Balletco going into archive

by Bruce Marriott on December 15, 2011

23 December 2011 update
see ‘Balletco Forum Available Again plus Opportunity to Discuss Future

17 January 2012 update
DanceTabs: a new Magazine

I’m really sorry to say but after 15½ years Balletco will be closing to further development in mid-January and will go into long-term archive – nothing should be lost (including the forum discussions) and it will remain a repository for how the net first covered dance/ballet – or part of it did anyway.

I’d like to thank dearly all our contributors and helpers since the summer of 1996 – Balletco would not be anything without all their endeavours. It’s been an eventful and fruitful ride and I think the archive will show that for posterity.

I’d love to carry on, nobody likes calling it a day, but it takes huge amounts of effort not to say some money to run at such a scale and even with all our lovely contributors and helpers it’s a very, very, hard thing to sustain, and lately, this last year or two, very hard. It’s also a changing world and new sites, much more socially aware, are coming through, while forums, one part of what we do, are being used less, for example. I hope all the wonderful energy and talent of those who made us special will combine in new ways to push dance and its appreciation forward. (23 December update – see ‘Balletco Forum Available Again plus Opportunity to Discuss Future‘). And I’m really pleased that over our 15 years we have given opportunity to many to grow as writers and develop wider knowledge. I’m also very proud of what we achieved in terms of TodaysLinks and the nearly 38,000 Reviews links we have in the database – thanks to all who have helped make that happen every single day over the years.

I should perhaps add that my own circumstances have changed and a life of less stress and not always feeling on call is really needed. Although the latest wretched circumstances around our server being used by spammers has brought things to a head, this is something I’ve meditated on for a good while now – I’m very tired. I’d very much like to see quality coverage of dance continue in parallel with the social side and the new bloggers’ take on dance, but I have done my bit and it’s for others to carry new flames now – and in new ways too.

In going into archive I’d be very happy to point people at new endeavours, particularly by those who have contributed so much to Balletco. It may be that numbers of you come together to run your own forum or site – contact me if you are interested and I’ll put you in touch with others interested. Subject to spam levels not causing further disruption the plan is to remain as is until mid-January and we will still add articles and reviews in that period. We will then switch to low-cost web space and in the old designs which will archive better. Work will need doing to ensure that the old forum threads are readable once again (thank you, Trog) – there is a lot of gold in there I think. The intention is not to lose anything we have accumulated. I’ll certainly do my best to that end.

I’m sorry I can’t trudge on, best wishes to you all, thank you for your support and I wish you each well for the future.

Bruce Marriott


Eric Taub December 15, 2011 at 14:47

Well, Bruce, thanks for all you’ve done, and it’s been a wonderful ride. I’m proud to have written for, and I hope to be your friend regardless of the future.

Janet McNulty (@JanMcN) December 15, 2011 at 15:18

Thanks Bruce for all your efforts. I’ve never found a site to match and it (and you) will be sorely missed.

DaveM December 15, 2011 at 15:18

Hi Bruce,
Sorry to hear the news, but understand fully. Thanks for the opportunities you got for me to photograph so many wonderful dancers in my brief time as one of Balletco’s ‘snappers’ – it was hugely appreciated. And never to be forgotten!

I know I’m not the only one who will miss the goings-on at balletco – so a huge thanks for all the good times I’ve had on here. My hat is truly tipped in your direction sir!

V best,

Kathy December 15, 2011 at 15:27

This is very sad news, I’ve needed my fix each day for a number of years. I will miss the news, the galleries and the forum. Thank you all for your hard work it has always been apreciated and will be sorely missed. Good luck for the future.

Many thanks Kathy

Marina Harss December 15, 2011 at 16:17

Sad news, but more than understandable. Incredible work you’ve done.
With gratitude,

Alexandra Tomalonis December 15, 2011 at 16:47

I am so sorry to read this, Bruce — and even sorrier for the problems you’ve had, through no fault of your own, with spammers. has been such an important part of the ballet world, it will be greatly missed. If anyone understands about the time stressors such a site causes, it is I :) You have done a magnificent job, and you do deserve a break, at least.

I also wanted to thank you for your help to me when I started a site, and your kindness. Thank you.


Tim December 15, 2011 at 16:48

Thanks Bruce for your site, which was a super resource as we have joined the ballet world this last couple of years of your long tenure. A true internet pioneer!

Many many thanks.


Shirley December 15, 2011 at 17:48

Very sad to read this Bruce. has been an intergral part of my daily browsing for years and I shall certainly miss all the terrific work that you and others have put into it.

