras, grand jete', five positions, and so on). Influence/power also helps to make a particular form cano
  10. -SYTYCD often asks trained dancers to learn new art forms within a week. Of course a trained dancer is going to be better than an average Joe or me doing entrechat six. However, a trained professional ballet dancer can most certainly pick-up hip-hop dancing and be just as proficient as a well-trained hip-hop dancer within a reasonable amount of time. The vice versa is not true. SYTYCD never asks its dancers to learn ballet in a week - it's impossible. Tap dancing I view as a very limited exception, and because I have absolutely zero expertise to opine on it, I'll say nothing except to point ou
  11. We'll have to agree to disagree on this one. Exhibit 1 is hip hop, both music and the exquisite specialized dance forms. And hip hop artists didn't need a Renaissance court to birth the art form. Opera was once a popular art form and considered just as accessible as hip hop, but that doesn't make either of them any less complex. I don't accept this "either/or" argument as relevant.People have been reinterpreting Shakespeare's plays -- and abridging them, changing the endings, adding in pieces that were current and popular or specific to the performer, etc. -- for hundreds of years. I don't see
  12. I really don't think ballet is elitist. Ballet is still attracting large numbers of young people (maybe more than ever) who want to be dancers. As for viewers, though I am not in your demographic, I know a number of devoted ballet goers (one even goes to virtually every performance of ABT) who are. What keeps younger people away are the high ticket prices. When NYCB has their $29 for every seat in the house programs, the theater is full of young people. The same goes for Fall for Dance. The Bolshoi ticket prices were exceedingly high. To get reasonable prices per ballet, you had to buy a packa
  13. I don't think we should throw away the past. But in many ways the past is also a burden on the future, as humanity's collective knowledge grows in breadth and depth, it becomes increasingly difficult for each generation to assimilate both all of the previous generations' knowledge and create new value and serve new human needs. The pressure and impact of the Digital Age/Moore's Law and exponential population growth is pretty extreme for Gen Y and beyond, the marginal new child born is living in an exponentially tougher world than 100 years ago, or even 20 years ago. I found this list of "occup
  14. This was not necessarily a result of royal patronage. The flowering of modern dramatic theater was most pronounced in the mercantile cultures of England and Spain, where for-profit theaters were common. Perhaps not, but specifically referring to ballet its origins were in the Medici courts, and the first professional ballet company was the Paris Opera Ballet founded under the patronage of Louis XIV. The Bolshoi Theatre itself came into existence under the patronage of Prince Pyotr Urusov and by proxy Empress Catherine the Great. Suffice to say Obama or Merkel hardly has the clout or resource
  15. When I say opera and orchestra I mean it in the sense that when the English words for these art forms were invented they specifically referred to the Western forms of "groups of singers performing a libretto + musical score" and "groups of instrument players including wind, string, brass instruments" that originated in the 15-16th century. To some extent they may be derivative, yes there is always external influence, but later composers tended to follow this basic model. Non-European cultures wouldn't have used violins and oboes, concepts like Ionian mode, I-IV-V-I, circle of fifths, etc. I m
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