CriticalDance Forum

Standing Ovations and the Chronicle Critic
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Author:  touche [ Mon May 22, 2006 11:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Standing Ovations and the Chronicle Critic

It would be nice if the Chronicle critical writer matched with the audience reaction once in a while.

Author:  Michael Goldbarth [ Tue May 23, 2006 5:32 pm ]
Post subject: 

The above story reminds me of a certain phrase I use from time to time:
“The sound of one hand clapping!”
:lol: I am not familiar with the San Francisco area being north of the border. Are there other newspapers who print reviews? This may provide a balance. We in Toronto have the opposite problem to yours. Some critics love everything and are loath to print a poor review – even if it is warranted. Anyone remember ‘the contract?’

I hope the critic in questions backs up his thoughts with evidence of his observations in an intelligent manner. Rest assured, eventually he will be found out. Sooner or later incompetence will be exposed to the cold light of truth.

Click HERE for the review by Michael Wade Simpson which inspired the above posting.

I never saw the ballet but I do believe Mr. Simpson backed up his observations. Too bad he didn’t mention the audience reaction. I write reviews for fun on CD and try to be as honest as possible. Honesty means reporting a strong audience reaction, even if it contradicts with your view. :wink:

Author:  Catherine Pawlick [ Wed May 24, 2006 11:18 am ]
Post subject: 

Hi touche and Michael,

A very interesting thread this is. To further Michael's comment, I am a San Francisco native, born and raised, and have seen (and read) quite a range of critics' works in the Chronicle. Unfortunately, with financial crises for major national papers now becoming a trend, the city no longer has the Examiner as an "other voice" to compare with. (I'm told the Examiner is now under ten pages and delivered free to most Bay Area residents).

For a more expanded viewpoint, you might check out the Contra Costa Times. Mary Ellen Hunt, who was Executive Editor of this site for several years, was and is their ballet critic and I can attest to the fairness of her reviews. They usually, (not always but usually) cover the same premieres as the Chron does (and Examiner did). So a separate viewpoint can be found there.

I am curious what the audience reaction was regarding Diablo's season closing program. What was left out of the review, in your opinion?

After reading it just now, I would answer his introductory question in the negative: No, nothing is wrong when the younger members of a troupe dance well, or even "out-dance" the elder members. What that shows is good artistic selection, and that the company has a future in those dancers. It is a harbor of promise for the future. It is a good sign. But that's just my opnion.

Author:  DavidH [ Wed May 24, 2006 11:51 am ]
Post subject: 

Well stated Catherine. Unfortunately Mary Ellen wasn't able to review this performance.

What I felt missing from the review was a mention of specific dancers and the wonderful quality that all of the Diablo Ballet dancers bring to any/all choreography. Of course I'm partial to the company and I enjoy each of our dancers very much. In my Very Humble Opinion I don't think it's out of reach to say that what Tina Kay Bohnstedt is bringing to the stage is about as good as it gets and on a par with any of the great dancers working now in any ballet company.

As for the Apprentice Dancers, they are a unique and gifted group of young women and Viktor Kabaniaev and Tina Kay are doing an outstanding job of teaching/grooming/mentoring them. I'm certain that a few audience members may have been puzzled by their inclusion on the program (the Apprentice Program isn't even a year old yet) and were quite surprised at the level of skill/artistry they brought to the "table."
Go Girls is not the type of choreography that students typically perform.

It was a terrific weekend of dance and our audiences were (and are) very supportive and very, very appreciative of the high level of dance that Diablo Ballet brings to the community. In the end, for me, that's what it's about - pleasing and entertaining the audience.


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