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Having been (very briefly and unexcitingly) involved in the world of TV, I thought I'd mention that the vast majority of TV programmes and documentaries these days are made by independent production companies who pitch the idea to the TV broadcasters.

 

Perhaps that is why there are now so many celebrities 'fronting' documentaries and the like. The production companies realise that the programme will be easier to sell if there is a well-known face in front of the camera.

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I was going to add to my earlier post that I did not want to come across as Bussell Bashing.  I agree that for most people who know very little about ballet, she is the obvious choice.  The trouble is, for somebody like me,  who has been watching and dancing since I was a child, I would prefer someone who takes a different, less girly approach.   

 

Am I correct in thinking that approximately 80% of TV and cinema viewers know nothing about ballet?  If so, they surely do not want to be lectured on the technical and highly detailed nuances of the art form.  Darcey Bussell is charming and so at ease in front of the camera, and the best know and loved British ballerina around.

 

I agree with chrischris in finding Rojo slightly pretentious, and it was surely impolite not to introduce her partners in the Swan program, which other dancers would have done automatically?

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I was going to add to my earlier post that I did not want to come across as Bussell Bashing.  I agree that for most people who know very little about ballet, she is the obvious choice.  The trouble is, for somebody like me,  who has been watching and dancing since I was a child, I would prefer someone who takes a different, less girly approach.   

 

As a matter of interest, who presents the opera performances that are broadcast?  I know nothing about opera, so do they use an ex opera singer (or indeed a current opera singer? )  Is it someone of the same status as Darcey i.e. an opera singer of world renown?  Or is it someone who has been picked for their musical knowledge and presentation skills?

 

And how would opera buffs feel if the BBC decided to broadcase a series about opera, and use Charlotte Church or Susan Boyle?  Maybe Katherine Jenkins would be the obvious choice?    :)

I was wondering why Carla from Coronation Street was on the cover of the new ROH brochure with Mr Kaufmann. I don't associate her with opera. Then I realised it was Anna Netrebko. Are they twins or is it just my imagination?

As for Katherine Jenkins, she also seems to polarize opinion. Is she an opera singer, or a singer of things that include opera?

Perhaps Miss Bussell and Miss Jenkins could team up again and co - present. They were supposed to be great friends when they did Viva La Diva, despite giving the impression they had just met in the foyer. What a show that was. See Darcey sing and hear Katherine dance as I recall. 

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Am I correct in thinking that approximately 80% of TV and cinema viewers know nothing about ballet?  If so, they surely do not want to be lectured on the technical and highly detailed nuances of the art form.?

I don't think any of the recent programmes lectured or went into too much technical detail. They seemed to strike a good balance between substance and what you might term as popular appeal. What several posts here reflect is a desire for there to be a range of presenters - which the recent BBC programmes did provide, whereas the live cinema feeds have maintained Darcey as the presenter. Whilst she might be at ease in front of a camera, her interview skills are arguably not so accomplished.

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Did anybody watch the repeat of Darcey Bussell's programme about tap dancing on BBC4 yesterday evening? I must have missed it first time round but it was interesting, especially the old film clips of Kelly and Astaire.

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Am I correct in thinking that approximately 80% of TV and cinema viewers know nothing about ballet?  If so, they surely do not want to be lectured on the technical and highly detailed nuances of the art form.  Darcey Bussell is charming and so at ease in front of the camera, and the best know and loved British ballerina around.

 

 

 

 

I wouldn't want to be lectured like that myself, either. 

 

I agree that Ms Bussell is probably the best known ballet dancer for people who know nothing about ballet; in fact she is probably the only ballet dancer they know!  However, that doesn't necessarily make her the best choice to present live performances and conduct interviews during the intervals.  Personally, I think she is much more at ease in front of the cameras when she is talking about herself.  I think she struggles when she has to question other people in real time.  It isn't that I dislike her.  It is just that I think other people have handled that situation with greater skill. 

 

And no, Shade, I didn't see the programme.  I think it has been on before?  I have managed to miss it twice now, I am sure it was interesting. 

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Did anybody watch the repeat of Darcey Bussell's programme about tap dancing on BBC4 yesterday evening? I must have missed it first time round but it was interesting, especially the old film clips of Kelly and Astaire.

I saw it and yes, the old clips were interesting.  What wasn't,  was watching Bussell's attempt to emulate Astaire's extraordinary performances after a mere few weeks rehearsal.  Are we expected to applaud her 'jolly hockey sticks' attitude in gamely trying and failing?  It's painful to watch IMHO.

 

What is this compulsion by TV producers to take people who are brilliant in their own field and make them try to be equally successful doing something else? What I want to see is excellence, not well-meant but ultimately unsatisfying second-rate imitations. 

 

Astaire spent a lifetime perfecting his skills and artistry and after watching this programme all I wanted to do was dig out the box set and watch some of his films again.  Similarly, I would rather remember Bussell for her many superb ballet performances, not this embarrassing charade.