Sanjoy Roy December 15, 2011 at 17:49

Very sorry to hear this – for my own sake! I often use the Today’s Links, and Reviews Database… But for your sake, clearly, this is a move forward, and I wish you all the best, and thank you for all you’ve done already. Sanjoy

Ian December 15, 2011 at 17:49

I’ve followed your site Bruce for many years, although for some reason was unable to register, but that aside I have found the articles and the forums so useful. In particular, postings regarding company auditions proved invaluable when my son graduated from ballet school, helping him to obtain his first company contract. Its difficult to see how any new site will be as good, so much effort and dedication required!

All the best for the future, and have a great Xmas…..Ian

Nina Osbaldeston December 15, 2011 at 17:58

I have lurked around the site for many years but never contributed. It has been a source of information and inspiration for me as my daughter has gone from a young ballet hopeful to a professional dancer.
Thanks for all your hard work and you will be missed.
Happy Christmas

MichelleS December 15, 2011 at 18:03

Bruce – this is a sad day for all of us but I understand completely why you have come to this decision. I know I speak for many when I say how illuminating, stimulating, entertaining, educational and sociable the site has been over the years and in what esteem it is held. You deserve a rest from all of this and I’m sure the excellent network of will remain alive and well in some form or another.

Best wishes, Michelle

Ami December 15, 2011 at 18:21

Bruce, and all.

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted on the forums, or anywhere else for that matter, but I feel compelled to now. It’s complicated, but substantially changed my life, and for the better! Through this site I, first and formost, gained a host of life-long friends. In addition, it rekindled my passion for dance in a new way… through writing and reading. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all that you have done. While this is a sad day in some ways, I hope you open a bottle of champers, celebrate the magnificence that has been you and this site, and dream about more relaxing days to come.

Ami xxx

Deborah Broide December 15, 2011 at 18:24

Thanks for all the wonderful reviews, interviews, information and more. will be missed. All the best to you, Bruce!

MOS December 15, 2011 at 18:40

I’m very,very sad to read this. and all its ‘characters’ will be greatly missed. You’ve done truly wonderful job Bruce – so thank you.

All the very best for the future and Happy Christmas everyone.


NataliaN December 15, 2011 at 18:51

So sorry to read this, Bruce. A huge ‘Thank You’ for all that you’ve done to keep us up-to-date in the wonderful world of ballet. God speed!

Aruna Fontana December 15, 2011 at 20:02

Dear Bruce, all I have to say is thank you, and I wish you the very best with everything, now and in the future. I will really miss

Cathy December 15, 2011 at 20:43

I’m so sorry to hear of the site’s problems. I have made some very good friends through this site and learnt so much from all the sections. Thank you to all the contributors and particularly to you Bruce.
The Doing Dance section gave me so much support and information over a period of 4 years when my son was the only boy doing ballet in his dance school. Now I meet up with other Mums from all around the country at various workshops or classes for boys – usually thanks to this site.

Thank you again and all the best for the future.

Cathy, aka amum

Renee Renouf Hall December 15, 2011 at 21:23

Dear Bruce:
This is a surprise, particularly in view of the comparatively recent revamp of the site’s format, which is quite handsome. I find myself thinking of the famous (?) comment General Douglas MacArthur made to U.S. Congress, “Old soldiers never die, they just fade away,” and I find your diligence in like category.
I am grateful for the time spent and energy expended in contributing to your
Website; it made me feel part of a far-flung community of experts and enthusiasts.
The collation that you and your volunteers accomplished really staggers me;
so many small newspapers and feature stories were shared because of your
massive efforts. That is something of which each of you should be enormously
proud and gratified to have accomplished. There have also been some extra-
ordinarily good and special interviews and articles because of
I hope “your fade away,” proves to be satisfying to you.
Thank you again for allowing me to contribute.

Fiz December 15, 2011 at 21:35

Goodbye, dear Bruce and Trog. I will miss you all very much. Thank you for this wonderful site and all the people who helped me find my way thorough the ballet maze. Much love and many thanks for everything. xxx

lindzi December 15, 2011 at 21:46

Dear Bruce, You have done an amazing job – The Doing Dance site has been a mine of info for students and parents alike embarking on their careers in dance. It has helped so many and will be sorely missed. Hoping all of those spammers involed will get their karma With love and best wishes from us all in Yorkshire xx

Christopher Hampson December 15, 2011 at 22:22

Then it only remains for us to thank you for your time, commitment and patience.

