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  1. #1

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    Who owns--or should own--choreography?

    On the basis of the US pairs thread and the Davis//Marley/Brubaker issue regarding reuse of a program, I thought it would be interesting to discuss this. While there are no doubt different contracts regarding choreography--and in some cases (mostly lower levels) no contract save a verbal agreement--what *should* the rules be regarding choreography? Is it OK to reuse or reproduce a program, so long as you credit the choreographer (and maybe the original skater)? Is this type of acknowledgment unnecessary?

    I'd be interested in those of you familiar with dance choreography and the understanding surrounding those. I know that for some choreographers reuse of a piece is highly restricted, but I'm not sure whether there's a general consensus in the dance world that should be adopted for skating.
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    If you watch Amber Corwin skate to Take 5 in 1999 and Lu Chen in 1997, I'm wondering if they shared the same choreographer because Corwin clearly uses of few of those moves.

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    In the US, the rights to the choreography belong to the choreographer unless there is a contract with the skater that says otherwise or unless the choreographer was legally considered to be an "employee" of the skater at the time. (When you are an employee, the rights to your works belong to your employer, but I think the skater-coach or skater-choreogrpher relationship is typically not employer-employee but rather a contractual services agreement.)

    I don't know about the rest of the world, but choreography is covered by US copyright law. Some articles discussing this:
    http://www.csulb.edu/~jvancamp/copyrigh.html
    http://www.lawlawlandblog.com/2010/0..._steal_my.html

    So, for example, if your ballet company wants to do a Balanchine piece, you need to apply for a license from the Balantine Trust. http://balanchine.com/faq/

    I am sure skating choreo would also come under the compass of this law. I don't know how vigilant skating choreographers are about depositing recording of their works with the Copyright Office.
    Last edited by Susan M; 08-06-2013 at 05:28 PM.

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    For professional show programs as whole entities, including discrete exhibition numbers by eligible skaters or group numbers staged by hired choreographers, rules for ownership could easily be adapted from rules from the professional dance world.

    Thinking in terms of competitive programs, what aspects of "choreography" could be considered ownable?

    *Choice of music
    *Concept of how to interpret a specific music choice
    *Layout of technical elements in time and space including basic stroking patterns to get from one element to the next
    *Specific steps, turns, body movements performed between elements and during step sequences
    *New positions, variations, or combinations thereof in spins, lifts, even air positions or landing positions on jumps, etc.

    Can individual elements (a whole step sequence, a unique lift variation) be owned? Or only whole programs?

    How much of a program needs to be identical to a previous "owned"/copyrighted performance to be considered the same and therefore subject to any restrictions?

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    I don't think any of those things alone would be protected.

    I think we need to look the copyright law, which actually separates the movement (copyrightable) from the choice of music and concept (not copyrightable).

    Also the law would not cover individual moves or positions, but the work as a whole (a series of movements). In other worlds, the choreographer submits a recording for the entire dance or performance. To claim a violation of copyright, you would need to find a large chunk of it that was repeated by someone else. An individual movement or position here or there or even a small number of movements like a combination spin would not, by themselves, be copyrightable. Copyright cases usually turn on the question of whether the piece as a whole (or at least major passages of it) are too much the same.
    Last edited by Susan M; 08-06-2013 at 05:42 PM.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Susan M View Post
    I don't think any of those things alone would be protected.

    I think we need to look the copyright law, which actually separates the movement (copyrightable) from the choice of music and concept (not copyrightable).

    Also the law would not cover individual moves or positions, but the work as a whole (a series of movements). In other worlds, the choreographer submits a recording for the entire dance or performance. To claim a violation of copyright, you would need to find a large chunk of it that was repeated by someone else. An individual movement or position here or there or even a small number of movements like a combination spin would not, by themselves, be copyrightable. Copyright cases usually turn on the question of whether the piece as a whole (or at least major passages of it) are too much the same.
    I never realized that. Most competition programs follow the same basic layout. The most difficult jump, followed by the most difficult jump combination (which are the same jumps for multiple skaters), then some footwork, then a spin, then some more jumps, a long footwork sequence, a difficult jump or jump combination at the start of the second half, a spin, some easier jumps, then the final fast spin. The music cuts, expressions, and accent moves seem to be the main contribution of the choreographer, which are important, but hard to quantify. I would bet the coach dictates the placement of the major elements in most cases. An ensemble number for a show would be a different story, but even that isn't like a ballet where you have a story in several acts.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Susan M View Post
    Also the law would not cover individual moves or positions, but the work as a whole (a series of movements). In other worlds, the choreographer submits a recording for the entire dance or performance.
    So the would-be rights owner would need to submit the program to the copyright office, it isn't automatically protected. (And this applies only within the US?)

