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Great interview with BRB's David Bintley

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some snippets:


There is a view that ballet is essentially an older person’s and rather middle-class pastime – something you discover later in life rather than when you are 18 or 19. Do you ever worry about that? It seems to worry a lot of others.

That doesn’t worry me because that is the nature of things and I don’t think we are ever going to change that, and actually I don’t think there is anything wrong with middle-aged people suddenly discovering something they have been missing for all of their lives. And that is a story I hear more often than you would imagine. And that’s fine. I think it’s a modern conceit that it’s actually safe and comfortable and middle-class and all those people are kinda stupid, cos, you know, where the real brains are are in the 18- and 19-years-olds nowadays! And I’ve got one and I know they’re not!!!"

"It just adds to that thing that the only way you can actually sell anything new now is still to call it Swan Lake."


One of the things that ENB say is that they can make money by touring internationally.

I wish they would tell us how! Because in our experience you never, ever, ever, make money touring overseas"

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"But the problem is this – do you think it’s easier to raise £800,000 for a new Cinderella or £50,000 for a young choreographer? That’s the problem and every single new piece that we do has to be funded completely outside of the money that we get (from the Arts Council). There is no pot of money there which is set aside for the making of new work."

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One of the things that ENB say is that they can make money by touring internationally.

I wish they would tell us how! Because in our experience you never, ever, ever, make money touring overseas"

This is very possible.


If they are touring in China and dancing Swan Lake, it is almost guaranteed to make money, especially, with recorded music, i.e., no orchestra.

Last 10 years you could often see such ads in China:

Swan Lake by Russian National Ballet Theatre

Published on Dec 28, 2014

Swan Lake by Russian National Ballet Theatre

Rating: *****

Dates: February 20-21, 2015

Venue: Poly Theatre

Prices: 100, 200, 300, 500, 800, 1280 RMB


Russian National / Classical / Imperial Ballet Theaters are constantly touring in China to perform Swan Lake, Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty.

The Chinese currency RMB ¥1280 equals to $200 now. When Russian National Ballet was touring in the US, how much were the ticket prices?

About 10 years ago there was a rush on building grand theaters by local goverments in many cities of China. And also Chinese young people are eagerly to see all kinds of foreign arts. That gives lots of chances for western artists, musicians and actors. Even small ballet companies like New Zealand Royal Ballet, Prodanza de Cuba, …, could get into the National Center of Performing Arts (NCPA) in Beijing.

Swan Lake by Ballet Nacional de Cuba in the Spring Festival Holiday


Ballet Nacional de Cuba Swan Lake

Venue: Opera House

Dates: Feb. 20, 2015-Feb. 24, 2015

Price: 1280/980/880/780/680/480/280/180 RMB


How did Prodanza de Cuba become Ballet Nacional de Cuba, Laura Alonso become the Artistic Director of Ballet Nacional de Cuba? ..., Don’t ask me!

Last winter Prodanza de Cuba toured China from Shanghai, 12/19/2014, to Beijing, 02/24/2015, for two months in 16 cities. As I read from reports, Laura Alonso is very happy about the success of such ballet tour.

The English National Ballet is going to dance Swan Lake in China too.

English National Ballet Swan Lake

Venue: Opera House (in NCPA)

Dates: May 09, 2015-May 10, 2015

Price: 1000/800/700/600/500/300/240/180 RMB


How come the tickets of English National Ballet's Swan Lake are cheaper than Prodanza de Cuba's? I think English National Ballet has much better dancers. Maybe, Alina Cojocaru & Tamara Rojo are not going to China? Or, they forgot to put "Princess Diana wanted to dance with ENB", "Princess Diana was known for her generosity in supporting the English National Ballet", such words in their advertising?


Anyway, I am pretty happy for ballet dancers who can make money in China. Moreover, I am very pleased when I see most audiences going to see ballet and opera in China are young people in their 20s, 30s, or 40s. Not like in the west, I always see white hairs in ballet and opera performances, as well as in classical concerts.


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