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The Ballet/Broadway connection

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With the success of "Contact" and now "Movin Out" I've heard a few comments from people that have gone to "the ballet on Broadway because it's much more entertaining"

My initial reaction was shock and disdain, but then a friend commented that both choreographers (Stroman and Tharp) have done ballet as has Wheeldon and these tend to be the more "popular" pieces.

Is the ballet/broadway association good or bad?

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Disclaimer: I've never seen a broadway show.

Calliope, I'd say good especially if, to use your own words, people realise that what they're seeing on broadway is 'entertainment ballet' and not 'real ballet'. If they like it enough, they'll be interested to see 'real ballet'. Why don't you regard it as an 'Outreach Program' without having to offer subsidisied tickets?:) There's a marketing idea - buy a full price ticket to see a broadway show and get half price ticket to a ballet company showing the work of the broadway choreographer (Ican hear all the purists groaning:D )

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Ballet has appeared in Broadway shows for years, at least as far back as the 1930s. The difference with Contact and Movin' Out is that they're shows told entirely through dance, rather than partly.

I don't think many people were moved to try real ballet after seeing On Your Toes or Oklahoma or similar musicals, and I doubt that fans of Contact and Movin' Out will be any different. The people you quoted, Calliope, would probably never have been long-term ballet goers anyway. The Broadway musical is in trouble, and in an effort to draw in audiences it's looking for something different — anything that sells. Hence the musical as dance, the musical as opera (La Boheme), etc. It's not a threat to ballet or other forms of "serious" dance.

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I agree, Ari. Especially with your comment with the Bway Musical being in trouble. This is obviously a very strange Arts Transition Period (Number 14, I believe) The fact that video games grossed (fitting word!) more than movies this year is just one indication of how things are changing.

Personally, I feel that the popularity of Contact & MovO is partly due to an appreciation of the "visual" that has been slowly replacing the "verbal" since the advent of film.

I suppose this bring forth the question (if you're willing to let my theory stand):

Does our "Visually Literate" age bode well for the future of ballet?

I think it does, especially as the population matures and a percentage (3%? 15%?) seeks a higher artistic visual experience.

I just hope by then the dancers aren't computer generated!

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