HomeMagazineListingsUpdateLinksContexts

 


 Ballet.co Postings Pages

 Some Special Threads:
  GPDTalk about George Piper Dances ! NEW !
  NBTTalk about Northern Ballet Theatre
  SBTalk about Scottish Ballet
  ENBTalk about English National Ballet
  BRBTalk about Birmingham Royal Ballet
  TodaysLinks - worldwide daily dance links
  Ballet.co GetTogethers - meetings and drinks...

  Help on New Postings


Subject: "BalletCo Poll" Archived thread - Read only
 
  Previous Topic | Next Topic
Printer-friendly copy     Email this topic to a friend    
Conferences What's Happening Topic #1838
Reading Topic #1838
Ann Williams

04-07-01, 12:30 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail Ann%20Williams Click to send private message to Ann%20Williams Click to add this user to your buddy list  
"BalletCo Poll"
 
   I've been temporarily put in charge of the Poll section, and have been racking my brains for ideas. I've come up with this so far:-

which of the following choreographers do you think will still be performed in 2100:-
- David Bintley
-Christopher Bruce
- Mats Ek
- Twyla Tharp

Anyone like to suggest others for this list?


  Printer-friendly page | Top

  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: BalletCo Poll alison 04-07-01 1
     RE: BalletCo Poll Bruce Madmin 04-07-01 2
  RE: BalletCo Poll lara 04-07-01 3
     RE: BalletCo Poll Amy 04-07-01 4
         RE: BalletCo Poll Susan 04-07-01 5
             RE: BalletCo Poll Amy 04-07-01 6
         RE: BalletCo Poll Bruce Madmin 05-07-01 8
     RE: BalletCo Poll b 04-07-01 7
         RE: BalletCo Poll Bruce Madmin 05-07-01 9
             RE: BalletCo Poll Angela 05-07-01 10
                 RE: BalletCo Poll Ann Williams 05-07-01 11
                     RE: BalletCo Poll Brendan 05-07-01 12
                         RE: BalletCo Poll Isobel Houghton 14-07-01 13
                             RE: BalletCo Poll Bruce Madmin 15-07-01 14
                             RE: BalletCo Poll Isobel Houghton 16-07-01 15
                             RE: BalletCo Poll Isobel Houghton 16-07-01 16
                             RE: BalletCo Poll Ann Williams 16-07-01 17
                             Ballet poll Isobel Houghton 17-07-01 18
                             RE: BalletCo Poll Jane S 17-07-01 19
                             RE: BalletCo Poll Isobel Houghton 17-07-01 20
  Results Ann Williams 23-07-01 21

Conferences | Topics | Previous Topic | Next Topic
alison

04-07-01, 12:56 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail alison Click to send private message to alison Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
1. "RE: BalletCo Poll"
In response to message #0
 
   It did occur to me that you could re-run the current poll, but for English National Ballet rather than the Royal.


  Printer-friendly page | Top
Bruce Madmin

04-07-01, 01:16 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail Bruce%20M Click to send private message to Bruce%20M Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
2. "RE: BalletCo Poll"
In response to message #1
 
   ENB is a good idea for a future poll.

re teh choreographers poll what about

Forsythe
Kylian
Morris


  Printer-friendly page | Top
lara

04-07-01, 05:21 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail lara Click to send private message to lara Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
3. "RE: BalletCo Poll"
In response to message #0
 
   I would add Matthew Bourne to the list.


>which of the following choreographers do
>you think will still be
>performed in 2100:-
>- David Bintley
> -Christopher Bruce
>- Mats Ek
>- Twyla Tharp
>
>Anyone like to suggest others for
>this list?



  Printer-friendly page | Top
Amy

04-07-01, 07:10 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail Amy Click to send private message to Amy Click to add this user to your buddy list  
4. "RE: BalletCo Poll"
In response to message #3
 
   How about Bejart? Wheeldon?


  Printer-friendly page | Top
Susan

04-07-01, 07:22 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail Susan Click to send private message to Susan Click to add this user to your buddy list  
5. "RE: BalletCo Poll"
In response to message #4
 
   Martha Graham (Appalachian Spring, Clytemnestra)?


  Printer-friendly page | Top
Amy

04-07-01, 07:38 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail Amy Click to send private message to Amy Click to add this user to your buddy list  
6. "RE: BalletCo Poll"
In response to message #5
 
   Carrying on from that then, Merce Cunningham. This could be a very long list!


  Printer-friendly page | Top
Bruce Madmin

05-07-01, 07:09 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail Bruce%20M Click to send private message to Bruce%20M Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
8. "RE: BalletCo Poll"
In response to message #4
 
   >How about Bejart? Wheeldon?

