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 Post subject: Re: Diablo Ballet Thanksgiving Show
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2000 11:39 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Regarding 'recuse', if my Shorter Oxford declares it 'rare' then one wouldn't expect it to turn up in the Concise. I would guesstimate that fewer than 1 in a 1000 English folk ould know what it means. Your religious usage is the only one given in the Shorter, so it looks as if the American usage is a new variation. <P>Of course the Oxford volumes are English English reference works, as opposed to American English. If i write on ballet.co I would always refer to 'contemporary dance' as opposed to the 'modern dance' I use here. Your use of the word 'dialect' sounds appropriate to me, Azlan. English students in Continental Europe have to write at the top of their exam papers whether they are using American English or English English. <P>It's interesting that 'emploi' doesn't appear in Koegler. I checked the Mary Clarke/David Vaughan Encyclopaedia, Kirstein's 'Movement and Metaphor' and a couple of others, without success. I first saw it in the same place that you did, where it was used as a bat to beat current day Artistic Directors about the head. <P><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited May 28, 2002).]


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 Post subject: Re: Diablo Ballet Thanksgiving Show
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2000 11:57 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 269
Question regarding the programming issue, which interests me:<P>--Why question whether Nelson's piece belongs on a family program but not whether Kabaniaev's "Tango" does? Nelson's piece has a serious emotional air about it but less sexually suggestive material than "Tango." Do we question it because Tango, though more sexual, is easier to, as many people put it, "get"? Or because Tango's sexual suggestiveness is not tied to difficult, "adult" feelings but is presented more for amuseument?<P>Does this parallel popular culture in some ways? I mean, that sexually suggestive content devoid of serious emotion or intellectual question is accepted on TV and in other media by a wide audiene, but funding Mapplethorpe's photographs causes a scandal?<P>These ill-formed, hastily posed questions are not at all meant rhetorically.


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 Post subject: Re: Diablo Ballet Thanksgiving Show
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2000 1:33 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
In my humble opinion, I would think that one of the differences between sexually suggestive matter on television and Mapplethorpe's stuff - was in the funding mechanism.<P>As I understand it, Mapplethorpe had received some monies from the National Endowment of the Arts - and therein was much of the argument. Also some of his photographs involved the use of children in very suggestive ways, which rubbed up against the law. Children are not legally in a position to give or withhold their permission.<P>Also, when work is exhibited in a gallery that is publically funded, tax payer issues arise. I am not saying here, wherein lies my personal approval or not - but I think those were some of the differences. <P>Whereas programming on television - except for PBS - is private enterprise. <P>------------------<BR>Approach life as a dancer approaches the barre, with grace and purpose.


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 Post subject: Re: Diablo Ballet Thanksgiving Show
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2000 3:42 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Belinda,<P>This is a familiar question that relates to perception I believe. How many times have we seen in social history an idea in the arts misunderstood and considered a scandal in its time?<P>Take for example the artists in the 19th century who started painting nudes sans the mythical context. What a scandal that caused, especially when the nude's gaze wasn't directed at the floor but straight out at the audience. But put the nude in a mythical context and everything's fine, never mind the fact that the nude is portrayed in an overtly sexual manner.<P>Similarly, I believe the two works mentioned, Nikolai's Tango piece and KT's Relationships piece, are different in terms of perception and context. The Tango piece presented familiar material; the passion even though intense at times did not shock, nor did it evoke any deep emotions. As you say, the sexual innuendo in Tango is now interpreted as merely a show.<P>The Relationships piece on the other hand presented the physical manifestations of deep psychological, emotional and sexual issues, none more so strongly than in the "central couple" in which the woman makes a defiant statement in the very last act by firmly pushing away her partner and bolting away. It is very clear that this is a work about a woman who is suffocated by her relationship and is desperate to leave. How do you explain that to a child?<P>Don't get me wrong though. I love KT's piece. It's very powerful and moving, so much so that my friend sitting next to me was teary eyed at the end. But perhaps this is exactly why it made some uncomfortable.


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 Post subject: Re: Diablo Ballet Thanksgiving Show
PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2000 10:36 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
To be fair, KT's "adult-themed" work did have fun aspects in it as well. The costumes for one were a hoot. And there were more than a few parts that tickled the audience, including the kids. As a matter of fact, the kids around me had a ball with this work, like the "basketball dribbling", the men carrying the women on their shoulders, the human structures, etc. etc.<P>Belinda, DavidH, Daedalus and others, did you find this to be true as well?<P>You're probably right, Grace, in saying that these types of adult themes tend to go over the heads of children anyway. So, why are the adults worried?


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 Post subject: Re: Diablo Ballet Thanksgiving Show
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2000 11:56 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
It's out of sequence but this preview by Rachel Howard of KT Nelson's work just came online:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B><A HREF="http://63.78.169.150/style/default.jsp?story=art.Nelson.11230" TARGET=_blank>Making totally weird work</A></B><BR>By Rachel Howard, SF Examiner<P>The music is Bjork. And the movement is edgy. Dancers blow kisses naively into the air, then catch them with the force of a slap on the face. "Elongate this concept," KT Nelson says, wrapping Kyongho Kim's arms ever tighter around Corinne Jonas. "She's a ball of tension."<P>The same can be said of Nelson herself, engaged in the stomach-churning process of creating a fifth commissioned work for Walnut Creek's Diablo Ballet which closed yesterday after its two-day run. But a lot of her tension has nothing to do with dance making.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><BR><B><A HREF="http://63.78.169.150/style/default.jsp?story=art.Nelson.11230" TARGET=_blank>More</A></B>


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 Post subject: Re: Diablo Ballet Thanksgiving Show
PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2000 12:30 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
I'd like to share with our members an informal e-conversation I had with choreographer KT Nelson who indicated to me that she did consider the family aspect of the Thanksgiving program when she begin creating her work. She stated, "I thought a whole bunch about how my piece was going to go on a Thanksgiving Family program... so I declined my desire to create a very dark piece and found, I thought, a happy compromise, of fun and difficult love."<P>Personally, I felt she succeeded on many levels. The work indeed began on a playful note, with the female dancers running on stage from the front to surprise a dumbstruck Viktor Kabaniaev. The playful note was sustained throughout the work, with serious themes interlaced in between.<P>Nelson feels the serious themes are not only appropriate but also educational for the children in the audience. "[The themes] let children know that love is not easy...," she suggested, "Relationships are work even if they fall delightfully into our lap unexpectedly one day... In the long run something quite else is demanded of us."<P>Nelson also agreed with some of our members as to the skewed perceptions of sexuality in the comparison of her work to Nikolai Kabaniaev's tango work on the same family program. She asked, "Was the sexuality in the Tango, something more familiar and acceptable so that it felt more neutral?"<P>She defined the differences between the works quite clearly: "So the question is what are the real messages of sexuality in each piece? I personally thought my piece was about love and the work of relationships and sexuality happened to be part of the package. I thought Nikolai's piece was about sexuality... just one that has been taken into the fold of our culture and so it slips into our skin with ease."<P>All this controversy doesn't seem to faze this choreographer, as her work has made us think. Like most of us at criticaldance.com, she believes that talking about dance is an important part of the dance experience. According to her, "thinking about dance is very important. The only way we can stretch our seeing and be able to embrace a greater understanding of what we see is by talking. But how are we suppose to understand and grasp something outside of our cultural exposure without effort?"<P>To this effort, she praised this forum at criticaldance.com when she added, "I think this is an excellent format to do just that."


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