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According to the Daily Telegraph article provided in today's Links http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/bbc/12009837/Male-ballet-dancers-are-now-centre-stage-says-Darcey-Bussell.html, "The programme [Darcey's Ballet Heroes] is intended to be broadcast at the end of the BBC's Year of Song and Dance, and will be joined by documentaries about Nureyev, Acosta, and Pina Bausch."

 

Can't say I'd been particularly aware of the "Year of Song and Dance", but there you are.

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According to the Daily Telegraph article provided in today's Links http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/bbc/12009837/Male-ballet-dancers-are-now-centre-stage-says-Darcey-Bussell.html, "The programme [Darcey's Ballet Heroes] is intended to be broadcast at the end of the BBC's Year of Song and Dance, and will be joined by documentaries about Nureyev, Acosta, and Pina Bausch."

 

Can't say I'd been particularly aware of the "Year of Song and Dance", but there you are.

 

I haven't been at all aware of this supposed BBC initiative but anything is welcome, really, and I did hear talk about the programme on Carlos Acosta.

 

Wish it didn't have to be Darcey Bussell *again*, however.

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In sport,for example, its not necessarily the best ex-players who make the best commentators and the broadcasters do cast accordingly. Are there any other ex-dancers who may deserve a go at it?

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Deborah Bull is infinitely better at TV presentation than Darcey Bussell and is an ex Royal Ballet principal.. I wish she did the cinema broadcasts. Alternatively Natasha Kaplinska is a ballet fan often supporting ENB I am sure she'd be good too or Fiona Bruce who was in the last ROH cinema relay.

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I saw David Bintley presenting a dance programme once and thought he was excellent.  Hope he's asked to do something similar again.

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Wish it didn't have to be Darcey Bussell *again*, however.

 

The trouble is, look at the BBC (and other?) schedules. Programmes aren't put on on the merits of their subject-matter anymore: the titles are "[celebrity name] looks at [subject]".  The subject alone is no longer deemed sufficiently of interest to sell a programme - the cult of celebrity has become such that you can't do anything without them.  Look at things like Strictly: "Come Dancing" used to be a programme of expert ballroom dancers - Strictly now is a programme of celebrities (in a loose sense) learning to ballroom dance from scratch.  If you put "ordinary" people in the programme, would people watch it? 

 

If the programme didn't have Darcey's name to it, would it even have been made?  Can you imagine "Bill Bloggs' Ballet Dancer Heroes"?

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Darcey B has done a fantastic job of promoting ballet on tv. I'm sure that at least a few people after watching Strictly will have YouTubed her dancing. I came to ballet very late (all those years in the wilderness!) It was Darcey's lovely programme about her top ten ballet moments that inspired me. I watched it so often, I wore it out! I love anything by David Bintley too. What an inspiring man he is.

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According to the Daily Telegraph article provided in today's Links http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/bbc/12009837/Male-ballet-dancers-are-now-centre-stage-says-Darcey-Bussell.html, "The programme [Darcey's Ballet Heroes] is intended to be broadcast at the end of the BBC's Year of Song and Dance, and will be joined by documentaries about Nureyev, Acosta, and Pina Bausch."

 

Can't say I'd been particularly aware of the "Year of Song and Dance", but there you are.

 

I was amused that this trailer for a programme about male dancers was embellished by four photos of Darcey, none of any male person.

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Well, we all know that these programmes are really all about Darcey....

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I wish I had Darcey's agent!  He or she does a wonderful job of keeping her firmly in the public eye.

 

Sorry, but the fact that she is presenting it is enought to put me off watching, she simply isn't very good at it, and she really should be, given the amount of chances she has had. 

 

I also find this quote rather odd: "Bussell will then interview two stars of the future: Eric Underwood and Alban Lendorf, who are taking ballet into a new era of men who are viewed as equally glamorous as ballerinas."

 

I know nothing about Alban Lendorf, but it seems to imply that in order to classify as one of Darcey's ballet "heroes", you have to be gorgeous looking as well as talented.  And Eric Underwood has been dancing with the Royal Ballet for nearly 10 years.  He is hardly a newcomer. 

