Survey of Arts Management

Course blog for American University PERF-570, Fall 2014

Joffrey Ballet’s Live Stream

I posted this article on the blog for my Technology/Marketing class, but I thought that you guys might dig it as well!

This article discusses the Joffrey Ballet’s live stream of a rehearsal for the company’s production of Swan Lake. The live stream shows viewers all of the blood, sweat, tears (not really) and effort that goes into making a ballet performance seem effortless. The full live stream, which consists of a three hour blocking rehearsal of Swan Lake, is available on YouTube. While I didn’t watch the entire video, I found the parts I did watch to be fascinating. And it is not just because I enjoyed Black Swan.   

 In the article, the author John Carnwath describes the experience of watching the live stream in real time. Carnwath mentions that while the live stream only had around 1,000 viewers, it provided viewers with an the opportunity experience the art in a new way, particularly giving viewers the chance to comment on what they were watching in real time. Carnwarth, who works for the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s Building Demand for the Arts program, mentions that while the success of this online broadcast could be measured in a direct way, such as through an increase in ticket sales for the ballet company, it can also be seen indirectly, through an increased demand for dance classes or an interest in dance itself.

 I think that live broadcasts such as these have a great potential to increase public interest in ballet. What I found most interesting about the video was watching the dancers take criticism from their director and make changes. The rehearsal made the dancers seem incredibly human, despite how they were contorting their bodies. Using digital media in this way can help dance companies market their art form in a more approachable level. By making their art form more approachable, I believe that the Joffrey Ballet gives the “maybes” more of an entryway into understanding dance. I think that this model would also work for other art forms, such as theater or music.

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2 comments on “Joffrey Ballet’s Live Stream

  1. shrulala
    September 26, 2014

    An interesting article about whether artists should embrace or resist technology –
    http://www.artsjournal.com/culturecrash/2014/09/do-artists-embrace-or-resist-technology.html
    Any more thoughts?

  2. sarasps85
    September 26, 2014

    There are a lot of advantages associated with these initiatives but don´t you think that it can also be a “tricky” subject if we talk about completely new creations? Many choreographers protect their work till the last minute because they are afraid that someone will take away their ideas… This week I learnt that a friend of mine (visual artist) found one of his pieces copied by another artist.
    The classical Swan Lake Ballet or even other modern variations of Swan Lake will not face these kind of problems but what about companies that dedicate their programs to contemporary creation? And this applies off course to music and theatre as well. I do not know what are the legal regarding this matters, in fact, any piece can be copied afterwards.

    Would love to have your opinion on this?

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