HomeMagazineListingsUpdateLinksContexts
click hereartsworld.com
 

Ballet.co Postings Page

"GOVERNMENT BAN ON ANIMALS IN DANCE"



Email this topic to a friend
Printer-friendly version of this topic
Archived thread - Read only 
Previous Topic | Next Topic 
Home Conferences News, Company and venue information (Protected)
Original message

Bruce M Click to EMail Bruce%20MClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster 01-04-01, 06:37 AM (GMT)
"GOVERNMENT BAN ON ANIMALS IN DANCE"
GOVERNMENT BAN ON ANIMALS IN DANCE
London, 1 April 2001



HM Department for Culture, Media and Sport


Arts Council of England


RSPCA Campaign


National Pet Week

Swan Lake web site


The Government, the Arts Council and several leading animal charities today announced a far-reaching initiative to ban the inappropriate use and portrayal of animals on stage. There is particular concern about the 19th century ballet repertoire which has often presented animals in a degrading fashion.

Downing Street in particular sees it as a vote-winner and the Department of Media, Culture and Sports' Chris Smith is quoted as saying "It's high time the worst excesses of Victorian melodrama - like Swan Lake - were consigned to the rubbish skip of civilisation. This is not about political correctness but about living up to our responsibilities as cultural custodians of the planet by according animals the full respect they deserve. Many animal species are endangered and in the 21st century itís simply no longer acceptable to use them as ridiculous props and stooges in the name of high art for the gratification of the middle classes"

The proposed list of banned ballets includes:

† † Swan Lakebanned for water-bird abuse
† † Sleeping Beauty † †bluebird, wolf and cat exploitation
† † Nutcrackerrodent violence
† † Don Quixoteglorification of bull fighting
† † La Bayaderesnake, parakeet and tiger maltreatment
† † The Firebirdtrapping and de-pluming a protected species
† † Gisellenow the subject of a hunting ban

In addition Manon may by proscribed for its desecration of a unique habitat and SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) - the Louisiana swamp.

Artists are naturally in uproar and Ross Stretton, the new Royal Ballet Artistic Director, is particularly outraged; "I can't see the problem myself - me and the Aussie Ballet corps regularly went up the coast for a weekend of hunting, shooting and drinking. Performing on stage is a stressful experience but in my experience nothing releases the tension for a dancer more than bagging a 'roo or a koala. To me such bonding exercises are an essential part of drawing any new team together."


The Mouse King from the soon to be banned Nutcracker
† †

The legislation, expected to be rushed through in April, also includes provisions for a video amnesty. Ballet lovers will have 28 days to hand in banned videos to their nearest police station or risk a fine. Thereafter, for possession of three or more videos, attendance at compulsory re-education classes is proposed with community service and imprisonment for subsequent repeat offences.

It will however still be possible to see some productions - providing they are danced in suitably licensed premises, the audience are members of an authorised club, are in possession of valid Ballet Licenses (having attended a designated course and passed all the relevant oral and written examinations) and have been classified as psychologically fit to cope with the extreme content. The RAD (Royal Academy of Dance) and the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Protection of Animals) are being consulted on the curriculum.

Of the well-known ballets only Romeo &Juliet is reckoned to remain unchanged, though new EU regulations on poisonous herbs and infusions may require changes to be made. However rumours that Mr. Worldly Wise is to be banned for its unwholesome treatment of vegetables are thought to emanate from Conservative Party Headquarters in an attempt to disparage the initiative. No-one was available for comment.

  Top

 Table of contents

RE: GOVERNMENT BAN ON ANIMALS IN DANCE, Alexandra, 01-04-01, (1)
RE: GOVERNMENT BAN ON ANIMALS IN DANCE, Terry, 01-04-01, (2)
RE: GOVERNMENT BAN ON ANIMALS IN DANCE, Bruce M, 01-04-01, (3)
RE: GOVERNMENT BAN ON ANIMALS IN DANCE, Terry, 01-04-01, (4)
RE: GOVERNMENT BAN ON ANIMALS IN DANCE, Bruce M, 01-04-01, (5)
RE: GOVERNMENT BAN ON ANIMALS IN DANCE, Shirley, 01-04-01, (6)
RE: GOVERNMENT BAN ON ANIMALS IN DANCE, Viviane, 01-04-01, (7)
RE: GOVERNMENT BAN ON ANIMALS IN DANCE, pmeja, 01-04-01, (8)
RE: GOVERNMENT BAN ON ANIMALS IN DANCE, Bruce M, 01-04-01, (9)
RE: GOVERNMENT BAN ON ANIMALS IN DANCE, Tony Newcombe, 01-04-01, (10)
RE: GOVERNMENT BAN ON ANIMALS IN DANCE, Karen, 02-04-01, (11)
RE: GOVERNMENT BAN ON ANIMALS IN DANCE, Bruce M, 02-04-01, (12)
RE: GOVERNMENT BAN ON ANIMALS IN DANCE, Sonja, 02-04-01, (13)
RE: GOVERNMENT BAN ON ANIMALS IN DANCE, Viviane, 02-04-01, (14)
RE: GOVERNMENT BAN ON ANIMALS IN DANCE, Bruce M, 02-04-01, (15)

