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Ballets that should NOT be revived


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#1 Ray

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 04:52 AM

From yesterday's links:

Andre Prokovsky is staging his ballet "The Great Gatsby" for Tulsa Ballet:

http://www.tulsaworl...8_H1_hJazz23352

QUOTE
"Andre Prokovsky doesn't mind that most people already know the stories his ballets tell.
If anything, using a story as well known as "The Great Gatsby" as the source for a ballet makes the process of telling a story through movement easier."

Caveat: my very subjective opinons, based on personal experience, follow. They are my own views and in no way represent the views of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre.

I was part of the first incarnation of this expensive fiasco in 1987, which Pittsuburgh Ballet Theatre premiered as part of the opening celebrations for the newly renovated Benedum Theater. Mr. Prokovsky was, in my opinon, an incompetent choreographer. The "American Dream" scene was a joke; it ended with Daisy, dressed as the Statue of Liberty, perched on Gatsby's shoulder, torch aloft. (During rehearsals for it, he once looked at the 18 of us and said, "Make a star shape." Being good do-be dancers, we did it, somehow.) Most of us had more than a dozen costume changes; in that scene, I was a tap-dancing cowboy just kind of jamming up there on stage next to the tapping Salvation Army nurse . No matter that some of us knew more tap steps than others (he did not provide any). That experience went straight into my Big Book of Bad Ballet Stories (subsection "Reasons to Retire"), providing me with countless hours of mirth in my post-dancing dotage. Too bad it cost PBT over $1 mil. Later, PBT ended up replacing Prokovsky's choreography Bruce Wells's; they found the rights to the original Gunther Schuller score to be too expensive and replaced the music too.

#2 Mashinka

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 05:07 AM

Kenneth MacMillan's Isadora: there was a hideous rumour a couple of years ago that it was going to be revived. Mercifully the rumours proved false.

#3 dirac

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 12:08 PM

Very good topic, Ray. I'm sure there are many other good suggestions out there.

Any recent ballet by Helgi Tomasson. No, they're not atrocities and you can sit through them, but they've been uninspired to the point of pain.

Kenneth MacMillan's Isadora: there was a hideous rumour a couple of years ago that it was going to be revived. Mercifully the rumours proved false.


It must have been something. (And I have difficulty seeing Merle Park in the role.) How did he deal with the fatal accident, BTW?

#4 Natalia

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 02:47 PM

The Kirov-Mariinsky's The Golden Age from summer 2006. A lot of talented people worked really hard to create a huge-scaled three-act ballet in a ridiculously short time, to meet the demands of a forceful director-conductor. By Jove, there WILL be a ballet in time for the London tour! I can't even blame the choreographer.

#5 printscess

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 04:11 PM

ABT's The Pied Piper

#6 Alexandra

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 05:48 PM

I'm making note of these :) Some enterprising artistic director is undoubtedly writing these down on his Wish List of Rare Ballets as you reads this!!!

#7 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 06:42 PM

Some years ago Boston Ballet did an execrable piece of something which went on forever and gave one a migraine headache and all I can remember other than terrible music, nonexistent choreography and awful sets and costumes is that it was about bees.

#8 Alina

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 05:45 AM

Some years ago Boston Ballet did an execrable piece of something which went on forever and gave one a migraine headache and all I can remember other than terrible music, nonexistent choreography and awful sets and costumes is that it was about bees.


"Beehive" by choreographer Jim Self.

#9 miliosr

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 06:20 AM

This may be somewhat off-topic but can someone tell me what was so disastrous about MacMillan's Isadora? (I've always wondered why he tackled the subject when Limon and Ashton had already made well-received dances on the same subject.)

#10 Mel Johnson

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 06:37 AM

Then there's Balanchine's "Opus 34". Schoenberg's "Music for the Cinema". There's a lost Balanchine that can STAY lost.

#11 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 06:47 AM

well my vote for the Balanchine That Should Go Away is Persephone. Shudder.

#12 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 07:20 AM

I feel compelled, however, to mention that even the Best Of Them can produce clunkers, and that mentioning someone's name in connection with a Bad Ballet does not mean that this person cannot produce a Good Ballet more often than not.

#13 Ray

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 08:46 AM

Then there's Balanchine's "Opus 34". Schoenberg's "Music for the Cinema". There's a lost Balanchine that can STAY lost.


But I'm soooo curious!

I'm also interested in expensive failures, and what they say about the choreographers/companies that produce (or revive!) them.

#14 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 08:51 AM

Definitely Jerome Bel's "Véronique Doisneau" sould be left into oblivion...(saw some of ir recently...Oh, God.. :pinch: )

#15 kfw

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 08:52 AM

My vote goes for a very dull 1993 ballet that was already revived in 1999, Peter Martins' collaboration with Wynton Marsalis, "Jazz (Six Syncopated Movements)." I wouldn't rush to see his "Reliquary" again either.


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