Re: ballet in cyberspace

Imma Sarries-Zgonc (
Wed, 21 May 97 02:41:42 -0000

Hi Cynthia, Dawn and all of you,

I think Richard gave you the best example of someone trying for many years to move forward with ballet. Forsythe, and all his dancers, are experimenting consantly with ballet, technology and the realtionship of both. I think it is really terrific what he is doing because they are working in such a collaborative way that all of them are learning -to different levels- a lot about this tech and the possibilities it has and gives, but also about beeing creative with it and take steps further both in dance and technology. I find this point very important, because, even though the company has more than 35 dancers, they are all very involved, and do this research because of the need to do something else than repeting the same steps within the same paterns with different sets, music and costumes...

Yes, it is true that there is an audience who wants to see certain productions, but there I really admire William Forsythe, because for many years he has been challenging his audience, enjoying controversy, taking the reactions as openly as possible so they would have an affect on the work, and this perseverance and belive in his work and his dancer's work -he adores and respects them a lot and works giving them a lot of room for research , input and exchange- has brought him/them where he/they are. And they keep going! And more interesting yet, they did not loose audience they are always sold out wherever they go in the world and many times there are buus from some person in the audience, but it all has a place and role in the productivity of the work.

Of course he had the suport from his superiors -think how would have he been recived in other opera houses when he started!- and the material suport which many people do not have...

I must desagree with Down though about what you called the non-ballet learning. I do not think it has anything to do with the commitment, but about real interest and curiosity. The myth that a dancer's life is very hard does not go with me. It is hard physically may be, but we do have time free, and many hours to wait backstage, between rehearsals, after rehearsals.Lost time that dancers could use to do something else than talk about dance, food and how unhappy they are in the company -dancers are known for complaining the whole time-. I was a ballet dancer myself, and I moved away from that scene partly because I could not stand the emptiness and apathy in the air.
It is really a matter of wanting to learn, to open to what is happening arround, -and I am not saying every dancer should use tech or learn how to do so- I am talking about opening one's mind, leaving aside categories and names...and seeing what could come out from it. Who cares if someone does or does not call it ballet?
If ballet choreographers feel restricted is their own fault, their lack of courage or even their not knowing how to aproach certain concepts, themes or ideas - or their lack of interest towords those different and "new" issues-. In general -and I whant to enfacise this because some people do make effords in this aspect- ballet stays in this closed old world because of a certain egocentricity which do not allow itself to go wrong, to break the rules, to try what is out of line, what is a bit wild, what is challanging. Many times ballet choreographers work also under a big time pressure, mostly imposed by the main theatre director, which takes the possibility away to really take time to do research...they must produce to performe and sell tickets, and this is where they should step forward and dear to do what they want...may be riscking even to loose their jobs. Tuff.

Sorry I think I went too far, but I really think it is a matter of will, interest, perseverance and breaking with old patterns and images.

Good night


Imma Sarries-Zgonc
AlienNation Co.
10829 Berlin
tel/fax.+49-30-782 9946