Ray

Ballets that should NOT be revived

85 posts in this topic

Consider Leslie Neilsen. For years, he was cast as a Hitchcockian antagonist. It wasn't until Airplane that Hollywood began using him as the banana he is in real life.

Hilarious choice for your example. :) I have a hard enough time remembering his belly in 'Nuts' with Ms. Streisand. Viva Airplane!

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It's not unusual for an actor or actress to be nothing like his or her roles.
I understand that about theater/film/tv, etc., and was being facetious, but there must have been something that both deMille and Robbins picked up on when they used her for the most terrifying heroines in their respective oeuvres, even if it was her exceptional talent as a dancing actress.

:)

Viva Airplane!
One of the most quotable films in the genre!

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Maybe it was the way she talked! All her life she retained the "Toity-toid and Toid" of her Brooklyn roots. Wun tuff chick!

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The Oakland Ballet did a FANTASTIC Fall River Legend here about 20 years ago -- starring Summer Lee Rhatigan as Lizzie, Erin Leedom as the ghost of her mother, Allison Deane (if I remember right) s the wicked stepmother. They made us sweat. It was like a Barbara Stanwyck movie, or a novel by Ivy Compton Burnett. Lizzie was not primarily scary -- she was abused, and she had our sympathy throughout.

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There's a DVD of Fall River Legend by Dance Theater of Harlem, 1989. Virginia Johnson and Lorraine Graves, Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra. I'll watch it soon, anybody here seen it?

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Nora Kaye, actually.

Interesting. I'd been wrong for a while about this fact. As the dancers at the premiere were Alicia Alonso (as the accused) Diana Adams (the Mother), Muriel Bentley (the Stepmother), Ruth Ann Koesun (the accused as a child)and John Kriza (the Pastor), i assumed that they all had been the first cast choice. Now digging a little after Mel's clarification-( :) )-, i realized that Nora Kaye was supposed to premiere it, but she fell ill, so that's why it was Alonso who actually did it. However, no doubt that Kaye danced it afterwards with great success by all accounts.

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Happens all the time. Ashton's Cinderella was set on Fonteyn, but she was unable to do the opening because of injury. It made Moira Shearer's career!

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I'd like to pose a side question to this -

Instead of ballets that should not be revived because they aren't good enough, does anyone feel there are ballets that are so dated/have outlived their purpose that they no longer merit revival at all?

I'd put Bolender's Souvenirs in that category. And I think NYCB has dumped Balanchine's one-act Swan Lake there as well.

...

To me, for instance, Les Patineurs feels incredibly dated and pursues no aesthetic purpose--I can't imagine the gain it confers on any company performing it. I'm sure others feel differently!

I think perhaps there's a subsection of this side question -- ballets that need to take a break and come back after they've shifted from "dated" to "retro" (or whatever titles are appropriate at the time)

For ages "Western Symphony" made me cringe, the cultural cliches grated on my sensibilities like chalk on a blackboard. But the last couple of times I've seen it, in the Pacific Northwest Ballet staging, I've been able to get beyond the stereotypes (and the pastiche score) to appreciate the wit and facility of the choreography.

But then, I still love Patineurs in all its coy glory.

I adore Les Patineurs, as well as Western Symphony. WS doesn't work well unless the dancers get the wittiness in the piece, which is hard when they try to oversell it. I would love to see PNB perform it. I haven't seen it on stage in over 10 years.

When Michael Vernon staged Patineurs at IU last year I saw it twice, just for the sheer glory of seeing Ashton performed 40 miles from my house (in Bloomington, Indiana no less - one seldom gets to see Ashton of any sort performed in the Midwest). They actually did rather well. Alas, my ancient tape of ABTs PBS performance with Fernando Bujones, one of my favorite tapes of all time, has disintegrated. :blushing:

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Kenneth MacMillan's "Different Drummer" is just absolutely appalling. Never again do I want to have to see that.

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