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Thread: Is This Ballet?

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marsilius View Post
    Very true. Let's, however, recall that the name of this website is Talk Classical.
    You must mean Talk Bor-ing!

  2. #17
    Senior Member Marsilius's Avatar
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    Like any art form, classical ballet has its own universally-accepted language, rules and standards to which all its executants aspire. Once you appreciate those, it is anything but boring.

    Modern choreography has largely abandoned that established language in favour of the idiosyncracies of individual choreographers. Because there are no longer many widely-accepted and objectively-judged common standards, artistic judgements are now almost entirely subjective.

    It may seem boring to have to do a bit of work over time in order to learn to appreciate the classical ballet art form, but as many here will testify, it ultimately pays off.
    Last edited by Marsilius; Nov-08-2019 at 06:52.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marsilius View Post
    Like any art form, classical ballet has its own universally-accepted language, rules and standards to which all its executants aspire. Once you appreciate those, it is anything but boring.

    Modern choreography has largely abandoned that established language in favour of the idiosyncracies of individual choreographers. Because there are no longer many widely-accepted and objectively-judged common standards, artistic judgements are now almost entirely subjective.

    It may seem boring to have to do a bit of work over time in order to learn to appreciate the classical ballet art form, but as many here will testify, it ultimately pays off.
    I've got better things to do than pay homage to history. I also disagree with your conflation of tradition with "objectivity." This is art, not science.

    "Objective standards?" That's very pretentious
    Last edited by millionrainbows; Nov-08-2019 at 15:20.

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    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    A lot of my knowledge about ballet comes from Jennifer Homans' "Apollos's Angels: A History of Ballet." This from the Wall Street Journal review:

    -----------------------------------------------

    How to explain this art form to them? Ms. Homans, a former dancer turned academic, has focused on answering the question: "How had the art come to embody ideas, or a people, or a time?" For while the story she tells begins very specifically in France, in the 16th century, it crosses continents and plays politics. "Ballet," she writes, "was shaped by the Renaissance and French Classicism, by revolutions and Romanticism, by Expressionism and Bolshevism, modernism and the Cold War." "Apollo's Angels," then, is the intellectual history of a deeply physical form. Ms. Homans lays the stress on ideas—and, by extension, idealism.

    -----------------------------------------------

    As I was growing up, I believe I saw each of the Tchaikovsky ballets once. I had no interest in seeing them - or any other ballets - again. It was about 15 years ago when I asked a friend of mine (whose brother had been a principal dancer at NYCB) where to start with ballet. She invited me to a performance that included Balanchine's "Serenade" (to Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings) and "Stravinsky Violin Concerto" I was gobsmacked. This was beauty. Neither work has a traditional story (although something's going on in Serenade). What entranced me was the way the choreographer and dancers responded to the music. The dancer and the dance became one.

    And as the music varied so did the choreography. "Glass Pieces" is obviously heavily influenced by modern dance. But when Robbins' turns to Chopin, his style is very different. This from his masterpiece, "Dances at a Gathering," again performed by the Paris Ballet:



    This is a more subtle blending of classical movement with some hints of modern.

    Over time I have grown to appreciate story ballet, but my heart is still with non-story.

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    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
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    Is it ballet? If it moves poetically like a duck, leaps gracefully in the air like a duck, and pirouettes in a ballet tutu like a duck, it’s probably a duck. Tchaikovsky wrote a lot of music for the ballet. So did Stravinsky but all the ducks went up in flames in The Rite of Spring. Ballet is marvelous to watch.
    Last edited by Larkenfield; Nov-09-2019 at 17:09.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larkenfield View Post
    Is it ballet? If it moves poetically like a duck, leaps gracefully in the air like a duck, and pirouettes in a ballet tutu like a duck, it’s probably a duck.
    ...As long as it adheres to a universally-accepted language, and rules and standards to which all its executants aspire.

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    Senior Member Marsilius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    ...As long as it adheres to a universally-accepted language, and rules and standards to which all its executants aspire.
    You hit the nail on the head exactly.

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    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jegreenwood View Post


    This is a more subtle blending of classical movement with some hints of modern.

    Over time I have grown to appreciate story ballet, but my heart is still with non-story.
    Wow! Loved every moment... especially when the ballerinas were tossed through the air and the spontaneous applause. I detect a hint of the modern too with the noticeable independence of each dancer, and then, of course, their unity. Wonderful! The choreography seemed to fit perfectly with one of Chopin's charming waltzes. When played in a more straightforward and steady tempo (no exaggerated rubato), he can be quite danceable and would occasionally play for dancing at social gatherings. This side of him is not mentioned enough. When not desperate about his health, he could be quite agreeable, joyous, and willing to please. Wonderful choreography!
    Last edited by Larkenfield; Nov-24-2019 at 10:50.
    "That's all Folks!"

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