Amanda Steeds December 16, 2011 at 00:06

Bruce I am so very sorry to hear that will be put to rest: I have so enjoyed reading people’s views over the years and it has been a great source of information as well as being a great place to discover other ballet goers, many of whom I have got to meet through this site. I completely understand how much work it must have been over the years and I hope you do know how much we all appreciate your enormous generosity in putting so much of your time and money into it every day. I hope you will still be found at Covent Garden – I (and I suspect a many others) will be lining up to buy you a glass or two…Thank you for all that you’ve done. Amanda X

Maina December 16, 2011 at 00:12

Oh Bruce – I am devastated!! although can well understand…

Emilia & Linda December 16, 2011 at 00:42

We are very sorry to hear that, especially so shortly after your great revamping of the site. It’s no secret that we have huge respect and admiration for all the crew at Balletco. We love networking with you all and we’ll miss Balletco’s updates very much.

All the best for the future & hope we will continue to see you at the ballet,

Emilia & Linda

J_New December 16, 2011 at 00:47

And for me to add my thanks and appreciation for all your efforts on our behalf!
With very best wishes

Meunier December 16, 2011 at 07:43

Balletco’s have been, without ANY doubt, the VERY ‘best of times’. NEVER has there before been a more comprehensive resource; a more caring master. You have been the very definition of ‘an effective role model’ … and I doubt I, myself, will see the like of another such in my lifetime. There can be no DOUBT, We’ve ALL been blessed to live through this most thrilling period you and your able partners have shared with us.

May your rest be as fruitful and joy-filled as your labours have so fantasically been. You will, I know, remain the stuff of legend.

Bless you, Bruce … BLESS YOU FOR ALL.

Justin Goddard December 16, 2011 at 08:18


I am at loss as to what to say! I vividly remember my discovery of – it was initially reassuring to find that others were as interested (obsessed?) with ballet as I was, then it became my essential daily reading. An easy measure of this is that, as – I suspect – with many other readers, became, and remains, my home page: it is what I want to start the day with.

I can’t imagine how any more socially aware sites will be able to create the family feeling that has generated over the years, and I am terrified at the prospect of losing the ticket exchange facility!!! But more important than either is to record heartfelt thanks for all that you and others have done to create this wonderful thing. Thank you.


Simonetta December 16, 2011 at 09:53

Dear Bruce,

After working with you for so many years on, I am so sad to hear you are closing it down, but on the other hand can totally empathise with your reasons. Thanks to this site, I have made many new friends who share my passion, people who understand what it’s like to be hooked on this wonderful artform. You have given me the chance to write, and to interview so many interesting people in the dance world (I think it is now 19 interviews!), for which I thank you and will be eternally grateful for the experience which I don’t know will ever be repeated.

I look forward to seeing you for lunches and at dance shows around London; I wish you and Anne well, and many years of peace and happiness. You more than deserve it, and thank you for everything from the bottom of my heart.

Sim xxxx

Jonathan Gray December 16, 2011 at 10:03

Dear Bruce,

I am very, very sorry to hear about – it is always my first port of call in the morning to find out what has been going on, and I think the website has been a great service to dance in the UK for many years. I’m really going to miss you!
Very best wishes,

Jonathan Gray
Editor, Dancing Times

Paul Arrowsmith December 16, 2011 at 10:03

This is sad news indeed – but as Bruce has often pointed out, the reviews database is a great resource so the spirit of will in paert live on.

Best wishes, less stress and happy dance going to you and Anne.

Spannerandpony December 16, 2011 at 10:27

So sad Bruce but I completely understand., in particular the “Doing Dance” board, has been an invaluable source of information, support and friendship in the four or so years I’ve been a member. I’ve made some true friends via the forum and eventually felt knowledgeable enough to answer questions instead of just asking them. For all this I thank you, and I truly hope that your next venture, even if it’s a complete rest, is more relaxing and satisfying for you – and hassle free.

Thanks also to all contributors and particular thanks to all the fellow members of the Doing Dance board, including Anjuli Bai for her brilliant and invaluable insights. Merry Christmas all.

Simon Harper December 16, 2011 at 11:32

Very sad news indeed! On behalf of Birmingham Royal Ballet, thank you for all your support over the last fifteen years, highlighting the work of the company so instantly brilliantly!
Personally, thank you for being a pleasure to work with and for supporting my own move from dancer to arts administrator. Your knowledge, of all sides of the dance industry, will be missed!
Simon (and Claire) in the BRB press office.

Patricia December 16, 2011 at 12:20

Not a fade out, but a fade into, Bruce. So many years since we first met, it would be hard to tell you in a short paragraph what you have meant to me, to all of us. Full speed ahead!

