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About Terpsichore

  • Birthday 14/02/1949

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    In addition to ballet I am interested in books, arts, public affairs, economics, science and technology and cricket.

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  1. One of the few good things to result from this pandemic has been the streaming of plays, talks and all sorts of other events over the Internet. It has accelerated the development of digital performances as an art form in its own right. Many companies have seen the emergency as an opportunity. Just a few days ago I reviewed a magnificent double bill by the Dutch National Ballet for this website and there are many companies in this country that have produced some very good work over the last 18 months. I am therefore dismayed to read on The Guardian website that "50% of UK theatres streaming shows online during Covid revert to in-person only." Clearly a digital performance is a different experience from a performance in am auditorium but it is not necessarily an inferior one. There are things that a camera picks up that would not be spotted even by individuals in the front row of the stalls. Choreographers, artists and others can be interviewed about the work in the intervals. Perhaps more importantly streaming creates a new audience without losing the old. The new audience will include some on limited means, restricted mobility or a long way from the theatre, Last year I joined the Friends scheme of every company of which I was not already a member and upped my donations to make up for my absence from the box office;. I shall be a lot less generous this year to companies, theatres and others that treat the relaxation of legal restrictions on social distancing as an excuse for cutting back on streaming . Especially as the relaxation of restrictions already appears to have been premature (Nick Triggle Covid: The UK is Europe's virus hotspot - does it matter?, 9 Oct 2021 BBC website),
  2. As I do not yet feel confident to return to the theatre (whatever our government allows while Covid cases, hospitalizations and deaths remain high and may possibly be increasing) I am very grateful to companies that continue to stream their performances over the internet. One of those companies is the Dutch National Ballet which streamed a live performance of its double bill "Toer" on 25 Sept and repeated the transmission on 6 Oct. "Toer" was a tribute to the choreographer, stage and costume designer and former dancer, Toer van Schayk who celebrated his 85th birthday last month. Celebrated as an artist and designer as much as for choreography he is perhaps the nearest we have in the 21st century to a renaissance man. The company danced two of his ballets: "Lucifer Studies" which is a new work premiered on 14 Sept 2021 and "7th Symphony" which he created in 1986 to immediate acclaim. As its name suggests, "Lucifer Studies" consists of studies or bits of choreography for a much longer ballet called "Lucifer". "Lucifer" was to have been based on a play of the same name by the 17th century playwright Joost van den Vondel. Now although I like to think that I am reaonably well informed I regret to say that I had never heard of Vondel or his play until I watched the ballet. I have now found out that it is on the same theme as Milton's "Paradise Lost". The cast for Lucifer studies consisted entirely of men and included Timothy van Poucke who has enjoyed a meteoric career with the company as well as Martin ten Kortenaar whom I featured in my blog as an up and coming dancer in 2014, Daniel Robert Silva, Nathan Brhane and Giovanni Princic. The music by Joep Frannsens took time to appreciate but it was performed magnificently. The sets and costumes were designed by van Schayk. Strikingly each of the artists wore a different coloured sleeve. A picture of the dancers which was kindly supplied by the company appears in a longer review in my blog. I regret that I cannot show it here because my licence is restricted to my publication. Work on the full length ballet was interrupted by the pandemic. It is to be hoped that it can be resumed once that scourge is brought under effective control. I took to "7th Symphony" immediately. It is based on Beethoven's 7th Symphony which is one of his best known and most exuberant works. At a symposium on narrative ballet in Leeds that I attended some years ago an eminent authority on dance opined that Beethoven was undanceable. I disagreed then and having seen van Schayk's ballet I could not disagree more now. The 7th symphony is a work crying out to be danced. I struggled to stay silent and keep still, Van Schayk choreographed the work beautifully and it is easy to see why it was an immediate success. Women danced in this ballet as well as men and I was impressed by Floor Eimers though all danced well. The male dancer whom I admired most was Artur Shesterikov who is one of my favourites in the company, but, again, all danced well. Van Schayk designed the sets and costumes for "7th Symphony". The simple blue dresses of the women must have been a joy to wear. Again I have pictures of the ensemble and two of the soloists from the company which I cannot share here but which you can see in my blog if you so wish.
