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Disrespecting Dancers


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I am opening a thread on this subject so that we can let off steam.  I have complained many times about shoddy and careless errors in the papers, especially regarding photos.  There’s another howler in the Sunday Times today, in the Matthew Ball interview.  I mean, surely even the most ballet-ignorant photo editor can see that that is nowhere near a swaggering toreador?  Shame on them.  Another example of “let’s just chuck in any photo of ballet and no-one will notice.”   Ggggrrrr.  

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I suppose we should be happy for Matthew Ball that he is getting more, and justifiable, coverage but such things so often niggle.

 

One of the really nice things about the rehearsals in the Floral Hall was the mutual respect between coaches and dancers. Sessions in the Clore occasionally afford a coach the opportunity to play to the audience (maybe a little at the 'expense' of the dancers) but what we saw last Friday felt like a real working session among artists who truly appreciated what each was 'bringing to the table'.

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Shouldn't the RB Press ensure that dancers are correctly accredited in photos appearing in newspaper articles? That all reports about the RB, in newspapers and articles, are correct? The accuracy of reporting is gradually getting worse and worse! Are all these so-called critics/reviewers totally ballet ignorant? Do they not check with the RB Press before publishing an article? 

 

What exactly is the function of the RB Press? What is Mr Ashley Woodfield (Head of RB Press I believe) responsible for? 

 

 

 

 

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Interestingly, neither of the two things you're complainng about appears in the print edition of the Matthew Ball interview - the photograph with the 'toreador' caption isn't there at all and the main headline - the one in purple online - isn't there either.

 

On the other hand, there is a little side heading saying 'Principal boy' which annoys me even more!

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14 minutes ago, Jane S said:

On the other hand, there is a little side heading saying 'Principal boy' which annoys me even more!

 

Oh dear, now I can't get a certain image out of my head.  "Only 5 miles to London, and still no sign of Dick!" :slapsthighs:

Image result for principal boy played by girl

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1 hour ago, Richard LH said:

Sim any chance of changing the title to the more positive "Respecting dancers"?

I will think about it, although the reason I called it this is because it is a thread to let off steam about those who disrespect dancers.

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5 hours ago, Jane S said:

Interestingly, neither of the two things you're complainng about appears in the print edition of the Matthew Ball interview - the photograph with the 'toreador' caption isn't there at all and the main headline - the one in purple online - isn't there either.

 

On the other hand, there is a little side heading saying 'Principal boy' which annoys me even more!

 

Yikes.  I suppose it could have been worse; it could have said “Real life Billy Elliot”...

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I suspect it's a bit of a case of trying to make sure ballet isn't 'elitist'! Let's face it, the people who write these articles have no knowledge of ballet ( or much else) and are just writing something that will appeal to a general readership. If a genuinely informative article was written it would be branded as being too complex for the average reader. Sorry to say that the standard of writing in The Times is pretty poor these days - all a bit of a case of dumbing down I'm afraid. And in that case, why should dancers be treated differently to other people?

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20 hours ago, Xandra Newman said:

Shouldn't the RB Press ensure that dancers are correctly accredited in photos appearing in newspaper articles? That all reports about the RB, in newspapers and articles, are correct? The accuracy of reporting is gradually getting worse and worse! Are all these so-called critics/reviewers totally ballet ignorant? Do they not check with the RB Press before publishing an article? 

 

What exactly is the function of the RB Press? What is Mr Ashley Woodfield (Head of RB Press I believe) responsible for?

 

No newspaper or media outlet is obliged to let press offices proofread their articles - that's basic freedom of the press, a rather gorgeous concept, most of the time.  I'm sure the RB press office would love to do that, but it is not their fault if newspapers write silly things. As Ian said, often the headlines and captions are made by different people than the author of the article, sometimes by editors or graphic editors who have no idea. The fault is with the newspaper, not the press office.

 

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There’s a similar instance in today’s Times review of The Magic Flute where the photograph credits Rupert Charlesworth as “the petty villain Tamino.” Of course, Tamino is the hero if the piece and the “petty villain: is, as the holy of the review makes clear, Monostatos, sung by Daniel Norman.

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1 hour ago, Angela said:

 

No newspaper or media outlet is obliged to let press offices proofread their articles - that's basic freedom of the press, a rather gorgeous concept, most of the time.  I'm sure the RB press office would love to do that, but it is not their fault if newspapers write silly things.

 

 

 

Yes.

 

Nobody plans to make the odd mistake, but the odd mistake does happen. Writers do try, but pressures elsewhere in the newsroom can clearly introduce other issues as well. If a mistake happens the people to contact are the publishers. Its nothing to do with disrespecting anybody - it's a mistake in a busy world.

 

For most this is all freely read on the net and great that reviews, features and pictures are out there for people to enjoy and bicker with. But don't expect perfection from a hard-pressed industry that people don't want to openly pay for and was never perfect in the first place. We need to be realistic and, actually, thankful.

 

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Sim I hear you and share your irritation/annoyance/anger at the ever-increasing errors...I usually tweet or pm the named author, who frequently fixes the problem and is often as annoyed or embarrassed as one might wish.

 

However...my real disrespect bugbear is when companies themselves either omit to name dancers in a photo or get it wrong! My "local" does this frequently and I have taken it upon myself to make comments on their social "meeja" channels - which used to be quietly ignored although they'd quietly make the changes, but are now attracting comments from others, agreeing that the company's showing disrespect and calling for improvement...

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2 hours ago, Bruce said:

 

Yes.

