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Ballets that should NOT be revived


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#46 Ray

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 09:15 AM

Interesting idea, though I wouldn't have put Etudes in that category.


Excellent--contested categories are always more interesting!

#47 Ray

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 11:44 AM

[SNIP] This could run alongside a modern dance project I've always wanted to see, called "Everyone's Dances with Chairs, All Performed at Once"


I meant to respond to this earlier. This could be quite an epic, as it seems I'm seeing new dances with chairs all the time!We could even expaaaaand it to include famous sitters in ballet: Lizzie Borden's mother at the end of Fall River Legend? The kids in Nutcracker Act 2? Coppelia (can't remember if she's sitting, actually...)? The King and Queen in so many ballets? And isn't there a character in The Concert who sits without a chair (now that's deep).

#48 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 03:19 PM

Helgi Tomasson choreographed a solo for Evelyn Cisneros, wearing a red dress and a black shawl, and with a chair, called Confidencias.

#49 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 03:20 PM

of course then we could add a ballet i saw once by karole armitage, on the life of michael millken, where an entire office of people danced with their chairs..

#50 canbelto

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 06:33 PM

What do you all think of ballets that were choreographed specifically for a Very Special Occasion? For instance, Ashton's Birthday Offering. Or Balanchine's Cortege Hongrois, which was intended as a farewell valentine to Melissa Hayden. The original ballet had an elaborate flower procession, concluding with Balanchine himself bringing out a bouquet for Hayden.
I think the appeal of these Very Special Occasion ballets tends to dilute when it's no longer that Very Special Occasion. Just my opinion, of course.

#51 papeetepatrick

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 06:44 PM

What do you all think of ballets that were choreographed specifically for a Very Special Occasion? For instance, Ashton's Birthday Offering. Or Balanchine's Cortege Hongrois, which was intended as an elaborate farewell valentine to Melissa Hayden. The original ballet had an elaborate flower procession, concluding with Balanchine himself bringing out a bouquet for Hayden.
I think the appeal of these Very Special Occasion ballets tends to dilute when it's no longer that Very Special Occasion. Just my opinion, of course.


Totally agree, and Britten's opera 'Gloriana' doesn't age well either. That's part of the beauty of them, that they were majestic but ephimeral as well.

#52 Helene

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 06:50 PM

Or Balanchine's Cortege Hongrois, which was intended as an elaborate farewell valentine to Melissa Hayden. The original ballet had an elaborate flower procession, concluding with Balanchine himself bringing out a bouquet for Hayden.
I think the appeal of these Very Special Occasion ballets tends to dilute when it's no longer that Very Special Occasion. Just my opinion, of course.

Joseph Mazo describes the creation of "Cortege Hongrois" in "Dance is a Contact Sport." He notes that the opinion around the company at the time was that the ballet was not among his best.

#53 canbelto

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 07:06 AM

There was also a video released by the Paris Opera Ballet in the 1980s which had a stunning version of the Grand Pas Classique, danced by Sylvie Guillem and Manuel Legris. And then it had some of the worst choreography I've ever seen. I forgot the exact names but I remember cringing with disbelief that it could be so bad. :wink:

#54 dirac

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 06:19 PM

Or Balanchine's Cortege Hongrois, which was intended as a farewell valentine to Melissa Hayden. The original ballet had an elaborate flower procession, concluding with Balanchine himself bringing out a bouquet for Hayden.
I think the appeal of these Very Special Occasion ballets tends to dilute when it's no longer that Very Special Occasion. Just my opinion, of course.


Good point. I seem to remember reading that Balanchine said something privately to the effect that after Hayden left, Cortege would be a nice little piece for McBride to do. Don't know how accurate that was.

#55 carbro

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 07:45 PM

I think the appeal of these Very Special Occasion ballets tends to dilute when it's no longer that Very Special Occasion.

That's usually true, but there are exceptions. Union Jack, which was staged specifically for the US Bicentennial, has proved remarkably durable. In fact, as is the case with many Balanchine ballets, it took a while for much of the audience to catch up to it.

I seem to remember reading that Balanchine said something privately to the effect that after Hayden left, Cortege would be a nice little piece for McBride to do. Don't know how accurate that was.

Snarky little devil, that Mr. B! :clapping: That nugget is in Mazo's book.

#56 dirac

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 02:19 PM

of course then we could add a ballet i saw once by karole armitage, on the life of michael millken, where an entire office of people danced with their chairs..


Suzanne Farrell says in her autobiography that during their time in the Bejart company Paul Mejia and she had a private joke - 'Have chair, will travel,' or something to that effect - in reference to their boss' fondness for choreographing around that item of furniture.

Snarky little devil, that Mr. B! That nugget is in Mazo's book.


A practical man. :angel_not: Thanks, I couldn't remember where I read it.

#57 Philip

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 06:55 AM

"The Devil on Two Sticks" by Corralli of Giselle fame. Fanny Essler premiered it in the middle of the "I am the best...no I am....no I am"...etc. between Essler and Taglioni.

This ballet was just one of "Devil in Disguise" ballets of the early 19th century. (the deveil on "One Stick", "Two Sticks", "a stick in the mud", "a stick up ..." that were about as good as a load of the proto-Christian/anti-Christ monikers they laid on public figures in the day. (Essler was considered to be a pagan compared to Taglioni as "Christian") The 1830s were likely not very good to the ballet repertoire!

Philip.

#58 Mel Johnson

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 07:07 AM

Oh, I don't know. Ballets in that era had stories as framework for dances, and the mime was integrated far more with the variations. "Le Diable Boiteux" still has bits and pieces of the music surviving in sheet music form which sometimes turn up in class music. They seem no different from other ballet music of the period. Just as a musical exercise, it could be fun to have someone try a "revival".

My nominee for Don't Revive is "Square Deal", which William Forsythe set on the Joffrey. It became famous as "the ballet you love to hate". I cheered it when it opened, but more as a proponent of Free Speech against all the booing.

#59 Hans

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 06:37 PM

I must admit that I am curious as to whether anyone alive today has actually seen the original choreography for "The Devil on Two Sticks."

#60 leonid17

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Posted 06 May 2008 - 04:28 AM

Interesting idea, though I wouldn't have put Etudes in that category.


Quite right. Etudes with a great cast is an exhilirating and uplifting work. I first saw it with Festival Ballet(now ENB) more than 40 years ago when the company had a bright register of ballet stars.


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