Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Looking forward to the Gala and trying to get the Night Fall Video to work

Standard YouTube Licence

This time next week Team Terpsichore should be in Amsterdam.

We are very excited about it.  One member of our team is an eating expert who can't wait to get her gnashers into riijsttafel, Gouda, Edam, Leerdammer and every other cheese in Holland not to mention Calve peanut butter which you just can't get in this country.

Apart from one meeting with my editor at Kluwer at which we shall probably speculate at great length whether Brexit has torpedoed the unitary patent and the Unified Patent Court, this will be my first opportunity in years to play the tourist and see the bits of Amsterdam that I have never quite got round to before. Top of my list is the van Goch museum having been inspired by Chantry Dance's Vincent (see Duology  29 Sept 2015) and our pals at Casa Alessia in Italy (see From Italy with Love 1 July 2016).

However, we are looking forward to the Gala most of all. I attended it last year and described it as The best evening I have ever spent at the ballet 13 Sept 2015 without the slightest exaggeration. The only comparable event I can remember was Sir Fred's retirement gala at the Royal Opera House on 24 July 1970. This year promises to be even better as it features Igone de Jongh who is one of my favourites in the company.

Having praised the Dutch National Ballet to the rafters I am now going to say something that they probably won't like so much and that is that is that I can't see anything special about Night Fall.  The hype in yesterday's press release would have done credit to Lord Mandeslson:
"In Night Fall, the viewer feels like part of the corps de ballet, entering a world where the boundary between dream and reality seems to vanish. The choreography is inspired by the world-famous ‘white acts’ from Romantic ballets like Swan Lake, La Bayadère and Les Sylphides. The ballet was choreographed by Peter Leung, a former dancer with Dutch National Ballet, to music composed by Robin Rimbaud (Scanner). It was directed by Jip Samhoud and Marijn Korver from &samhoud media. Night Fall is a co-production by Dutch National Ballet, &samhoud media and Chester Music. The Samsung Galaxy S7 and Gear VR provide the technology that makes it possible to produce the first ballet in Virtual Reality."
That may be the idea but it hasn't worked for me up to now. I've tried the YouTube video on my Chromebook and a brand new Huawei Honor smart phone which cost me a lot of lolly. The phone showed everything double. The images were was so small that I could hardly make out any detail. The figures on the YouTube were very dimly lit and seemed to me out of focus. As for the violin I couldn't stop thinking of Sherlock Holmes.

Now it may well be that I don't have the right kit or that I failed to carry out the instructions correctly but I got more and more grumpy as the night wore on. That was a shame because I had such a nice class in Manchester and was in excellent spirits at the start of the evening.  This is not the first time the company has experimented with mobile phone technology. Ernst Mesiner choreographed Bounden for the Game Oven and I actually downloaded the app (see Bounden - Something that appeals to my Interests in Technology and Dance 17 Dec 2013). Mel and I tried very hard to get it to work in a cafe in Sheffield no doubt providing hilarious entertainment for everyone in the eatery - but it just wouldn't.

Now as a patent lawyer (which I do better than shades. swans or even statues) I applaud innovation as it funds my balletomania. But I think a bit more R & D needs to go into Night Fall.  The press release came from Richard Heideman. We'll look out for him on Wednesday. Maybe he or one of his staff can get Night Fall to work for Mevrouw de Eter en me.

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