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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Past Links 2013-14


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I think the main point of this article is that it doesn't have one. For an article to lend itself to so many and such varied interpretations and questions as to its intent or point is more of an indication of the lack of good interviewers, writers, editors and the name of the position that pairs photos to articles.

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  • mom2

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Thanks for sharing this- very interesting article.

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How very curious!! I've often wondered if there were 'plants' in some of the performances I've attended---either that or the audience is just 'too easy'. Way too many standing ovations for just average performances.

 

I imagine that the clacquers can say they are, in a sense, providing the relatively naive, uninformed audience with 'instruction' as to the quality of what they are seeing and leading them to appreciate it. Not really any different than the laugh-tracks, 'applause' signs, or the hoot-n-calls from today's American audiences.

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lovemydancers

“Artists have very fine and delicate natures, they have a very delicate nervous system, and, unfortunately, all of them have a strongly inflated self-image,” he said, a little mournfully. Dancers, he said, have an additional problem: “Mainly they are dumb.” He added, “They can be told what to do eight times, and on the ninth time they will still go in the wrong direction.”

 

:huh:

 

Wow. Just wow.

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My thoughts exactly, lovemydancers.

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I had just finished reading this myself. Glad you shared it, swanchat. Wow is right. I would like to hear the frank opinion of the artistic director and faculty at the school and see if they share the same thoughts, through to this last sentence? Is it possible he is just being candid and honest about the general perception that exists there? He is so casual to use the word "dumb" to the press. What does that say? Or is "dumb" as slang defined differently somehow than here? Does that attitude exist at the Mariinsky, also, and elsewhere in Russia?

 

Then there is the joke he makes about what he would like to do to the critic of one of his claquers.

 

And then, what of the women "in the watercolored dress." - the mothers. Interesting role that they continue to play there. Sounds like they are busy for the length of their children's careers. :mellow:

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Fascinating. Thanks for sharing this article.

I think that there are probably (at least informal) claqueurs in many theatres.

 

-d-

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And then, what of the women "in the watercolored dress." - the mothers. Interesting role that they continue to play there. Sounds like they are busy for the length of their children's careers. :mellow:

 

Sounds like "Dance Moms" to a whole new level. I'm still rolling this article around in my head.... Who knew that our dd's needed a claqueur in their bag of professional tools? This was never taught to her in her training in the UK although we did see sizeable donations pave the way for a few students and dancers.

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“Artists have very fine and delicate natures, they have a very delicate nervous system, and, unfortunately, all of them have a strongly inflated self-image,” he said, a little mournfully. Dancers, he said, have an additional problem: “Mainly they are dumb.” He added, “They can be told what to do eight times, and on the ninth time they will still go in the wrong direction.”

 

:huh:

 

I would love to see this guy try ballet and then tell us these dancers are dumb.

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I am just left wondering which professional ballet companies would put up with dancers who needed telling what to do more than once or twice! Studio audience reaction is still manipulated in tv programmes as far as I know, for sitcoms and games shows. Does anyone still actually hold up boards saying "applaud" or "laugh", as in the early days? Probably not, but there are certainly staff encouraging the audience reaction.

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Does anyone still actually hold up boards saying "applaud" or "laugh", as in the early days? Probably not, but there are certainly staff encouraging the audience reaction.

By chance, I sat next to the AD of our dd's company last season. He didn't know who I was until I introduced myself after the first intermission so I had the opportunity to see what an AD does during a performance. At least this one AD did look around at the audience to judge their reaction. He also applauded vigorously after a solo or pas de deux. He didn't yell a bravo/brava and looked around when someone in the audience did support a dancer with a bravo. The evening I was in the audience, a soloist received a lot of applause and brava's from one small part of the audience. He looked to see who the fans were. I later learned from my dd that the fans were the dancer's brothers. Good brothers but I'm not sure their accolades registered too much with the AD! There are also small stories behind the scenes that staff and fellow dancers applaud. A good example is when a young dancer makes their debut in a solo or principal role at the last minute due to illness/injury of the person they were covering.

 

All this is different than a mass of claqueurs manipulating the audience and sabotaging dancers that aren't in their favor. Maybe it's on a continuum but it just seems so extreme. I agree with LSU, I'd like to see this guy try to do ballet. For someone who spends his life around and with the ballet, it seems "dumb" to so openly alienate ballet dancers.

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" For someone who spends his life around and with the ballet, it seems "dumb" to so openly alienate ballet dancers.". Bravo Swanchat!

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iceberg*lover

Having known several Russians and coming from a community with a strong Russian background, nothing about this really suprises me. I honestly don't think that the dancers are bothered that this guy thinks they are dumb. The probably have some pretty powerful opinions of their own about him!!

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