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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Television: 60 Minutes showing NYCB


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Hi all,

 

Just tuned into 60 minutes to see the teaser. Looks interesting. The teaser mentioned the athleticism and "sometimes drama" behind the scenes with a provocative statement by Peter Martins. Looks interesting.

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Victoria Leigh

In some areas the show is delayed due to a football game, which has just gone into overtime. :(

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Well... what a sad but accurate representation of the priorities in the USA. :wallbash:

Wouldn't it be nice if the NFL and AFL gave a small percentage of the proceeds to support the arts?

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Thanks for posting this... I'm on the west coast and my husband watches football, but I managed to set the recorder as it doesn't start for 2 hours out here.

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Victoria Leigh

It was on here, just an hour late. The ballet was the second segment.

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Watchd it online with dd - the video was choppy but am guessing it was our Internet connection and not the 60 Minutes video - nothing quite as frustrating as choppy ballet but it was interesting nonetheless!

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Lesley Stahl (to Peter Martins, AD of NYCB): You once said about ballerinas, "They're always "xxxxx.es." They're all tough, merciless, self-centered."...(Peter Martins:) I was probably young when I said that.I would be a little more moderate now. But it's fundamentally true. "

 

As the mother of a ballerina, I am truly upset at this statement from the AD of one of the USA's most prominent and well-endowed ballet companies. Yes, my dd is tough: emotionally, physically and mentally BUT she is not a "xxxxx" nor is she merciless or self-centered. In fact, she is kind and will not take someone else down to get ahead. She wants to get ahead on her own merits and hard work and respects those who work as hard as she does; she deserves the respect of her boss. DD has only danced in Europe but the ADs that she has worked for do not reflect this type of view towards their employees. Perhaps this misogynistic point of view is the rule but I can only hope that it reflects the outdated management style of this particular AD.

 

As far as the dwindling audiences; perhaps a fresh approach is needed in regards to programing for this company. In Europe, the funding is more generous from the government but of two companies that dd has had the privilege to dance with, neither were obligated to dance the Nutcracker year after year for the longest run of the season. In fact, her current AD has choreographed a holiday piece that reflects the local culture and uses modern technology to create something spectacular. The audience has responded by selling out all 15 shows and clamoring for more which the company is busily trying to arrange. Note to directors: Maybe the way to keep an audience entertained is to provide something entertaining and showing respect for your professional dancers will ensure that they deliver fresh, engaged entertainment.

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By hiring Paul McCartney, I believe Peter Martins was attempting to take a "fresh approach" in his own mind. He did attract many new and young audience members to see this ballet, but the critics hated it. Unfortunately, the footballl game delaying 60 minutes is a reflection of our culture and its attitudes toward classical ballet, in my opinion. This AD appears unhappy and frustrated with our culture moreso than his dancers.

 

His portrayal of ballerinas was in poor taste. However, having been involved in the ballet world as a parent, I would have to say I know quite a few who fit this description, and are very successful as a result. Fortunately, I know more who are not at all as portrayed as such, and are successful as well but in smaller ballet companies. Take it with a grain of salt, as I believe he is very dedicated to his passion. He is up there in years, as many of the Balanchine teachers at SAB are as well. Who will replace these teachers and this AD who can carry on the legacy of Balanchine? That is the question that this show left me asking.

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allegrogirl987

I would recommend to everyone to also watch the "Overtime" segment online at 60 minutes; there's a very cool section in the studio with Daniel Ulbricht and I believe Lauren Lovette doing a demonstration of Balanchine vs Classical style in certain steps. Ulbricht does some fantastic turning and can remarkably change tempo on demand. The ballerina was also gorgeous. Don't have a link right now, but it's easily accessible from watching the actual piece online.

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