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Can't say I'd been particularly aware of the "Year of Song and Dance", but there you are.

 

Well I believe the only dance announced at the January 2015 press conference were the BBC Young Dancer Competition, David Bintley's 'The King Dances' and the BalletBoyz documentary. Which is pretty much all we got, till now.

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Well, we all know that these programmes are really all about Darcey....

 

Took the words out of my mouth - and the problem is that she/it comes across that way.

 

 

I know nothing about Alban Lendorf, but it seems to imply that in order to classify as one of Darcey's ballet "heroes", you have to be gorgeous looking as well as talented.  

 

Why on earth have someone whose (few) main appearances in the UK have been as a guest with ENB and who now dances with ABT?

 

And, if they really are thinking newcomers and gorgeous looking here, why not Matthew Ball (RB), Isaac Hernandez (ENB) and/or Brandon Lawrence (BRB), none of them aged over 25 and all very much 'of the future'.

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I know nothing about Alban Lendorf, but it seems to imply that in order to classify as one of Darcey's ballet "heroes", you have to be gorgeous looking as well as talented.  And Eric Underwood has been dancing with the Royal Ballet for nearly 10 years.  He is hardly a newcomer. 

 

I would hardly call Lendorf a 'newcomer' either, surely he's been dancing leading roles for at least three years. 

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I also find this quote rather odd: "Bussell will then interview two stars of the future: Eric Underwood and Alban Lendorf, who are taking ballet into a new era of men who are viewed as equally glamorous as ballerinas."

 

[...] And Eric Underwood has been dancing with the Royal Ballet for nearly 10 years.  He is hardly a newcomer. 

 

My reaction too.  Although he does seem to be getting a lot of promotion at the moment (of the press and media sort, rather than the pay-increase sort) - there are a couple of things I could infer from that.

 

Well I believe the only dance announced at the January 2015 press conference were the BBC Young Dancer Competition, David Bintley's 'The King Dances' and the BalletBoyz documentary. Which is pretty much all we got, till now.

 

That was all I remembered seeing, certainly.  I suppose the "Song" side has had the better part of the deal?   (And the repeats: I note that the Antonio Pappano "Voices" series has just been repeated - can't remember what else may have come under that side of it)

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I imagine the primary interest in Underwood is that he is super-eye-candy.  First rate dancer in the right role, the best male dancer in Robbins' Faune I've ever seen.

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Agree. It's silly isn't it.

Of course there have always been very glamorous male dancers.

 

 

The very BEST dancers, in my opinion, make you think they are gorgeous , when the role requires it, regardless of their real looks. Glamour in the theatre is not about looks in the OK Magazine sense at all.

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The very BEST dancers, in my opinion, make you think they are gorgeous , when the role requires it, regardless of their real looks. 

 

Agreed. There are several prominent male dancers in the UK to whom this description applies. Sometimes their performances are all the more affecting because they are not traditionally handsome.

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Unfortunately TV goes in waves of presenters - whoever is popular now is wanted for EVERYTHING. It works the same for history programmes (I've done research for them!). In the same way you find Lucy Worsley presenting absolutely everything under the sun whether or not she has any real expertise on the subject at hand (that ridiculous BBC4 thing she did on horses, for instance). I suppose at least Darcey does know what she is talking about when it comes to dance, although I agree that I don't think she's a very good presenter. I saw a biographical programme about her once and she was interviewed, and she was so much better and so much more natural that way than she is when she interviews other people.

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I would have no problem at all if the programme was "Darcey's Ballet Heroes - as told to...".followed by the name of an experienced presenter.  I thought the chap who co-presented Romeo and Juliet with her was excellent, and they seemed to have a nice rapport together on screen.  Sorry, I can't remember his name. She could relax and talk about her own experiences, and share her knowledge.  The male interviewees such as Underwood could simply talk to camera; it is not necessary for the viewer to hear the questions being put to them.

 

I do wonder why the BBC persists in running programmes where Darcey has to be in shot all the time.  While she is an attractive woman, surely the focus of the programme should be the male dancers.  Unless she is going to get into ballet gear and get them to do a bit of partnering?