I have high hopes of Wheeldon (and some others!) but I think it probably a little soon for him to appear in such list as this.



  Printer-friendly page | Top
b

04-07-01, 09:06 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail b Click to send private message to b Click to add this user to your buddy list  
7. "RE: BalletCo Poll"
In response to message #3
 
   I definitely think Forsythe is the most influential choreographer, and I am shocked that he wasnt on the original list. Petipa,Balanchine and then its forsythe. however these are more balletical choreographers. Kylian, Van Manen deserve to be there to. How can you put forsythe after bintley there is no comparison.


  Printer-friendly page | Top
Bruce Madmin

05-07-01, 07:17 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail Bruce%20M Click to send private message to Bruce%20M Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
9. "RE: BalletCo Poll"
In response to message #7
 
   >How can
>you put forsythe after bintley
>there is no comparison.

They are very different that's for sure. But Bintley has a wider repertoire and is trying to achieve different things, that many people enjoy. Foresythe is incredibly fashionable and I would not dream of missing Frankfurt when they are over but if he will still remembered in 30 years is a tough call. I loved Frankfurt at Sadler's, however the last time they were in the country they put on the unforgettable and unforgivable DeaDDogsDon'tDance - one of my all time worst nights of 'dance'.


  Printer-friendly page | Top
Angela

05-07-01, 07:38 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail Angela Click to send private message to Angela Click to add this user to your buddy list  
10. "RE: BalletCo Poll"
In response to message #9
 
   Bruce, is so refreshing to hear a frank, British attitude about Forsythe! If you ask the critics here in Germany, he is the one and only, the God of modern ballet, absolutely untouchable in whatever he does. I mean he IS good, no question, but his newer works... well.. I wonder if they will still be performed in five years from now. What will survive are his "classics" - Herman Schmerman and so on.
Maybe you should confine this BalletCo Poll to England, because the taste for "modern choreography" on the continent is rather different. Not to mention the US.


  Printer-friendly page | Top
Ann Williams

05-07-01, 11:25 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail Ann%20Williams Click to send private message to Ann%20Williams Click to add this user to your buddy list  
11. "RE: BalletCo Poll"
In response to message #10
 
  
A couple of points about the poll:-

The original four names I put forward are not particular favourites of mine - I just picked them at random. The idea really is to suggest choreographers whose work is perhaps currently popular and fashionable but which will not necessarily survive the test of time. Thus I've ruled out Petipa, Ashton and Balanchine because (I hope) we would all agree that there is little doubt that their works will survive. All the others are open to question, even, I'm sorry to say, MacMillan.

Also, the list can include modern and contemporary choreographers as well as ballet choreographers.


  Printer-friendly page | Top
Brendan

05-07-01, 12:15 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail Brendan Click to send private message to Brendan Click to add this user to your buddy list  
12. "RE: BalletCo Poll"
In response to message #11
 
   This sounds a little like Room 101 in reverse. Perhaps one of two criteria should apply.

1. The choreographer should be a serious innovator whose work represents a 'turning point'.
2. He/she should have made an artistic statement of such power and universality that it is likely to be resonant for generations other than our own.

On these criteria I'd suggest Forsythe, Graham, Cunningham and Nijinska.


  Printer-friendly page | Top
Isobel Houghton

14-07-01, 01:19 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail Isobel%20Houghton Click to send private message to Isobel%20Houghton Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
13. "RE: BalletCo Poll"
In response to message #12
 
