After showing some quads and convoluted spins at honest levels, the Tech does seem to have improved, but where in hell are those glorious presentations we used to have?
.And Joe, yes my ballet school followed the Russian style because we did classical ballet. Balanchine, in his leotard/tights programs, was doing neo-classical. Not all had a character to imbibe. My ballet company does do neo-classical, but understood that classical is its forte so it frequently did programs in that vein.[QUOTE]
There is no teaching style in ballet anymore. There is such an exchange of technique that companies use whatever works best, and that's why all companies are dancing better. Alicia Alonso (Cuban ballerina) gave classes to the Bolshoi ballet stars back in the 50s, on how to pirouette 6 rotations which they could not do before. They marveled at her when she toured Russia.
The bottom line here is that Ballet is not a Sport.
And SOA shows that very well. I just do not appreciate ornate costumes in the Sport. There isn't even any scoring for costumes. If you want the Sport to become a Pagaent, then so be it, but it is not comparable to professional ballet.Like it or not, many figure skaters use music fit for a character, and costumes go a long way.
How many people actually understood OBO? If you gave the typical fan the complete list of ordinals for each judge, in many cases it would be impossible for that fan to figure out who won (this is especially true for the skaters in the middle of the pack.)
At the 2002 Olympics, the New York Times published a big but erroneous story claiming that if the U.S. judge (Joe Inman) had placed Kwan in second and Slutskaya third, instead of the other way around, then Kwan would have won the gold medal.
This would have been correct if the Olympics were using the "majority of ordinals" method of determining the winner (the method used, for instance, at U.S. nationals.) But the Olympics used OBO ("one-by-one") instead, so under that system, two extra judges would have had to switch Kwan and Slutskaya in order to take the prize from Hughes.
Here are the ordinals for the LP.
................GER RUS SVK DEN ITA BLR FIN CAN USA
Slutskaya.. 1......1.......1......4.......1.....2......3...... 2.......2
Kwan..........2......2......2......2.......2.....3 ......3... ..2.......3
Switch the 2 and the 3 for the U.S. judge, and Kwan wins the majority of first and second place ordinals over Slutskaya 7 to 6. Kwan gets second in the LP and first overall. (I don't have space here to list all the cross tables for OBO. )
Under ordinals some really wierd mathematical things were possible, and actually happened occasionally. Thing like -- skater A (first) is leading skater B (second), with one skater left to go. That skater manages to insert herself between skaters C and D, well behind the leaders, and gets fourth place. Now B wins. Why? Well some (a minority) of the judges had D ahead of A or B, so when the last skater beat D, that also affected the spreadsheets for A and B.
Mathematically, the trouble with ordinals is that they cannot be treated like ordinary numbers. You cannot average ordinals, for instance. (Basically, this is because you cannot add ordinals: 1st place + 2nd place = 3rd place?). Doing statistical analysis of ordinals is a bear because they do not follow standard probabiltity distributions. Plus, under ordinal judging you cannot guarantee that there will be a clear winner (this is called the "Condorcet paradox," or the "rock-paper-scissors paradox.")
What is interesting is that despite all this, most people thought (incorrectly) that they understood ordinal judging, but (also incorrectly) that they couldn't understand the new system. There just seemed to be an immediacy, in the old system, between the performance the spectatrs saw on the ice and the results. This immediacy seems to be lacking now, for some reason.
Last edited by Mathman; 05-06-2009 at 10:21 AM.
All this makes me think, what are the Japanese and the South Korean federations doing right that people still watch figure skating? And how can the North Americans learn? Is it because their skaters are stars, and if its, isn't that like the chicken and egg thing?
Joe, there is still different teaching styles here in the Philippines. We don't normally get that many visiting dancers that aren't Russian (and there were others, not in my school, I don't know why)
This is getting out of our topic but I wish to say that Ballet is and will always be a classical art. No one can say that there is no teaching style in ballet anymore. Classical Ballet has a syllabus for all different levels from beginners to intermmediates and advance even until the teacher's syllabus. The Classical Shows like the Nutcracker Suite, Midsummer's Night Dream, Cinderella,etc., are all being taught and until perfected. Then, there are also other classes (in a company) where the company members are being taught like modern ballet, contemporary dance, jazz , and tap and sometimes they add other optional classes like tango--all these classes make all the dancers very versatile. Then when there are shows, aside from the Classical (Swan Lake ,etc.), other choreographies are also shown. JOESITZ, I hope you don't mind me answering. There are actually the French Style where Royal Academy comes in (of Dame Margot Fonteyn) which is more refined, then there's the Russian Style (like Baryshnikov) where there is more bravura. If you like to know more about Ballet, please don't hesitate to message me. I forgot to tell you that my En Dehor Pirouette, minimum double and my normal pirouette is quadruple and my daring pirouette is five and six. So, I think for someone to know about Ballet is to observe a company class. So sorry for getting carried away. Sorry JOESITZ, I don't mean to be mean but I just want to give some info.
wishmaker. Ballet is not folk dancing although like figure skating it incorporates dance forms from sources around the world. There is a vocabulary of steps and tricks wth emphasis on what the Italians created long before any other country did. The Italians danced with pointed toes and turned out knees. The French Consul in Italy at the time, was amazed and got permission to have the Italian dancers perform in Paris. And that was the beginning of Ballet with the French creating ballets in the form used by Opera. Visiting diplomats, notanbly the Danes, started their school of ballet. Eventually, with Russia coming out of the doldrums, had Peter and his German wife to have ballet in Petersburg. The Kirov was born, and Danish, French, and Italian balletmasters were invited to train the Russian dancers. There were different styles of teaching among these contributors to train Russian ballet students, and the Russians eked out the best of these teachers.
Fast forward, the general public always preferred opera, and ballet became a very second second form of cultural entertainment. (It wasn't till the mid 20th century that the Americans appreciated.) But the Russians loved it and the public acknowledge the Ballets Russes. Now the Russians are catching up to Modern Ballet and Ratmansky is quite good.
There is more to ballet than implying that children's fairy stories are the classical forms. To study ballet and dance to Nicholas Cage is very possible. You are not yet able to see that.
What all this has to do with Young Men wearing sequins, is a matter of taste. No? I for one, do not like it. I believe one can still be feminine-like without audacious costumes.
The body language sells the program - not the costume.