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 Post subject: Re: Politics and Dance
PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2003 5:49 pm 
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Location: El Granada, CA, USA
It should also be remembered that because of the poor health of her husband, she really was trying to get as many extra gigs as possible. Financial need can often blind the political eye.


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 Post subject: Re: Politics and Dance
PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2003 1:58 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Palestine supporters target Israeli ballet

By Roshan Muhammed Salih

Wednesday 12 November 2003, 4:07 Makka Time, 1:07 GMT

Around 100 supporters of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign picketed the show by the Inbal Pinto Dance Group inside and outside Glasgow's Royal Theatre on Tuesday.

Mick Napier, the group's chairman, said protestors outside urged the public not to enter the theatre, while demonstrators inside made sure the Israelis understood they were not appreciated.

He said: "We may not have succeeded in getting the performance cancelled but our demonstration was very noisy and vociferous - I think we made our point.

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 Post subject: Re: Politics and Dance
PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2003 3:46 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Demonstrators target Israeli dance group
By BILLY BRIGGS and ALLAN LAING for The Herald


POLICE staged a major security operation in Glasgow last night as pro-Palestinian demonstrators threatened to disrupt a performance by an Israeli dance group at the Theatre Royal.
Mounted police and more than 100 officers were drafted in to seal off the area around the venue in Hope Street over security fears for the Tel Aviv-based Inbal Pinto Dance Company.
However, a statement at the last minute from the performers defused the situation. They dissociated themselves from the policies of the Israeli government, effectively leaving the demonstrators with very little to protest about.

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 Post subject: Re: Politics and Dance
PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2003 7:38 am 
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Posts: 602
Location: Seattle, WA,USA
Quote:
Around 50 demonstrators turned up, but it was a relatively peaceful and subdued event that allowed the performance to proceed without disruption
I applaud the fact that this protest was peaceful, and I wonder if the Palestinian resistance against the Israeli occupation would be better served by these type of actions than by their more violent alternatives. I would also note that these two stories are, as usual, not carried by the US media.

<small>[ 22 December 2003, 12:14 PM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Politics and Dance
PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2003 8:15 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Protests targetted at dance companies and competitions have a long history. The demonstration against Inbal Pinto reminded me of the only instance where a demonstration took place when I was in the theatre. That was back in the 1960s when Jewish protestors took action against a performance in London by the Georgian State Dance Company. There was leafleting outside and, just as the curtain went up, one young woman ran into the auditorium from a side door to voice her protest against the slowness of the rate at which the Soviet authorities were allowing Jews to leave for Israel and elsewhere.

I shared the concerns about discrimination against religious groups in the Soviet world, but thought that the protest would have much greater force if it also covered groups such as the dissident Baptists in the Soviet Union (baptism was not allowed), who had no chance to leave.

I think that proposed bans can be appropriate and can work. The classic case is South Africa and although the main thrust of the ban was in sport, there was also an Equity ban in the UK on theatre and music visits in either direction. Eventually a range of pressures created the atmosphere where change took place in South Africa.

The refusal of Martha Graham and others to attend the Arts Festival associated with the 1936 Berlin Olympics was, in my view, an entirely appropriate response to the horrors that the Nazis had already perpetrated. A case can be made that she could have protested against conditions in the US as well, but I'll settle for one good deed.

In my view, case by case we will each decide whether a particular country deserves treatment in this way. I do not subscribe to the view that sport and the arts should be kept separate from politics, as in funding, gender issues, socio-political structures etc they are already intimately linked.

<small>[ 12 November 2003, 09:26 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Politics and Dance
PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2003 3:02 am 
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Call me old-fashioned, but for me ballet and dance are about beauty and expressing emotion and I wish that politics and dance could be kept separated. Thus I am not in favour of political themes intruding into dance and on the other hand I also wish that newspapers would just report the dance and not look for political angles. Does anyone out there agree?


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 Post subject: Re: Politics and Dance
PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2003 5:06 am 
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Location: Lighting Heaven
Many no doubt do. I. for one, do not.

Art is about the human experience. Beauty and emotion are part of that experience, but so are politics and war.

_________________
"A man's speech must exceed his vocabulary, or what's a metaphor?"


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 Post subject: Re: Politics and Dance
PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2003 7:05 am 
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Location: New England
In spite of all this complaining about what people say of Cuba's ballet, the fact remains that they have lost a HUGE number of their dancers to defections over the past few years (something like 1/3 or 1/2). There was an article about it recently, sorry I don't have the link, maybe someone can dig it up. Life in Cuba must not be so rosy if so many dancers are doing whatever they can to leave.

Simply losing that number of dancers that quickly can qualify in the "ups and downs" category. It certainly did for Boston Ballet over the past few years.

One of the dancers interviewed for the article said he knew he had to leave when he was at a beach resort and wanted to ride a moped for the day. Cubans were not allowed to rent mopeds, only foreigners, regardless of how much cash they had on hand. This guy knew a Cuban-American friend who could rent the moped for him, so he got his moped for the day. But to him, this was his sign that it was time to leave --- if foreigners were treated so much better, why should he stay?