  3. Powerhouse Ballet was gathering quite a nice little repertoire before March 2020. We had commissioned works by Terence Etheridge and Yvonne Charlton and Jane Tucker of Northern Ballet Academy had taught us "Waltz of the Flowers" from Act II of the Nutcracker a few weeks earlier. Alex Hallas of Ballet Cymru had given us a great workshop and we were about to learn "Snowflakes" from Act I of the Nutcracker when you know what stopped us in our tracks. We are now emerging from our slumber just like Princess Aurora and have planned a great workshop at Dance Studio Leeds between 2 and 5 pm this coming Saturday. Not everyone in our little troupe has begun to stir so I have 6 places for whoever wants them. The workshop is sponsored by my practice so attendees will not be charged. For more information see the Eventbrite card here.
  4. I shall write a longer article on this topic in Terpsichore and maybe NIPC Law when I can get round to it but, in the meantime, here are the basics. S.1 (1) (a) of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) defines copyright as a property right which subsists in among other things original literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works. Most ballets comprise all four of those types of works. Copyright can subsist in the libretto as a literary work, the choreography as a dramatic work provided it is recorded in some way, the backdrop and fabric of the costumes as an artistic work and the score as a musical work. Copyright subsists in each work from its creation and lasts in the case of the above mentioned works for the life of the author plus 70 years (as Jewel has rightly said). However, that is not necessarily the end of the story because choreography tends to be updated from time to time. For example, Petipa may have created the work in Russia 130 years ago but it may have been updated by Madam, Ashton, Wright, Bintley and so on and so on. Each of those additions and revisions is a separate copyright work with its own copyright term. The same is true of a set design, arrangement of the score and so on and so on. You should be aware that in some countries copyright lasts even longer than the life of the author plus 70 years. There are also other IP rights of which you should be aware such as authors' moral rights in relation to certain copyright works created after 1989, unregistered design right in respect of costume and prop designs (though the term is much shorter), performers' rights, publication right in respect of unpublished works. The remedies for infringement can be draconian. An injunction (order of the court to refrain from a specified act with the sanction of imprisonment or financial penalty for disobedience) compensatory and in some cases additional damages, delivery up of infringing materials and costs. An action in the Chancery Division can cost the losing party his or her own legal fees plus a contribution of hundreds of thousands of pounds towards the legal fees of the successful party. There is a £50,000 cap on the amount of costs that can be awarded in the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court but that limit does not apply to the unsuccessful party's own legal fees and expenses. Some of these risks can be mitigated by before-the-event insurance from specialist brokers. Copyright infringement can be an offence in some circumstances carrying a custodial sentence of up to 10 years, an unlimited fine or both. I suggest that you seek professional advice from a member of the Intellectual Property Bar Association under the public access scheme, a law firm that belongs to the Intellectual Property Lawyers Association or possibly a patent or TM attorney with some experience of the entertainment industry. Good luck!
  5. One of the few bits of good news to emerge from Afghanistan is that the national cricket team will be allowed to compete in Australia (see Nic Savage Taliban green lights historic Australia vs Afghanistan Test match. And maybe they will catalyse the reintroduction of our art form.
  6. Very sad news. I saw her only once in Giselle when American Ballet Theatre visited Covent Gender in Aug 1970. Though that show took place over half century I can remember every detauk as though it were recorded on film, I had never seen such virtuosity, Nor had I seen such drama. I have never seen better performance of Giselle though I have see many good and even a few great performances of the ballet since then. I haven't written a feature on her but I have recorded a memory of one balmy August evening in my re-launched blog.
  7. I am very pleased to have taken part in this event. Speaker after speaker stressed the importance of dance in Nigeria. I met some very impressive dance artists including Jemima Angulu who is a choreographer, teacher and performer. She runs a very successful studio in Abuja. Their main interest is in traditional dance and contemporary dance but ballet is becoming increasingly popular Subscribers may remember the video of Anthony Madu Mmesoma which went viral. I told them the story of Michaela DePrince, how she found a picture of a dancer in the street outside her orphanage, her meteoric progress through the Dutch National Ballet and what a gracious, personable young woman she is everyday life. I recommended "Hope in a Ballet Shoe", In many ways the Nigerian's have a lot to teach us. They are quite used to the concept of the third stream of revenue or rather the second as state funding is very limited. They use technology to keep dance alive perhaps even more than we do. I would love to do a similar seminar in this country.
