CriticalDance Forum

You too can write a review
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Author:  grace [ Sun Jul 16, 2000 4:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: You too can write a review

kevin, i agree that we HAVE biases, whether or not we are aware of them. i don't think i'd say that 'we SHOULD'- but rather that it's inevitable that we DO, so we SHOULD at least be aware of them,...that's probbaly what you meant anyway! Image<P>re saint petersburg ballet: well, it was 'interesting' as we are wont to say.....VERY old-fashioned production of swan lake, like a throwback to RB in the 50's or early 60's: genuinely quaint... SOME extremely capable dancers, as cold as ice the lot of them(!), especially odette and seigfried(!).....lavish costumes, fabulous gothic sets which drew applause on curtain-up.<P>leads were tatyana serova and dmitri zavalishein: never made eye contact the whole ballet! zavalishein clearly could not lift her, so all lifts were changed to promenades.<P>wierd interpolated choreography, especially beginning of act 4: literally pedestrian: walk, walk, walk, roll head, walk, walk, walk, roll head..etc, ad infinitum....horrible big swans choreo: full of dog-leg-shaking.....<P>iouri Glukhikh (spellings as in our cast sheet) danced the pas de trois, which (to my shame) i missed. i missed the whole prologue Image : public transport 'accident', as it were.....never missed anything i had to review before,'s swan lake!!!!!!!! Image<P>there was one hunk in the tarantella, but all the names in the cast list appear to be female (maria, anna, tatiana, elizoveta, arina-?) no idea who HE was! is arina a boy?! if so, he's the hunk!<P>and the demise of rothbart was so pathetic i LAUGHED: seigfried ripped off a wing and flagellated him with it on the floor: pathetic!<P>i thought serova had a nice line, but my companion (a former prima ballerina) disagreed with me, so i bow to her superior knowledge and taste....sort of, but not really Image ... i also think that 'i saw what i saw', and 'she saw what she saw'!<P>i.e. "all views are valid", some are just more so Image<P>after all that, i enjoyed it immensely....just really because we get so very few full-length traditional productions, here at this end of the earth....

Author:  Maggie [ Sun Jul 16, 2000 10:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: You too can write a review

Oh, poor Rothbart being beaten by his own wing? That is too funny, the more so since I'm sure it's not intended that way.

Author:  tallulah [ Sat Aug 12, 2000 9:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: You too can write a review

Grace, you are so right about Swan Lake. I mean it's great that we've been able to see such a wonderful international company perform locally, but what a performance! <P>Here we get into that whole personal opion thing right, but how abou i just say what i think and everybody can have a go at me about it later!<P>i guess i just felt cheated by the end, i went in expecting to be dazzled but it came out more like a drizzle. i guess you shouldn't go to see things with expectations, like i try not to read movie reviews before i've seen the movie, but such a hype was made about this production coming that i really couldn't help but have high expectations. <P>The dancing in my not so experienced opinion was great, the jester especially was breathtaking, but would it have killed the company to put a little performance quality into this show. Swan Lake is a love story, but how can true love conquer evil when the blissful couple only made eye contact half a dozen fleeting times. As to the whole, rip off the wing episode, it was all i could do to keep from laughing out loud. i thought perhaps i'd walked into the wrong theatre and this was some kind of take off comedy, but no one else seemed to find it amusing, actually the women next to me was quiet carried away in the emotion of it all, i seemed to have missed that emotion somewhere. <P>The sets though were quite magnificint, now thats art that takes your breathe away. The ending disapointed me too, i always thought of Swan Lake as a tradgedy, therefore i was at a loss to see them both alive and well at the end. I said as much and got into guiet a heated conversation with some nice old ladies sitting in front of me about choreographers having different ideas and expressing them in their own unique way, how unique the ending is i'm not sure, but there was no argueing with these old bags. <P>i don't mean to sound so pessimistic i was thrilled to bits to see an old classic. i just wish that the classic had some of that classic feeling associated with it. Once again i'm talking about performance quality but i think i've said quite enough on the subject already, i don't want to make too many enemies my first day as a member!<P>Onto the review topic, i would just like to say thankyou, i've been looking for something exactly like this to help me write critical reviews for school. My teacher refused to mark the last one on the basis that it was to critical and on that aspect she was right. i was very harsh in my judgements and very opinionated, i made comments without being able to justify them. If only i could have read this disscussion two weeks ago! Its been a big help and i've taken heaps of notes, so hopefully my next review will be better.<P>I'm not sure if this will be useful, but here's some info i've been told about writing reviews in the way of format.<P>Intro:<BR>Names of ballet, choreographer, company, venue, principal dancers<BR>date<BR>Any backgroung info that may be important<P>Section 2:<BR>Brief out line of plot<P>Section 3:<BR>Any messages of piece<P>Section 4:<BR>Performance Quality<BR>Dancers Roles<P>Section 5:<BR>Set<BR>Costume<BR>Lighting<P>Conclusion:<BR>Any personal opinion<P>This is just what i have picked up so feel free to pick fault!<P>Very tired, must sleep!<P>