 

Linda

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I saw it and yes, the old clips were interesting.  What wasn't,  was watching Bussell's attempt to emulate Astaire's extraordinary performances after a mere few weeks rehearsal.  Are we expected to applaud her 'jolly hockey sticks' attitude in gamely trying and failing?  It's painful to watch IMHO.

 

What is this compulsion by TV producers to take people who are brilliant in their own field and make them try to be equally successful doing something else? What I want to see is excellence, not well-meant but ultimately unsatisfying second-rate imitations. 

 

Astaire spent a lifetime perfecting his skills and artistry and after watching this programme all I wanted to do was dig out the box set and watch some of his films again.  Similarly, I would rather remember Bussell for her many superb ballet performances, not this embarrassing charade.

 

Linda

 

I thought the same - it was very brave for Ms Bussell but I felt it was not exactly a clever move.

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I also thought her rendition of 'cheek to cheek' merely underlined the utter magic and brilliance of the original. Star though Darcey undoubtedly is she coukd not match it in any respect.

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Perhaps the programme was intended for (and aimed at) the general viewing public and 'Strictly' fans in particular?

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Enjoyed the programme about Freddie Mercury that came on afterwards, it was the first time I had seen footage of the Coliseum gala where he danced with the RB, really brought back memories.

 

At the risk of sounding like the world's worst name dropper, I once had the opportunity to speak to Freddie a couple of years later and he told me that although he never suffered nerves before going on stage, he didn't sleep for two weeks before that gala.

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Hope I can catch this on iplayer then MAB

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If it's The Great Pretender it's on iPlayer for the next 29 days. Darcey's is there for the next six days.

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I've merged the new thread on Darcey's heroines with the existing one from a year ago.

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The BBC has announced more programmes on dance (great news) but (alas as far as I'm concerned) more 'fronting' by Darcey Bussell.

 

I prefer Deborah Bull she's a far better presenter same for ROH cinema screenings, although the Bolshoi's Ms Novikova is simply the best for cinema relays!

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Darcey is a very attractive screen presence but I would hardly view her programmes as highly incisive. Nothing I have seen her present has matched the programmes of Deborah Bull or Tamara Rojo for their sheer intelligence. However, I must agree that for people new to ballet Darcey's more straight forward approach is probably easier to take on board.

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Enjoyed the programme about Freddie Mercury that came on afterwards, it was the first time I had seen footage of the Coliseum gala where he danced with the RB, really brought back memories.

 

At the risk of sounding like the world's worst name dropper, I once had the opportunity to speak to Freddie a couple of years later and he told me that although he never suffered nerves before going on stage, he didn't sleep for two weeks before that gala.

 

Was that the one where he ended up singing upside down at the end, being held by the dancers? I thought it was brilliant.

 

I am so envious that you got to speak to him.  Lucky you, he was one of the best live stage performers I have ever seen. 

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Was that the one where he ended up singing upside down at the end, being held by the dancers? I thought it was brilliant.

 

 

Yes it was.  He was a fan of both opera and ballet and also worked with the RB on the video of I Want to Break Free, he had gone backstage to talk to one of the dancers when I met him.

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Hands up from another Queen fan and particularly Freddie.  It is very hard to think of another rock star who was a ballet fan. I saw Queen a couple of times in the period '75-'78 and they were fantastic, in particular his performances. Wouldn't a short ballet on Queen songs be fun...I can see McRae in Don't Stop me Now for example...

Back to serious stuff now...

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A quick search of "Mick Jagger ballet" brings up a lot of results, this one being one of the innocuous: 

http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/showbiz/news/a496595/one-directions-harry-styles-taking-up-ballet-to-emulate-mick-jagger.html

Apparently Harry Styles of One Direction is impressed by "Jagger's intense routine of kick-boxing, running, weights and, most importantly, ballet.".   I've seen photos from the 1960s of Sir Mick in the audience at ballet performances, so it's a long-standing interest.

 

 
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Bejart did a ballet to Queen music - at the first night some of the Queen musicians actually played on stage.

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I guess "Carbon Life" wasn't quite as groundbreaking as was suggested at the time, then!

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My husband is devoted to Elvis. Once when I said that I would rather have seen Freddie Mercury live I was nearly served with divorce papers.

 

As I remember Freddie was both a friend and a fan of Wayne Eagling. A friend of mine, fellow balletomane and also a fan of Wayne's met Freddie in Wayne's dressing room. She said he was very quiet and unassuming. Put him on stage in front of an audience and he was an utter god!

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I remember seeing Freddie Mercury at the ROH, it was only recently that I learnt he was a friend of Wayne Eagling and I used to be a fan too so I suppose we went to a lot of the same shows. He was always very well dressed and behaved and used to sit with friends in a Balcony Box on the left side, nothing like Freddie Mercury the outrageous pop star :)

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I thought Freddie was friends with Wayne Sleep?  (Could have been both Waynes, of course).  I'm sure he's mentioned in Sleep's autobiography, but then there are so many names dropped it's difficult to keep count.

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