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Ballet in the media


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Is it just me or is anyone else feeling uncomfortable about some of the negative media portrayals of ballet at the moment. Anything from the Bolshoi saga to the latest tutu wars seems to be generating negative press. Or is it as the saying goes...'no publicity is bad publicity'?

 

I also feel that a lot of ballet in the media recently has been generated by ENB's more overt approach to courting the media. Barely a day seems to go by without yet another article featuring Tamara Rojo's comments, some quite unhelpful I feel. I am also shocked by ENB's recent tweet of the The Independent's headline "That's a right royal mess the Royal Ballet has got itself into". This smacks of smugness and point-scoring and perpetuates the idea that there is rivalry and war between ENB and RB. In these cash-strapped times, I don't think it's in anyone's interests to doing anything other than pulling together.

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ENB has posted a limp apology on Twitter to someone who said "why would @ENBallet  retweet such a speculative, critical article? looks gloating, gives distasteful impression of london ballet".

 

  ENBallet
@kfodonoghue @TamaraRojo1 apologies if it looks like that, not our intention - we always tweet the headline and any coverage when mentioned
22/7/2013 18:17

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How odd!  The Tweet, above, appears to have been sent at 1017 this morning - yet it was much later in the day, in mid-afternoon, that I first saw it and drew attention to it on another thread.  So, it would appear to have been disavowed early on yet, nonetheless, repeated later in the day?  As a result, I am still left wondering how much top-down control is being applied in this area at ENB.

 

I'm not greatly bothered by the possibility of there being a bit of pique between the two big London companies, but I cannot see that it helps Ms Rojo if her media folk cannot appreciate the effect of "That's a right royal mess the Royal Ballet has got itself into" appearing, link to the Indy unseen, in a public forum.  They are their Mistress's mouthpiece in such things and a greater modicum of care may be needed - unless, of course, there is no bar being applied from above.

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It does seem strange that they would link to that, very unprofessional IMHO, especially after Tamara Rojo claiming it's not a rivalry but friendly competition. 

 

  On a side note, having read the article I don't think that having the RB tour the UK would help it any. We already have three major touring companies (four if you count the Rambert) struggling to sell tickets. The RB would just hurt them more because people would go for the name. Plus they wouldn't fit on the stage.

 

  While I think it's good for ballet to have more publicity in general some of the recent coverage hasn't helped matters. After all the complaining about Black Swan there's been an awful lot of drama that in some cases is more extreme. It does manage to make ballet  look slightly insane to the casual reader.

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In general, ENBs PR department seems to be below par in my opinion... Their Facebook page regularly has sloppy posts and grammatical errors. It makes these inane articles look even more ridiculous. They are starting to look more unprofessional by the day. Do you think tamara has brought her own PR team? It makes me think so since she's the only one who's ever in the press. If you read the comments below these articles by the general public they are very turned off by TR. instead of gaining fans she's losing them.

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I'm just surprised about how inconsequential and derivative the article itself it. Slow news day? Take the 'exciting' bolshoi drama, provincial disadvantage syndrome as peddled by some papers and construe a story that could be sensationalist if only it had any interesting points or details. Or content. Some years ago, a dancer left. This year two dancers left,and there might very well be an interesting story, but the protagonists chose not to publicise it.

 

Cojocaru left because the RB didn't enable her to dance in Milton Keynes? Surely he could have at least tried to spin an interesting yarn, since it clearly wasn't news reporting.

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I admire his chutzpah, agreeing to be interviewed by one of the critics who is part of the organized claque against him takes some courage, but as he sees his dancing days as numbered, perhaps the ensuing bad publicity doesn’t bother him.

 

Publishing that particular picture of Filin looking unscathed after the attack does appear to endorse some of his remarks though.

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Not a conspiracy, certainly not, but an anti Tsiskaridze claque emanating from Moscow certainly exists and certain UK critics are part of it. 

 

I have been a major fan of the Bolshoi for almost forty years and have done my best to read everything written about the company and in all those years I have never come across such orchestrated hostility against one particular dancer as I have read about Tsiskaridze.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Barely a day seems to go by without yet another article featuring Tamara Rojo's comments

 

She's certainly raising her profile.  I didn't want to start a separate thread for this, but she's appearing in the "Proms Extra" or whatever it's called programme tomorrow night on BBC2, as well.

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She was indeed looking might fine, and saying some interesting things - eg lamenting dancers' limited possibilities for improvisation in classical ballet when compared to those open to musicians.  

 

She did indeed look good and she said some interesting things too.  The programme contained a clip from an impromptu speech made by Daniel Barenboim last week, congratulating the promenaders on what they brought to the proms, namely 'silence'.  This echoes several recent comments on this forum about the inability of people to remain silent through the overture and sometimes even through the ballet itself.  I once had two women behind me at ROH who persisted in talking about their recent handbag purchase throughout the overture.  Tamara also remarked on how wonderful a few seconds of silence is at the end of a performance while the dancers revert to being themselves rather than being say Juliet, before the curtain calls.  We have also had a discussion on how immediate applause, whistles, shouts of bravo etc etc break the spell after a particularly moving performance.  Interesting to have a view from the other side of the curtain so to speak

 

Incidentally I thought the clip they showed from Bolero was knockout.  It is well worth looking at the complete performance on I-player while it is still there

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