    Then we get to the question of who owns the rights. The choreographer? Or would it be considered work for hire? How does the technical coach's input figure in, and the skaters' themselves? E.g., what if you have a non-skating choreographer who comes up with the theme, phrasing, general spatial patterns, whole body movements, etc., but leaves it to the coach and skaters to figure out which edge they're on at any given moment?

    Given the situation that inspired this thread, that still doesn't address the question of what happens when two members of a pair or dance team hire a choreographer together and then one member of the team later reuses the jointly purchased program with a different partner.

    There have also been situations where hired choreographers disclaim programs that skaters have attributed to them after changing or removing most of the choreographer's contribution, which is sort of the opposite of copyright violation.

    To claim a violation of copyright, you would need to find a large chunk of it that was repeated by someone else. An individual movement or position here or there or even a small number of movements like a combination spin would not, by themselves, be copyrightable.
    Even if a whole program is officially registered and protected, given the way that skating works, there will be numerous situations where subsequent skaters can use program concepts or signature moves or whole passages of choreography that others had used in previous programs without violating that protection. Skaters (or their fans) or choreographers might legitimately feel that "their" choreography had been "stolen" even when that is not legally the case.

    And there will be lots more instances -- frequently at lower levels, sometimes even at elite levels -- of skater and coaches who don't hire choreographers but reuse pretty much the same steps and same program layout with same arm movements as other of that coach's skaters have used before to the same or different music. And very often skaters/coaches are inspired by and emulate what they've seen from elites on TV.

    Certainly anyone who puts together a program that is coherent and original that showcases artistic creativity might do well to protect that work. Beyond that, I don't see how to avoid reuse of pieces of that work.

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    I don't think skating choreographers do copyright their work. I've read numerous skater biographies and no one has mentioned collecting or paying royalties even for choreographers such as John Curry, Robin Cousins, or Sandra Bezic who have done entire shows. I do remember Jayne Torvill saying that skaters such as themselves have no way to make money off of videos because they don't own anything and she and Christopher have choreographed entire shows. Johnny Weir said he couldn't afford to put out compilations of his performances because other people own the footage and he would have to buy the rights from them.

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    Every contract with a choreographer is different.

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    So the would-be rights owner would need to submit the program to the copyright office, it isn't automatically protected. (And this applies only within the US?)
    There are international agreements where countries have agreed to respect each others' copyrights but not everywhere.

    Copyright law is kind of odd, in that the creator can, in fact, claim rights even if they failed to copyright their creation. Once an issue arises, you just need to demonstrate with some kind of evidence that your version came first.

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    There is no one standard in dance for who owns the choreography and what the use rights are: it's a negotiation between the choreographer and the company or dancer commissioning the work, even when the choreographer is an employee or manager of a company; it's typical (at least now) for the ballet choreographers, especially well-known choreographers, to own the rights but to grant exclusivity to the commissioning company for a set period and/or geography, with that company deciding whether to cede those exclusivity rights with the cooperation of the choreographer.

    For example, George Balanchine was an employee of NYCB -- at a certain point for legal reasons, he had to accept a $1/year salary -- but he kept the rights to his ballets and had control over who performed them and at what cost, until he gifted the rights or left them to others in his will. The royalties money went to the original rights holder in all (or most) cases, and many rights were lifetime trusts, with the rights ceding to the Trust after their death.

    NYCB did not own the rights to the ballets, which became a big issue after Balanchine's death, given the internal conflicts over the then-joint Peter Martins/Jerome Robbins leadership, splits on the Board, Lincoln Kirstein in one of his crazier periods, etc. Since the bulk of its repertory and its reputation were anchored to Balanchine, the formation of the Trust and its work to get almost every rights holder to cede administration to the Trust was critical to the Company after the Trust decided up front to allow NYCB to dance the rep it controlled, especially as Peter Martins shut more and more of the rights-holders out of the Company and critics bashed the NYCB's performances of the Balanchine rep after the "Let's all pull together" years following Balanchine's death.