Julie Milner December 16, 2011 at 12:48

So sad. thank you for everything over the years. When I first found the site my son was just off to Elmhurst age 16. More than 5 years later he is successfully with a company. Much exchange od advice etc. Will miss the site.
Take care

Lynne Lobley December 16, 2011 at 12:53

Bruce, to have achieved what you have is nothing short of miraculous. has brought such insights and revelations into the world of ballet to its readers. I will have major withdrawal symptoms and will be an avid returner to the archive as will my daughter who is in vocational training degree at Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. For her it has been an incredible resource and an inspiration. You and the site will be missed by us all.

Take time to reflect on the difference you have made to many lives and be happy.

Ian Macmillan December 16, 2011 at 13:21

Whilst out yesterday, I used an Apple store’s demo iMac to check on progress ….. and thus learned of the news! I have long realised that there is a certain fragility in the situation where a website relies on just one person for its organisation and funding, and for much of its logistical support – I fear that some specialist aviation sites that I frequent are similarly placed in the longer term – but I had hoped that the inevitable might be staved off for some time yet. So, my sincere thanks to Bruce and his early collaborators for what they created and nurtured here, an entity that became an integral part of my acquaintance with ballet and dance. I cannot see personal blogs and Twitter et al as in any way an adequately focussed replacement as regards reasoned comment and discussion, not to mention the specialist areas such as ticket exchange and Doing Dance.

Looking more widely, I suspect that we have here an example of an issue that the internet community at large faces – namely, how to finance and support into the longer term an asset that has been provided thus far through the goodwill of those providing it. It would be good to think that there might be a replacement provider out there but, short of the intervention of some philanthropist, I cannot see one on the horizon. That said, the decision to leave the site as an archive for the future should prove of some value, and I was continually reminded of the volume of data contained behind the front page as I added reviews and links this morning. I suspect that I will be dipping into it from time to time in the months and years ahead.

PhilipB December 16, 2011 at 13:29

Bruce, and everyone,
Shocked to read about the demise of balletco. As you know, it’s been party to, and even cause, of some of the ups and downs in my life. My time spent editing and interviewing was time well spent and I do hope the html site can be hosted in perpetuity as a testament to your remarkable work and that of all the many great contributors over the years.
My very best wishes to you and Anne. There will always be a glass of red for you.

Joan Hopton December 16, 2011 at 13:39

Like many other posters I am devastated at the news of’s closure. Living in Lancashire it is not easy to keep in touch with the latest news and has enabled me to do this and has been an importany been a part of my life for many years. I’ve been so grateful for Bruce and all the many contributors that enable me to find out whats happening in the ballet world so I have plenty of advance notice to book leave from work for visits to London etc. Finding out when visiting major companies are coming and advance casting details have enabled me to plan ballet holidays for so long I don’t know where to go now for this sort of information! I know the major Russian companies will anounce tours eventually on their sites but not usually as fast as! Also they don’t give casting details. It is the dedicated posters that did this and I’m so grateful to them.
However, I can’t thank Bruce enough for all the hard work he has put in for many years on our behalf. I never thought there would be a time when wouldn’t be there. It’s only now it’s not there I realised just how much I took it for granted and how much I will miss it.
Have a great retirement Bruce. You deserve it. You’ve given so much enjoyment to so many people for so long.

Ian Palmer December 16, 2011 at 14:34

It is with real sadness that I read this news. has been a part of my daily life for so long that its absence will be felt all the more keenly. Last year, Bruce published a whole series of “Best Of…” articles from the website, and that was a reminder to us of how brilliant it has been in the 15 plus years of its existence.

I am personally grateful and privileged that Bruce has allowed me to review and interview for the site over a time and I feel honoured that I have been able to speak to such incredible artists as Ekaterina Maximova, Ivan Vasiliev, Natalia Osipova and Yuri Fateyev as a consequence. And where else am I now going to read some of my favourite writers – Jane, Eric, Graham, Lynette etc. etc…?

But more importantly I am grateful for the warm friendships that I have made here – as Justin says, it really is a family – and I know that so long as we continue to meet, to drink, to dine and most importantly to watch performances together, the spirit of will flourish.

Bruce and Anne – thank you for all you have done.

MarcP December 16, 2011 at 15:02 has been vital, engaging, amusing, stimulating and, just occasionally, enfuriating. As a resource, it has been an absolute treasure – and on a daily basis too. What a brilliant achievement!

What will we do without you?

Much love, thanks and best wishes for the future, Bruce.

Kate_N December 16, 2011 at 16:12

Thank you for this website and all it has offered over the years. I’m very sorry it’s closing (dam’ those spammers!) as it’s been a wonderful community.

Anjuli Bai December 16, 2011 at 16:28

Dear Bruce and all the Family:

I only just found this thread and though late to comment it is most heartfelt when I say Thank You – to Bruce for all his work, time and investment. Thank you for all the wonderful reviews which have allowed me to see through windows throughout the dance world – and thank you to all the many wonderfull dancers, students and parents of “Doing Dance Forum.” I will miss hearing about your children as they embark upon their training – their triumphs and challenges.

