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Culture & Religion

Would You Pay To See A Digital Ballet?

A recently-formed production company is the newest in a growing line of people and organizations that are creating stage works tailored for viewing on computers and smartphones.

What’s the Latest Development?

This week Crystal Ballet — which is a production company, despite its name — released its first ballet designed specifically for the mobile age. For £15 (about US$23) a viewer can download Genesis, which features a number of accomplished dancers, to their computer, tablet or smartphone, and “according to artistic director Henry St Clair it has been filmed in such a way as to maximise the dynamism and impact of a live show.”

What’s the Big Idea?

It’s the latest in an increasing number of works that are being staged, so to speak, for small screens. In addition to Crystal Ballet, choreographer Susan Marshall has developed mobile-specific performances, and digital network TenduTV provides a range of differently-staged works for purchase or rental. Writer Judith Mackrell says that on the one hand, filmed dance performances “offer audiences instant and easy access, as well as providing a permanent record.” On the other hand, dance as an alternative to the screen “offers the direct physicality of live bodies in motion, the exhilarating transmission of emotional energy; above all, the knowledge that the performers are not only risking themselves on stage but offering the possibility of never-to-be-repeated moments of perfection.”

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Read it at The Guardian


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