 

Edited to add that while Lucy Worsley does seem to be getting a lot of time on the BBC, she is a very lively and interesting personality, and she does seem to be able to bring out the best in the people she is interviewing.  I haven't seen the programme about horses, but I have watched other programmes she has presented, and thoroughly enjoyed them.

Edited by Fonty
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Since you have mentioned Lucy Worsley, excuse me for going off topic, but it reminds of her parting comment on her series about the present Royal Family. "There you have it. British Royal Family, made in Germany!

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Oh, I get so irritated by programmes on all sorts of topics fronted by a well known TV personality or celebrity. I find those 'journey to / across' programmes particularly tedious. I'm not one of those people who doesn't like the television, far from it, but I find that I watch less and less. So much of the current output is comedy quiz shows, reality TV programmes and programmes based round some sort of competition. I enjoy drama but I find most dramas these days pretty disappointing; there's little fresh or original and the plots are invariably weak. Part of the problem is that when a TV station finds something that pulls in the audience it's done to death. We have an amazing number of channels in our TV package but most evenings I still can't find anything to watch!

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Couldn't agree more !

 

So is there any actual ballet on TV at Xmas- apart from this Bussell programme which doesn't sound all that enticing..?

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We have an amazing number of channels in our TV package but most evenings I still can't find anything to watch!

 

"Fifty-seven channels, and nothing on"

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Oh dear so much Bussell bashing. I hope we can agree that is the failure of the TV production teams and not poor old Darcey herself. I think she is a gracious ambassador for ballet. Should she turn down these programmes and deprive us of the few ballet related things on TV?

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Since you have mentioned Lucy Worsley, excuse me for going off topic, but it reminds of her parting comment on her series about the present Royal Family. "There you have it. British Royal Family, made in Germany!

 

No wonder people don't realise the House of Hanover was descended from the Stuarts. And really, the Hanoverians are her area of expertise (at least I think they are), so that's a bit of a jarring parting comment.

 

Maybe we should get her to do some ballet presenting, she'd be able to tell us how the Royal Ballet was made in Russia or something, which would be as simplistically correct as the royal family being made in Germany.

Edited by Melody
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Oh dear so much Bussell bashing. I hope we can agree that is the failure of the TV production teams and not poor old Darcey herself. I think she is a gracious ambassador for ballet. Should she turn down these programmes and deprive us of the few ballet related things on TV?

It's sad to think that if Darcey turned down these programmes we wouldn't get any ballet on TV. You may well be right about that. It would be nice if producers realised that there is more to British ballet than Darcey Bussell. I am reminded of how well Daniel Jones of ENB came across a few years ago when he did that programme about getting some miners in Newcastle to do ballet! And David Bintley was also excellent on his programme. I know that DB is 'a name' so will pull in the viewers, but there are others out there who could also do a very good job.

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The problem is that on anything other than BBC4, production teams would not be able to sell their ideas for ballet programmes to the controllers of the mainstream channels without a name like DB, because programmes about ballet are still such a niche market unfortunately.

I don't think that Darcey is being used so much because she is a judge on Strictly, but because of her prominence as one of the greatest British ballerinas of all time. The first programme she did, about the ten best ballet moments, was way before Strictly.

I also think that Tamara Rojo is such a wonderful ambassador for ballet. She speaks so intelligently and eloquently on the subject whenever she is interviewed, and English is not even her first language!

I often think about the 'Agony and Ecstacy' programmes made a few years ago, about the ENB, and whilst I loved them and found them fascinating, I sometimes wish I hadn't seen them, as I am still so aware of them when I watch the ENB perform, and remember the scenes, for instance, where Wayne Eagling had not even finished the choreography by the first performance. There is a bit of me still likes to believe in the magic, and I'm not sure that those programmes ultimately did the ENB any favours.

Edited by cavycapers
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There is usually a full length ballet on on boxing Day on BBC2. BRB's delightful Cinderella being one of my favourites a couple of years ago.

 

Does anyone know if we are to have one this year? It's the only thing I want to see all over Christmas.

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"Fifty-seven channels, and nothing on"

 

Think The Boss would have to revise that figure upwards hugely these days - to the same effect though!

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