I felt it a privilege to be amongst you and share a part of your lives.

Lynette Halewood December 16, 2011 at 19:41

It’s been a wonderful 15 years. Thank you Bruce for providing a welcoming home for us all. We have all learned and shared such a lot. I know I’m not the only one who will feel bereft. has been part of the fabric of the lives of many of us.

Thank you Bruce for all you have done over so many years.

Interested Parent December 16, 2011 at 17:19

Gosh this forum is going to be missed so much! I am just a parent of a very young dancer who wants to be a ballet dancer – the usual story. However, the Doing Dance forum has made me feel that she and I are not oddities amongst our non-dancing friends, and allowed us to make lots of wonderful new dancing friends in the process. We have been given some fabulous advice from some wonderful people who have ‘been there’ and really appreciate it. Through we have ventured further into reviews, interviews and blogs and it has opened up a whole new world for us. Dear Bruce, you and your team have helped us along the way and I don’t know where we will go now. Thank You!

admin December 16, 2011 at 17:35

Thank you everybody for you kind words – deeply appreciated by me and all who contributed and made it better for everybody. Still absorbing the news myself but its the right desision.

Also been a bunch of messages on Twitter that I thought it would be useful to capture before they become lost…

Estelle Hall @SheffieldDancer
@Balletco really sad to hear the site is closing. The forum was a big help when I was doing my teaching exams. Thank you!

Bennet Gartside, @Bennet76
@Balletco hi Bruce. So sad to hear the news your closing shop! Many a year have I taken a sneaky look at the posts. You were a pioneer!

Article19, @Article19
if you’re website is fighting spammers and bots try CloudFlare | | giving up is somewhat overdramatic @Balletco

DaveM, @zxDaveM
#ff @Balletco – just because

Cloud Dance Festival, @clouddancefest
#ff @Balletco – absolutely indispensable for all things dance since 1996, and soon to be no more. So follow them while you can!

pchan/naomi, @naomip86
So sad that @Balletco is going into archive, they’ve contributed so much to the ballet world. Thank you Bruce!…

The Ballet Bag, @theballetbag
@Balletco we echo @charliegould ‘s sentiments – sad news… also wrote a message on the site but not sure if comment went through…

Charlie Gould, @charliegould
@Balletco It’s very sad to hear this Bruce, but I can understand your reasons. Many thanks for all you’ve done; we are all in your debt.

Cloud Dance Festival, @clouddancefest
@BalletBlack @Balletco Well said! *coughs discreetly*

Ballet Black, @BalletBlack
Sorry to hear about @Balletco. Can fully appreciate running out of steam on a project that takes all your time, energy & thoughts. #Balletco

Carole MacPherson, @Playingfootsie
Just caught up with today’s tweets and really sad to hear the news about @Balletco . good work done there. I never posted but loved to read

Eric Taub, @manhattnik
So I guess It’s up to me to arrange a NYC @balletco wake. Who’s joining me?

Chris, @ManInSeatD26
@Balletco Very sorry to hear, but thanks for the hard work over the years. And thanks for archiving the contents.

Seenfromafar, @seenfromafar
.@Balletco A sad day, but with our understanding and love. Thank you for everything. Please stay in touch!

Seenfromafar, @seenfromafar
RT @LukeJennings1: Sad day, Bruce. @Balletco is a real pioneer

Luke Jennings, @LukeJennings1
Sad day, Bruce. @Balletco is a real pioneer

Seenfromafar, @seenfromafar
@judithmackrell @Balletco WAIT! What? NOOOOOOOO!
In reply to Judith Mackrell

Judith Mackrell, @judithmackrell
@Balletco such bleak news to hear you’re shutting up shop. I barely knew what a dance website was when you started, let alone its potential

lindsay bw, @greypointe
Balletco Forum Down + Others Offline… via @balletco

Eric Taub, @manhattnik
@balletco Thanks for the years of work and support, Bruce. It was a privilege writing for you. #Nycballet #backtobloggingiguess

Tim Stirrup, @timstirrup
@DaveTriesBallet @balletco was essential reading as our family started a new interest in ballet. Very sad news indeed. Thanks Bruce.
In reply to DaveTriesBallet

robin mahboeb, @mahrobi
@balletco sorry to hear it- wishing you the best :)

Lee McLernon, @bangorballetboy
@Balletco Bruce, when will you next be at ROH?

Marina harss, @MarinaHarss
@Balletco Sad news, but more than understandable. Incredible work you’ve done.

