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Subject: "BRB Triple Bill on BBC4 this evening" Archived thread - Read only
 
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #2570
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AnnWilliams

17-03-02, 10:09 PM (GMT)
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"BRB Triple Bill on BBC4 this evening"
 
   Very disappointingly, there was some kind of technical fault with my NTL cable service tonight and the broadcast of the BRB triple bill on BBC4 was completely spoilt - every 30 seconds the screen went blank for about 30 seconds - frustrating!

Did anyone else have this problem?


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: BRB Triple Bill on BBC4 this evening Bruce Madmin 18-03-02 1
     RE: BRB Triple Bill on BBC4 this evening Terry Amos 18-03-02 3
         RE: BRB Triple Bill on BBC4 this evening trogadmin 18-03-02 4
  RE: BRB Triple Bill on BBC4 this evening JackyW 18-03-02 2
     RE: BRB Triple Bill on BBC4 this evening Brendan McCarthymoderator 18-03-02 5
         RE: BRB Triple Bill on BBC4 this evening Robert 19-03-02 6

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Bruce Madmin

18-03-02, 08:56 AM (GMT)
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1. "RE: BRB Triple Bill on BBC4 this evening"
In response to message #0
 
   Well my ITV Digital box seemed to hold up and I now have a tape... your welcome to borrow


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Terry Amos

18-03-02, 12:44 PM (GMT)
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3. "RE: BRB Triple Bill on BBC4 this evening"
In response to message #1
 
   I use cable and both the 8.05 broadcast and midnight rerun came through without a hitch. Except that is for the rerun which ran late so I didn't get the curtain calls for Facade. Can the BBC never keep to the advertised times?

Given that television is never a good medium for ballet, I thought we got a fairly reasonable reproduction of what we saw in the theatre.


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trogadmin

18-03-02, 01:40 PM (GMT)
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4. "RE: BRB Triple Bill on BBC4 this evening"
In response to message #3
 
   LAST EDITED ON 18-03-02 AT 03:49 PM (GMT)

>Given that television is never a good medium for ballet

As Milton Berle said "Television is a medium, because it is neither rare nor well-done."

It is a pity that the Beeb didn't record the Friday night performance; I felt is was much more dynamic than the Saturday night one. Friday's lead for Sanctum was David Justin, and he danced the role to perfection. He is a bit taller that Robert Parker, and his height gives him more the look of a Wall Street stock-broker. Dominic Antonucci was grand as the Dago in Facade, which was danced by David Justin on the Saturday night. Both chaps obviously relished this role, and played the part with suitable sleaze.

From were I was sitting, it looked as though there were six camera's in use plus one for Deborah Bull. I am one of the ludites without satellite or cable TV, so I have not seen the broadcast. However, I feel that using that many camera's would actually detract from the quality of the program. A trend over the last few years has seen the directors switching shots every five seconds or so, in attempt to capture all of the program. Or perhaps they feel audiences have low attention spans, and couldn't concentrate on one scene for more than a few seconds. Also most TV programs featuring dance have far too many closeups. Yes it is nice to see the dancer's faces (they are all so gorgeous!), but we get to see too little of the whole body line, which is so important in ballet.

Way back in the dim dark past, when the Ballet Annual was around, Jack Cardiff gave an interview in one detailing the problems he encountered while filming "The Red Shoes". I think that today's directors should read this.


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JackyW

18-03-02, 12:42 PM (GMT)
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2. "RE: BRB Triple Bill on BBC4 this evening"
In response to message #0
 
   No, we were able to see the programme in its entirety. And, living in London and not having been to the Hippodrome it was lovely to see the inside of the theatre and the facilities available to dancers. The dancing was lovely although at times the camera angles could have been better. I felt that the programme was well constructed and balanced and showed the company to good advantage.


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Brendan McCarthymoderator

18-03-02, 02:44 PM (GMT)
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5. "RE: BRB Triple Bill on BBC4 this evening"
In response to message #2
 
   LAST EDITED ON 18-03-02 AT 04:30 PM (GMT)

Birmingham Royal Ballet’s triple bill was BBC4’s first dance programme. Each of the three ballets offered social commentary of sorts. Ashton’s Façade satirised the dance forms of the 1920s; Lila York’s Sanctum was a tract on industrial man, while David Bintley’s Tombeau was a threnody for the Royal Ballet, as he knew it.

Tombeau is Bintley’s lament for his great mentor Frederick Ashton. In an interview clip that preceded the work, he explained that Tombeau also expressed his anger at the eclipse of the English tradition and at the fates that had overtaken the Royal Ballet. It was an extraordinarily frank admission and it begged for some follow-up questions. But there were none.

Danced to William Walton's Variations on a Theme of Hindemith, Tombeau is inventive in the way we expect of Bintley. It is classical; no doubt about that - but stretches the vocabulary while still respecting the form. Nao Sakuma, Sergiu Pobereznic and the other cast-members gave a sparkling account of it. But there were problems of television’s making.

The performance needed to be more strongly lit. Because it was not, some of the dancing was shadowy and Jasper Conran’s costumes did not have their full effect. There has to be some compromise between the needs of the theatre audience and those of television-viewers. On this broadcast there was not enough concession to television. This is a perennial problem; and one that is not going to go away. A chamber ballet, as Tombeau is, would have worked well in a television studio. But the reality of broadcasting budgets is that most ballets will in future be filmed in a theatre setting.

Lighting was not a problem for the remainder of the programme. Lila York's Sanctum was almost cinematic, its style influenced by the films of Charlie Chaplin. If Brecht and Weill had ever made a ballet, this might have been it. It is unsubtle: a straightforwardly savage attack on industrial society and its dehumanising effects. It has an easily grasped narrative and will have worked well for television and for an audience knowing little of dance. Perhaps it was a little long: York had locked herself into a closing sequence from Ravel’s piano concerto and the choreographic ideas slightly under-ran the length of the score.

Whatever BRB’s reported reticences in the early performances of Ashton’s Façade, they had been shed by the time this performance was taped. The cast went for it with great élan and it was a fine close.

It is a rarity to see companies other than the Royal Ballet on our screens at all, and last night’s BBC4 offering, directed by Derek Bailey, was a very good precedent. It came from BBC Wales, rather than, as is more usual, BBC Music and Arts in London. BBC Cardiff has is developing a speciality in dance programmes, and hopefully there is much more to follow.


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Robert

19-03-02, 01:48 AM (GMT)
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6. "RE: BRB Triple Bill on BBC4 this evening"
In response to message #5
 
   No reception problems,sorry to tell you Anne, but a near perfect picture. The owl did not perch on my hidden digi dish!
I had taken the precaution of going to Birmingham to see the show first. Tombeaux looked better on telly but Sanctum (superb in the theatre) lost something. Facade was not much different. The set for Facade is really for a much smaller stage(look at the old photos)and so there is too much space, but it was wonderful to see and hear it again. Oh so much better than The Neighbour's dismal shows at CG!


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