Lobby | Topics | Previous Topic | Next Topic
Messages in this topic

Alexandra Click to EMail AlexandraClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster 01-04-01, 07:43 AM (GMT)
1. "RE: GOVERNMENT BAN ON ANIMALS IN DANCE"
Not a moment too soon, I'd say. (Surely, they haven't forgotten that poor abused pony in "La Fille Mal Gardee?" Not to mention the chickens!) Right-thinking officials once tried to shut down a production of "Don Quixote" because it requires a skinny horse and a fat mule -- think of it! That's meant to be humorous. In years past, however, the cultural elites were always able to stop it. Change is a good thing.

Luckily, what's left of Bournonville should escape the ban. Surely no one can object to the dead fish in "Napoli" in the market scene and, if they do, the Peasants Anti-Defamation League will set them right. In fact, Bournonville may be one of the first choreographers to be sensitive to fair treatment of our furry and feathered friends. One of the changes he made to Nourrit's libretto for "La Sylphide" included the second act scene with the bird's nest. In the Paris version, James caught the butterfly and the Sylph made him set her free. Bournonville, realizing the inanity of a fairy female teaching a man how to behave, changed that scene to have the Sylph -- amoral, thoughtless as she is charming -- capture the butterfly while *he* makes her set it free. So all's well that ends well -- and the Sylph does take very good care of her birds nest.

Good to see the British government is putting its resources to such good use. Thanks for the news, Bruce.

  Top

Terry Click to EMail TerryClick to check IP address of the poster 01-04-01, 08:38 AM (GMT)
2. "RE: GOVERNMENT BAN ON ANIMALS IN DANCE"
WHHHHHAAAAAATTTTT?!! Does this mean we can no longer SEE those
productions in the UK?!!!!!
  Top

Bruce M Click to EMail Bruce%20MClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster 01-04-01, 09:06 AM (GMT)
3. "RE: GOVERNMENT BAN ON ANIMALS IN DANCE"
>Does this mean we can
>no longer SEE those
>productions in the UK?!!!!!

As I understand it I think you can, but you will need to be a member of a club and pass some kind of test. I suppose RB will try and get a special Friends/club going and do the odd 'classic' show for members in the Clore Studio perhaps? It won't be the same thats for sure...

  Top

Terry Click to EMail TerryClick to check IP address of the poster 01-04-01, 09:39 AM (GMT)
4. "RE: GOVERNMENT BAN ON ANIMALS IN DANCE"
Bruce --
Thank you for the clarification. BUT THIS IS A DISASTER!!!! Ballet culture is certainly not the most POPULAR culture in society, and yet, this is making things worse! It's making it more "exclusive" than it needs to be...OH THIS IS TERRIBLE!!!
I'm so shocked...
  Top

Bruce M Click to EMail Bruce%20MClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster 01-04-01, 09:55 AM (GMT)
5. "RE: GOVERNMENT BAN ON ANIMALS IN DANCE"
>Bruce --
>Thank you for the clarification. BUT
>THIS IS A DISASTER!!!! Ballet
>culture is certainly not the
>most POPULAR culture in society,
>and yet, this is making
>things worse! It's making it
>more "exclusive" than it needs
>to be...OH THIS IS TERRIBLE!!!
>
>I'm so shocked...

We are all shocked too.

I was thinking that perhaps we might have a petition or something. I think we also ought to set-up some away-days to Paris - the French are far less sentimental about animals and I can't see them banning the classics. And of course Scotland has its own Parliament so hopefully Edinburgh will still fly the flag for proper ballet.

Can you seriously imagine Swan Lake with 20 or so dancers and a simple back-cloth in the ROH Clore Studio?

It seems typical of the cowardly lot that they waited until de Valois was gone before making the announcement. There have been rumours for ages but somehow it just seemed too ridiculous to be true.

  Top

Shirley Click to EMail ShirleyClick to check IP address of the poster 01-04-01, 11:00 AM (GMT)
6. "RE: GOVERNMENT BAN ON ANIMALS IN DANCE"

>
>Can you seriously imagine Swan Lake
>with 20 or so dancers
>and a simple back-cloth in
>the ROH Clore Studio?

No - they can't do that to one of my favourite ballets!

  Top

Viviane Click to EMail VivianeClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster 01-04-01, 11:01 AM (GMT)
7. "RE: GOVERNMENT BAN ON ANIMALS IN DANCE"
I think we also
>ought to set-up some away-days
>to Paris - the French
>are far less sentimental about
>animals

I wouldn't be so sure about that !
Never heard about B.Bardot ?

Never mind, there must be some possibilities left for negotiations... maybe 'tolerated' performances on the 1th of April - just to maintain the 'tradition' ?

