Facing the music

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Recently, I received a video clip on WhatsApp featuring dancers from the Ballet corps of the Paris Opera, all performing to segments of Prokofiev’s “Dance of the Knights” music in “Romeo and Juliet”. The clip was unusual because the dancers were all performing in their homes.

The dancers must have recorded sequences and sent them to the company’s social media marketing team, who edited and circulated the attractive video. It was certainly appealing and likely to captivate most those of us who like this performance genre.

After watching the clip, I thought about the impact of Covid-19 on artists who have dedicated their lives to classical performing arts. How will the sector survive, if a solution isn’t found to the current issue we’re all facing?

Social distancing is going to be around for a long time. Live streaming and video conferencing can make performances accessible to audiences, but the logistics of rehearsing and performing close to each other is another issue that needs to be addressed,

When Irving Berlin wrote the lyrics to his song “Let’s face the music and dance”, it’s unlikely that he could have imagined that we would all be faced with a conundrum such as this one.