CriticalDance Forum

Ripe Choreography (aka Dance Theater Damned)
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Author:  Azlan [ Fri Apr 28, 2000 10:41 am ]
Post subject:  Ripe Choreography (aka Dance Theater Damned)

Here is an interesting article by SF Examiner's Allan Ulrich in which he rails against young choreographers who seem more eager to get good press than to develop meaningful choreography. He states that one reason for the success of dance companies in the Bay Area is that they have allowed themselves to evolve and to develop choreographers who create meaningful works, as opposed to latching on to gimmicks, fads and props. He cites Ronald K. Brown's "Grace" (danced by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater) as an example of good fresh choreography that uses dance itself instead of props:<BR> <A HREF="" TARGET=_blank> .dtl</A> <p>[This message has been edited by Azlan (edited April 30, 2000).]

Author:  grace [ Sat Apr 29, 2000 4:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Ripe Choreography (aka Dance Theater Damned)

Michael <P>- had put up the following post in another thread, giving the same link. He provocatively titled his thread "Dance Theatre Damned"! Here are his comments:<P>"San Francisco Chronicle dance critic Allan Ulrich has written a scathing opinion of<BR>unorthodox choreography and dance theater that hits issues raised in this CriticalDance<BR>forum. <P>For instance: "The attempt to expand the definition of the art has generated circus acts and terminally earnest gabfests uttered by mobile monologuists who pass themselves off as choreographers.'Dance theater' too often is an artificial construct, a slogan in search of a style." <P>Ulrich also says: "Did all those rope climbers who call themselves choreographers<BR>ever consider that fearing for an acrobat's life is not a legitimate artistic response on the part of the viewer?" <BR> <BR>Any rebuttals? "<P>(hope it's OK with you, Michael, that i 'reprint' your post this way?)

Author:  shag [ Sat Apr 29, 2000 6:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Ripe Choreography (aka Dance Theater Damned)

Isn't this the essence of the discussion of value in the arts?<P>For whom is a work done? Today's audience thereby opening critism that is merely fluff for entertainment, the dancers to stretch expression and expand understanding from which further development can be built upon, future critics and audiences so a work has longevity thus "important", socially important work to tell a message, or innovative in such a way that astetic is umimportant and we revel in the uniqueness?<P>I think the value of this board versus many other dance discussions I have had both online and over cocktails is the openness most of us have that in every piece there is value to someone and just b/c I may not share the perspective, I respect the contrary view. Categorizing "new" works in the above manner is not only troubling, but sad in the myopic view.<P>As an example, friends of mine are serious dancers with a contemporay ballet focus. To a person, however, they adore Circ de Soleil and were quite jealous to see the dancers accompanying Ricky Martin rythmically bouncing on bungy cords. Had they been given the chance for such brain candy, would they have been seduced by the dark side?> I think not, and people like Ulrich should understand that people can be moved by American Beauty and entertained by American Pie without "selling out"!

Author:  sherricollins [ Sat Apr 29, 2000 2:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ripe Choreography (aka Dance Theater Damned)

How extraordinary to read from a writer who has seemed so objective and even so sensitive to the creative process, such an article as this one!<P>The very existence of so many creative artistic ideas, and persons willing to put their hearts and souls into them, in this case, dance specifically, is itself a tribute to the bay area. How odd that agents of news would be offended when modern choreographers recognize them for what they can be: supportive of established forms, yet promoters of the advant garde as well. <P>Creative dance is a complicated art form in so many ways: it is reflective, it requires high energy, it is best live, and it responds to audience. Steering audiences away from groups because the artists are new to a discipline and possibly bring new ways to it, is more than counterproductive; it is without cause

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Mon May 01, 2000 7:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Ripe Choreography (aka Dance Theater Damned)

I agree with the other posters that this is a sad article, comparing apples and oranges. I am pleased that young choreographers are trying new ideas and borrowing from other disciplines and mediums such as video etc. And, yes, some of these things won't work, but let's remember (or better still forget) all the Balanchine works that the great man had no desire to revive.<P>The fusion works I have seen in the past year have often been successful - the delightful tricks with film and mirrors of France's Decoufle; the exensive use of video by V-TOL; the theatricals including a swimming pool on stage of DV8; the fusion of Kathak and modern dance of Akram Khan; the central show of the Millenium Dome with flying figures in harnesses. And yes, all this can happily exist alongside a company like the wonderful SFB. <P>London is celebrating the Diaghalev Legacy over the next few weeks. Thank goodness for the avant-garde risk-taking of the Ballets Russes, without which dance would not be as we know it today.<p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited May 01, 2000).]

Author:  grace [ Mon May 01, 2000 5:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ripe Choreography (aka Dance Theater Damned)

stuart, i take it you've changed the title of this thread so as to incorporate michaels' contribution? that's great, because i thought one couldn't change thread titles...good news.

Author:  Azlan [ Mon May 01, 2000 7:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ripe Choreography (aka Dance Theater Damned)

Grace, it is actually I who made the change to the title, from the UBB control panel.

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