    Some rights holders kept their rights, like Suzanne Farrell, from whom the Company had to negotiate the right to perform ballets she owned for a season where they tried to stage everything that could be recreated as part of a Balanchine tribute, but it would have taken a lot of administrative resources to have this negotiation every season or year with multiple rights holders instead of the Trust. In the case of the Ashton rep, there is an Ashton Trust, but, for example, Wendy Ellis Somes owns the rights to "Cinderella," and she not only decides the few companies who will be allowed to dance it, but coaches it herself, as can be seen on the most recent season of "Breaking Pointe" where she stages it on Ballet West last season.

    There's no reason that the exclusivity model couldn't be negotiated with figure skates and between partners, but it would be an interesting claim to pursue, with programs layouts so similar among skaters -- even classical ballet, which relied on specific conventions and structure, ofter determined by the music, there was usually 2-4 hours to fill for a full-length and 18-30 minutes for a shorter balet, not 2.5-4'40" -- regardless of music.
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    Some practical questions:

    Skater A hires Choreographer B to choreograph a program. Skater A also pays for exclusive rights to that program.

    Skater C hires Choreographer D to choreograph a program but does not also buy the rights; Choreographer D owns the rights to the choreographer.

    How much of each program is covered by copyright?

    Can Choreographer B give the same whole program to Skater E the next year? With a few adjustments to account for the fact that Skater E does a salchow where Skater A did a lutz (requiring a different entry pattern), Skater E does a half-flip where Skater A did a half-lutz, Skater E does a layback with Biellmann where Skater A did a flying camel, etc.? Or does the whole concept and layout belong Skater A regardless of the changes in detail?

    Can Skater C reuse whole chunks of Choreographer D's program to different music the following year, without paying for a new program?

    What happens if Skater Q sees Skater A or Skater C on TV and decides to copy as much of the program as Q is capable of executing, but a lot of the content (transitions as well as elements) is watered down, as well as the program being shorter, because Q is a lower level skater?

    What recourse does the copyright holder, whether the skater or the choreographer, have in case of violations?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    Some practical questions:

    What recourse does the copyright holder, whether the skater or the choreographer, have in case of violations?
    Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer.

    I believe the copyright holder can file a copyright infringement suit and can request an injunction halting use of the allegedly infringing material in public performance.

    The burden of proof, though would be on the person claiming infringement. I think the reason we aren't likely to see this happening much in skating is that the recovery even if you won would be limited to damages and perhaps "profits" the skater earned through performance of the infringing work. I don't know how a skater could prove much monetary damage for another skater imitating an old program and the choreographer's damages would be pretty much defined by what their fee would have been for a new program. If you lose, you are out the cost of your legal bills and maybe the other guy's. (In other words, the person bringing suit would probably have more to lose than he/she did to gain, so it would likely only happen if the two programs were nearly identical.)

    I guess that's why coaches, skaters and choreographers have been pretty casual about this matter.

    Questions like how much does does a program need to be different to avoid infringing is the stuff law suits are made of. Obviously, the claimant will argue the two programs are substantially the same work and the defendant will argue it is different enough.

    I think it is well established by precedent that skaters sometimes use programs (especially show programs) for more than one year. Unless the skater-choreographer agreement included express limitations on the skater's right to the the program, the choreographer wouldn't have much basis for asking to be paid again if the skater continues to use some or all of the choreography.

    Again, a lot of this would turn on the terms of the contract for the choreographer's services.

  14. #14

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    Fred Astaire owned the rights to clips of him performing, but only clips. If the entire movie he was in plays the rights belong to TCM. There was a big brouhaha when the Kennedy Center did an event honoring Ginger Rogers and Astaire's widow wanted $70K for them to use clips of Ginger dancing with Fred. The event was televised, but only the live audience got to see the clips of Fred and Ginger because the Kennedy Center refused to pay.

    Since he did his own choreography I assume that is what he owned, or was it the performance itself?

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    The legal precedent is that substantial parts of the choreography must be the same, and a judge decides, regardless of the judge's depth of knowledge in the area. A judge could decide that Choreographer B's program for Skater E is enough the same that it is an infringement of copyright or not. I would expect if it came to court, Choreographer B would argue that the ISU rules limit the legal elements that can be performed as well as the length of the program, and show examples from other choreographers where the layout and/or details and/or music is substantially the same, and that some of that sameness is based not only on scoring-system incentives, but on basic principles of physiology -- i.e. there is a general window when lactic acid concentrates and makes big moves very difficult and requires a recovery period and there are certain moves that are best not done immediately after spins. If Skater E insisted on the same program, then if I were Choreographer B, I'd ask Skater E to get a formal agreement from Skater A to make an exception to the the exclusivity rights.