   I was a little bit saddened by the result of the poll so far. To place Cunningham fifth is to ignore the importance of a choreographer on the world map of dance. Indeed if one were to quibble surely the litmus test for longevity in the future is to examine the choreographers longevity in the present. Cunningham is of all the Choreographers listed without doubt the one whose pioneering attitude to dance, genius and influence on the current dance scene has had the greatest affect on the contemporary ballet and dance world.
We in the UK do tend to be slightly insular in how we view the dance world ( I use world in the literal sense) and this is not an insult. Sadly our countries atrocious attitude to the funding of dance as an art form means that his company is a visiting delight. However, Cunningham's ballets are in the rep of modern and classical companies the world over. Anyone who saw his company at the Barbican last year would have been astounded that his current work, so fresh, vibrant, beautiful and youthful was the work of a man in his eighties.
On the question of longevity works of his from the 50s and 60s are still performed by companies the world over.
The contemporary dance scene in this country has been sadly stunted by the closure of LCDT and the Governments view that dance truly is the Cinderella of the arts. True LCDT in its last years was pretty dire, but it stood as a testement of hope, or at least I believe it did. A company that linked Britain with the heritage of American modern dance.
AMP is a lovely company, however in terms of choreography its artistic credo is not firm. It can be seen in terms of theatre, Bourne is a wonderful show man, but do his ballets bear repeated viewing? Could one see his ballets in the reps of companies other than AMP?
Again this is not a criticism. In this country it is becoming sadly the case that commercialism is repeatedly chosen over risk, invention. The story that Balanchine wanted to stay in Britain, but was refused a permanent visa so chose the US, makes one wonder what would have become of his genius here? It took him thirty years to establish his artistic credo in the US even with serious patronage, would we have given him the time and money to teach us to accept his way, his art form his view of what dance could and can be?
The same is true for Graham, it was not until the 60s that Britain recognised her genius, by which time the family tree of modern dance had replicated into many wonderful new forms in the US, cheif amongst which was of course Cunningham.
There are some wonderful choreographers on the list and it's awful that for the most part we've had to wait until they came to Edinburgh to see them properly.
The RB has the technique to perform Kylian, Cunningham, Morris without doubt, would the public allow them the opportunity and ourselves the chance to appreciate these wonderful choreographers ballets as a new way to see our own resident world class company show just how world class they truly are.
Sorry to go on but my vote for most likely to, is Cunningham.
Oh yes and as for Forsythe, it's well worth going to Edinburgh to see more than In the Middle and Hermann, he has a range and breadth that is stunning.


  Printer-friendly page | Top
Bruce Madmin

15-07-01, 06:44 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail Bruce%20M Click to send private message to Bruce%20M Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
14. "RE: BalletCo Poll"
In response to message #13
 
   An interesting and thoughtful contribution ! I think this is a tricky poll that makes us ponder much about the core values of choreographers we might like and the durability of dance in general. I'd love to go back a 100 years and know who was choreographing at that time and how popular they were.

We are I suppose asking who might get let into the all-time hall of fame and to be honest I'm not sure any of them will prove durable enough. There are some deserving but if Artistic directors and producers will be drawn to keep enough of their work alive I doubt. Indeed in a 100 years I think Ashton could be only known to a few...

Last point I think choreographers who do work on their own company are less likely to be remembered as inevitably their companies struggle when the main impetus is gone. What choreographers need is to be performed in as many companies as possible - sorry for stating the obvious! But I think this makes it tricky for Forsythe for example, who if I understand it correctly rarely choreographs for other companies these days, since he can only achieve what he wants with the Frankfurt dancers. This makes Frankfurt very exciting but I don't think does so much for them, Foresythe, or dance even, in the longer term - its all more a spectacular shooting star then something bright *and* lasting.


  Printer-friendly page | Top
Isobel Houghton

16-07-01, 07:05 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail Isobel%20Houghton Click to send private message to Isobel%20Houghton Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
15. "RE: BalletCo Poll"
In response to message #14
 
   Dear Bruce

I agree on a very real level that Forsythe may be a blip, albeit a very exciting one, on the dance world. I didn't want to sound too critical after having accused British audiences of insularity, but as lovely as his Edinburgh season was after the third programme I was getting a real sense of deja vu as each new but very similar ballet was presented.

However do you think that perhaps the reason why Forsythe can only achieve what he wants on his own company, could in some way be attributed to the fact that cash-strapped companies are cutting back more and more on rehearsal times allotted to ballets. Especially one-acters in mixed bills. Thus not allowing choreographers enough time to immerse his cast in the nuances and complexities of his technique.

I'm not naive and I realise that the long rehearsal periods allowed in the Communist countries (that is before they Communism was toppled and they went global and cash-strapped) are simply not possible these days. I mean one could argue that if dancers could survive on the 1 per week that they were paid while Ashton was developing his technique how many artists of equal import might develop? (Current equity minimum is at least twice that nowadays, I'm sure.)

Perhaps another way to see the question of longevity is if the choreographer has developed a technique, indeed enriched and developed the art in which he started his career? In that case again Cunningham gets my vote. But then so does Graham whose ballets are in the reps of modern and ballet cos the world over. And then one could add Taylor, Macmillan, Tudor etc etc etc.

On the question of LCDT again it's interesting that the only Graham ballet they ever presented was El Penitente, hmmm Maybe I take back the comment about the link with American dance heritage, or maybe not. I have been wrong before. So I'm told.


  Printer-friendly page | Top
Isobel Houghton

16-07-01, 10:57 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail Isobel%20Houghton Click to send private message to Isobel%20Houghton Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
16. "RE: BalletCo Poll"
In response to message #15
 
   Another thought came to me about longevity in relation to Bruce's comment about Ashton and his longevity.

