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Subject: "Going to the Ballet during this crisis" Archived thread - Read only
 
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #2107
Reading Topic #2107
EUGENE MERRETT

21-09-01, 12:43 PM (GMT)
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"Going to the Ballet during this crisis"
 
   Some of us have, quite understandibly, felt uneasy about going to ballet etc givin the atrocities in New York. Dance etc seem rather trivial compared to what is going on in the world. Also some felt that it would be disrepectful for the dead if we still enjoyed our entertainmemts.

But I think people are wrong to take this view. Firstly this is exactly what the terrorists want us to do - to make give our way of life and to make us afraid. There is a old terrorist saying "kill one, scare a thousand" (in this case its "Kill thousands, scare a billion". I would not be pompouse enough to say that going to the theatre is an act of defiance but it does send a message to the terrorist that we will not be intimidated.

But perhaps even more important is that the dramatic fall in tourism will result in major financial difficulties. This is particularly so for the Royal Ballet which is particularly dependant on tourism. So they need our patronage!

I not that in Broadway people are saying that going to the theatre is a civic duties. Things are so bad there that not even the Lion King sold out. 6 shows have already closed.

Shortly after the atrocities I booked my flight to New York on American Airlines for the ABT season in November. I will not be intimidated.


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Going to the Ballet during this crisis David Davies 21-09-01 1
     RE: Going to the Ballet during this crisis Jim 22-09-01 2
         RE: Going to the Ballet during this crisis Robert 22-09-01 3
             RE: Going to the Ballet during this crisis Jim 23-09-01 4

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David Davies

21-09-01, 04:29 PM (GMT)
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1. "RE: Going to the Ballet during this crisis"
In response to message #0
 
   I understand how you must feel, Eugene, and I am sure your sentiments are shared by many. The Thursday after the tragedy I was at Sadler's Wells for Birmingham Royal Ballet's performance of The Seasons, Dante Sonata, and Still Life at The Penguin Cafe. The audience stood for a minute's silence before the rise of the curtain. In that minute my thoughts went back to performances by New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and Houston Ballet on which that curtain has risen. For me that was a moment shared, through the American dance community, with the rest of a nation in grief.


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Jim

22-09-01, 06:07 AM (GMT)
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2. "RE: Going to the Ballet during this crisis"
In response to message #1
 
   I agree with much of the previous two postings. If we feel genuine sorrow for the berieved communities, share the sense of revulsion of the atrocities and show respect for the feelings of others at appropriate times, we do not need to feel guilty about enjoying ourselves. The arts in general, and the performing arts in particular, are one of humankind's devices to escape from the stresses and anxieties of coping with life. There is good evidence that even palaeolithic communities had their cultural outlets. However, if one feels uncomfortable about going to, say, a hilarious pantomime, one is left with the personal prerogative to abstain or to make a donation to something. You also have to consider the livelihoods of the artistes and Eugene makes a good point that to put any of them out of work is contributing to the anarchy sought be the terrorists.


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Robert

22-09-01, 03:58 PM (GMT)
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3. "RE: Going to the Ballet during this crisis"
In response to message #2
 
   Our culture and we are under attack from people who have very different ideas about how we should behave and organise ourselves.and live our lives. It is very important that we carry on and if possible reaffirm our cultural heritage. War has been declared on us because of our culture and the way we organise our western societies. During the last war arrangements were made to preserve and encourage the Arts. Artists were sent out to paint Britain before it was obliterated, the Vic Wells Ballet toured taking ballet to the people, Opera and theatre companies toured and concerts were put on in public buildings and museums. Penguin books were allowed extra paper to print good and influential books; many people felt that they were fighting to preserve our way of life and our culture. Most of us do not want to exchange this way of life and culture for a restricted and controlled system with primitive economics and a puritan male dominated society. Carrying on encouraging our precious art forms is just as important as reopening the stock market and trying to eliminate the next lot of potentual murderers.What we must not do is close everything down and pretend we live in a Taliban type society.


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Jim

23-09-01, 07:26 AM (GMT)
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4. "RE: Going to the Ballet during this crisis"
In response to message #3
 
   I have only just seen a video recording of the Last Night of the Proms (I was drunk at a wedding at the time) and I thought the atmosphere there, and in particular the speech(es) by the American conductor, Leonard Slatkin, crystalised much of Robert's sentiments.


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