I have been recently hard at work on BalletFleming and the 1st three months of 2012 which will be a very busy time with Performances in Tampa and Philadelphia to name a few. With just me, The Steering Committee and the dancers to help get this all done it can be a daunting task.
One of our next goals moving forward is of course is to have a company manager and business manager. Until that time, it falls upon me to be Choreographer, Development Director, Strategic Planner, Bookkeeper, Ballet Master, Booking Agent, Chief Bottle Washer and etc. I don’t complain it is what I have chosen to do and in an odd way I’m very confident about the out come.To a small group of interested sponsors the other day I described creating and operating a new Ballet Company as sort of being like a Plate Spinner. Two of the older members of the group smiled at me and knew exactly what I meant. Two of the younger members of the group stared at me with blank expressions. Their reaction was; “Ah wait don’t you just create Ballets? “
To explain; As a youngster of perhaps 5 or 6 years I remember watching The Ed Sullivan Show on Sunday evenings. Every once in awhile Ed would have on his variety show a guy who spun plates on the top of skinny four foot poles, twenty of them at least. His job was to get all of those plates spinning on top of those poles at once at the same time. This would require him to keep running back and forth at a frantic pace adding new plates while keeping the others in the air spinning at all times. If he spent to much time on one, another at the other side of the line might fall down. It was a crazy and exhausting effort to make every thing happen at once. And that Ladies and Gentlemen is the job of an Artistic Director in my position.
Again, I have chosen this as my quest. It was just interesting for me to discover that the profession that most resembles my own is a Circus Manipulation Art, Go figure!
Below is the Wikipedia definition of what I’m trying to do. Also a link to video from the Ed Sullivan show
The Traveling Ballet Master
Plate spinning is a circus manipulation art where a person spins plates, bowls and other flat objects on poles, without them falling off. Plate spinning relies on the gyroscopic effect, in the same way a top stays upright while spinning. Spinning plates are sometimes gimmicked, to help keep the plates on the poles.
Western plate spinning performers usually present comedy acts and typically feature one performer with an assistant, spinning multiple plates on sticks held vertically in stands.
The unbroken world record for spinning multiple plates, verified as a Guinness World Record is held by David Spathaky, assisted by Debbie Woolley, who spun 108 plates simultaneously in Bangkok, Thailand on television in 1996. He had previously held and broken his own record four times since 1986.
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