It wasn’t too hard to figure out how to make this amazing YouTube clip “on topic” for WiredPen: the description contains an incredibly awkward typo. As I poked around YouTube, trying to find out more information about the performance, I was reminded of a mini-rant I shared with Mike this weekend: why don’t posters provide basic details about the clips they upload? It’s not as though they were limited to 140 characters!
Tips first, then the Swan Lake pas de duex.
Tips For YouTube Postings
(1) Spell check. (The clip that spawned this post spelled “Swan Lake” as “Swank Lake.”)
(2) Write a great headline. It should be SEO-friendly (explicit information) rather than “cute”. Accuracy would be nice, too.
(3) Tell us where you got the clip. Yeah, I know that’s a blanket admission of copyright if you weren’t the videographer, but if copyright owners care, they’ll issue a take-down notice even if you don’t provide details. And some clips of this act have been taken down.
(4) Tell us when the clip was made. I watched a lot of old clips of the Ed Sullivan show last week; very few told us when Elvis (or whomever) appeared on the show. Heck, some of them didn’t even identify the show!
(5) Keywords (tags). Use them, maybe they’ll help with findability.
(6) Finally, why are you posting this? In other words, why do you think it’s good?
Swan Lake Pas de Duex
The first clip I stumbled upon was titled “Great Chinese State Circus – Swan Lake” and contained the infamous typo in the description. After a bit of research, I learned that the dancers are Wu Zhengdan and Wei Baohua and are from GuangZhou, China.
A little more research: the dancers are married and in 2006 performed at a state event that included President Bush:
Demonstrating the unconventional blend of classical ballet and traditional Chinese acrobatics they perfected for the new “Swan Lake,” the delicate Ms. Wu, 24, did a pirouette, aloft on the shoulder and outstretched arm of the muscular Mr. Wei, 34, who is also her husband. She also rose up, stunningly, on pointe on Mr. Wei’s head. There followed a gymnastic pas de deux.
Such bravura moves have delighted crowds in China over the past year, helping turn this radical reworking of “Swan Lake” by the Guangdong Military Acrobatic Troupe into a box office hit and transforming the couple into stars.
Now we know that the most-viewed clip (with the typo) probably has the title incorrect. It’s the “Guangdong Military Acrobatic Troupe” of China not “Great Chinese State Circus.” Sigh.
Eventually, I discovered an official clip from The Royal Opera House in London (compilation, not just the pas de deux). Found via a Google search, not a YouTube search. Given that Google owns YouTube, why does that search remain remarkably bad? [By the way, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that this description is excellent.]
And there is a DVD of their performances. Probably a bittorrent, too, but I didn’t look for one.
Swan Lake Trailer (Short)
Traditional Swan Lake Pas de Duex – Moscow or London (guessing, no date)
Contemporary Swan Lake Pas de Deux – Circus Festival of Monaco (no date, maybe 2008)
Swan Lake Trailer (Long) – Monte Carlo – 2002
P.S. In case you can’t tell, I’m a ballet fan. I studied both tap and ballet as a child; when I met Mike, I lucked into season tickets at the Pacific Northwest Ballet. I’ve now been watching professional ballet for nine seasons and can’t imagine life without ballet. I know that this isn’t The Nutcracker, but Swan Lake still seems appropriate for the season.