  Top

pmeja Click to EMail pmejaClick to check IP address of the poster 01-04-01, 12:47 PM (GMT)
8. "RE: GOVERNMENT BAN ON ANIMALS IN DANCE"
um.......april fool's right, bruce?
  Top

Bruce M Click to EMail Bruce%20MClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster 01-04-01, 01:03 PM (GMT)
9. "RE: GOVERNMENT BAN ON ANIMALS IN DANCE"
Good grief - how could you think such a thing. There have been rumours for ages but we just thought it was political correctness gone mad. Actually I'm in tears at the moment at the prospect of what will happen to all my videos.
  Top

Tony Newcombe Click to EMail Tony%20NewcombeClick to check IP address of the poster 01-04-01, 01:25 PM (GMT)
10. "RE: GOVERNMENT BAN ON ANIMALS IN DANCE"
Never mind, there is always Ashley Page. Only one animal ballet I believe.
  Top

Karen Click to EMail KarenClick to check IP address of the poster 02-04-01, 00:47 AM (GMT)
11. "RE: GOVERNMENT BAN ON ANIMALS IN DANCE"
Would the ballets be acceptable if a) no live animals are used or portrayed (eg. the wooden "elephant" used in some productions of Bayadere) OR if the animal WINS in the end. I mean - the Russians used to have a "happy" ending for Swan Lake in which Siegfried killed Von Rothbart (hmmm - but come to think of it, that's animal abuse too - he was disguised as an owl). Well, what if the SWANS kill the owl? Or is that speciesism? The ballet could be retitled: "Revenge of the Swans".

I guess Bayadere could be "rewritten" - so that Nikiya dies from a poisoned drink. That way we eliminate the serpent. All hunting and other animal references would be easy to eliminate.

La Fille is a bit harder. I guess one could cut the chickens. The pony is another story: I mean the ballet is set at a time when the exploitation of animals for transportation was at its height. Is it wrong to depict this in context? I mean the pony DOES get a sugar cube or carrot or whatever the keeper gives him/her. Sticky issue.

Sleeping Beauty is another story. I guess things could be re-choreographed/staged according to "Politically Correct Fairy Tales." This would take a lot of thought.

Giselle is easy - the nobles are merely out on a nature-walk with their companion animals. Hilarion would have to be given a new job - forest-conservation expert with special interest in preserving rare and endangered species such as the spotted owl.

Nutcracker would have to be completely re-staged. After all, the mice are merely defending their king and territory against militaristic toys. Perhaps the toy soldiers and the mice could have a peace conference in Geneva, and the toys would be able to see things from the perspective of the mice, while the mice would see that the toys were mis-perceiving danger to Marie/Clara and that the Nutcracker and Marie/Clara are truly in love. Then the mice could facilitate the trip to the Land of the Sugarplum Fairy.... I hope that this new law does not preclude the portrayal of snow? Snow may be endangered in our ever-warming climate.

Don Quixote needs a complete overhaul. Bull fighting is an outrageous activity that needs to be prevented. Sentimentalizing its portrayal must be stopped at all costs. I guess the only way to "salvage" Don Q. is by cutting the toreadors completely - although perhaps someone cleverer than I could rewrite them as cowherders (persons caring for the welfare of cows by taking them to the best pastures).

I fail to see why Firebird should be banned. The bird is a mythical creature - not a real bird - and she is portrayed as being strong and independent and powerful.

I would like this law to be worded in such a way that the RESPECTFUL portrayal of animals be permitted. If we allow portrayals of people in both a good and bad light, why not maintain the same standards for companion animals?

  Top

Bruce M Click to EMail Bruce%20MClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster 02-04-01, 11:37 AM (GMT)
12. "RE: GOVERNMENT BAN ON ANIMALS IN DANCE"

I have to come clean and say this was an April Fools day hoax. Hope you enjoyed it - if you belived it or not!
  Top

Sonja Click to EMail SonjaClick to check IP address of the poster 02-04-01, 02:56 PM (GMT)
13. "RE: GOVERNMENT BAN ON ANIMALS IN DANCE"
It's a GREAT ONE - when I saw the heading, I thought it may be serious at first, but then.... I had tears of laughter in my eyes! Well done, Bruce!
  Top

Viviane Click to EMail VivianeClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster 02-04-01, 04:49 PM (GMT)
14. "RE: GOVERNMENT BAN ON ANIMALS IN DANCE"

...and all those 'extremely' intresting links !
Sonja, have you tried the "Swan Lake" - link ?

  Top

Bruce M Click to EMail Bruce%20MClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster 02-04-01, 05:03 PM (GMT)
15. "RE: GOVERNMENT BAN ON ANIMALS IN DANCE"
Given the circumstances the Swan Lake one was a real find!
  Top


Remove

Lobby | Topics | Previous Topic | Next Topic

 
Questions or problems regarding this bulletin board should be directed to Bruce Marriott
©1997-1999 by DCScripts. All rights reserved.