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 Post subject: Re: Politics and Dance
PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2003 2:48 pm 
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Location: SF Bay Area
Dissent and debate are very much encouraged. This site was founded on that very policy. To say otherwise is a slap in the collective faces of its founding members. Posts are edited or moved only if they breach the courtesy policy:

www.criticaldance.com/courtesy

<small>[ 31 December 2003, 03:49 PM: Message edited by: Azlan ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Politics and Dance
PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2003 3:05 pm 
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Yes, and nobody appreciates that more than yours truly. However, the assessment that a remark constitutes a breach of courtesy sometimes carries with it a political judgment, as happened in the earlier portion of the thread that eventually assumed the title "Art and War," or something like that. If commentary takes the tiniest left or right political turn, it is presumed to be too controversial to remain in the thread whence it originated and is moved to Issues. That is just a function of the very split between art and politics that seems to be deemed unbreachable by some of us. As I said earlier, I see it as secondary to the main discussion here, and hope the discussion won't go off the track on that account. I am not saying that CD excludes discussion; I am saying that it organizes it in a certain way that on rare occasions operates from a shared bias.

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 Post subject: Re: Politics and Dance
PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2003 3:22 pm 
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Just for the record, that previous topic was not edited for content -- in fact, most of the arguments were very similar to yours, Toba -- but rather due to flaming, which is outlined in the courtesy policy:

Quote:
Other posters - these are also covered by the courtesy rule. "Flaming" is an unfortunate characteristic of many websites and we have seen it on CriticalDance from time to time. It can sour the atmosphere of discussion boards and we have seen examples where this has lead to their closure. If you think something a poster has written breaches our "courtesy rule", then please contact the Moderators by e-mail on admin@criticaldance.com rather than raising it on the Board. If something you disagree with has made you angry and you want to respond, it may well be a good idea to draft something, but wait until you have calmed down before looking again and deciding whether to post it. Remember that ping-pong exchanges between posters can get very tedious for other readers and that people respect those who allow others to have the last word.


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 Post subject: Re: Politics and Dance
PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2003 3:35 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA,USA
Citibab said:
Quote:
the idea that no scientists care about ethical results is a broad generalization, and not true to boot.
I would agree with this to a limited extent, but scientists AS Scientists really have no say in political issues, just as Science has no say in ethical considerations. Science is basically in the business of measurement, and ethics is not a measurable property.
More appropriate to this site, however, is whether or not artists as Artists have any say in ethics and politics?

(I would also point out that this question has been going on for 2400 years since Platos attack on the poets in The Republic).


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 Post subject: Re: Politics and Dance
PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2004 4:38 am 
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Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
Quote:
More appropriate to this site, however, is whether or not artists as Artists have any say in ethics and politics?
If by "say", you mean, do they/we have the right to comment, the answer is unequivocably, "yes," the fact that some governments do not recognize that right notwithstanding.

If you mean, is anyone paying attention, the answer is, "maybe. sometimes."

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 Post subject: Re: Politics and Dance
PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2004 8:14 am 
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Location: New England
It is true, ballet is better supported by the government in Cuba than the USA.

I have conflicting feelings about this. Like everyone else here, I value ballet. However, I am ambivalent on the idea of how much it should be "pushed" as a national priority. A democratic government must reflect the will of its people, and ballet certainly is not for everyone.

I guess what I'm saying is this: yes, I'd like to see ballet more widely appreciated. But I'd like to see that happen because people take an interest in it, not because some government program funds it. In America today, we are in the situation that many people could partcipate (have the financial resources) but do not because they are not interested.

Cuba is a small country. Small countries can have a sense of "tribe" and "national priorities". You see that in many small and mid-sized countries consisting of one dominant culture: Korea, Japan, Germany, France, Cuba, etc.

The USA, in contrast, is a multi-cultural empire. It consists of hundreds of ethnic and special interest groups, and in our government we must somehow navigate between them all. What place does Congress have to say that ballet is more important than, say, field hockey? You elevate one activity with special funding and practitioners of the others will rightfully get upset. You elevate them all and you end up with pork barrel politics.

(Incidentally: under this line of thought, one comes out strongly against government funding for sports stadiums.)


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 Post subject: Re: Politics and Dance
PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2004 9:16 pm 
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Location: USA
A nearly universal theme of Classical Ballet is the exploration of the relationship between a man and a woman. Specifically, over the last two centuries, Classical Ballet has described, in infinite variety, the coming together of a man and a woman (as mortals, as gods, as royalty, as spirits and so much more) in its most powerful and yet beautiful, gentle and perplexing grandeur as expressed through a harmony of spirits and exquisitely performed movement. This experience, to the viewer, is heightened to a zenith only when the performers go beyond their native talent and personal charisma (their "star" quality) by bringing the evocative power borne of correct and complete Classical Ballet schooling to their performances as well.
If a country wishes to use this art form for political reasons, it will do so, like Russia did with its nighmare production of "Indian Poem" when Russia was courting the country of India during the late 1970's. "Indian Poem" was choreographed by 5 famous names in Russia including Galina Ulanova and was 4 hours long!! It was so overdone, it was truly awful. This is the result when government gets involved in politics. The universal theme of ballet is not politics, as I mentioned before. Yes, it can be used for it but it is not meant to be a politcal machine.