DaveTriesBallet, @DaveTriesBallet
Very sad to hear – @balletco is awesome! Thanks to Bruce for his hard work! RT @annakardar: Balletco – sad news indeed…

Catchip, @catchip
Thank you @balletco, what a great & friendly resource you are. Enjoy a well earned retirement. Much love & gratitude!

Art, @artspl
Oh, no! Sad!! But thank you so much to @Balletco for all you’ve done RT @annakardar: Balletco – sad news indeed…

Laura, @bellafigural
Oh no… Bruce, @Balletco will be sorely missed – you’ve done so much… RT @annakardar: Balletco – sad news

timcwood, @timcwood
Very sad to hear about the end of @Balletco as we know it:…

Jane Lawes, @jane_lawes
@Balletco Very sad to see the forum go; it’s been my main source of ballet news for years. I’ll miss it! Thank you so much for the hard work

Cloud Dance Festival, @clouddancefest
Feeling sad about the demise of @balletco. Sniff.

An average josephine, @avragejosephine
@JanMcN @Balletco very sad. The review database is invaluable and it will bee greatly missed. Thank you for all your hard work
In reply to Janet McNulty

Janet McNulty, @JanMcN
Sad @Balletco site is going into archive in January… It has been so informative and entertaining. No other site as good

Carol Newton, @ROHvCotswolds
.@Balletco will be sadly missed. Thanks for all the hard work over the years, Bruce et al

Lesley December 16, 2011 at 17:50

Very sad situation but thank you to Bruce and his team of helpers for their time and efforts over the years. has not only provided me with valuable information and support over the years but also introduced me to fine friends for life.

Have a peaceful christmas, best wishes,

Paul N December 16, 2011 at 20:39

Very sad to hear this news, but fully understand it. Will miss all the many great posters who have so kindly shared their tremendous knowledge, experience and stimulating views. Many thanks to them and also of course to all those who have done much hard work in keeping the site going day after day, year after year.

Most of all, huge thanks to you Bruce for making it all happen. Time to reflect… and then raise a glass to you and say, hey, that’s a bloody good job you’ve done, one hell of a job. Take a good rest, it is most thoroughly deserved.

julia jones December 16, 2011 at 20:45

thanks bruce for all you have done throughout the years – i have much enjoyed and appreciated and will miss it all greatly – very sad situation but understand where you are coming from

happy christmas anyway and a peaceful and spam free new year

Val and Graeme Willis December 16, 2011 at 21:46

When our daughter moved to the other side of the world to dance in the UK nearly ten years ago we discovered and somehow she didn’t seem so far away! We cannot thank you enough Bruce for that.

Bluebird December 17, 2011 at 08:45

I’ve delayed writing anything here as I didn’t seem able to find the right words to express what I felt…..great sadness coupled with huge gratitude for the countless hours, days and years that you’ve devoted to the site. There will be a big hole in all our lives but we will all be forever indebted to you for the knowledge we’ve gained and the lifetime friends we have made.

billboyd December 17, 2011 at 09:06

I would like to associate myself with all of the above.

Martinjay December 17, 2011 at 10:27

Bruce and everyone at,

Greatly saddened by the developments and news , although not surprised. and it’s communities and individuals has been a significant reason in my getting into dance and will be irreplaceable in that sense.

Having said that, but as someone with little knowledge, I wonder if we now have a time window until mid-January for those who post or follow regularly to reach an informal agreement on whether we could identify an alternative site and/or method to continue forum postings?

Any views?


admin December 18, 2011 at 09:36

Re Martinjay’s comment I think its best taken in the thread about the forum problems. I mentioned that some might come together to do a new forum and somebody is interested in seeing if others are interested. Also somebody else has suggested another way forward for Doing Dance. More on the other page:

Susan R December 17, 2011 at 10:56

Dear Bruce, the forum has been my favourite website for many years. I cannot imagine life without it! Thank you so much for all your efforts. Have a good rest. You deserve it!

celb December 17, 2011 at 19:37

Very sad to hear the news of closing down.The doing dance forum in particular has been a mine of information and support for me and my dancing daughter in the last few years.Thank you Bruce for your years of dedication to the site.

