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Subject: "'Dance for the Camera' (BBC 2)" Archived thread - Read only
 
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AnnWilliams

30-12-01, 11:08 PM (GMT)
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"'Dance for the Camera' (BBC 2)"
 
   Did anyone else see last night's (29 Dec.) 'Dance for the camera' on BBC2, and if so, what did they think of it?

Personally, I was very disappointed. I think it had much more to do with the camera than the dance; it looked like a film-school student's effort - all moody lighting and quirky camera angles. Whenever there was a promising sequence of what we dance fans call 'steps', the camera remained in obstinate close-up instead of pulling away to allow a clear view of the dancer's whole body in motion, a clear giveaway that the camera was being operated by someone with neither knowledge of nor interest in the dynamics of dance movement.

What a waste of a rare TV dance slot. If this series is to continue, let's hope that its producers will bear in mind that - given its title - it is likely to be watched by more dance fans than film buffs.


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: 'Dance for the Camera' (BBC 2) trogadmin 31-12-01 1
     RE: 'Dance for the Camera' (BBC 2) Viviane 31-12-01 2
         RE: 'Dance for the Camera' (BBC 2) AnnWilliams 31-12-01 3
             RE: 'Dance for the Camera' (BBC 2) Terry Amos 31-12-01 4
                 RE: 'Dance for the Camera' (BBC 2) Helen 31-12-01 5
                     RE: 'Dance for the Camera' (BBC 2) Pete 31-12-01 6
                     RE: 'Dance for the Camera' (BBC 2) Ann Welsh 31-12-01 7

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trogadmin

31-12-01, 10:46 AM (GMT)
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1. "RE: 'Dance for the Camera' (BBC 2)"
In response to message #0
 
   I could not agree more with Ann; the photography was terrible as was the time-slot for all three of these programs. Of the works presented, I felt "The Lift" (23 Dec) was the only piece that showed any real dancability and was definitely the best photographed of the pieces. The story was vaguely interesting and for me it was the only work with any real characters. The worst would have to be "Birds"; while it is extremely well photographed (no company makes wildlife programs as well as the Beeb), it had nothing to do with dance in my opinion. I felt that I was watching one of those little films that used to be shown on TV when programs ran early.

On a wider issue I was not happy with the Christmas day broadcasts. It is EXTREMELY nice to see ballet on the tele, but to "dump" two feature length ballets on one day is a mistake. Much as I love ballet, I found it difficult to watch Don Q; I was full up (and not with my chrissy dinner). The wonderful Don Q should have been shown on a different day; perhaps today would have been a good time. Are Channel 4 in co-hoots with BBC2? Our overdose was compounded with their decision to put out "Bourne to dance". My video machines worked very hard that day!

I liked seeing the BRB on the Lesley Garrett shows. Shame they didn't take up the entire show (with profuse apologies to any opera fans out there!)


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Viviane

31-12-01, 11:28 AM (GMT)
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2. "RE: 'Dance for the Camera' (BBC 2)"
In response to message #1
 
   Unfortunately I missed out on 'Dance for the Camera'.

And to answer Trog : Don Q.was a total disappointment to me !
Ok, maybe it wasn't the best day to watch it...
But, I definitely had a 'restricted-view' seat !
I don't like all those close-ups who prevent you to see the whole movement.
Oh my God ...and I didn't liked the scenery...and the costumes..sometimes really dull and there wasn't a unity in them !
I couldn't believe that Tamara Rojo danced *without* Spanish passion...and she overacted a lot of the time.
And a lot of dancers need to learn how to manipulate a fan properly...these corrections must have been made during rehearsals !?
Don.Q was simply a caricature...Is the chilly UK indeed that far from hot Spain ?
Only Alina saved my Christmas...what a talented, fine dancer she is !



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AnnWilliams

31-12-01, 11:51 AM (GMT)
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3. "RE: 'Dance for the Camera' (BBC 2)"
In response to message #2
 
   Viviane - I actually rather enjoyed Don Q on TV, and didn't mind the costumes and scenery as much as when I had seen it on the live stage. I didn't think Tamara overacted, but she wasn't brilliant either. The real revelation - for me - was the heavenly dancing of both Zenaida Yanowsky as Queen of the Dryads and Marianela Nunez as the Street Dancer. With dancers of this quality, let alone Tamara and Alina, the RB's future looks rosy. And I don't mind where they were trained either.


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Terry Amos

31-12-01, 12:34 PM (GMT)
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4. "RE: 'Dance for the Camera' (BBC 2)"
In response to message #3
 
   I thought it was idiotic most of the time, even more so than the previous production of Don Q. Just the thing that gives ballet a bad name. Of course some of the dancing was excellent but what a pity that so much talent was wasted on such rubbish.


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Helen

31-12-01, 12:48 PM (GMT)
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5. "RE: 'Dance for the Camera' (BBC 2)"
In response to message #4
 
   I've just got round to watching the tape of Don Q, and I found it disappointing. I agree with Terry that it is pretty much rubbish - certainly not high art - but I enjoyed it more onstage than I did on television. There seemed to be so many little figures all over the place, which is easier to watch in a theatre than on screen. Perhaps my screen isn't big enough! I could see that there was some good dancing, but it didn't work for me. Nor did Bourne to Dance.


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Pete

31-12-01, 04:46 PM (GMT)
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6. "RE: 'Dance for the Camera' (BBC 2)"
In response to message #5
 
   On the subject of the Dance for the Camera series, there's an interesting article in the December issue of The Dancing Times by Robert Penman (Head of Studies at London Studio Centre). He gives a damning critique of most of the series and goes on to say that television "does not justify vacuous choreography and empty gestures" and that "the dance must be a recognisable dance form."

I absolutely agree with Mr Penman's opinion and believe that there is often too much free-reign on the part of broadcasters to commission such wildly experimental pieces. In an almost patronising attempt to portray dance as high-brow, the television companies have lost touch, or appear to be deliberately moving away from the desires of the mainstream viewing public to see more digestible pieces. This is not to say that the companies should field endless repeats of the Nutcracker etc. but they need to gradually change the attitude of the viewing public from a tolerance to a curiosity to a full blown appetite for dance. And you ain't gonna do that by showing such way-out fringe material.


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Ann Welsh

31-12-01, 04:52 PM (GMT)
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7. "RE: 'Dance for the Camera' (BBC 2)"
In response to message #5
 
   Mmm, I too was disappointed in Don Q. Although this ballet gets off to a very slow start I'd looked forward to seeing the Kobborg/Rojo partnership which the critics had praised to the skies, but I found it greatly underplayed. But then I was spoiled by seeing Cojacaru and Corella on stage. Now that was fireworks indeed!

And I agree, two big ballets in a row induced rigor-mortis, especially in my daugher who spent the whole afternoon either reading her Christmas book or snoring gently under a duvet!

And the Bourne docu - well, it was OK I suppose but hardly revealing except for the extraordinary duet between Sugar Ray Robinson and Gene Kelly.


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