Balletco started in August 1996 as a place for the audience to have its say and to be less stuffy about it all. We started one of the first forums and in 1997 our electronic magazine emerged with a mix of professional and much-less-hallowed views. Also in 1997 our first dancer diaries started – the term blog had not been invented back then. I could go on but it would be boring when you could be wandering around new Balletco and the archives, seeing the reality of past and present. But one thing…
Balletco and our new designs are about serious and thoughtful criticism of dance and ballet across the world. In a sea of blogs and social media we look to shine a light on great writing, supported by good imagery and latest news especially from our TodaysLinks service and Reviews Database. We are putting more emphasis on great criticism because we are worried for its future as outlets are lost, but none of that detracts from our roots and we remain a place for the audience to have its say – thoughtful, spontaneous or gushing.
To all we say contribute: in any of the many possible ways, and to professional writers we say: contact us!
We are not about ballet only. We are about dance in all its rich variety. Professional dance writers tend to cover more ballet than dance and we reflect that. Even so a better title might have been wise, we know! Too late to change now so we all need to get over it and just cover the totality of dance out there.
We are not about just the UK – we cover dance in the USA and Australia and each day we scour the world for dance links to present to readers (TodaysLinks) and feed our Reviews Database. We want to cover dance better in Europe, Canada, New Zealand and Japan – and the new platform will help us do that.
We call ourselves Balletco (not ballet.co.uk).
Practical Aspects of New Balletco
First things first – Huge thanks is due to all Balletco contributors and helpers and I’ve tried to include them all in the new designs. No list will ever be complete but we have looked to say more about all who make it happen and clicking on a writers name will take you through to a bio page about them. Huge thanks to Daria Klimentova (English National Ballet, Senior Principal) who is our new lead image and took the picture herself – there is no end to her skills!
The new designs are about making the hottest stuff we do easier to find.
If you visit regularly then the Home page shows all the latest articles, the very latest in the top spot. But if you want to see all the latest Reviews just go into that section. Ditto Interviews, TodaysLinks, Blogs etc.
The Magazine view is where we batch up all that we do in a month and present it with star articles at the top, like interviews, reviews of premieres etc and run through to a listing of all the TodaysLinks collected each day in the month. It’s a list that typically stretches back over 2 or 3 pages – we do a lot.
Balletco has tens of thousands of archive pages and all these are retained, as is the way they link together. All your old bookmarked links should still work. To make it clear when you are on an old page, we have generally added a bar at the top with a link to the Home page and new navigation.
Although the new pages allow visitors to comment directly on articles, which we much encourage, we don’t want to lose our Forum which in an increasingly ephemeral net has proved a good repository of fans thoughts for very many years. The Forum remains in its old designs for now. People can also comment via Twitter and Facebook, of course.
Our unique Reviews Database has details of over 36,000 reviews and is used by many for research on what happened when and what was thought of it. It remains in the old designs for now but over time these will change and become more fully integrated.
That’s the end of this whistle-stop overview – go play and go contribute!
15 August 2011