  8. As many subscribers know I blog about dance. Two of the topics that I have discussed in my blog are the growing interest in ballet in Sub-Saharan Africa and the need for a third stream of funding for dance from advertising, merchandizing and sponsorship to supplement revenues from ticket sales and government funding.. On the first topic readers will be interested in two articles by Lindsay Alissa King that appeared recently in the online newsletter Ballet Rising: "Imagining the Future of Ballet from Nigeria" ; and "Ballet in Nigeria" I have also blogged about classical ballet classes in Kenya and I was pleased to see that the RAD featured one of those classes on World Ballet Day. In respect of a third stream of funding for dance from advertising, merchandizing and sponsorship the Intellectual Property Lawyers Association of Nigeria is holding a webinar on the Business of Dance with a panel of speakers from dance and the law at 13:00 today and I am one of the speakers,. f anyone wants to attend the webinar, the meeting IP is 883 6067 4030 and the pass code is "Dance".
  9. Sadly I did not see the Dutch National Ballet's "Dancing Apart Together" but I have an excellent account from someone who did as well as some beautiful photos of the show by Hans Gerritsen and Michel Schnater which the company's press officer kindly sent me. This was the company's first live performance since lock-down and the review is my first review of a live performance since March. According to Yvonne Charlton who saw a matinee performance on 20 Sept the show consisted of 12 short pieces starting with Fokine's Dying Swan, continuing with van Manen's Solo and David Dawson's On the Nature of Daylight and then 8 new works by Ted Brandsen, Ernst Meisner, Juanjo Arques and others. Even though the orchestra consisted only of strings and the audience was a quarter of the auditorium's capacity it must have been a wonderful experience. Yvonne's article is Terpichore's is our first review of a live show since lock-down. It is good to be blogging about dance again.
  10. O dies mirabilis. A test match against the West Indies, the return of recreational cricket and a challenging but enjoyable class with Shannon Lilly of San Francisco Ballet. What more could anyone desire today? If it rains for the rest of the summer or Holmfirth returns to lock down we have at least one day's glorious respite.
  11. This is the first time I have been able to arrange for my company a masterclass with a former principal ballerina of one of the world;s great ballet companies. Shannon Lilly became a principal of San Francisco Ballet at the age of 23, one of America's oldest and most prestigious ballet companies. She also danced with Northern Ballet Theatre when Christopher Gable was its director and the Ballet du Rhin under Bertrand D'At. She was one of our guests at the Stage Door last May and I reported our conversation in Shannon Lilly at the Stage Door on 31 May 2020, She has now agreed to give us an online masterclass between 11:00 and 12:30 on Saturday. This is a unique opportunity for members of amateur companies like ours or adult ballet students everywhere. If you want to join us, please register here. There is no charge as the event is sponsored by NIPC Law.
  12. Just to say that our online classes with Jane Tucker proved to be a great success. Since then we have had two classes with Sophie Richardson of the Association of Russian Ballet and Theatre Arts on 7 and 14 June. Our next online class is with Beth Meadway of Ballet Cymru at 12:30 on 28 June 2020. We have quite a few extra spaces at the barre as many of our members are taking advantage of the relaxation of the social distancing restrictions. We therefore welcome adult ballet students from any part of the world for Beth's class. You can register by here. We have scheduled two more classes on 11 and 25 July and then we shall close until September. I shall post details here and on the company website.
  13. I am glad to announce that Gary Avis has accepted our invitation to be our first quest at "The Stage Door" after our summer break, His visit will take place towards the end of September. We try to interview a guest from a different company each week. So far we have interviewed guests from Ballet Cymru, Northern Ballet, the Dutch National Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, English National Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and Ballet Black. This Sunday we welcome Bethany Kingsley-Garner of Scottish Ballet. I hope to have a great line up of artists to announce shortly.
  14. I am so sorry Capyybara. We had a lot of technical problems today. We would have loved to have seen you. We do have a recording though the sound quality is appalling. I shall use it as an aide memoire for the report. Despite the technical difficulties the talk went off well. A large part of the credit for the success of the day belongs to Janet who took over the interview when I was inaudible. It was great to see Damian again. He looked really well. A very jovial and entertaining guest. We hope to welcome Bethany Kingsley-Garner of Scottish Ballet next Sunday. You and every other user of the BalletcoForum website will be most welcome.
  15. Since we started "The Stage Door" on 7 May 2020 we have interviewed 6 guests. You will find links to reports of their interviews here. We are looking forward to meeting Damian Johnson and Bethany Kingsley-Garner next Sunday at 3 pm. We have promoted the following charities or good causes for our guests. Our Borealian attempt to keep up the morale of the nation's ballet goers and dancers during lockdown.
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