DonQ Fan December 17, 2011 at 20:37

Thank you Bruce and every one else who has helped – I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at balletco and made some friends and contacts through it. I am sure that keeping the forum going is/was a huge job and you deserve a rest. We shall be forever in your debt. Many many thanks again. Best wishes DQF

Mandy Kent December 17, 2011 at 20:58

Dear Bruce

Thank you so much for all that has brought to so many people through your hard work. I learnt so much and met so many wonderful people through the site. As you yourself would say…’ Nice One!’
love and best wishes to you and Anne
Mandy and HimInDoors xxxxx

Jenny Taylor December 17, 2011 at 22:25

Dear Bruce – I’m so sorry to hear this news and wish you all the best. has been a delight in my life and I will miss is very much
Very best wishes, Jenny

Robin64 December 18, 2011 at 09:56

What a great site. I will miss it especially the Doing Dance forum which has been a huge help to us and opened some new opportunities for my daughter. Bruce, you can be very proud of your achievement. Wishing you all the very best. Love to all the Doing Dance family and thanks.

Alison December 18, 2011 at 14:48

Like Bluebird, I’m still trying to find the words to convey my sadness at seeing – sadly, for the second time – a site I’ve been really attached to being badly spammed and effectively being closed down as a result. (and its predecessor) has been a big part of my life for … can it really be 15 years? Hard to believe, but that’s what Bruce says. From the days of nipping down to the internet cafe downstairs from the office to catch up on what was happening in the dance world, to hogging the one Internet computer at lunchtimes, to actually getting my own work Internet connection, to finally – only a couple of years ago, when forced by circumstances – getting home Internet, how things have changed. has been a big influence on my life: it’s deepened my interest in dance and introduced me to a lot of similarly-minded people (not to mention being responsible for a greatly increased expenditure on tickets!).

And yet … I’ve watched with growing dismay over recent years as ballet and dance content on the Web has fragmented and duplicated itself over various different individual platforms: social media, blogs and so on. It may be getting to more people, and we’re supposed to believe this is progress, which it is, of a sort, but at the same time the effort required to sort out the nuggets from the dross seems to be increasing exponentially – and which of us as individuals has time to spend checking Twitter feeds, Facebook pages and blogs on the off-chance of finding useful information/reviews etc.? Surely the Web was supposed to facilitate the finding of information, not make it more difficult – the current situation seems almost to be a retrograde step to the dark ages of its early days. Pulling together this sort of information and having it in one easy place has been just one of the things that has done so well over the last decade and more, and having been deprived of it for most of the last month I think I can probably say that most readers haven’t even *started* to realise the full effect of trying to operate without it yet. Nevertheless, Bruce has run the site effectively single-handed for all this time, a huge undertaking, and he can be proud of everything he’s achieved: none of us can begrudge him a good rest. So it only remains to say a huge thank you to him, and to everyone else who has worked so hard to make the site what it has been, and to look and see where, if anywhere, we go from here.

(And to that end, I’m copying in Bruce’s link to the page where the possible future is being discussed:

Avril December 22, 2011 at 10:42

Just heartfelt thanks. You will be missed, have been greatly appreciated and I wish you all the very best for a peaceful and stress free future.

Janet McNulty (@JanMcN) December 18, 2011 at 16:11

For the time being, perhaps we could all post the odd note on the Facebook page?

Rachel Miller December 19, 2011 at 13:51

Good idea!!

Maurice Crutchlow December 18, 2011 at 16:58

Congratulations on your magnificent efforts over the last 15 years;an amazing achievement.Your site has been an invaluable source of information for me and numerous other balletomanes.
Well done ! and enjoy your well earned rest!

Clarisa Falcón December 18, 2011 at 19:34

I enjoyed reading I’ll miss it! Thank you very much. From Mexico, Clarisa.

sandi kurtz December 18, 2011 at 22:42

I’ve lurked here on and off for years, and am so very sad to hear that you’re closing up shop. I know the kind of obsessed energy it takes to keep this sort of enterprise afloat, and am extremely thankful you persevered for as long as you did — your plan to maintain an archive is a graceful conclusion to a long and fabulous run. Many, many thanks from me (and I suspect a lot of other lurkers)

Amy Reusch December 19, 2011 at 02:58

I feel one of the great treasures of the internet is ceasing. Since’s inception it’s been a beacon to balletomanes around the world. Thank you, Bruce, for all your wonderful work. The dance world has benefited hugely from your contribution. We all owe you our thanks.

Spam killed the first dance internet home, alt.arts.ballet. I am sorry to hear spam precipitated this departure too.

I remember the internet before spam. It was smaller, but in some ways better.

Caitlyn December 19, 2011 at 05:42

Thank you, Bruce, for providing such a splendid site for so long. I have always enjoyed coming to the site for lastest gossip, links and reviews and it was lovely to have the oppotunity to meet you in person when I visited London several years back. Your site has put me in touch with many people over the years, including some with whom I enjoy an ongoing correspondence. Very best wishes for the future. I will miss, but a mighty “Bravo!” for all your hard work and commitment.

