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Dance in America -- what would you like to see?

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Ballet has been pretty scarce on American television recently (that's in the past decade!) If you could write a Letter to The Programmers at Dance in America -- and/or Great Performances -- saying what, and how much, you would like to see, what would it say? (A weekly series is not likely :) )

For those who live out of U.S. airwaves, I think many of us would be interested in what you are seeing/would like to see, as well.

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Well, if I were to really pull out all the stops, at the moment I'd vote for Kirov's Sleeping Beauty and Don Quixote after all the raves both have received in the past year or so.

Royal Ballet doing almost anything, but most especially Aston and MacMillan, and even more most especially Aston's Monotones II and The Dream. Also Onegin.

Paris Opera Ballet.

Maybe it could be "any company that is performing in New York", which would open up huge possibilities; all the broadcasting equipment is there.

And I'd opt for classical.

Oh, wouldn't that be wonderful?


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I'd like to see a variety of companies from around the company. And not just the well-known classics, but new works, and rep programs. Also with commentary before and following the performance, similar to what was done when PBS aired the Diamond Project. I'd like to hear comments from the composers, dancers and the choreographers. Nothing can replace seeing a performance live, but if ballet can be brought into everyone's home on TV then there should be some instruction involved too. Why did a choreographer go this or that direction -- how did the music inspire her to a particular abstract or idea. Or how did the composer interpret the choreographer's vision of a ballet. I'd like to know how the dancers feel about doing a new work or dancing a role that has been identified with others in the past.

Inquiring minds want to know. :)

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Oh, I'd love anything from Bolshoi to Trockadero. :) It would be interesting to see more of the less known ballet companies around the world such as the Dutch National Ballet or the Asami Maki Ballet.

I agree with Doris R; there should be a whole variety of companies and repertory. The commentary from all the different views that make up a ballet was a good idea when the Diamond Project aired.

If ya'll get a chance, please go to Pointe's message board and sign the petition. It's under Miscellaneous titled "EVERBODY READ!"

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I always say if there was an ounce of ballet or dance on television,say as compared to sports on TV,I'd be happy!Bravo used to show ballet quite often,from the Royal Ballet to Mark Morris to Momix.I want to have it all.Unfortunately,Bravo's not around for us now.

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I would like to see all of the old Dance in Americas repeated and then I would like to see New York City Ballet's 'Sleeping Beauty' which I have managed to miss, and Royal Ballet's 'Ondine' which I have been curious about for a long time.

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In keeping with the title of the series, I'd like to see performances featuring some of the regional and national ballet companies -- SFB, Houston, Boston Ballet, American Repertory Ballet, Washington Ballet, Colorado, Carolina Ballet, etc. -- with a mix of wonderful classical repertoire and some new works. It would be interesting to see a program organized thematically, rather than devoting the entire time to one company.

You didn't ask, but I would not like to see any more Diamond Project.

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I'll cast my lot with Doris R's suggestions - not that anyone else's weren't good too, but I like the "in depth" side of Doris's programming suggestions. :D Inquiring minds do want to know!

On another thread, in the news section I believe, is an announcement that New York magazine is cancelling its dance column...there is an email address to which the astonished and upset may write. Perhaps, if there really was a concerted;) grass roots email and regular mail movement in contacting our own PBS stations as well as A&E and Bravo it might just make a difference. It's amazing what people can do when they put their "voices" behind something! :)

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Some of the ballets in the Suzanne Farrell Company's 2002 repertory -- Divertimento No. 15, Tzigane, Chaconne -- were excerpted in previous Dance in America broadcasts of NYCB, the latter two with Farrell and Martins. It might be instructive to see bits of those earlier shows along with the Farrell dancers' current versions.

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Oh, Suzanne Farrell's company performing, absolutely! The Kennedy Center's Balanchine Celebration? That would have been so exciting! I'm lucky enough that I was able to see two evenings of the KC celeb, and I also saw one of her company's programs last year.

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I am reluctant to request a simple video record of a stage work, since the peculiar qualities of video -- the small screen, the limited field of view, the foreshortening of perspective -- make it difficult, if not impossible to create a truly satisfying record. I've seen too many films and videos that reduced the corps to a flea circus and the ballerina to a blur.

The success of the Balanchine shows on PBS is due in no small measure to the master's willingness to re-think and re-stage his works for the camera (on the sound-stage at Nashville's Opryland, of all unlikely places). Merce Cunningham has long embraced this process, and Paul Taylor has re-staged several works on video. I'd like to see them do more, and see more from leading choreographers like Mark Morris, especially his wonderful "L'Allegro, il Penseroso, ed il Moderato," an evening-length work to Handel.

On a practical level, there's the fact that the people responsble for "Dance in America" are no longer at PBS, but we're still entitled to dream. Maybe an ambitious young producer is reading this right now!

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That's good news, Alexandra. Obviously, I was misinformed!

We know one determined person can make a difference; Judy's mentor, Merrill Brockway, virtually invented quality ballet on TV. Let's hope that, even in today's world of limited funds and rampant consultants, she can find new ways to put ballet on PBS!

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On the French Mezzo (used to be Muzzik) channel (which is broadcast on Israeli cable TV), there are some outstanding documetnaries on Paris Opera Ballet productions. The most recet programs have been on Raymonda and Sleeping Beauty. These programs include interviews with the stars, the coaches, clips from old interviews with Nureyev, excerpts from rehearsals and from the actual perforamnces themselves. I am sure that these programs are extremely insightful. Unfortunately, they are in French with no subtitles whatsoever - in fact, although some of the Nureyev clips are in English, they are voiced over in French. This is maddeningly frustrating!!!

(I know opera lobbyists (which is a much stronger lobby in Israel than the ballet lobby) has approached the local cable providors and the Mezzo channel about subtitling operas - so far unsuccessfully.)

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Arent' you tired to see and request the same all things,what I would love to see is more of those company and choreographer from Europe, and I am not talking about Frankfurt Ballet, but smaller company, do some research and open your horizon.

I would like to see new stuff, not only movement but a company and choreographer that use the "theatre dimension" something a little more theatrical, not always the same boring class exercise that we put together and end up calling 'A ballet".

We rarely see Nederland dans theatre, Cullberg Ballet etc. Always NYCB, as good as they are, frankly, I am overdosing.

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