    If Choreographer D wanted to sue Skater C for using substantial chunks of the choreography to the different music, s/he'd have to show that a significant enough portion of material was re-used without permission.

    Mozart was given a commission for an original concerto, and he essentially took something that he'd already written and had already been performed for one instrument (flute, IIRC) and transposed it and tweaked it for another instrument (oboe ??). He famously wrote to his father whining that the guy was furious and wouldn't pay up, and the man's reputation went south until sometime in the later 20th century, when, in fact, it was Mozart who was at fault for not delivering a new work. Skating horeographers have far more restrictions when trying for something original.

    I don't see any financial incentive for doing so, but putting essentially putting a stay on it might be incentive enough.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanfan1818 View Post
    There is no one standard in dance for who owns the choreography and what the use rights are: it's a negotiation between the choreographer and the company or dancer commissioning the work, even when the choreographer is an employee or manager of a company; it's typical (at least now) for the ballet choreographers, especially well-known choreographers, to own the rights but to grant exclusivity to the commissioning company for a set period and/or geography, with that company deciding whether to cede those exclusivity rights with the cooperation of the choreographer.

    For example, George Balanchine was an employee of NYCB -- at a certain point for legal reasons, he had to accept a $1/year salary -- but he kept the rights to his ballets and had control over who performed them and at what cost, until he gifted the rights or left them to others in his will. The royalties money went to the original rights holder in all (or most) cases, and many rights were lifetime trusts, with the rights ceding to the Trust after their death.

    NYCB did not own the rights to the ballets, which became a big issue after Balanchine's death, given the internal conflicts over the then-joint Peter Martins/Jerome Robbins leadership, splits on the Board, Lincoln Kirstein in one of his crazier periods, etc. Since the bulk of its repertory and its reputation were anchored to Balanchine, the formation of the Trust and its work to get almost every rights holder to cede administration to the Trust was critical to the Company after the Trust decided up front to allow NYCB to dance the rep it controlled, especially as Peter Martins shut more and more of the rights-holders out of the Company and critics bashed the NYCB's performances of the Balanchine rep after the "Let's all pull together" years following Balanchine's death.

    Some rights holders kept their rights, like Suzanne Farrell, from whom the Company had to negotiate the right to perform ballets she owned for a season where they tried to stage everything that could be recreated as part of a Balanchine tribute, but it would have taken a lot of administrative resources to have this negotiation every season or year with multiple rights holders instead of the Trust. In the case of the Ashton rep, there is an Ashton Trust, but, for example, Wendy Ellis Somes owns the rights to "Cinderella," and she not only decides the few companies who will be allowed to dance it, but coaches it herself, as can be seen on the most recent season of "Breaking Pointe" where she stages it on Ballet West last season.

    There's no reason that the exclusivity model couldn't be negotiated with figure skates and between partners, but it would be an interesting claim to pursue, with programs layouts so similar among skaters -- even classical ballet, which relied on specific conventions and structure, ofter determined by the music, there was usually 2-4 hours to fill for a full-length and 18-30 minutes for a shorter balet, not 2.5-4'40" -- regardless of music.
    Ballet is more complicated than skating though, there are often cases where the rights aren't just to the choreography but to the music, costumes, scenery, lighting, etc. and all may be held by different people. Also getting the choreography rights can include limitations on how often you can perform the piece, how many performances, who coaches the piece, and even the type of hotel the company houses the coaches in. I would think that it would be very difficult for a skating choreographer to specify that choreography can only be taught by a specific person and can only be performed X amount of times within a certain period of time. Would be one way to solve the problem of reusing the same program year after year though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    Some practical questions:

    Skater A hires Choreographer B to choreograph a program. Skater A also pays for exclusive rights to that program.

    Skater C hires Choreographer D to choreograph a program but does not also buy the rights; Choreographer D owns the rights to the choreographer.

    How much of each program is covered by copyright?

    Can Choreographer B give the same whole program to Skater E the next year? With a few adjustments to account for the fact that Skater E does a salchow where Skater A did a lutz (requiring a different entry pattern), Skater E does a half-flip where Skater A did a half-lutz, Skater E does a layback with Biellmann where Skater A did a flying camel, etc.? Or does the whole concept and layout belong Skater A regardless of the changes in detail?

    Can Skater C reuse whole chunks of Choreographer D's program to different music the following year, without paying for a new program?