 

Nobody plans to make the odd mistake, but the odd mistake does happen. Writers do try, but pressures elsewhere in the newsroom can clearly introduce other issues as well. If a mistake happens the people to contact are the publishers. Its nothing to do with disrespecting anybody - it's a mistake in a busy world.

 

For most this is all freely read on the net and great that reviews, features and pictures are out there for people to enjoy and bicker with. But don't expect perfection from a hard-pressed industry that people don't want to openly pay for and was never perfect in the first place. We need to be realistic and, actually, thankful.

 

That's all true, but this kind of thing happens quite often when it comes to dance, and surely picture editors/researchers are being paid to do a certain job.  Of course we all make mistakes, and many of us work in busy, pressurised environments, but a friend of mine who is a picture editor for a large newspaper says that if she isn't sure about something, she always checks with the author or publisher before inserting anything because she doesn't want to get it wrong, nor does she want to disrespect the subject of the article by making it seem as if she couldn't be bothered.  She also doesn't want to make her newspaper look foolish.     All I am asking is that if you don't know anything about the subject of the article, just spend a few minutes double-checking.  It's not hard in this day of the internet.  Also, I do pay subs to three newspapers so I can read them online, The Times being one of them.  So I am not expecting something for nothing.

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1 hour ago, Sophoife said:

However...my real disrespect bugbear is when companies themselves either omit to name dancers in a photo or get it wrong! My "local" does this frequently and I have taken it upon myself to make comments on their social "meeja" channels - which used to be quietly ignored although they'd quietly make the changes, but are now attracting comments from others, agreeing that the company's showing disrespect and calling for improvement...

 

Yes, for example when promoting a revival but using pictures of the original run with different artists.

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10 hours ago, RuthE said:

 

Yes, for example when promoting a revival but using pictures of the original run with different artists.

 

Agreed, but I was actually describing a situation where in their own social media accounts they don't name/get wrong the dancer/s, e.g. photo of pas de deux couple labelled with name of female dancer only, or "come see Dancer X in Ballet Y" with pic of Dancer Z. 🤯

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My two gripes - one rather topical as we’ve been discussing the ROH website “improvements”, which is the lack of casting for any other roles than the title roles in Romeo & Juliet.  I want to know who’s dancing Tybalt and Mercutio *before* I arrive.  Ideally I’d like to know Benvolio and Lord and Lady Capulet too but that’s probably unreasonable. 

 

The other - ENB and RB’s tendency not to name individuals but to refer to them as “Artists of the Company”.  This is rather more excusable at RB when the group is very large and contains students as well as corps de ballet dancers, but I’ve seen it at ENB in the past for groups as small as six or eight dancers.   Seems really quite disrespectful to the dancers.

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Just now, Anna C said:

My two gripes - one rather topical as we’ve been discussing the ROH website “improvements”, which is the lack of casting for any other roles than the title roles in Romeo & Juliet.  I want to know who’s dancing Tybalt and Mercutio *before* I arrive.  Ideally I’d like to know Benvolio and Lord and Lady Capulet too but that’s probably unreasonable.

 

In the last few revivals I think this information (for Mercutio and Tybalt) has been added eventually, but not until quite soon before opening night.  I would imagine this will be the case this time - after all we did eventually get the casting for the major supporting roles in Don Q.

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1 hour ago, Anna C said:

My two gripes - one rather topical as we’ve been discussing the ROH website “improvements”, which is the lack of casting for any other roles than the title roles in Romeo & Juliet.  I want to know who’s dancing Tybalt and Mercutio *before* I arrive.  Ideally I’d like to know Benvolio and Lord and Lady Capulet too but that’s probably unreasonable. 

 

The other - ENB and RB’s tendency not to name individuals but to refer to them as “Artists of the Company”.  This is rather more excusable at RB when the group is very large and contains students as well as corps de ballet dancers, but I’ve seen it at ENB in the past for groups as small as six or eight dancers.   Seems really quite disrespectful to the dancers.

 

It is clear from RB rehearsal sessions and social media which is firmly in the public domain that the Mercutios include Zucchetti and Acri, Hay is a Benvolio, Avis is a Tybalt and the 'usual suspects' are surely cast as Lord and Lady Capulet. But who is in which cast is anyone's guess.

 

I believe the reason for putting Artists of the Company or a similar collective description on programmes is in order to avoid the problem of announcing cast changes!

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3 hours ago, Anna C said:

...The other - ENB and RB’s tendency not to name individuals but to refer to them as “Artists of the Company”.  This is rather more excusable at RB when the group is very large and contains students as well as corps de ballet dancers, but I’ve seen it at ENB in the past for groups as small as six or eight dancers.   Seems really quite disrespectful to the dancers.

When I first read this on the ENB website I was wondering: aren't they all artists of the company? It almost sounds to me as if they are not yet considered as fully professional dancers. But maybe this is just me, having difficulties with translation as a German. But why is it not member of the "corps de ballet"?

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2 hours ago, capybara said:

 

It is clear from RB rehearsal sessions and social media which is firmly in the public domain that the Mercutios include Zucchetti and Acri, Hay is a Benvolio, Avis is a Tybalt and the 'usual suspects' are surely cast as Lord and Lady Capulet. But who is in which cast is anyone's guess.

 

 

Gary Avis has posted on his own website his dates for Tybalt and Lord Capulet.

 

I presume from the recent live streamed insight event that Nehemiah Kish will also be cast as Tybalt.

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