The article also contained interesting talk of the differences between point of view of Alonso and the dancers who left. Alonso said that here you put all this into dancers and then they leave, kind of liking biting the hand that feeds them. The dancers who left all appreciated what they got from Alonso and the Cuban ballet, but they did not feel morally obligated to dance in Cuba for a lifetime because of it.

Our Spring show will be called the "Cuban Condition" and will focus on something having to do with Cuba and dance and Cuban-American culture. I'm told it will avoid politics.

<small>[ 22 December 2003, 08:06 AM: Message edited by: citibob ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Politics and Dance
PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2003 10:34 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
<img src="http://www.danceeurope.net/docs/ASSETS/SMLOGO1.GIF" alt="" />

<img src="http://www.criticaldance.com/images/logo/logo-s2.jpg" alt="" />

CriticalDance is delighted to announce a joint project with "Dance Europe" Magazine. The recently issued January edition of "Dance Europe" highlights this discussion on "Politics and Dance" and we hope that CriticalDance posters and readers of the magazine will exchange views here.

<big>How To Post on CriticalDance</big>

If you are a newcomer to CriticalDance, we will be delighted if you want to post a comment about "Politics and Dance".

You will need to register, which is easy and free. Click here and follow the steps to register, including agreeing to our Rules, Policies and Disclaimers.

When you have registered, you will be able to log in. Then, to make a posting:

- click on the "Post Reply" button at the top right of the "Politics and Dance" page
- type or copy and paste your comments into the posting box
- when you are ready, then press the "Add Reply" button
- if you want to edit your posting, you can do so by clicking on the "paper and pencil" icon at the right above your post.

For additional practical information about CriticalDance click here.

Don't worry if you've never written on the Internet before. Just tell us your views on the theme or on comments already posted. A selection of the comments will be published in "Dance Europe".

Please bear in mind that CriticalDance is a moderated site with a courtesy rule that applies to dance artists as well as other posters. Here is the link to the details of this policy:

http://www.criticaldance.com/courtesy/

Any problems or queries, don't hesitate to contact stuart@criticaldance.com

Don't delay - have your say.

<small>[ 04 February 2004, 06:19 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Politics and Dance
PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2003 2:06 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Citibob wrote:

Quote:
Alonso said that here you put all this into dancers and then they leave, kind of liking biting the hand that feeds them.
Well, Alonso shouldn't complain too much. After all, she had a hand in the exiling of her ex-husband Fernando Alonso, whom ex-Cuban dancers credit for making Alicia Alonso what she is and for coaching many of the dancers during his time in the company, for which he gets hardly any recognition today. The politics that Alonso took advantage of to her personal advantage comes from the same source that's driving her dancers away.

For more on this, go to this topic in the Ballet in the Americas forum:

- <a href=http://forum.criticaldance.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=4;t=001103>Words on Dance with Lorena Feijoo, Joan Boada, Frederic Franklin</a>


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 Post subject: Re: Politics and Dance
PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2003 3:53 pm 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
From the CIA yearbook:

Per capita GDP (adjusted for purchasing power parity)

USA – $36,300
Mexico - $8,900
Cuba - $2,700
Honduras - £2,500

Given the above figures, I find it easy to understand why Cuban dancers would rather live in the USA. Dancers from Estonia, Lithuania and other countries from the old Soviet block are also leaving for countries in Western Europe and the USA. However, they can do so without restriction, which I wish was also the case in Cuba.

The remarkable thing to me is that on such a low per capita GDP, Cuba has achieved so much in health care and education and produces world-class performers in a range of art forms.

<small>[ 22 December 2003, 05:39 PM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Politics and Dance
PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2003 9:04 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 1876
Location: New England
From the article, I got the impression it wasn't just per capita GDP. Life in a high-GDP area can be very difficult as a dancer. It was the sense that foreigners are treated better, even in Cuba.

<small>[ 22 December 2003, 10:04 PM: Message edited by: citibob ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Politics and Dance
PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2003 11:43 pm 
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Location: SF Bay Area
Going back to djb's original post:

Quote:
I don't recall such frequent mention of politics in reviews of companies from other countries, but I may just not be noticing them.
I just simply don't think editors and publishers in the US would be comfortable with that. And would most people agree that ballet reviewers (and ballet artists for that matter) tend to be apolitical?

<small>[ 23 December 2003, 12:44 AM: Message edited by: Azlan ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Politics and Dance
PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2003 1:42 am 
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Location: San Francisco
Azlan, I don't get what you mean. What is the "that" that you don't think US editors and publishers would be comfortable with?

As for your question, I think most critics leave politics alone in their reviews (though they're not necessarily apolitical in their private lives) and ballet dancers -- at least those from my day -- tend to be apolitical. I wasn't, though.

<small>[ 23 December 2003, 02:45 AM: Message edited by: djb ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Politics and Dance
PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2003 8:44 pm 
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Location: New England
Hmm... apolitical? Dancers don't have much time for political action, although I certainly have my views. I suspect other dancers do as well.


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