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 Post subject: Re: Pre-recorded music instead of live orchestra....
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2001 7:12 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2001 12:01 am
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Location: California
Based on the general praise for live music, it would seem that no one else has had the less-than-joyful experiences of:<P>a) Having to cut short a final rehearsal because you have reached the end of the union call for musicians, and can't afford to keep them overtime so that you walk on the stage fully rehearsed;<P>b) Had a conductor NOT know your tempos (or care about your tempos), and either running madly or dragging sadly through a major variation;<P>c) Had the pick-up orchestra prove unable to handle the musical demands, and the audience laughing while you are dancing.<P><BR>Not to mention the difference in quality between a scaled down, local orchestra of 31 members for 6 performances and three rehearsals($50,000 - in 1984) versus a recording of the 110 members of the London Symphony. (Estimated cost for royalties and sound equipment - $1,000)<P>Perhaps in the ideal situation, an orchestra is necessary; but in the practical world, you make choices.<P>


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 Post subject: Re: Pre-recorded music instead of live orchestra....
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2001 2:37 pm 
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Hey, I have done all of those above...we have worked with the best orchestras in the world and some of the smallest, we call the band. <BR>We have had the stage manager make several debuts in ballets when he walks out during dress rehearsal to tell us it is over, or the orchestra goes into overtime.<BR>We have worked with conductors that actually take things personally and decide to hold a grudge during the grand pas...<BR>All of that aside live is far better than tape any time for the full ballet experience.


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 Post subject: Re: Pre-recorded music instead of live orchestra....
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2001 4:19 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area
River,<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>We have worked with conductors that actually take things personally and decide to hold a grudge during the grand pas...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>LOL! I bet this happens more often than we imagine...


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 Post subject: Re: Pre-recorded music instead of live orchestra....
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2001 10:13 am 
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Location: El Granada, CA, USA
Don't get me started.<P>When I toured with the SF Opera, we had an arrangement for two pianos for smaller (and poorer)venues and had the orchestra for the larger venues. This wasn't ideal, but worked out ok. After all, it is truly impossible to do opera to pre-recorded music.<P>I agree as a dancer that live music is always better. As an administrator, I say there is a time, a place, and a budget to be considered.


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 Post subject: Re: Pre-recorded music instead of live orchestra....
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2001 12:27 pm 
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Location: California
I would still tend to disagree, and offer that only under the best possible conditions is live music an enhancement: excellent musicians, excellent conductor, sufficient rehearsal.<P>I have seen too many companies (mostly small to medium-size per budget constrictions) try to carry off a performance under less-than-ideal circumstances. Either the tempos make the dancers look like THEY are dancing poorly; or the mistakes of the orchestra distract the audience from the dancing.<P>In the latter circumstance, no matter HOW wonderfully the performers may have danced, the audience walks out of the theatre talking about how bad the orchestra was.<P>Agreed - when it ALL comes together, it can be magical - for dancer AND audience. But you can even see the dagger-looks from ABT dancers when they don't get their tempos. THEY know its wrong, and they know their performance will not be its best.


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 Post subject: Re: Pre-recorded music instead of live orchestra....
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2001 1:59 pm 
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Location: El Granada, CA, USA
Agreed on all counts above. As an audience member.<P>But as a dancer, even when the tempos are wrong, there is nothing to compare with the energy boost you get from having live musicians in the house. However, you learn to deal with canned music, too. Out of necessity.