Brendan McCarthy December 19, 2011 at 08:58

Balletco is a wonderfully human corner of the web. It owes everything to Bruce’s imagination, his creativity, his sense of fun, and his generosity. Balletco was the most enormous fun and it is a wonderful snapshot of the state of dance at the turn of the century.

Thank you Bruce – for Balletco and for your great gift for friendship.

Rachel Miller December 19, 2011 at 13:50

Really sorry to hear this news, but I really hope you enjoy your retirement from the website. It has been a fantastic achievement and I have loved using the forum and having such up-to-date ballet news for the last 10-odd years. Thank you so so much for all the work you’ve put in, it really has been appreciated.

Good luck and warmest wishes for a wonderful Christmas and New Year,

Rachel Miller

Richard December 19, 2011 at 14:08

Thanks for all your efforts Bruce.Like many I have found the site a great resource.It will be sadly missed.

Barbara December 19, 2011 at 17:45

Bruce – nothing really to add to all that has been said so eloquently above. As a serial lurker, checking was as much part of my daily life as cleaning my teeth! Coming home from the Nutcracker yesterday I found myself really looking forward to reading what your very knowledgeable posters thought about the performance – and, using a word that has been said in man y comments above, I felt really bereft to think that was no longer possible. But thank you for the countless hours of pleasurable reading you have given in producing such a fantastic site. And enjoy your well earned break.

roddy December 20, 2011 at 09:17

Bruce, you are a legend………and a gentleman. Thank you for everything you have done over the years. I hope you enjoy your well earned rest.

Ja Sm December 20, 2011 at 10:20

Bruce, A huge thank you for all the hard work you have put into this sight. I have been a part of it for three years now and have felt so supported and understood by so many. What a joy too, to share in so many exciting adventures. I am so sad because I am going to miss you all so much. Where can I go for advice now?
Thank you, Bruce.

barry moreland December 21, 2011 at 02:51

A great loss. Balletco will certainly be missed down under in Oz. Many thanks for such a great site and your herculean efforts over the years.

Julia December 21, 2011 at 16:21

Like everyone, I will truly miss – and also would add my enormous thanks to Bruce and all the others for making it such a wonderful resource and also such a pleasure to read.

Bruce – I hope I will bump into you at the ROH some time and can thank you in person. Have a really enjoyable ‘retirement’!

Rita Felciano December 21, 2011 at 16:29

Dear Bruce,

I am so sorry to hear that you have to let this noble endeavor become part of history. Reading your website always made me feel connected to something larger than what I experienced in my own backyard. It was fun, informative and broadened my perspective.

Thank you for all you have given to Dance.


Jane December 22, 2011 at 18:21

I am very sad to hear that is going, it has been a wonderful resource. However I completely understand the reasons and just want to say ‘Thankyou’ Bruce for running it over the years and for creating an environment for this wonderful virtual community.

Robert December 23, 2011 at 23:31

Having recently moved house I have surfaced from the chaos to find that Balletco is closing. Thank you Bruce for giving us all, old and young a chance to air our views and find out about other ballet goers and ballet performers and their various opinions. Have a good Christmas and a less stressful new year.
Robert Lobley

Kasey22 December 27, 2011 at 20:08

Dear Bruce,

I am so sorry to find this out. It is a different world now, so I completely understand the reasons. Balletco will be greatly missed. Thank you for all that you have given to us and the world of ballet. I wish you the very best of luck.

Kathy Costello

webfoot December 30, 2011 at 13:09

I have posted so very rarely, but have lurked several times every week. The news and reviews from all round the world have been invaluable to keep up to date and I’ve loved the “Doing Dance” section. It is so inspiring to read some of the personal threads of parents and young dancers.
Thank you Bruce and your volunteers for such a brilliant website. It has allowed informed, intelligent, discussion with little bitterness and nastiness and has been a joy to browse for many years. You will be sadly missed.

Anneliese January 2, 2012 at 09:37

I haven’t been around much in the last year – as the children take more and more of my time it seemed silly to live vicariously through the dance experiences of others. So this has come as a big shock! I will miss you all – the personal nature of the site is one of its great strengths. I’ve had a couple of exciting bird sightings (well, not THAT exciting) which I just longed to share with Jim this year – and then last week I looked in vain for chat about Darcey’s Hollywood Musicals efforts… and it seems that times really are a-changing. I’ve struck up friendships online and in person with some wonderful people, and I’ve learnt so much – thank you, THANK YOU Bruce and your regiment of assistants for so much pleasure over the years. I will look for some of you on fb – I want my boys to write their OWN review of Fille in the spring! (YAY got good seats for Morera and Cervera). Bruce, enjoy a calmer, quieter life, and good luck to everywhere!

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