A crucial factor in ensuring that a body of work lasts into the future is of course the mechanism set up to safeguard the work of the artist.

Ashton's work suffers from a mix of lack of notation to record much of his work, lack of notes to ensure that these works have an oral tradition (likewise filmic recording) and sadly the fact that works of his the rights of which were left to various parties in his will, suffer from the fact that the beneficiaries are not as, shall we say, disinterested in their own potential gains as perhaps they should be when it comes to ensuring the longevity of a great man's work. The proof of this is sadly seen in the fact that only 26 or so of Ashton's works of the almost 150 that he created in his lifetime, are performed. True not every work is a Fille or Month in the Country, but not every Shakespeare is a Hamlet or every Balanchine an Apollo.

When it comes to Balanchine (again where was he in the poll?) the stringency and zeal which his trust operates ensures that his work is preserved, is intact, is carried forward. And this, if nothing else will ensure that he survives. Of course his genius will too. But Ashton is a figure as important as Balanchine and it would be unthinkable to the trust that so much of Balanchines work should be so discarded, forgotten or left in the hands of those whose interest is financial not artistic.

If one looks at the longevity of the greatest classical ballet genius, Petipa, one has to take into account the fact that what we see today is an imprint, a palimpsest. The current level of technique with it's gymnastic virtuosity would have been unthinkable in Petipa's day. What we are seeing is the blueprint of Beauty, Swan Lake etc with the benefit of 100+years of technique and ballet history. I mean could one imagine the rather Rubinesque, busty ballerinas of the Imperial ballet perform the hyperbolic feats of virtuosity of a Guillem, Bussell or Vishneva? Look at the photos of Karsavina with Nijinsky, I'm not knocking her legend she was a great pioneer, but could you see her voluptuous body ousting the Balanchinezed requirements of the ballerina today, the obvious fact that her suppleness if nothing else meant that her arabesque lacks the height and flexibility of the modern ballerina. The work of a choreographer as much as anything depends of the physical abilities of the dancers he works with leading to the fact that the choreography of the last fifty years has extended the limits of the body to its greatest potential. Work today when at its most technical is created on an instrument which approaches perfection.


  Printer-friendly page | Top
Ann Williams

16-07-01, 11:21 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail Ann%20Williams Click to send private message to Ann%20Williams Click to add this user to your buddy list  
17. "RE: BalletCo Poll"
In response to message #16
 
   >When it comes to Balanchine (again where was he in the poll?)<

Isabel - I put up a post explaining that I would not be including Ashton, Balanchine and Petipa in the poll because I assumed that we could take for granted that they would survive into the next century.

You are a very interesting new poster, Isabel. Can we be nosy and ask if you are a dance 'insider'?


  Printer-friendly page | Top
Isobel Houghton

17-07-01, 00:37 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail Isobel%20Houghton Click to send private message to Isobel%20Houghton Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
18. "Ballet poll"
In response to message #17
 
   Oops sorry Ann, sometimes I should read before I ramble. I used to be an insider, now I'm just a very, very passionate amateur.


  Printer-friendly page | Top
Jane S

17-07-01, 03:12 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail Jane%20S Click to send private message to Jane%20S Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
19. "RE: BalletCo Poll"
In response to message #15
 
   >On the question of LCDT again
>it's interesting that the only
>Graham ballet they ever presented
>was El Penitente, hmmm Maybe
>I take back the comment
>about the link with American
>dance heritage, or maybe not.
>I have been wrong before.
>So I'm told.

Isobel, I share your admiration for LCDT - they were the company who taught me to enjoy modern dance, and their decline was very sad. However I think their link with Martha Graham came not through dancing her repertoire (though they did do Diversions of Angels as well as El Penitente) but from the fact that the school was founded on Graham technique, taught by Graham dancers with close involvement from Graham herself, and from the strong influence of choreographer Robert Cohan, also an ex-Graham dancer, in the early years of the company.



  Printer-friendly page | Top
Isobel Houghton

17-07-01, 06:36 PM (GMT)
Click to EMail Isobel%20Houghton Click to send private message to Isobel%20Houghton Click to view user profileClick to add this user to your buddy list  
20. "RE: BalletCo Poll"
In response to message #19
 
   Dear Jane

I agree with you 100% about the link between LCDT the school and Graham, I think perhaps I was a little too glib.

However, your point raises very interesting questions about longevity in modern dance and the choreographer and his/her company.

