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Everything posted by salzberg

  1. I lit a show with NPB a couple of years ago. If your daughter is already dancing as a trainee with an established company, my suggestion would be for her to remain there.
  2. The Times used to considered that a critic well-versed in one art was qualified to review any art. Remember that Barnes was also the Times' theatre critic; he brought a dance aesthetic to his Broadway reviews. This was both good and bad. William Goldman's The Season has a wonderful chapter on critics, with special attention paid to Mr. Barnes.
  3. On the bright side, this controversy will undoubtedly bring new users to Ballet Talk, and the dialogue itself has benefits.
  4. Or how long until a dancer's contract is not renewed because he/she failed to attract (or hold)* a sufficient level of sponsorship? * And the possible reasons why a sponsor might choose to stop supporting a particular artist are chilling, to say the least.
  5. They are two very different functions. The board's function, in theory, is to set policy and to provide financial oversight; the CEO's job is to actively run the company. In reality, of course, the board's function, usually, is to raise money and in matters of policy and oversight, too many of them merely serve to rubber-stamp the wishes of the CEO and Artistic Director.
  6. I once saw a certain Famous Modern Dancer who shall remain unnamed* in a white unitard. * P--- T-----
  7. From the AP: AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) -- A new English-language opera based on Herman Melville's classic "Moby Dick" premiered in Amsterdam for a one-night performance in the Stadsschouwburg, or city music hall. Named after the book's famous opening line, "Call Me Ishmael" drew a full house Sunday and standing ovation for composer Gary Goldschneider, who had worked on the piece for nearly 20 years.
  8. My guess would be that the most recent program, as well as the rest of the season, was set long before the current spate of complaints reached A&E's ears.
  9. I know exactly how Tolkien felt; I usually know exactly why I do something on stage, but I sometimes go with a gut feeling that something is right, without analyzing it. If an audience member or critic (well, hopefully the critic was also an audience member, although I know of one writer who once reviewed a ballet that wasn't performed) wants to later tell me that my stark shaft of light was "a searchlight beam, pinning the dancer to the stage", that's fine. ...IF that's what the piece really said to her/him.
  10. OK, I think my position's been misinterpreted here; I don't deny the audience member's (be it a viewer, a reader, or a listener) right to see in a work whatever symbolism he/she...well, sees in it. My complaint is with those who would artificially impose their agenda, whatever it may be and for whatever reason they might have, on a work. These aren't people who react to what's in the piece; they decide what they're going to see (I was thinking about this today while watching Casablanca, in which the symbolism is fairly unambiguous; when Louie drops the Vichy water into the garbage or when the band drowns out the Nazi marching song with La Marseillaise, it's pretty obvious what the filmmakers intended). Last May, my joke was that the opera I was lighting was a labor allegory in which an honest working man is cheated out of his wages by an unscrupulous employer and in desperation becomes an urban terrorist. In truth, I would like to do a version of The Pied Piper like that, but this version was decidedly not such a work and it would have been dishonest to impose such a concept upon it.
  11. No, it's showing respect for the artist. You're implying that the artist's intent is completely irrelevant; that, to paraphrase Humpty Dumpty, "Art means what I mean it to mean." It relegates art to being merely a source of someone's Ph.D dissertation or tenure defense. This, to me, seems illogical. ... But then, that's just my interpretation.
  12. Of course it is; it's the author's work, and it means whatever s/he meant it to mean.
  13. Peter, Paul, and Mary used to do* a terrific riff on the fact that "everyone knew" that Puff the Magic Dragon was really a drug anthem, pointing out that there are other songs that can be so interpreted: "Oh, say can you see" ("C" is for "cocaine") "By the dawn's early light" (The time at which junkies are traditionally known to shoot up) "And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air" (Oh, wow, man....) "Gave proof through the night...." (...That you can force any work of art into any tortuous misinterpretation that you please) . * And, for all I know, may still do
  14. More likely, it was meant to show the contrast between platonic and romantic love.
  15. Well, so far, the only comments I've seen from people I recognized as Ballet Alert users have been from Alexandra and me. The more of us who complain on their discussion boards, the more likely we are to achieve our goal.
  16. I'd add that complaining here on Ballet Alert is all well and good -- and it certainly helps to vent a little -- but if we want to effect a change, we must make sure that A&E hears us....which means going to them.
  17. What is it that you find strange? That PBT is using students, or that people are upset about it? Remember that PBT is a well-respected, nationally-known company; many people would apply standards to them that would not be applied to lesser-known companies, or those primarily affiliated with a dance studio.
  18. A&E's "feedback" page is at: http://www.aetv.com/global/feedback/ Bravo's is: http://www.bravotv.com/Contact_Us/
  19. Bingo. The key is in your last phrase. Balanchine was willing to hire American dancers. Unfortunately, many American companies have the idea that "foreign is better" (it used to be "European is better," but the Chinese seem to be in vogue right now), so many American dancers have to go overseas to be appreciated.
  20. Huh. You should hear what they tell me.
  21. I usually take negative comments with a a grain of salt; they're nothing but the critic's opinion and serve a valuable function. One that really annoyed me, though, was a reviewer's comment in October, 2001, that a certain dancer's movement was "too ripe for the small stage;" the ballet, as the critic knew, had been meant for a much larger venue 3 weeks earlier in lower Manhattan, and you'd've been hard-pressed to find someone who didn't know why it couldn't be performed there. In that context, the comment was gratuitous.
  22. How soon we forget.... Disney's already done Waltz of the Flowers.
  23. There's an editorial in the Boston Globe today in which the head of Clear Channel's Boston office was quoted as being "amenable to an arrangement with the Wang". My first reaction, probably not fair. was that Hitler was amenable to an arrangement with Poland.
  24. From the point of view of a (former) theater manager, I can tell you that they're a joy to work with. (irony: OFF)
  25. Clear-Channel bought out Pace Entertainmant (which owned Pace Theatrical and Pace Concerts -- the latter was the largest concert promoter in the world). They're a major player.
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