Crowd-Sourcing Ballet

November 28, 2001

When Diablo Ballet of California announced its new “Web Ballet” in January, nobody knew quite what to think. The company asked its fans to help choreograph the ballet, requesting Tweeted suggestions for the emotion of the dancers, the mood of the piece and even specific steps. Voters also chose their favorite of three music options.

Valentine’s Day marked the end of submissions, and Diablo Ballet has shared some of the tweets they received. The hundreds of recommendations are tremendously diverse, but they all show how excited the fans were to be involved. Here are a few of our favorites:

#DiabloWebBallet dance the small everyday good deeds ppl do. We all see the awfulness, pls show some good. tks 4 listening

@LeslieUdland: Love this idea! My suggestions: 1) Mood: solitary/alone 2) Emotion: pensive…afraid to move 3) Dance steps: Various battements – basic and generic, until one “discovers” that movement frees 4) Setting: Insane asylum

: Dancers: sassy; Mood: intelligent; Moves: not about freakish flexibility, but subtlety. Can’t wait to see the outcome!

: Dancing on guitars, pedals, keyboards, other things that make noise.

: Ella, 7yrs old, says #DiabloWebBallet should include “sashay sashay step step leap.”

Now that the fans have had their say, it’s up to Diablo Ballet artistic director Lauren Jonas and choreographer Robert Dekkers to choose from the suggestions and get working on the piece, which will be performed March 1 and 2 in California. Those who submitted winning suggestions will receive complimentary tickets, so they’ll be able to enjoy the ballet they helped produce.