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Bravo or something elseWhat do you do to signal appreciation?


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#1 bart

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 07:39 PM

Re-reading an Arlene Croce review, I came across a statement from the 1970s that implied that the "falsetto whoof" was replacing the bravo in New York City performances of the day.

I've always felt that dancers usually deserve an audible, enthusiastic responsel, and I am willing to be noisy when the curtain falls. In my pedantic youth, I used to look closely at the stage prior to shouting either bravo, brava, brave, or bravi, depending on gender. Now I go for the unadorned bravo or the whoof.

What do you do to signal your appreciation of performance? In what circumstances do you do it? What's the furthest you will go? Do you ever signal disapproval audiblyl?

And if you are or have been a dancer, what audience tribute did you appreciate the most?


P.LS. Croco broods about the whoof: "Is [this] another mark of the Me generation? Bravos, oles -- all the traditional audience vocables -- say, YOU were wonderful.; they're directed to the performer. These wordless woofs say, I'M wiped out." Another of those wonderful, intense Croce pontifications that (alas) make you think: Maybe there is less to this than meets the eye.

#2 Gina Ness

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 08:01 PM

I also go for the bravo or the whoof...mostly the "bravo". It's what I prefered as a dancer (and I was one). But, I hung up my pointe shoes in 1985, so that was some time ago...I only bravo if I'm truly bowled over by a performance. I would never show disapproval by booing or anything of that nature. I would consider this to be incredibly boorish. Artists work so hard that even if a performance is truly dreadful, I just would not have the heart to do this. I always try to find some good or positive even if less than a stellar performance.

#3 Helene

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 08:21 PM

I'm a clapper. "Woof" never felt right, but "woo hoo" works for sporting events :thanks:

#4 Marga

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Posted 10 April 2005 - 08:39 PM

I am an enthusiastic woofer, although I usually leave off the "f". I didn't know it was supposed to have one. :)

My vocalisation, after a stellar performance, usually starts with a loud "wooo!" or "bravo/a" (I, too, attempt to match gender, but am thinking of giving it up) and is followed by palm-reddening clapping, my hands rising from my lap to a mid-air position somewhere near my head.

Of late, the acclaim at the performances I've been to has taken on a Russian flavour, as the beat-your-own-drum North American applause morphed to the let's-all-clap-in-unison Russian cadence, which speeds up according to the pleasure the audience as a whole had in viewing the dancers.

Personally, I try to get in a few more "wooo"s if the dancing warranted it. I'm usually moved to do more than I do, but rein myself in because by nature I am conservative and stop before my seat neighbours think I've gone bonkers. :thanks:

#5 diane

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Posted 11 April 2005 - 04:11 AM

I usually clap loudly, seldom shout bravo, and sometimes stamp my feet, which is what is done here.

The simultaneous clapping is quite common in Germany, too; I had no idea it was considered Russian.

When I was dancing, I was pleased if people clapped loudly and long, and any bravos or whatever was also great.

I agree with Gina Ness that booing or anything like that is not on. And, anyway, usually it was not the dancers' "fault" for whatever went wrong with a production.
So, unless those responsible come onstage, I feel it best to withhold a negative response.

(editing to add: and even then I am a bit conservative and tend to give them all the benefit of the doubt)
-d-

#6 AmaG520

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Posted 11 April 2005 - 11:04 AM

I am a dancer of a smaller company in a small city, because we have many "recreational" dance groups, parents tend to "woo hoo" "woof" all the time, while the louder the better attitude reigns here, i think bravos show the crowd is proud of the work, and not just yelling for their daughter...

(must admitt, the louder, does give the dancers a rise, showing that the audience really liked the performance)

#7 Marga

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Posted 11 April 2005 - 11:59 AM

The simultaneous clapping is quite common in Germany, too; I had no idea it was considered Russian.

Diane, I almost wrote "European" clapping, assuming it to be prevalent all over Europe, but with no proof, stuck to what I knew.

The Russians here in Canada and in the U.S. (at least New York) have started to make up a large part of the audience for certain ballet performances, and it is clearly they who start the rhythmic clapping. I also know that it goes on in Russia, hence my attributing its origin to the Russians.

Does anyone know if this kind of clapping is native to Russia or did it begin elswhere?

#8 Ari

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Posted 11 April 2005 - 12:27 PM

The Russians here in Canada and in the U.S. (at least New York) have started to make up a large part of the audience for certain ballet performances, and it is clearly they who start the rhythmic clapping.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


This may mean we're in for some confusion. :( In the U.S., rhythmic clapping is considered rude. It's usually done as an expression of impatience, as when the audience is seated and the curtain doesn't go up.

#9 Marga

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Posted 11 April 2005 - 12:37 PM

In the U.S., rhythmic clapping is considered rude.  It's usually done as an expression of impatience, as when the audience is seated and the curtain doesn't go up.

You're right, Ari! But I don't think anyone will get mixed up. With the globalization of ballet, dancers and audiences unused to it will begin to realize it is a supreme accolade.

So far, I've only witnessed this phenomenon occuring at the very end of the performance, and, at least in North America (for now!) it is preceded by the kind of applause we are used to hearing.

#10 carbro

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Posted 11 April 2005 - 12:59 PM

It really depends on what the ballet was and the ways I was affected. I can't see myself doing anything other than "Bravo/a/i!!!" for a Pillar of Fire or a Mozartiana that brings me to tears, but a rousing DonQ, definitely warrants a "Whoooop!" Then there are those middle ground ballets -- most ballets. I guess whether I bravo or whoop for them depends on the specific performance, but it seems to me that as time goes by, I've become more of a whooper than a bravo-er.

If I think people near me are overreacting in their enthusiasm, I applaud less, to compensate. :(

#11 oberon

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Posted 11 April 2005 - 02:01 PM

I am a very vocal ballet-goer, stemming from my 40-years as a devoted opera fan. Yelling "bravo/brava/bravi" (when it's deserved, of course) is fun. Once in a while I will let out a high "whoop" though I feel rather undignified doing it at my age. Once I actually screamed - for Wendy. I couldn't control myself! I think the dancers love to be cheered.

I have only booed once at the ballet and that was at the NYC premiere of the Balanchine COPPELIA when I and some friends booed Danilova because we hated her staging of the second act. And I still basically don't like it, but since I rarely go to COPPELIA anymore it doesn't matter.

#12 Farrell Fan

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Posted 11 April 2005 - 03:27 PM

I'm shocked that you booed Danilova, Oberon. Have you also booed Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy? I hope you have a new group of friends.

#13 oberon

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Posted 11 April 2005 - 06:01 PM

I don't believe in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy. We weren't the only ones booing, either.

#14 Jack Reed

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Posted 17 April 2005 - 11:48 AM

Clapping is my chosen method, as loud as possible if the performance warrants it (unless the people in front of me turn around and express displeasure, as happens sometimes) and hands over head for added carrying of the sound to the stage. Sometimes a bravo/a/i or two, if there's not too much water in my pipes.

What's the farthest I'll go to show my appreciation? I'll write out a check, and send it to the company...

#15 sandik

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Posted 19 April 2005 - 01:29 PM

Well, the gentleman behind me at Pacific Northwest Ballet last Friday is part of the "bravo" school, but he seems to swallow the first syllable and shout the second, so it was "...Vo! ...Vo!"


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