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 Post subject: Re: Pre-recorded music instead of live orchestra....
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2001 7:08 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 1876
Location: New England
People have mentioned that canned music is good for popular tunes. But no one has mentioned that even for classical music, it allows a greater variety of instrumentation.<P>In the Spring, we had a concert with the following different instrumentation:<BR> * Full orchestra<BR> * String Quartet<BR> * Violin concerto<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Pre-recorded music instead of live orchestra....
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2002 4:43 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Sometimes the music has to stop <BR>Finances may dictate that ballet troupes perform to recorded accompaniment<P>Joshua Kosman, SF Chronicle<P>For the seasoned ballet lover, the beginning of any performance takes on the air of a welcome ritual. The lights dim, the dancers take their positions behind the curtain, and the conductor taps the baton for silence and gives the downbeat. <P>Or, in many more cases, doesn't.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><a href=http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2002/01/20/PK64677.DTL target=_blank>More</a>


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 Post subject: Re: Pre-recorded music instead of live orchestra....
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2002 7:23 am 
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Posts: 275
Location: California
The article concludes: <BR> "What we need is for someone to make a financial commitment -- preferably an endowment that would be permanent -- to support live music for dance. If we could find someone to do that, even locally, it would be a major contribution. But in the meantime, we're struggling to stay in business like everybody else." <P><BR>NO! What we NEED first is someone to make a financial commitment - preferably an endowment - to support DANCERS, not the orchestra that plays for them.<p>[This message has been edited by wordfox (edited January 22, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: Pre-recorded music instead of live orchestra....
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2002 8:19 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 207
Location: Lighting Heaven
Alas, it's been my unfortunate experience that, although most us us accept the performing arts as a collaborative process, many musicians define "collaboration" as "the string section cooperating with the woodwinds".

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 Post subject: Re: Pre-recorded music instead of live orchestra....
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2002 10:20 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 11:01 pm
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Location: El Granada, CA, USA
"After giving the crew trouble from not setting up my chair correctly and then ignoring the tempos set by the conductor and choreographer." Not that I'm better.<P>I have mixed feelings about this. Although I think it is better to have live musical accompaniment, it shouldn't be at the expense of the dancers or other production values.


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 Post subject: Re: Pre-recorded music instead of live orchestra....
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2002 11:31 am 
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Posts: 3000
Location: San Francisco
I've seen performances that were greatly enhanced by live music, even with a less-than-expert orchestra. I'm thinking in particular of a small, local (SF Bay Area) company's "Nutcracker," which I've seen with and without live music, and the live music made a tremendous difference in the excitement of the performance. However, in a performance by another small company, the orchestra was not able to play Stravinsky cleanly, and that I found very distracting. I think I would have preferred canned music, but I might not have felt that way had I not heard the orchestra first.<P>I had the dubious pleasure of performing in a San Francisco Pops dance night, with Arthur Fiedler conducting. I certainly couldn't complain about the quality of the capabilities of the musicians, but Fiedler had his own definite idea of the right tempo for one movement. Unfortunately, it was about half as fast as the recording that had inspired the choreographer to give us lots of jumps. Fiedler refused to alter his tempo, so we got used plodding through the jumps in the rehearsals. But in the performance, Fiedler suddenly decided to play the music seemingly twice as FAST as the recording. I'm sure it sounded fine to the audience, but they must have wondered why the dancers seemed so frantic.<P>To those who would always prefer to have live music, how do you feel about hiring non-union musicians if you can't afford union musicians? Paul Taylor certainly got a lot of flak for doing that.<p>[This message has been edited by djb (edited March 26, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: Pre-recorded music instead of live orchestra....
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2002 3:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 1876
Location: New England
Hey, what about hiring non-union dancers if you can't afford union dancers? Only the best-funded dance companies can afford union dancers.<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Pre-recorded music instead of live orchestra....
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2002 6:35 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 971
Location: Pennsylvania
It's not exactly a simple thing to go from union dancers to non-union dancers (and being as it's the same union, I'm guessing the same is true of musicians, if you've already been using them, but I don't know). The AGMA contract will have all sorts of stipulations about how many dancers must be hired, or more specifically a ratio sort of thing - if the company drops below X number of dancers, they can only have X number of "apprentices" (read minimally paid).<P>Dance should not be forced to stop, because of thefinancial constraints of live musicians, in my opinion.


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 Post subject: Re: Pre-recorded music instead of live orchestra....
PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2002 11:05 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
In a current program at PNB, two of the three choreographers (including Hans van Manen) insisted on taped music even though a live orchestra was available.


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