Author:  grace [ Sat Aug 12, 2000 3:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: You too can write a review

hi tallulah - great to see you here - old wayne finally got his act together, eh? Image <I>(private joke folks, sorry! that internet connection's been promised for SOOOOOOOO long!)</I><P>re this bit: <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>i just say what i think and everybody can have a go at me about it later!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><BR>has this happened to you BEFORE, or something? Image<P>i like your list - it covers all the categories, and is a good reminder to people of what they might forget to mention. <P>i also think its a wise move to TRY to think in terms of leaving pure 'opinion' till last, but in practice, it rarely happens. it's probably good for your conscience to AIM for this sort of prioritising. <P>then again, people DO enjoy a really opinionated review, ESPECIALLY if they identify/agree with the opinions! Image<P>i'm glad stuart's list helped. the internet can help in so many ways, it's mind-boggling.<P>and re "i don't want to make too many enemies my first day as a member!" - don't worry! anyone who contributes THIS much in their first post is a contributor to value, and to keep an eye out for! you'll be appreciated. Image

Author:  grace [ Mon Aug 14, 2000 4:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: You too can write a review

btw tallulah, re THIS bit:<BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>there was no argueing with these old bags.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><BR>i'm sure you TRIED! Image Image Image<P>however, perhaps we should warn you that we DO have some of this species, at this fact, i guess *I'M* one! Image

Author:  Maggie [ Tue Aug 15, 2000 7:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: You too can write a review

Old bag? Really, Grace! Hardly.<BR>Tallulah, I like what you've written. Are you a fan of Tallulah Bankhead? She was known for making this comment after making a large donation to the Salvation Army band, which was playing outside her hotel, for which she refused to be thanked: "No need, I know what a terrible time it's been lately for you Spanish dancers."

Author:  Azlan [ Sat Apr 07, 2001 4:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: You too can write a review

As we've been getting messages from several talented individuals who want to share with us their experiences of performances that have delighted them, I thought I'd bring this topic back up to the top again.

Author:  Basheva [ Sat Apr 07, 2001 5:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: You too can write a review

In addition to all the great advice above, may I add:<P>When I write a review, or anything else for that matter, I try to take the reader along with me. I don't assume that the reader knows where I am, or has seen what I have witnessed. I am the eyes and ears for the reader. <P>Though, of course, it does depend on how many words are allotted by the editor if one is writing for an editor, I like sentences that are of varying length. I like them balanced, using a short length for emphasis, as well as for economy. <P>And always, no matter what I am writing, read it out loud and listen to it as I am reading. That picks up many repetitive words and sounds. Each piece of writing, in my opinion, has a melodic sound to it, intrinsic unto itself, and so I listen for the sounds of that verbal symphony. <P>I do some re-writing but not that much. If there is time, I will let it sit - stew - a while, and then go back and re-read. But I do put a time limit on it, one can pick anything apart ad infinitum.<P>It is extremely important to me that there be accurate attribution, and will do everything within my power to see to it that names are spelled correctly. I feel that is the easiest part to get right and it is my duty to do that.<P>If the situation allows me to give opinion, I feel I must be ready not only to say what that opinion is, but why. <P>

Author:  kt [ Tue Jun 12, 2001 6:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: You too can write a review

Hi all<P>Im not sure if this is relevant anymore but Id like to respond to point 8 of Grace's list of handy tips for review writing. Keeping your subject in mind as a potential reader can be a bit restrictive. Sometimes you have to be critical, if you are going to remain honest with the reader, and remebering how the subject may feel on reading your review could become problematic. I believe in being diplomatic and polite and understanding, but if a work or dancer is not up superlatives or other glowing terms I dont see keeping the subject in mind as a justification for honeying criticism. Obviously cutting the poor thing to shreds is just as undesirable, but remaining true to your responses and maintaining an honesty is an important point to remeber, I think, when it comes to writing reviews.<P>Best wishes to all<P>KT

Author:  Emma Pegler [ Wed Jun 13, 2001 1:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: You too can write a review

thanks for that KT. At criticaldance, we want honest expressions and impressions, but we try to emphasise politeness and balance because we are an inclusive site. We want (and indeed have) contributors that are dancers etc and we want everyone connected to the dance world, whether they be adminstrator, dance-goer, dance-watcher of videos, dancer, critic etc etc, to feel that they belong and have a voice. Don't let yourself be contained, as long as views are balanced, we welcome diversity of views.

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