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 Post subject: "Ballet as Cultural Cancer"
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2000 4:54 pm 
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Location: Australia
haha!<P>transcribed from ballet.co.uk, with thanks to ann williams - and i DO hope she doesn't mind - ann? Image<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>According to today's 'Time Out' Ballet as 'Cultural Cancer' (in the immortal<BR> words of Germaine Greer) will be the subject of a discussion organised by BIG<BR> (Ballet Independents' Group)to be held at the Thames Pavilion of the Royal<BR> Festival Hall on Monday 11 Dec. at 7 pm. All are invited to come and express<BR> their opinions; the telephone number given is 0208 741 2842.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>BIG is Jennifer Jackson and Susan Crow, ex SWRB, who founded their own company.<P>apparently there has been a previous such event with a different topic.<P>stuart sweeney, i feel your attendance at this one may be most suitable.......<P>go, germaine! Image<P>

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 Post subject: Re: "Ballet as Cultural Cancer"
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2000 7:16 pm 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Germaine made this remark in a TV critics programme covering 'Billy Elliott'.


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 Post subject: Re: "Ballet as Cultural Cancer"
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2000 7:49 pm 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Am I the only one who doesn't have the faintest idea of what this is about?


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 Post subject: Re: "Ballet as Cultural Cancer"
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2000 10:47 pm 
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Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
No you're not, could someone elaborate?


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 Post subject: Re: "Ballet as Cultural Cancer"
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2000 3:12 pm 
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Location: London, UK
Grace - no, I certainly don't mind being quoted here - I'm flattered!<P>Basheva, the background is that some weeks ago, Germaine Greer (well known Australian feminist and philosopher)was reviewing 'Billy Elliott' on a BBC TV arts programme. She described ballet as 'cultural cancer' in a throwaway remark which went entirely unchallenged amongst the other three members of the panel. However,it didn't get past me - no siree - and I posted to Ballet.co and wrote an outraged letter to the Sunday Telegraph, whose ballet critic had commented on the matter in her review column the following Sunday. The letter wasn't published, probably because they had more important stuff to deal with that week.<BR>Then this week I read in the dance listings of 'Time Out' that an organisation called BIG was holding a seminar titled 'Ballet as Cultural Cancer' at the Festival Hall next Monday so I posted this information to Ballet.co asking for information about BIG, which I had never heard of, and Grace posted right back saying that she couldn't understand why BIG was unknown by us and Bruce explained that BIG (Ballet Independents' Group) in fact had a rather small profile and was intended mostly for teachers and dance professionals.<P>Thank you for your patience, ladies and gentlemen. I shall be going to the event and if it is of any interest I will report back on it.


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 Post subject: Re: "Ballet as Cultural Cancer"
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2000 4:49 pm 
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I would certainly be interested in hearing what happened Anne. If ballet is a cultural cancer then I am certainly one of the malignant cells.


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 Post subject: Re: "Ballet as Cultural Cancer"
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2000 5:52 pm 
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LOL basheva - i wouldn't like to think of you that way, so i hope the negative case wins the debate! Image<P>ann - thanks so much for your permission and for posting. i haven't been back to ballet.co yet, so have yet to see bruce's response - but was just genuinely asking how BIG is positioned in london. since i, in australia, DID know who they were, i was surprised that someone at london's own ballet.co forum would ask....even more surprised if it was you!?! Image<P>i'm sure it helped my remembering who they are, that jennifer jackson was in perth to choreograph for a dance school i teach at, the year before last - although she never mentioned it herself at the time, but i was aware of it, on the internet, then...<P>actually, my suspicion was that she was in perth to interview/audition for the directorship of the local ballet company - but that is pure conjecture on my part. if she did, i was certainly most surprised that she didn't get the position. i do think she might well have been an asset here...

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 Post subject: Re: "Ballet as Cultural Cancer"
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2000 10:45 pm 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Here's a link to the BIG website. Susan Crow of BIG tells me that she looks in on criticaldance from time to time and enjoys the discussons. <BR> <A HREF="http://www.red56.co.uk/big/" TARGET=_blank>http://www.red56.co.uk/big/</A> <P>Germaine Grier was an alternative life style enfant terrible in 60s England, when she was a lecturer in English at Oxford (I think). She remains a high profile media figure with a range of controversial views.<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: "Ballet as Cultural Cancer"
PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2000 9:07 pm 
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Susie, welcome and thanks for the update.


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 Post subject: Re: "Ballet as Cultural Cancer"
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2000 4:13 pm 
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yes, welcome susie. some of us read ballet.co.uk - but some don't, so if you can report yourself here, or arrange for someone else to, so much the better. Image<P>if i was there, i would contact ms. greer myself! i think she needs another impassioned articulate australian woman, to sort her out re ballet! Image

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 Post subject: Re: "Ballet as Cultural Cancer"
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2000 4:14 pm 
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dear susie, can you get me an email for germaine? yes, i'm serious: if she's going to keep making these remarks, i think she needs my help....

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 Post subject: Re: "Ballet as Cultural Cancer"
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2000 4:39 pm 
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Grace - say hello to her from me - one of the vulgar malignant cells she admires so very much..........


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 Post subject: Re: "Ballet as Cultural Cancer"
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2000 9:02 am 
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Ann Williams got along to the BIG meeting and has written it up for ballet.co.uk. In the absence of Ms Greer it might have been useful to get another robust non-ballet fan along.<P> <A HREF="http://www.danze.co.uk/dcforum/happening/1133.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.danze.co.uk/dcforum/happening/1133.html</A> <p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited December 12, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: "Ballet as Cultural Cancer"
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2000 12:48 pm 
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I’ve been thinking a lot about this thread. I should say outright that most of my life I’ve been a ballet hater, a downtown snob, purely postmodern. Even though, or perhaps especially because, I danced briefly in a very small regional US ballet company. I once told an interviewer that I’d rather watch a seal balance a ball on its nose than watch ballet. Lately I’m developing an appreciation and respect for it, but the idea of ballet as cultural cancer still resonates with me and I’ll tell you why.<P>What attracts me to dance -- what I watch when I watch dance -- is not what the dancers are doing, but who they are being. In amateur or poorly performed ballet, I see dancers being anxious, self-involved, effortful. Always straining to stay on balance, always straining for higher extension. In "good" ballet (I mean the world-class companies, and I admit I’ve not seen a lot) I see the rarified, effete, self-satisfied mannerisms of a bygone era. I see stratified, codified gender roles and standards of beauty that alienate me and don’t move me. I can be intrigued by the history of certain classics but I rarely see myself represented.<P>Then there is the problem of empty technical virtuosity. The website "Andros on Ballet" has a wonderful article on this topic: <A HREF="http://androsdance.tripod.com/features/has_ballet_become_track_and_field.htm." TARGET=_blank>http://androsdance.tripod.com/features/has_ballet_become_track_and_field.htm.</A> <P>So, a question to you ballet lovers from the outside: do I just need to see more of it? Teach me how to recognize the beingness of ballet.<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: "Ballet as Cultural Cancer"
PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2000 1:04 pm 
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I'm having trouble with that URL cdtooth. Could you check it again, please?


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