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 Post subject: Why no filming of the Kirov season?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2001 2:48 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2001 11:01 pm
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Location: London, UK
Call me old-fashioned. But what ever happened to the practice of filming performances by stellar visiting companies such as the Kirov, for transmission months later by the BBC? Time was, a visiting Bolshoi or Kirov could hardly set pointe on floor without the hum of a video somewhere. Mr and Mrs Hochhauser have, I'm sure we'ld all agree, sought full commercial advantage from the Kirov's visit. Why leave this obvious option unused? <BR>Or have the BBC simply given up on broadcasting dance?


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 Post subject: Re: Why no filming of the Kirov season?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2001 4:37 pm 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
I have wondered the same thing Nino - about PBS and the "Live From Lincoln Center" series that did so much to advance dance to a general audience.<P>My theory is that this practice of televising these performances ended with the advent of the VCR.<P>what do you think?


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 Post subject: Re: Why no filming of the Kirov season?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2001 6:57 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
From what I understand, many performances are no longer filmed or videotaped due to lack of funding. The cost to produce a film or a videotape of high enough quality for broadcast or distribution is exorbitant. It was probably one of the first things to go when the NEA cut funding. In a Words on Dance program about a year ago, if I recall correctly, Helgi Tomasson said that he wished he could have the money to produce videos of SFB's performances (I'm sure someone from SFB will correct me if I am wrong).


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 Post subject: Re: Why no filming of the Kirov season?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2001 10:15 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
You raise a good question Nino. A belated welcome to criticaldance - hope you enjoy your time here.<P>I think it is generally agreed that there is less dance on the main UK terrestial channels than there was some time ago. Perhaps the specialist channels that are turning up will do better. The Wayne McGregor and Siobhan Davies programmes for BBC Knowledge may be indications for the future, but for cost reasons I suspect that it will be the smaller companies that feature.<P>Turning to the question of the Kirov, I don't know the situation. As you probably know the BBC filmed a recent Royal Ballet triple except for Balanchine's 'Agon'. Unsubstantiated rumours suggest that this was because of the views of the Balanchine Trust, however these rumours have not been refuted by the Trust as far as I know. it may be that the Kirov Balanchine pieces would face similar problems.<P>My impression is that for large scale filming of the Kirov at the ROH, the BBC would only do it if they could sell the programme elsewhere and put it out on DVD. There may well be Kirov contractual arrangements in place that would preclude this. <P>Leaving aside legalities it would certianly have been good to have at least part of this Kirov tour on film. The BBC programmes from the 1960s of the Bolshoi provide an excellent record of that period.


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 Post subject: Re: Why no filming of the Kirov season?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2001 11:08 pm 
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Location: London, UK
Hmm...I'm sure you're right about contractual arrangements. And I have no great insight into the commercial realities of fine arts programming, whether free to air (eg BBC terrestial, PBS) or pay-per-view. <BR>But surely the demand, and the desire to supply, are clearly present? Demand: sell out for the Kirov Opera and Ballet, both this and last, for their London season. Similar response to Kirov in their other foreign tours. Kirov/Mariinsky, under Gergiev's magic touch, a brand name shining exceptionally brightly. Growth in sales of classical ballet videos/DVDs in general. Supply: the Kirov's ever-present need for income to mount new productions. I would have thought an entrepreneur somewhere could connect the two together - if not for an outlet on BBC or PBS, then by video/DVD.<BR>Anyone know if any plans for filming Kirov performances elsewhere? New York next year, for example?


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 Post subject: Re: Why no filming of the Kirov season?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2001 1:33 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2001 11:01 pm
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Location: London UK
I'm sure the Kirov films a lot of performances and indeed I spotted a camera set up in a box in the grand tier recently, but I'm not sure if these recording are made commercially available. <P>The Bolshoi sells videos of recent opera and ballet performances in the theatre foyer and while in Moscow last year I bought videos of a recent gala dedicated to Ekaterina Maximova; Giselle with Lunkina and Tsiskaridze and Glinka's opera A Life for the Tsar which has an entire act of dancing. I saw the same videos on sale elswhere in Europe at Bolshoi performances and they were selling very well indeed. However no sign of them at Drury Lane where the Bolshoi recently danced. Does UK have import restrictions on Russian goods? I do wish that marketing departments would realise that for ballet fans, one video is worth any number of souvenir mugs and tee shirts.<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Why no filming of the Kirov season?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2001 4:23 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2001 11:01 pm
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Location: London, UK
UK import restrictions? Dont think so. There's a reasonably full range of foreign videos on ballet in Covent Garden shop, and longer lists of ballet videos are available via amazon.co.uk, blackstar.co.uk etc for sale and supply in the UK. So I don't think import restrictions can be the answer.<BR>If filming is happening, it doesn't seem (as far as I can tell) to be for commercial release. I was in Petersburg last February: all the videos on sale in the Mariinsky Theatre shop there are already available via UK outlets...and if I remember rightly none of the videos in the Mariinsky shop were recently (as in last 2 years) recorded. So what's the outlet for the filming that you've seen...domestic (ie Russian) TV? <BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Why no filming of the Kirov season?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2001 10:55 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area
Well, there is a huge difference between filming a performance for distribution and filming it for archival or studio use. Have you ever seen homemade films? Well, the quality that you get from those small cameras, with poor lighting and untrained crew is like that of a homemade film. Just because you have one camera filming the show, it doesn't mean that the resulting film can be broadcast. You have to have a whole crew with lots of good cameras, high-quality film, good lighting, and lots of expertise. All this costs money.


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