Jump to content
This Site Uses Cookies. If You Want to Disable Cookies, Please See Your Browser Documentation. ×

Collecting Programs!

Recommended Posts

I save mine. I don't have a whole bunch right now, they're just in a pile under my bed but when I do get a lot I'd probably put them into some sort of filling system. Like a file cabinet or plastic boxes. I'm really organized! :wub:

This reminds me of a cartoon caption from my youth (several decades ago): "One of these days we've got to get organized." I always thought that when I retired from the workaday world, I would get my programs in order and peruse them at leisure. Meanwhile, I threw my programs into boxes, drawers, and even filing cabinets. (But not under the bed -- there was too much other stuff already there.) Then one day, twenty years ago or so, I realized the programs were in a hopeless mess. I've continued saving new ones, shoving them into any available empty space, but long ago gave up hope of any kind of organization.

I hope you'll do better, TexasKelly! :)

Link to comment

Apparently everybody does it, with variations. When Nureyev died, his effects in his New York City apartment were sold, but the problem was getting all the kilim rugs out from under his bed! It took a millwright to lift the bed, and a curator to identify them, and an appraiser to assign them a pre-sale dollar valuation.

Link to comment

I keep the cast page only...having been to almost 1,000 opera performances and about 500 ballet/dance events (to say nothing of concerts & recitals), these fill many file folders and boxes. They are in sequence.

I have also kept, since I was eleven, an Opera Diary which extended to ballet when I started going in the 70s...this is now in it's 22nd volume and includes asides about everything from the weather to people I slept with. I once asked a friend to read some of it to see he thought it might be interesting enough to edit & try to publish...after a few pages he said, "You should leave out all his stuff about opera and ballet and just publish the juicy parts." That would be sort of like publishing the new Fonteyn biography without referring to the fact that she was a ballerina.

It's funny to read over things from the past...like, I was not bowled over by Suzanne Farrell on the night she returned to NYCB - later she bowled me over plenty of times. And I was neutral about SERENADE at first, now it's my favorite ballet. I used to think the big costume ballets were "real ballets" and much of NYCB's rep a bit far-fetched. Now I feel the opposite.

Link to comment

I keep everything! Movers love people like me! I keep my dance programs in expanding files, like the center part of an accordion, in chronological order, and when the files fill up, I slip them into sturdy boxes.

I find they're pretty complete after about 1971. I would like to have my program for a Ballets Russes Petrushka around 1955 which I remember a little of, but mostly I wish I could remember more of what my programs prove I did watch.

Why keep old programs anyway? For me, part of the reason has to do with wanting to repeat the ephemeral experience of dance, one of the arts which no sooner exists than it disappears. Isn't that part of your reason, too? We don't want it to end, we want to hold on to it, don't we? (Doesn't talking about dance try to address a similar need, among others?) So we hold onto the program. For the same reason, I write changes and comments on the cast sheets, to hold onto more of the experience.

Sometimes looking up an old program brings a surprise beyond the resonance with memory. Recently I saw Balanchine's Apollo by the Joffrey Ballet at Ravinia, and I remembered liking better one by MCB I had seen there years ago, from a more distant seat at that. I found out their cast had included Franklin Gamero and Ileana Lopez, names which meant nothing to me at the time but which have come to mean more in recent years.

And as with any archive, a collection of programs may helpfully answer a factual question, as when Mme. Hermine asked recently what NYCB danced the day Balanchine died, on this thread about what Lincoln Kirstein said then: http://balletalert.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=17903

(I could probably mail photocopies of the casting pages, or the whole program, for the NYCB performances on that day, if anyone would like to send me PMs about that, but be advised I have written changes on them.)

As to archiving, I think Mel and Alexandra have it right. An old friend, an electronics engineer, says, leave on paper what is on paper. If it's scanned and saved to a hard disk for fast searching, back up to a second hard disk which is used for that only, being unplugged and set aside most of the time. Haven't we all lost some hard disk files, never to read them again, or am I the lucky one? But hard disks might be searched faster than CDs.

My friend says the permanence of data on recordable media is controversial, and doesn't compare with paper. Data on unused hard drives seems to stay there, while the dyes which are the basis for optically-recordable media like CD-Rs and DVD-Rs change over time. Leave a CD-R in the glove compartment of a car on a sunny day, where my friend has measured temperatures of 170? F. (77? C.), and you can have a blank disk by evening. This is an extreme example, but it serves to illustrate what can happen in a short time. (Mass-produced CDs and DVDs aren't subject to erasure because they are not recorded individually but molded, much like Lp records were.)

Link to comment
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...