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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    appreciator of the arts, and father of a ballet dance daughter who hopes to become a choreographer
  • City**
    San Francisco
  • State (US only)**, Country (Outside US only)**
  1. I like the graphic's "Reading" column "criticism of criticism" as a humorous caution of the vain search for strict overarching rules of good taste, ie if in doubt avoid alienating one's peers; if you want to break or flout that which is considered appropriate then ensure peer recognition of self-conscious purpose -- since purpose alone is not enough; best to be seen as a custodian of classical or contemporary, etc. As anxiety about selection in taste and the aspiration to a higher social status has changed has respect for ballet always also changed? Also, ballet considered provocative, challenging, disruptive, controversial may (or may not) be out of favor with funders but in (or out of) favor with audiences and critics, and it's not clear if the reasons are actually (ie empirically) related to class. Quite possibly it's something a little more or less personal and thus opaque?
  2. Dear All, By way of perspective, it was my 11yo daughter who first raised this topic when preparing for her video essay (which you can view here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0UmHoLiUpw&feature=youtu.be) and set me to consider relationships between producers, conductors, composers, choreographers and ballet dancers, over time, and as the art developed. Thus while competition between the arts exists, to some degree in various ways at various times fertile ground appears. Is it the timing of need and willingness (ie Loie Fuller/Yeats/Mallarme, etc)? I can appreciate Mr Ratmansky's "can't compete" perspective, but not sure that Stravinsky and Nijinsky would necessarily agree. We like to imagine Herbert Von Karajan working with a choreographer -- yes, a big leap -- and wonder what might have arisen. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04tfvwp/karajans-magic-and-myth).%C2'> Kind regards.
  3. From my own somewhat limited experience observing ballet in the US (San Francisco, New York, etc) and on the internet/as televised from other cities, i agree with Ashton Fan et al. Regardless, let me say that it is more important to support questions which inform the future of the art. (Please note: i am not an academic with expertise in ballet, or a balletomane for that matter. Just a parent watching his 11yo dk begin to form her perspectives and {possibly} carve her career.) Anyway, is there a dance historian in the house? If so, might you please comment on our contrast between past and present: story telling, generation of mood through technique and artistry, (and I would add) strong artistic collaboration between composers, choreographers, dancers, set designers, costumer designers, etc (ie Ballet Russes) VERSUS apparent displays of individualistic dance techniques (ie extensions, balance, etc) which appear to operate within the spirit of competitiveness and thus as end unto itself? Does Chris Wheeldon's latest works appear to buck this trend? Is it enough? I really don't know. Regardless, I would love to read a well balanced and thoughtful review of that London audience which attended Morris' Beaux as i have seen the opposite: A standing ovation and curtain calls while dancers on stage shook their heads in disbelief: "Weird, they like it that much? Why?" Again i am not trained in this area but questions such as: "Please tell, do you go to the ballet often? Do you like sport? Did you like Beaux ... (likely silence) ... or was it all too "contemporary"?" Etc. Otherwise, i suspect, one is left with the nagging sense that the art is stuck and trying to get unstuck or has no appropriate questions for shaping the future. Albeit from a different angle here's an interesting reflection which i put down to art vs pure technique as it relates to past vs present: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/29/arts/dance/bolshoi-ballet-turns-back-the-clock-in-its-new-york-season.html?ref=arts "...each keeps extending a leg in the air and then clutching it, as if this meant something).” i hope that helps.
  4. Hello, I am interested in how critical and public respect for the art of ballet has changed over time and wonder if anyone in this forum might be able to help me with either aesthetic or (preferably) historical references. Clearly we all respect those who have more discipline, but has ballet as an art changed in terms of public and critical respect? For instance, I read that Balanchine felt ballet had differentiated itself from music as an art form, and that (implied) as a result ballet and those who perform the art were worthy of more respect. As with artists in other areas (ie painters vs actors vs composers) does this reflect a continuum from 'dis-respect' to more respect over time and/or after a considerable amount of work and investment (ie pre vs post Vaganova)? Also, in a more contemporary context, one need only google the words of "ballet" and "respect" in combination with multiple other words to find a plethora of perspective and opinion about the subject about how large a part "respect" actually works in ballet. What i am looking for is more a historical, social, and/or aesthetic (if appropriate) summary. If you think this topic might be better placed elsewhere please do not hesitate to suggest. Thanks for your thoughts. Kind regards.
  5. Just my 2 pence worth: For the sake of the art i might be able to appreciate one's interest in this question. However, please remember that it's often best to start by asking: Who exactly participated in this poll? (Yes, this was ignored by the author, Alexandra Tomalonis). In other words, who goes to viewing anonymous and acerbic information from "Debate Rounds" and Comments -- to weigh in? Do you think the vote provides one with a "real" or "false" reflection of opinion? If you bet $20 would you say that the voters were "typical of the American populace as a whole", "potential ballet ticket buyers", etc? If the former, does it actually matter? An even more basic/common question is: How many people responded to the poll (eg 10)? I see 312 views, but is that the number of votes, and were they all by people from town x in state y? Otherwise one is left with a pretension of numerical fact posing as truth. Sorry if this all sounds heavy handed but i'd rather protect and respect an art than erode it's potential by an uninformed comparison. Kind regards.
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