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  1. Have you two discovered http://www.minastirith.com? I think of it as the "Ballet Alert" of Tolkien ... in depth discussion, a drive for accuracy and a love of the art .... Anyway, I can't believe you have time for ballet, school, and LOtR ... in one day!! BB
  2. Hi Grace: Yes, I guess I was thinking of a libretto as the full and complete translation of the text [e.g., of an opera], whereas by syllabus I meant an outline or overview of the story, and when I talked about an "annotated syllabus" I was imagining an overview that included the names of particular dance movements associated with given points in the story .... ... and I certainly accept Alexandra's point, which is a commercial reality, although it is sad to think that people who appreciate ballet are unwilling to support more knowledge of such beauty and art ... and Mel, I will be more than happy to use whatever educational material is available on BA ... and try to add whatever I can to the stream of knowledge, or support those who do ... As for variations, for me, without a sense of what the "plain" original version was, I may not be able to recognize the variations that subsequent choreographers have added ... gotta start somewhere! Regards, BB
  3. Beefed up? Major Mel (you really should be promoted to Major General for this!!), what you've done is far more than what I was asking for ... actually your section "The Dances" really addresses my question, especially when combined with "The Story" (syllabus). Is there anything that contains either those two elements, or just "The Dances", for a significant part of the current ballet repertoire? Thanks and regards, BB
  4. I could probably write the grant, but my qualifications to really deliver the goods would be very limited compared to others on this site. ... if I were sitting on the grant review committee, I wouldn't fund me, even though I like the idea, purely on that basis .... So, sorry for having taken us on a tangent ... BB
  5. Well ... when I go to the Royal Opera or Royal Ballet, the Program Guides (at GBP 6 each -- about USD 9.50) are flying off the shelves ... they include a syllabus as well as some fascinating historical information on the work, the author, early productions, illuminating critical analysis, social commentary, etc. And the gift shops of the NYCB or the Royal Ballet sell all kinds of operatic guides and books on ballet ... seems there is an audience starved for knowledge ... As for niche market , I'd consider it a wonderful market for Ballet Alert ... if "we" could write the descriptions, we could probably combine them as a book (for the Gift Shop set) or make the text available to ballet companies to insert into their "Program Guide", to be sold at individual performances ... and it seems we have a wonderful collection of dance experts, who also have marvellous descriptive and writing skills ... and perhaps even a publishing connection? Have I just done a business plan??? :eek: Do you think there would be interest in a small BA group putting this together? I know at least one willing customer :D ... and potential participant ... we might even be able to "pre-publish" them here on the site, for feedback ... BB
  6. Hmmm ... let me take one step back ... I am fully in support of the dancers having and needing far more detail (best learned in person and via oral tradition) ... and notation, whether Benesh or Laban, seems to have far more detail than a audience member would need ... but how about the poor audience member, who has never been a dancer, and wants to be able to describe and discuss a particularly moving movement/moment ... he's read one or two books on classic ballet steps, but needs a guide to the particular ballet he's seen ... because he can relate the movement to a particular moment in the story. ... is there perhaps an annotated syllabus or libretto, so that not only is the plot line described (that's in most program guides), but the key dance movements are identified? What is the ballet equivalent of the Opera Lover's Guide to Operas, providing a syllabus and interposed a gude to the major arias? BB
  7. The fear that I have is that so many things passed via oral tradition are disappearing in today's world (and in yesterday's world) ... old methods for cooking, for many decorative arts, the art of writing ... and even the art of ballet could be in danger ... Video or DVD is certainly not the ideal solution ... unless you had multiple cameras and a way of displaying the full stage as a hologram ... what other choices are there? BB
  8. My daughter told me that ballet is still an art orally transmitted from teacher to pupil, but even that doesn't seem right ... after all, in a corps de ballet, not everyone learns all the roles, so any pupil only receives a portion of what the teacher knows. How does a ballet master remember all the parts of all the ballets? She said that ballet notation essentially goes into archives, but is otherwise not available ... seems a shame there isn't something more like a libretto or an overview of technical items. I can imagine it would be exceedingly difficult to choreograph without an easy form of notation ... after all, how does a choreographer capture what he/she does or is thinking? [Post-note edit] Wow!! I've just looked at the Labanotation websites -- very interesting but very complex. The second site is especially interesting ... a high school in El Paso, TX, that teaches Labanotation to its students and then uses it to transmit dance from other cultures!! I wish it were possible to get some of the more common ballets (or perhaps even just more common movements) annotated so one could study them at home before a performance. BB
  9. My apologies for what is probably an embarrassing beginner's question: if I want a written record of a play, I can get a copy, with staging directions. If I want a written record of a symphony (or other music), I can get a score. If I want a written record of an opera, I can get a libretto and an accompanying musical score. If I want a written record of a ballet, I can get ....???? I know for the music, I can get a score, but for the movement, is there a choreographer's record? How do I, as an enthusastic amateur and audience member, get something that helps me refer to a particular movement on stage (independently of the music) ... or how do I "see", in the written sense, how a variation differs from the "standard" movements? BB
  10. Oh ... are you going to love this ... (from Variety, 13 March 2003) The remake of "Shall We Dance" ... due for release in 2004, starring Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez (not yet signed, but apparently almost ...); director Peter Chelsom; screenwriter Audrey Wells; studio Miramax. No mention of the choreographer (that tells you how important the dancing will be ) ... although Gere sang and danced in the film version of Chicago. I wonder if it will be more like "Pretty Woman" or "The Wedding Planner". Either way, it's unlikely to be very much like "Shall We Dance". ... Filming due to start in June. BB
  11. Interesting information, thanks, Paquita ... I'll look out for it and see what I can find. Regards, BB
  12. Interesting ... I understood from Paquita's comment that it would be an English remake -- I thought "UK", not "American". I was trying to picture a Brit version like Billy Elliott or perhaps Australian, a la "Strictly Ballroom" ... an American version would be way different!! :eek: BB
  13. You've jogged my memory (who said hobbits never forget anything!!) -- it was, indeed "Shall We Dance?". I'm not certain that an English re-make would work as well -- so much of this film's tension and resolution depends on the unique aspects of Japanese culture in the husband/wife relationship; the nature of the "salaryman"; the nature of non-sexual relationships between men and women ... it would be very interesting to see how different the film might become!! BB
  14. Interesting ... I have most of these films in my DVD/video collection!! There's one other, although I don't remember its name ... it was situated in Tokyo, about a Japanese "salaryman" (lots of psychology there), strained relationship with his Japanese wife, who, one night, wanders into a dance studio ... and the film turns into practicing for a competition in ballroom dancing. Exotic, aloof, beautiful partner (I believe she was Japanese, but not certain) -- contrast to obedient, but quiet wife, just as the excitement of dance contrasted to the repetitive life of the salaryman ... filmed with a wonderful eye towards the colors and aesthetics of dance ... very eastern in its cinematography and very western in its approach to relationships ... But if I try to think of other "sports" or "arts" in film, there is nothing like the richness of this dance collection. I recall one with a male hockey player and a female ice skater (perhaps it's not different, just dance on ice!!) ... love and competition. But football, soccer, basketball, baseball ... the list of films, especially in which both the male and female are involved in the sport/art, is very short. Is it perhaps because in dance, either lead can be the hero or demonstrate the effort involved? Is is because it is the only event in which both can excel and in which both MUST excel for the pair to be successful artistically? On a related note (dance and musicals) ... right now, the London stage has Grease, Fame, Chicago, The Full Monty (well, that's dance -- sorta!!!), My Fair Lady, Lion King, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ... the musical is definitely alive and well!! BB
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