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Subject: "personal dance 'archives'" Archived thread - Read only
 
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Liz P

17-03-01, 10:46 PM (GMT)
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"personal dance 'archives'"
 
   I'd like to ask fellow ballet fans, particularly those who have been watching dance for some time, how they 'record' what they have seen. Do people simply keep programmes and cast lists, do they keep performance diaries. What about photos etc. I know I'm in danger of bringing a train-spotter mentality to this but I'm wondering about starting a record on the computer so I know who I saw and when. At the moment, after only a few years of watching ballet I'm happy to keep it all in my head, but I'm sure in 30 years time I might want to remember more detail. As the cast list is the unique record of any individual performance could BRB improve theirs so it fits inside the programme and doesn't get ruined on the way home.


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: personal dance 'archives' Karen 18-03-01 1
  RE: personal dance 'archives' Jane S 18-03-01 2
     RE: personal dance 'archives' pantoose 18-03-01 3
  RE: personal dance 'archives' Caz 18-03-01 4
     RE: personal dance 'archives' Jim 18-03-01 5
         RE: personal dance 'archives' Sonja 19-03-01 6
             RE: personal dance 'archives' James Bellingham 19-03-01 7
                 RE: personal dance 'archives' Sonja 20-03-01 8
                     RE: personal dance 'archives' sugar plum fairy 29-03-01 9
                         RE: personal dance 'archives' Liz P 29-03-01 10

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Karen

18-03-01, 06:59 AM (GMT)
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1. "RE: personal dance 'archives'"
In response to message #0
 
   I always keep my programmes. Here in the US they are free. They are put out by a company called "Playbill" with certain parts of the programme changed for each theatre. For Lincoln Center productions, eg. they have a different cover for each theatre and this changes monthly. What I'll do for, say, the ABT season which runs from April - June is keep one complete programme for each month and tear out the cast sheet for each performance and stick them into the one complete programme. That way, at the end of the 3 months I'll only have 3 "fat" programmes instead of a whole lot of them. Of course ABT runs opposite part of the City Ballet season - so I'll have a couple of those as well. If there's a special performance, I'll try to keep that one intact. I always write cast changes in rather than keep the pesky inserts they use - too easy to lose them. Back when I first started going to the ballet (in the last millenium!) I used to tape my ticket stub onto the programme cover - but back then the programmes were bigger and a LOT thinner. I don't think I've ever written comments on the performances. Perhaps I should have. I have frieds remind me about seeing someone do something-or-other and find I have absolutely no recollection of it. Other things stick in my head like glue.

Perhaps had computers been around I might have kept a log. It might be fun to do that anyway. On one of the American dance boards, Ballet Alert, there was a recent discussion about performers people would have liked to have seen. I suddenly realized that I had seen nearly all the people the others were "missing" - except of course for people like Pavlova, Karsavina, Nijinsky, etc. I'm a little too young for that. Someday you will be in that position - the person who saw all those dancers "in the good old days."


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Jane S

18-03-01, 12:02 PM (GMT)
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2. "RE: personal dance 'archives'"
In response to message #0
 
   I once asked exactly this question on balletalert, and the thread is still there in the archives, if you want to have a look at what people said:

http://www.balletalert.com/ubb/Archives/Archive-000007/HTML/19990911-7-000027.html

I've played around with a database solution but the labour of transcribing all my programmes into it is just too off putting!


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pantoose

18-03-01, 02:36 PM (GMT)
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3. "RE: personal dance 'archives'"
In response to message #2
 
   This is a very topical question. After years of seeing ballet, opera, and performance art, I have stacks of programs. Usually, I try to keep each season's tied together in a bundle, but after a while it's as pointless as just throwing them out.

With years of stacks, it's not possible to remember just when or where one saw something. Rising stars, who might not have been featured in a cast list, are lost in the stack. I realized this a few years ago when Dawn Upshaw mentioned in an interview she had performed in a Korngold opera shortly after graduation in Manhattan. I remembered seeing the performance, and the wonderful female lead, but I had completely forgotten the newcomer's name was Dawn Upshaw.

The best answer is to enter each performance's cast list into a database like Microsoft Access. The info could be instantly searchable by date, title, performer, etc.

But I'll never do it. I'd have to enter past data for months and the task of updating it after each new performance would be too onerous.

What we need is a certralized web service were worldwide performances are recorded (perhaps in the context of a booking service or an artists management program). Then, we could search for specific data and download it to something like Access or Excel. Or they could offer a web-based "My Performances" type service.

Recently, I've tried something else. I usually keep all my appointments in Microsoft Outlook. When I enter a date for a ballet, for example, I'll copy and paste the cast lists from the company's web site. Appointments are easy to browse when looking back, and you can, to some extent, search for data.

Frankly, nothing really works very well, though. Does anyone else have suggestions?


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Caz

18-03-01, 10:46 PM (GMT)
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4. "RE: personal dance 'archives'"
In response to message #0
 
   I always keep my programmes, but everything else I just keep in my head. The idea of reducing what I've seen to database entries would completely ruin the magic for me.


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Jim

18-03-01, 11:16 PM (GMT)
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5. "RE: personal dance 'archives'"
In response to message #4
 
   I agree entirely with Caz. I have some beloved programmes going back to my teenage days of Fonteyn, Grey, Park, etc which can even now bring back wonderful memories. In those days each performance's programme was unique with the cast list printed into the programme. These days I usually paste the cast list inside the programme so that it doesn't get lost. I also try to keep little erratum or last-minute cast-change slips.

Where a video of a production I have seen is televised, or available on a commercial video, I like to have that too. But the idea of computerising ballet records horrifies me. I do that for bird-watching etc, but not for ballet! Having said that, I find the notes I make for ballet.co is also a form of record. Only the other day I dragged out my "review" of the Ninette de Valois gala to remind myself what I said about Sarah Wildor in The Rake's Progress, thanks to Bruce's excellent archiving. I suppose that is a form of computerised record.


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Sonja

19-03-01, 11:29 AM (GMT)
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6. "RE: personal dance 'archives'"
In response to message #5
 
   ...as we don't get any cast lists here in Munich, I have started the routine of taking notes (and scribbling down the cast) for each performance. I have only been a ballet-goer for 6 years and only started this habit about 3 years ago - but I am already facing tons of paper... However (as I also stated on balletalert) I use writing down notes as a way to "clear my head" and to be open for new performances. Once I wrote the "key words" of a performance down, I don't have to keep them in mind - and looking at them later brings back not only the words, but the whole feeling of that performance...!


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James Bellingham

19-03-01, 11:33 PM (GMT)
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7. "RE: personal dance 'archives'"
In response to message #6
 
   .... as a relative newcomer, I am reassured to see that older hands haven't really solved this either... after only a year of ballet attendance I have realised I had to do this, and started noting down last night my memories of the last year...


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Sonja

20-03-01, 10:43 AM (GMT)
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8. "RE: personal dance 'archives'"
In response to message #7
 
   Good luck in doing so, James (and a lot of energy...)!!


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sugar plum fairy

29-03-01, 01:56 PM (GMT)
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9. "RE: personal dance 'archives'"
In response to message #8
 
   when i get the chance to see anything , i usually take two programmes ( incase one gets damaged ) , photos if i can get them and of course cuttings from the papers ( if they have anything).sometimes there is merchandise on offer in the foyer , depending on what it is and how relevant it is i might buy some.


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Liz P

29-03-01, 10:07 PM (GMT)
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10. "RE: personal dance 'archives'"
In response to message #9
 
   Thank you everyone for your replies-reassuring to know I'm not the only trainspotter!


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