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 Post subject: The purpose of a critic
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 12:12 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2006 11:30 am
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I understand the inclination to agree with the LA critic Lewis Segal. A lot of what the he was saying is valid, but I really can't agree with manner in which he wrote it.
LA is an artistic waste-land (at least for dance). A destructive article like this will do far more harm to the few poor companies trying to survive there, than it possibly could in a more healthy environment (like NYC or SanFran) where there is some physical evidence of good choreography to rebut it.
Lewis Segal could have easily used the article to educate the public about dance while expressing the same opinion. (This is his job, and in LA it is an absolute necessity.) The LA times is directed to the general public, not to the dance community. He takes for granted that the public knows that there is an alternative to ballet in modern dance, but I can tell you from experience that the average person has no idea that there is anything outside of broadway, music videos, nutcracker, and stripping. It would have been easy for him to use his distaste for ballet to get people to go see a modern dance performance instead. He did not do this.
Also, while I agree that most contemporary ballet choreography is hardly worth watching and that the classics are over-done in the states, that does not mean that ballet technique is in any way at fault. Many excellent dance pieces have been made using ballet technique as a foundation. For example look at the work of William Forsythe, Nacho Duato, Mats Ek, Jyri Killian, Alonzo King, Mathew Bourne, Edouard Lock, etc.
Even the early work of Pina Bausch was based on ballet technique.
Now, I know that not many companies have work by these masters in their repertoire... But maybe we should ask why not?
And perhaps our dance critics should be looking at why the state of contemporary ballet choreography is so bad in the US, rather than making it harder for the upcoming generations of choreographers to gather an audience.

Now I know that this thread has out-lived its time, but I would love to hear an honest reponse to my last question. Why is most contemporary ballet choreography in the USA so bad?


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 Post subject: Re: The purpose of a critic
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 8:25 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 259
Location: Key Biscayne, Florida, USA
Interesting points :? :? :?

CW wrote:
I can tell you from experience that the average person has no idea that there is anything outside of broadway, music videos, nutcracker, and stripping.


<homer simposon voice> Striiiiiipping </ homer simpson voice>

CW wrote:
Now, I know that not many companies have work by these masters in their repertoire... But maybe we should ask why not?


Simple answer my friend, $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Cash Money, Money Cash 8) 8) .

CW wrote:
Now I know that this thread has out-lived its time, but I would love to hear an honest reponse to my last question. Why is most contemporary ballet choreography in the USA so bad?


Not many threads outlive their time here on CD :lol: . I would like to answer this last question by stating that your opinion on contemporary ballet choreography is just that, an opinion, I strongly disagree with you :evil: . There are many quality pieces of contemporary ballet choreography existing as well as being created on an ongoing basis in this country. There are also quite a few that may or may not suite one's taste. This goes for most other forms of dance as well including modern dance, performance art, contact improvisation, an so on. Not everyone is going to hit the nail on the head when they create a piece of repertoire, that is why it is called a creative process. The more that process evolves and prepetuates the more experience young budding choreographers gain and in turn refine their styles to help define an era of choreographic vision and influence. I know this may sound strange to you but try not to look at choreography as good or bad, but rather, a fundamental aspect of our survival as creative artists.[/quote]


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 9:39 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2004 11:01 pm
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Location: USA (Midwest)
I totally agree with you, osiris661, on the cash and "stripping" issues, but I have to say that I, also, find that there's an awful lot of awful contemporary choreography, though I doubt it's limited to just the U.S. But I don't think that's necessarily an awful thing -- I suspect it's just the nature of the process. Because so many of the contemporary performing arts reject the structures and vocabularies of the more classical forms that came before them, I think it's really hard to get it right. With classical dance, for example, an existing "language" is being used, so it's easier to find something to say with it. With contemporary, a lot of times, you're not just finding something to say, you're also creating a new language. And that's got to be a lot more difficult to pull off. For me, personally, I would love to see more choreographers today using the old language!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 11:12 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 11:01 pm
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Location: El Granada, CA, USA
Remember that there was probably an awful lot of awful classical ballet as well, but over time it has disappeared from the repertory and we are not subjected to it in modern times. The good stuff that is being made now will survive and the bad stuff will blessedly disappear into oblivion. That is the way of art in general I think.


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