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 Post subject: Re: Politics and Dance
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2004 3:16 pm 
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Kaunis Sisu is correct that classical ballet very frequently explores the relationship between a man and a woman. But while I do not accept the extreme view that "the personal is always political", men and women, obviously, exist in a time and place and in a particular society. First, the fact that the relationship is between a man and a woman is already making a statement; not everyone in the world is heterosexual! But how men and women relate to one another, the power or lack thereof, is very definitely social in nature. For example, in another time and place Romeo and Juliet could have told their parents they are going to marry and the parents could accept it or not, but could hardly stop them if they were of age. In Shakespeare's time, though, the thought of defying one's parents was unimaginable. Giselle deals with class issues; could Albrecht, even had he wanted to, dump his aristocratic fiancee to marry a peasant? Others here have discussed Siegfried's obligation to marry an appropriate bride to provide an heir, something he clearly was not terribly excited about.
We enjoy the dance, but are also aware of the issues since often it's the issues that make the story.


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 Post subject: Re: Politics and Dance
PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2004 3:11 pm 
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Location: SF Bay Area
Image

Quote:
DanceUK/Dance Umbrella Symposium: Living in a Political World

Stuart Sweeney for CriticalDance.com

Can dance comment on political issues or influence world events? Do artists have a responsibility to engage with political and social issues, making works of contemporary political resonance and relevance? <a href=http://www.ballet-dance.com/200401/articles/LivinginaPoliticalWorld20031000.html target=_blank>more</a>


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 Post subject: Re: Politics and Dance
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2004 9:19 am 
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Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
Quote:
The arts had fallen off the national agenda, Robyn Nevin said last night. The Prime Minister, John Howard, would attend the opening of a major new railway, but not the opening of a major new theatre.
More in the Sydney Morning Herald, including this:

Quote:
"Artists have a role to play in the unfolding of our national narrative . . . "


<small>[ 21 January 2004, 11:20 AM: Message edited by: salzberg ]</small>

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 Post subject: Re: Politics and Dance
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2004 11:03 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA,USA
I recently reread Jean-Jacques Rousseau's "POLITICS AND THE ARTS - Letter to M. D'Alembert on the Theatre". A good reminder from the Father of Romanticism of how damaging art can sometimes be to certain societies.
I bring this up because the assumption that art ( dance, theatre, poetry, etc ), is good for society is really a modern creation, and not at all self evident. To justify the benefit of art in a community ( or in an educational program for that matter ), then one has to be willing to tackle some of the greatest thinkers in Western civilization, thinkers who generally came down against what we see as art. ( The other heavy duty philosopher who advocated censorship and limited exposure to artistic forms was Plato).
( As an aside, one of the school districts in the Seattle area is busy trying to ban "Huckleberry Finn" from the library because a student found it racially offensive. Thank god that high school students and school districts don't read the classics, because they would really have their hands full ;) ).


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 Post subject: Re: Politics and Dance
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2004 5:25 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
<img src="http://www.danceeurope.net/docs/ASSETS/NBHOME.GIF" alt="" />

"Politics and Dance" continues as the Dance Europe Discussion Topic for February. We hope you'll take part in the next round of postings.

<img src="http://www.danceeurope.net/docs/ASSETS/071.jpg" alt="" />

Here is the link to the Contents page of the February edition of Dance Europe:

http://www.danceeurope.net/docs/TOC/TOC.SHTML

<small>[ 04 February 2004, 08:36 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Politics and Dance
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2004 5:50 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
On Saturday I met an inspirational woman, Gaby Aldor, Co-Director of the Hebrew-Arabic Theater in Jaffa, Israel. We only had a few minutes to chat, but it was clear that she and her colleagues are using theatre and dance as a way to overcome divisions. Here are two articles that mention the Company and give some background to the way the company works:

http://www.arttimesjournal.com/dance/israel.htm

http://www.autodafe.org/correspondence/arabhebrew.htm

<small>[ 04 February 2004, 07:26 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Politics and Dance
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2004 11:26 am 
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Location: SF Bay Area
Speaking of Cuba, here's a post by Kurinuku copied from the Nacional Ballet de Cuba thread:

Quote:
3 Cuban dancers get asylum

By JOAQUIM UTSET
The Miami Herald
February 18, 2004

The lives of three former dancers of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba who four months ago defected in the United States took a new turn when they received political asylum and were allowed to begin a new professional life, their lawyer said Tuesday.
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 Post subject: Re: Politics and Dance
PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2004 5:42 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Bolshoi ballet protest ends in jail
From Reuters


MOSCOW (Reuters) - Young Russian left-wing radicals who barged onto the stage of the Bolshoi Theatre in protest against President Vladimir Putin's inauguration have been jailed for up to a week.

The activists smuggled flares and handcuffs through supposedly tight security, evoking memories of a dramatic siege in 2002 where 129 people died following the takeover of a central Moscow theatre by armed Chechen rebels.

Seventeen protesters were arrested after invading the stage in the capital's most famous artistic landmark hours after Putin's investiture on Friday for a second four-year term in the nearby Kremlin.

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