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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Television: Ballet on DWTS

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I just watched it on YouTube (thanks for the search tips, gav!) and was ambivalent...meh. But then, as mentioned by other commenters, "we" are not the target audience for that performance. It's the USA Today/multicolored fishwrap version intended to give an average TV viewer a taste of ballet paired to a pop culture reference that they can relate to. It's the same reason I can't watch the CSI shows or movies with some sort of science premise in their back story because it's so awfully wrong or watered down to the point silliness for someone with actual science training (I also can't watch/can't stand "Family Guy" because that show is the flip side: nothing BUT a string of continual pop cultural references that I have no knowledge of and thus cannot understand or relate). What we all think about the trends and conventional wisdom in popular media and entertainment is another conversation entirely!. :pinch:

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I don't think the Tiler Peck clip is the right one--that is from 2010. There are full episodes of DwtS available on ABC.com, so I recommend searching there.

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It was a great idea to have both white swan and black swan dancing on the same stage, particularly by the best Cuban sisters. However, the choreography is just awful , awful to watch. This is why the ballet is dying, as stated by AD of one of the world largest ballet company who just got 26 millions funding from UK government (see Link).

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I think for me, it's not so much that I don't understand the TV issue of it all, it was that the choreography did not do the dancer's justice. I went back and looked at other dance styles that have been on the show in this same format and when looking at the jazz, tap and even Broadway performances that have been on the show, they were more in line with how those styles are presented generally. My jazz/tap DD loved them as did I. Possibly the issue is simply a choreographic one for me for both performances on DWTS where ballet has been concerned.

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Victoria Leigh

It was just a choreographic nightmare. I don't know who did it, but it was a mess.

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I finally looked at the piece after many calls from non-ballet friends "insisting" that I see it (I still haven't seen Black Swan, don't really want to). What I saw, choreography created for TV/Hollywood and every "trick" they could cram in on a small stage. The dancers were obviously lovely, but this didn't do them any justice whatsoever. What bothered me the most?? The cheering crowd! This isn't a ballroom competition, it is ballet, have some decorum. At least they received a standing ovation, that was nice. So there's my two-cents.

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Agree with previous posters. I don't understand why all three principals were needed. The short, ill-conceived piece didn't do them justice. Someone mentioned the corps de ballet and I found this on the internet:


Featured dancers in the chorus include Renee Kester, Michelle Dawley, Chantel Aguirre and Melissa Sandvig (SYTYCD5).


I saw another Backstage clip on the web featuring Pedro Pablo Pena discussing last night's dancing, the dancers, and why Swan Lake was chosen. I'm assuming that he had something to do with the staging and choreography?

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What bothered me the most?? The cheering crowd! This isn't a ballroom competition, it is ballet, have some decorum. At least they received a standing ovation, that was nice. So there's my two-cents.



Same here, Dancer830! I was extremely annoyed at the hooping and hollering every time one of the dancers landed in a position of some sort. It was as if the audience thought they were supposed to do that!


And I certainly don't understand the lack of tights either! Even moreso considering how some of the female ballroom dancers are usually dressed! :D

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Oh My Mobadt! I didn't even notice the lack of tights-yikes!! :D I guess I'm just a purest about somethings and as much as I appreciate "new" dance, I have a great respect for the discipline and tradition of classical ballet.

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lack of tights for the male dancer - probably because of many people (esp. in USA) having problems seeing men in tights.



(although - Am.Football players wear tights, too, don't they? And also all those pads everywhere, right?)



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The way the male was dressed really demonstrates why dance teachers hate those "trash bag" pants. He is so lovely to watch and his lines were completely obscured. It was pretty awful, and the moving camera was nausea inducing. A sad waste of some gorgeous dancers, and I don't think it did anything to boost the ballet audience.

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The camera angles on DWTS made the ballet piece really hard to watch. Must be a very small stage. Seemed like it was difficult to get everyone on camera at once. Very distracting....

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I saw it. AWFUL! But I guess some regular watchers of that program will feel they have seen some real ballet. We noticed they cheered at the slightest movements, many times. I just wish the producers and whoever put it together had a modicum of taste.

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  • 1 year later...

Having watched both ballerinas in person (they were in our Nutcracker last year - switching off but partnering with Lorna's husband Nelson Madrigal) this doesn't begin to do them justice. They are stunning to watch live and have such a depth to their musicality. I will always remember how special it was to experience their performances.

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