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Who won the original content streaming awards?


Who won the COVID streaming wars of NEVER BEFORE SEEN CONTENT?  

10 members have voted

  1. 1. We saw a lot of streamed performances this pandemic, much of it never before seen. Here are some of the companies that have streamed many new performances. WHo won the streaming wars?

    • New York City Ballet
      5
    • English National Ballet
      0
    • Pacific Northwest Ballet
      0
    • Stuttgart Ballet
      0
    • San Francisco Ballet
      1
    • Pennsylvania Ballet
      1
    • Perm Ballet
      0
    • Royal Danish Ballet
      1
    • Sarasota Ballet
      0
    • other:Miami City Ballet, Ballet Arizona, Ballet West, ABT, etc.
      2


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We saw a lot of streamed performances this pandemic, much of it never before seen. Here are some of the companies that have streamed many new performances. WHo won the streaming wars?

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I personally think NYCB might win because for years we had heard that  videos of their performances would "never" be released because of all the myriad issues with the Trust and the different unions. And we instead got a treasure trove of stuff.

I also really enjoyed Perm Ballet's streams.

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Is this supposed to encompass anything and everything that a company put online for streaming in the last year? There were various pieces by various companies that I thought were successful and were worth watching a number of times, and then there were a lot of things I wouldn't revisit. So the particular company didn't necessarily matter for me.

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Your question is dependent on an individual's taste in ballets - if a viewer is convinced that Balanchine masterworks are "the best" ballets available, then the company performing the most Balanchine masterworks to a high performance level would "win". But if you're not really into Balanchine...

I think the audience is the winner. I've been able to see an awful lot of things that normally I would have no access to. And my library of archived videos has grown considerably.  😀

I've managed to watch all of the 2020 NYCB and SFB offerings, and they both felt "curated", and not just thrown together. So both digital seasons were successful, by me. SFB is almost half way through their current 2021 digital season, and I'm engrossed so far. I'm not sure how far the NYCB 2021 season extends. In terms of sheer output, NYCB may be the winner, but I haven't actually gone back and counted all the various offerings. I imagine the average watcher wants to see a well known ballet over a brand new piece, whereas I tend to be more curious about new works. But the percentage of successful new works continues to be lower than the failures, for me.

There's also been lots of informative interviews during quarantine that we don't normally see - that's been a big bonus for me. I've enjoyed the official company interviews, but Megan Fairchild's interviews alone (not officially part of the NYCB streams) have been a great addition to the ballet-related offerings.

Edited by pherank
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I really enjoyed all of Sarasota Ballet's offerings too. That's a company I don't get to see much.

Perm Ballet has been fantastic too. Their streams of Natalia Osipova's Giselle and Nikya were stellar.

I also really enjoyed all of Royal Danish Ballet's streamings including their new production of La Sylphide.

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It's a fascinating question for discussion but I'm not sure very many people are qualified to answer it because there has been so MUCH programming from so many companies. 

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The main reasons I voted for NYCB were;

1. They're the "home team" for me, so it was especially nice to see favorite ballets and dancers in a time of stress. I've looked forward to the performances each week during the virtual seasons. The recent Balanchine programming has been especially enjoyable, but I've enjoyed pretty much all of it. The older Lincoln Center performances that were streamed  last spring were also great and the casting brought me back to my early days of watching the NYCB rep.

2.  I appreciated that all of the streams, other than Nutcracker, were free. The pandemic has had a major impact on my income, so I haven't watched anything that required purchasing tickets. I know that not all companies can afford to do this, but NYCB has generated a lot of good will from me with this policy. When my income rebounds, I will be very happy to donate.

 I hope that the streaming from a variety of companies will continue beyond the pandemic. 

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I haven't made a great effort to follow everything but I thought the Royal Danish Ballet's performance of Ballo della Regina from beginning to end was among the best I saw, absolutely delightful. The RDBs training has some affinities with Balanchine's aesthetic and Merrill Ashley did a stellar job of coaching. I liked NYCB's new works (Justin Peck and all) but thought the Balanchine repertory uneven and the video capture inconsistent so that you couldn't get a coherent overview of what the company looks like today – compared to say the 2004 Balanchine Celebration. I do get the impression that the company looks best in the Peck and Ratmansky works because they're contemporary with the sensiblities of the dancers, Peck and Ratmansky or Nancy Raffa are around to fine-tune them, and I think the existential moment that produced the Balanchine ballets is perhaps becoming more and more difficult for younger dancers to understand and to place themselves within.

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Agree with Quiggin about that Ballo.  Not the least of the enjoyment for me was Ashley's own joy in what they did for her.  (And for what they all did for us, in another sense.) 

Also agree that NYCB's ability to give us Balanchine's Balanchine anymore has faded - through neglect, I'd say.  (In the theater if not on screen Farrell's work with them a couple of years ago restored a lot of it to a few of his ballets.)  So, some archive videos from them were also wonderful to see, the Midsummer Night's Dream from 1986, at least the last act of Coppelia from 1978, and best of all of these, the Vienna Waltzes - Mozartiana - Who Cares? one from 1983.

But the streaming is still going on, right?  (Ballet Chicago's is.  They're my "home team."  Some companies will surely continue to do more.)  Isn't this contest a little premature? 

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I agree with pherank that a lot will depend on personal taste in ballets. I also agree with Drew that so much has been streamed that it's difficult to make a fair judgement unless you've watched absolutely everything. It did strike me when I looked at the poll, that I felt as though I had been watching mostly other companies. I did see most of the stuff on the list, but I guess those programs weren't the most memorable for me, and clicking on "other" is a rather unsatisfying option.

Yes, I thought New York City Ballet presented the most interesting repertoire for my taste, but I was surprised, and I suppose saddened, that I didn't enjoy the dancing as much as I had hoped I would (older broadcasts excepted).

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