By the time the Contemporary Dance Trust was established in 1967 the contemporary dance scene in America had moved beyond the initial pioneers of Graham, Holm and Humphreys, through the second generation to the post modern movement of the Judson Church group. The necessity to train a company in the language of modernism of course meant that Graham was the obvious choice, both by design, the efforts of Robin Howard and of course the fact that Graham is and remains the most important figure in 20th century contemporary dance. Her technique, its beauty and complexity. However, LCDT was always remarkable for the fact that the dancers were stronger than the material they performed. The company from its inception to the late seventies was a group of phenomenal talent. And in many ways its ongoing search for a choreographer equal to the talent of its dancers was very much its downfall. The Royal Ballet was blessed with not one but two choreographers of world-class talent, as Ninette de Valois always knew fostering choreographers was more important to the longevity of a company than ulimately even its dancers. A choreographer is intrinsic to establishing an inheritance. Cohan made some wonderful ballets without doubt, but in the final years of LCDT these had all but disappered from the rep. One could argue that this was because they were not true classics, but a stronger argument is that towards its final years the company and school were going through the same change that America had gone through since the fifties, a search to establish modern schools outside of Graham. If you remember the dancers from its final years, there were dancers as strong as ever there had been in LCDT Kate Coyne, Paul Liburd, Sharon Wray and then there were the new breed of contemporary dancers Britain was beginning to favour dancers trained in that curious blend of Cunningham and release. I remember reading a report in the early 90s which stated that the dancers of the current company were unable as a group to perform the heavy Graham-based technique work as an ensemble (despite the presecence of some great technicians) that had made the company famous. This was also seen by the migration of the company's strongest dancers to Rambert and other companies. LCDT was remarkable for its dancers rather than its choreography, the athleticism and virtuosity and wonderful pieces were indeed made to show this to its most remarkable extent.

However, LCDT's demise sadly reflects how that a modern company, more than a ballet company, is reliant on the choreographer that powers it. And sometimes even that choreographer's work becomes out of touch with the time. It's true that it is a tragedy that Graham's company itself has folded. However, at the Barbican season one had that horrid feeling of watching a museum chamber group. Dance must be rooted in the now, even when one is watching a classic of the form, and this no less in contemporary whose very essence is about reaction, about the place of dance in the context of the present moment. Of all the dancers in the Graham company only Therese Cappucelli, and Christine Dakin, dancers who had joined in the late seventies showed one the raw power of the contraction, made the movement crafted on Graham's body sing with the same power, weight and prescence it must once have had. Indeed one of the greatest threats the Graham company ever faced was when at the age of 72 Graham was forced to retire from dancing and abandoned her company, it was not until she herself realised that the choreography outlasts the dancer that she was able to restore herself, give her parts to other dancers and lead the company as its rightful artistic director. And this, despite the present state of the company itself, is why her work is still in the reps of several ballet companies. They are classics, they are important and they must be performed.

I think that Britain is ripe for a new breed of choreographer to establish a new generation of contemporary dance heritage. One rooted in choreography. Choreography if nothing else is the message which the instrument of the dancer's body carries. What message does Britain in the 21st century need to communicate, who is that mouthpiece? And what language will that choreographer develop to make his message a permanent, lucid, perpetually eloquent one that will carry down the centuries to come? I think if one can find the answer to that we'll truly have the answer to the poll of choreographer most likely to still be performed in 2001.


  Printer-friendly page | Top
Ann Williams

23-07-01, 07:24 AM (GMT)
Click to EMail Ann%20Williams Click to send private message to Ann%20Williams Click to add this user to your buddy list  
21. "Results"
In response to message #0
 
   Here are the poll results:

William Forsythe: 18.1%
Matthew Bourne: 16.9%
Mats Ek: 13.3%
Jiri Kylian: 12.0%
Merce Cunningham: 8.4%
David Bintley: 8.4%
Mark Morris: 7.2%
other: 6.0%
Twyla Tharp: 4.8%
Maurice Bejart: 4.8%

Quite surprising results. I thought that both Mark Morris and Merce Cunningham would have scored higher, though I agree that Forsythe deserves his high placing given the cutting-edge nature of his work.

Personally I don't think that Matthew Bourne will survive - as much as I loved his Swan Lake - and I'm surprised that so many here placed him so highly; I've always thought that this was a mainly 'ballet' board but maybe this poll proves that we are beginning to attract a more eclectic audience. The more eclectic the better, I say...

All this is more prettily(!) available on the Mini-poll page:
http://www.danze.co.uk/survey/balletco_mini_poll.shtml


  Printer-friendly page | Top

Conferences | Topics | Previous Topic | Next Topic

 
Questions or problems regarding this bulletin board should be directed to Bruce Marriott