    What happens if Skater Q sees Skater A or Skater C on TV and decides to copy as much of the program as Q is capable of executing, but a lot of the content (transitions as well as elements) is watered down, as well as the program being shorter, because Q is a lower level skater?

    What recourse does the copyright holder, whether the skater or the choreographer, have in case of violations?
    Again drawing from the dance world, I recently went to a lecture by one of the great Balanchine ballerinas who said that one of the difficulties that the Balanchine Trust has is that their isn't necessarily one definitive version of each Balanchine ballet because Balanchine would change the choreography, sometimes substantially to fit different dancers. She said that generally each coach who coaches the Balanchine ballets trains the version that they learned and that the Trust hasn't been able to work out how to handle this. However, even with changes of steps, the "ballet" is still owned by the either the Trust or one of his dancers.

    Putting this in the skating context I would say that even with minor changes or watered down context the choreographer still owns the right to the particular program and could take legal action against the skater who has changed the program.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nikjil View Post
    Putting this in the skating context I would say that even with minor changes or watered down context the choreographer still owns the right to the particular program and could take legal action against the skater who has changed the program.
    But again, does it depend what the skater paid for or what rights the choreographer actively secured?

    Since it is a work for hire, if there is no written agreement, would the rights default to the choreographer or to the person who hired her?

    If there is a written agreement, then it would depend on what was agreed to in writing.

    What if the choreographer is also the coach, and the choreography was developed during lesson time, collaboratively between the skater and the coach having approximately equal input? (Or even if the coach has more input, it's the skater who is paying for it.)

    If there's nothing in writing to the contrary, what would prevent the skater from reusing and adapting some of that choreography in a future program, or revised version of the same program, after parting ways with this coach?

    Similarly, what would prevent the coach from taking a successful combination of skills (e.g., step sequence) developed for Skater J's program and asking another student Skater K to replicate it? Or reusing the same music and concept but different steps with Skater L?

    This kind of thing happens all the time at lower levels. At what level do the reputations, financial interests, or intellectual property rights of the choreographer, coach, and skater sufficiently affected that legal action might be appropriate? In which case it would be advisable to spell out in advance who owns rights to what.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nikjil View Post
    Again drawing from the dance world, I recently went to a lecture by one of the great Balanchine ballerinas who said that one of the difficulties that the Balanchine Trust has is that their isn't necessarily one definitive version of each Balanchine ballet because Balanchine would change the choreography, sometimes substantially to fit different dancers. She said that generally each coach who coaches the Balanchine ballets trains the version that they learned and that the Trust hasn't been able to work out how to handle this. However, even with changes of steps, the "ballet" is still owned by the either the Trust or one of his dancers.
    Since Balanchine allowed different people to stage his ballets in different versions throughout his lifetime, including the most controversial, the clipped "Apollo" he created when working with Baryshnikov and the full-length version I've seen by more than half dozen companies since then, Balanchine's own intentions and practices might be a place to start. I've heard a lot of the original dancers speak over the years, and most tend to be tied to "their" version, which the Balanchine Foundation is trying to capture on film as much as possible through coaching sessions with young dancers; these versions are often very different in sections of choreography and especially feel than what NYCB performs today. That kind of continuity might have occurred naturally through a Mariinsky- or Bolshoi-like coaching system; however, Balanchine liked to work fresh in the studio and send the retired dancers to stage elsewhere, and Peter Martins banished many after he became Co-Ballet-Master-in-Chief. (NYCB has always been averse to outside coaching; Suzanne Farrell said that Balanchine told her to forget what everyone else was telling her and to listen only to him, and she said, "And I did.")

    The most visible underlying issue is that the older generation of Trust-approved stagers worked directly with Balanchine or were taught the roles by the originators soon after the works were made and had extensive experience of working with Balanchine in the studio. The next (half) generation of stagers who aren't company directors tend to be from the soloist and corps ranks who are chosen because they have skill more than direct experience with the Principal roles, and the younger stagers barely worked with Balanchine. (Peter Boal, who is in his early 40's was made a corps member of NYCB the day Balanchine died.) There may be an institutional issue in that the Trust is uber-controlling and wants to standardize versions and stager training, since younger stagers would have no experience with the type of decisions Balanchine would have made. For example, Balanchine made different versions for some dancers, and others he insisted do what he had made, based on his knowledge of the dancer.

