Friday, May 2, 2014

The Australian Ballet Breaks the Rules in Digital Marketing Push - Chroma Sydney Part 2

On Monday evening The Australian Ballet did what to many will seem the unthinkable. They gave a handful of bloggers and digital media influencers free-reign to photograph, Tweet, Instagram, and Blog direct from the preview performance of their all modern contemporary dance triple bill Chroma. The 'Digital Media' as we were being called were met at the Stage Door at 6 PM sharp, issued Visitor badges and ushered through to the back of the Opera House overlooking the harbour and seated in the plush lounges to be told about theatre 'house keeping.' Artistic Director David McAllister greeted us, asked if there was anyone who had NOT been to the ballet before (there were two), gave us a little background on the nights performances - one Australian Premier, Chroma with British 'wild child' choreographer Wayne McGregor in attendance, a World Premier of Australian Ballet ART TO SKY (2014) by Choreographer Stephen Baynes and Jiří Kylián’s Petite Mort & Sechs Tänze (photographed below) which is an established piece of repertoire for the dance company. David advised us to enjoy ourselves, to keep our voices down during the rehearsal periods that would follow the performances, but to generally go on and do our digital media thing and make the best of this privileged opportunity.
The Sydney opera house Sails at night - Phone Camera image. Photo by Kent Johnson.
Sydney Opera House sails at night.
Well OK yes, of course but really, why were we there? To my knowledge The Australian Ballet is Australia's oldest Ballet company with links back to the Royal Ballet in London and great names of the Ballet Stage. This is a traditional ballet company with its roots in classical ballet. What were the digital media brigade doing there, and who were these people? I only recognised one face among them! And here we were about to do the kind of thing only traditional media have been allowed to do; the freedom to photograph, Tweet, Facebook and Instagram, well whatever social media we had.. blog and post the night away! As a professional photographer who started this blog for fun supporting fashion and the arts in Sydney six years ago I could hardly believe my luck!
Preview crowd and media, Chroma, Sydney opera House Dame Joan Sutherland Hall. Photography by Kent Johnson.

An Instagram picture from Chroma - Camera Phone snap from the back of the Fujifilm X-Pro1 blogged live on the Preview night. Photographer Kent Johnson.
An Instagramed picture from Chroma - live blogged on the Preview night.
Of course before experiencing the performances I really had little idea as to what I would be seeing although I knew enough about contemporary dance to expect not to see any Tutus on the night! Chroma was electric, the lighting and the unconventional moves of the dancers, all quite exhilarating to watch see my Chroma Part 1 here. And that something very special, seeing the dancers rehearse and tweak the moves with choreographer Wayne McGregor at the end of the full Chroma dress rehearsal. So special I decided to shoot some video of the mesmerising repetitions of the dancers on the stage, warming down, studying their moves, and/or awaiting instruction from Wayne.

I loved the video so much I included it at the top of my Chroma Part 1 blog post, and sent off the link to my PR contact at the Ballet. Only to quickly find out that it was me who had apparently broken the rules, NO VIDEO ALLOWED! Can you please take it down.
Now no-one told me not to shoot video. And house rules, no photography, no phones, no video.. one assumes all are out the window in a situation like this. I was only asked to do what I do - photograph, Blog, Tweet, Instagram, social network the Ballet. Of course I took the video down, I certainly don't; want to bite the hand that feeds me, but then, surely video is part of the future of Blogging and Social Media, when every mobile device that can take a picture can also record sound  and the moving image and as well.

So instead, here's a still image of Wayne with the dancers from The Australian Ballet's production of Chroma. Should we be able to see the video as well? Let me know in the comments below and I will bring your thoughts to the Ballet's attention.

And why were we there? I think its because a classical company producing modern ballet is giving modern media a chance to spread the word - Modern Ballet is Brilliant! Check out my shots below, and Part 1 here.. please leave comments and any thoughts about video - mine was shot by a professional !-)
The Australian Ballet - CHROMA - Preview & Dress Rehearsal with Wayne McGregor - Photographed by Kent Johnson.
The Australian Ballet - CHROMA - Preview & Dress Rehearsal with Wayne McGregor

The Australian Ballet,  Petite Mort & 

A little death or is it an orgasm? Petite Mort & Sechs Tänze The Australian Ballet - Preview & Dress Rehearsal - Photographed by Kent Johnson.
Sword play, Petite Mort, The Australian Ballet - Preview & Dress Rehearsal - Photographed by Kent Johnson.
Sword dance, Petite Mort, The Australian Ballet - Preview & Dress Rehearsal - Photographed by Kent Johnson.
Floating black sea reveals many people - Petite Mort, The Australian Ballet - Preview & Dress Rehearsal - Photographed by Kent Johnson.
Classic ballet forms in modern ballet, Petite Mort, The Australian Ballet - Preview & Dress Rehearsal - Photographed by Kent Johnson.
Classical forms - carrying the ballerina, Petite Mort, The Australian Ballet - Preview & Dress Rehearsal - Photographed by Kent Johnson.
Male and Female leads, Petite Mort, The Australian Ballet - Preview & Dress Rehearsal - Photographed by Kent Johnson.

Sechs Tänze by Jiří Kylián

Oversize black ball gowns, costume and prop, Sechs Tänze The Australian Ballet - Preview & Dress Rehearsal - Photographed by Kent Johnson.
Male dancers in black ball gowns, Sechs Tänze,The Australian Ballet - Preview & Dress Rehearsal - Photographed by Kent Johnson.
The chase begins, Sechs Tänze,The Australian Ballet - Preview & Dress Rehearsal - Photographed by Kent Johnson.
Some crime? Sechs Tänze,The Australian Ballet - Preview & Dress Rehearsal - Photographed by Kent Johnson.
The man revealed, nude, no flowers! Sechs Tänze,The Australian Ballet - Preview & Dress Rehearsal - Photographed by Kent Johnson.
Male dancer in ball gown with fencing foil. Sechs Tänze,The Australian Ballet - Preview & Dress Rehearsal - Photographed by Kent Johnson.
Jumping for joy, Sechs Tänze,The Australian Ballet - Preview & Dress Rehearsal - Photographed by Kent Johnson.
Walk like an Egyptian, Sechs Tänze,The Australian Ballet - Preview & Dress Rehearsal - Photographed by Kent Johnson.
Detail - Three principal dancers, classical/modern dance forms, leap. Sechs Tänze,The Australian Ballet - Preview & Dress Rehearsal - Photographed by Kent Johnson.
An exit! Sechs Tänze,The Australian Ballet - Preview & Dress Rehearsal - Photographed by Kent Johnson.
Special thanks to the Australian Ballet for the inviting Kent Johnson's Street Fashion Sydney to the digital media preview of Chroma.

Chroma makes its Australian debut at Sydney Opera House on 29 May for 10 performances only before travelling to Melbourne in June.

https://www.australianballet.com.au/
http://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/



Street Fashion Sydney - shot with the Fujifilm X-Pro1 
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