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SFB 2018: Sleeping Beauty


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Thanks for the Sleeping Beauty report, Quiggin. I don't have a problem with most of Bauer's personal opinions, except for the basic premise that she needs to award 1 to 5 stars to a ballet production. And in this case, she thinks the SB production only merits 2 stars which is essentially recommending that the people stay away - why pay money for a "largely joyless and wholly unsatisfying" production? And that's where I have to think, is she serious? First of all, is her impression generally matched by the rest of the audience? If not, she needs to make that apparent. And is it best for the general public not to see SFB's Sleeping Beauty? That just strikes me as utter nonsense (along with "star" ratings and "thumbs up/down" ratings in general). Visual rating systems are always problematic - and the issues are different with each type (whether a grade scale or a simple recommended/not recommended system). Bauer tries to balance her discussion by calling out individual dancers and mostly praising their performances. But in her estimation, the dance performances are not nearly as important to the production as the costumes and stagings that she doesn't like. So the scale tips considerably towards the negative, I get that, though I don't actually agree with her estimation. Perhaps Romantic era ballets like Sleeping Beauty are the exception, but I always weight choreography and actual dancing above stagings when I am viewing a ballet. And my experience has been that a balanced discussion of the positive and negative aspects of a performance is useful enough to get potential audience members interested. I guess I should just be happy that Bauer's not using an emoji rating. ;)

It would be very interesting to hear audience feedback about this program (and each program) describing whether or not they enjoyed the show, AND what its 'objective worth' was as an art performance. (When the audience survey is given makes a difference in the answers received too, so nothing's really easy.)

Edited by pherank
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It seems to be a recurring issue in alot of places, the fact that many are becoming frustrated with the reviewing of ballet. I think it is hard to have to separate your own opinion from fact but isnt that their job? On the other hand it can be frustrating to read reviews where they say a whole lot of nothing. 

I think the question you pose pherank is really important- Is a reviewers impression generally matched by the rest of the audience? I think it is not much of the time but it of course depends on who is doing the reviewing.

The entire premise of reviewing art is shifting. I think for the better because people are questioning if they really care what the reviewing says. And they are also questioning the agenda of the writer as well.

In Canada for instance the young choreographer they keep trying to make happen is the son the owner of the national newspaper. It is almost farcical. Is what we read at all unbiased anymore? Great writing in this regard is dying.

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