    Quote Originally Posted by nikjil View Post
    Ballet is more complicated than skating though, there are often cases where the rights aren't just to the choreography but to the music, costumes, scenery, lighting, etc. and all may be held by different people. Also getting the choreography rights can include limitations on how often you can perform the piece, how many performances, who coaches the piece, and even the type of hotel the company houses the coaches in.
    There are three main areas where ballet is specifically more complex than skating: sets, for which there are none in competitive skating, and these are not always subject to the ballet choreographer's approval; lighting, which is set without skater input, and again not always subject to the ballet choreographer's approval; and certain exclusivity provisions, where a competitor can't demand that no one else be able to use David Wilson's choreography in the same competition, for example, while a ballet company can restrict another company from performing a ballet or rep in their city. Plenty of ballet companies, sadly, don't use live music -- a few months ago I saw Ballet (sic) BC's "Giselle" with recorded music braying through the crappy Vancouver Playhouse sound system -- or perform some works by Tharp and Forsythe, for example, where recordings are contractually required, and not all of them are under union contracts. Skaters commission original music and musicians to record for them.

    A skating program could include all kinds of contractual provisions that are similar to complex ballet choreography contracts. A skater would be crazy to sign a contract that limited performances over a year -- there's always the chance that s/he would be assigned or qualify for additional competitions, but there would be nothing to stop a choreographer from demanding that the program be used for only one year -- it would be up to the skater to agree to the terms -- although there's little incentive, as choreographers don't take their work and stage it exactly for someone else, or we'd see these same provisions. I think it would be interesting to see different skaters do the same programs that others have, just as I like to see multiple casts and companies do the same ballet, with whatever updates were needed for the judging system (not needed for show programs), but that's not the way skating operates.

    Quote Originally Posted by nikjil View Post
    Putting this in the skating context I would say that even with minor changes or watered down context the choreographer still owns the right to the particular program and could take legal action against the skater who has changed the program.
    Quote Originally Posted by nikjil View Post
    I would think that it would be very difficult for a skating choreographer to specify that choreography can only be taught by a specific person and can only be performed X amount of times within a certain period of time. Would be one way to solve the problem of reusing the same program year after year though.
    What makes ballet different is that works are performed over time and morph into things that would be barely recognizable to the original choreographers. Petipa was already depressed at the changes made to his ballets by the end of his lifetime, especially the male solos, which are already recognizably "modern" to us, as opposed to the French style that he choreographed for his men. Balanchine believed his ballets looked the way they did because of the way the dancers move, not the steps; this is quite clear watching the Mariinsky Ballet perform "Jewels" for example. For the Balanchine Trust to standardize a version would mean taking a snapshot in time and imposing it on the works, using a single driver without any context, like the limitations/demands in place at the time (injury, size of stage, etc.)

    Skating choreography is almost always deliberately ephemeral: an outlier might compete the same choreography three times, like Petrenko, although under CoP, with yearly changes, that might not be quite as possible, or take an old program and revamp it for the new rules. It's been in practice closer to pay for hire. Choreographers have fans, on FSU, for example, to note how the choreography has been gutted/simplified over the course of the season and even from early run-throughs through the first competition, not to mention to give advice to skaters to simplify their programs so that they can land their elements. Few think that a Morozov skater who has outside choreography or a Mishin skater or Brian Joubert, who gets choreography from Stavisky, is actually performing the original choreography, although working with those choreographers can help in terms of expression in what is left, and ballet choreographers have been known to come back and make changes to make it possible to perform the entire work. What would be the point in suing Michelle Kwan for making tatters of Christopher Dean's "Bolero" or for Plushenko in using 2/3 of the rink at best after his first two jump passes and passing on the transitions? No one is not using David Wilson because a top competitor turns his program into something generic: the point is to get competitive results, not to win choreography awards and be considered an arteeste.

    Ballet choreographers have been known to walk and insist that their name not be on the credits, they've complained loudly that what was presented onstage wasn't close to their intention, and have either pulled the work (according to contract provisions wrt quality) or refused to allow the company to perform it again. But ballet choreographers are the biggest draw, even among the companies where the continuity of training and style has gotten them through horrific administration, burned down theaters, and war. Who goes to Euros specifically to see David Wilson's choreography?
    Last edited by kwanfan1818; 08-08-2013 at 11:53 PM.
    "'Is this new BMW-designed sled the ultimate sledding machine for Langdon and Holcomb?' Leigh Diffey asked before the pair cruised to victory. I don’t know, but I know that sled is the ultimate Olympic Games product placement.." -- Jen Chaney

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