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Bad Ballet Program Books/Press Material


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The thread on bad ballet music got me thinking about something that's almost universally bad at the ballet, at least in the US: program book copy and press material (ads, brochures, press releases , etc.). I've seen program books at small-town music events that put the publications of major dance companies/presenters to shame on many levels--depth/breadth of information, consistency, formatting, number of errors, etc. Any thoughts on why? Any exceptions I'm just too snarky to see? It can't just be blamed on lack of money... In the case of visiting dance companies, when program notes are bad is it the company's fault or the presenter's fault? For instance, I went to a recent performance where one of the dancer bios was three times longer than that of the artistic director (hilariously, the dancer was about 22 years old and had been in the company for 6 months!). And those music credits...

If this has been covered already on another thread, my apologies.

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SFB and PNB seem to do a nice job with the program notes. Many people are not aware at NYCB that there is an extra hand-out about the programs, in addition to the Playbill. Also, some choreographers, such as Jerome Robbins and to a lesser extent Balanchine, seem to have rejected program notes. The ballet was about the music. End of story.

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"I remember in the good old days" when a program was a program. I saw ABT (Ballet Theatre) when every single person in the company was named and pictured, right down to the newest corps member. It was a way to recognize them, and I got to know all of them.

The same holds for the credits of a filmed ballet. Most of the time the corps members aren't mentioned at all and I think that's a shame.


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