Thursday, June 21, 2007

Pillow Posts -- 6/20/07

As I mentioned before, the State Ballet of Georgia has a very different way of working, but now that I've gotten to watch the way they work for a while, I really like it. Theatre in America is very impersonal; authority is usually pretty strictly divided, and the emphasis is usually on efficiency. We joke around, but the measure of how good you are is how quickly and perfectly you can accomplish the task at hand.

State Ballet of Georgia, however, has kind of a My Big Fat Greek Wedding approach to theatre. I can't understand what they're saying, but most conversations usually involve two or three people talking simultaneously, all repeating the same thing over and over, and I assume that the last person to repeat their thing wins. They brought along a baby (the principal dancer's), family members, tons of crew of various types, and apparently a bicycle, since I don't know how else they could have possibly come up with one on the first day they were here.

The end result is that their dance company is more like a giant extended traveling family than what I would normally think of as a dance company. Yes, I'm sure that American dancers become very close to the people in their dance companies, but I don't think that they bring babies and their spouses along for the ride whenever they travel. It was very heartwarming to watch, because they would all celebrate after they finished each dance, whereas the professional American dancers I've seen so far simply throw on their street clothes and go home as fast as possible; it's a different attitude, certainly.

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