bart

Making up alternate endings to great ballets

58 posts in this topic

Do you ever get tired of seeing the same old ending at every performance of a story ballet?

Why not perform alternate endings, at least at summertime performance, for those in the audience who've seen the work just a few too many times?

Here's one for Bayadere:

-- Nikiya never really dies. (It turns out that those cheap rubber snakes they use don't actually bite. :) ) In fact, none of the Shades is dead. It's all a charming deception that Nikiya and her girl friends play in order to pay back "the men" for being so silly and selfish.

As the Shades descend the ramp, there are occasional hints that something is wrong. One does a multiple pirouette; another does a quick series of entrechats six. Solor slowly catches on. (He's not entirely drugged, it seems. :tiphat: ) He thinks he sees Nikiya. But wait! They ALL look like Nikiya!

It works out happily in the end. The lovers are reunited, but only after Solor has done his penance by lifting an awful lot of shades (real women with real weight) in his desperate quest to identify her.

-- The High Brahmin is filled with the need to repent; he joins Mother Teresa and spends the rest of his life doing good works in a Calcutta slum.

-- Gamzatti, runs away with the carnival dancer who played the Golden Idol. In a final Apotheosis scene, she is seen having the time of her life performing with him at a joyful Indian village festival. They're all dancing, for some reason, a Tarantella, followed by a boisterous Farandole, created especially for this production by Ludwig Minkus. It turns out that he is not dead either. And he's willing to make all the musical alterations needed to make this alternate Bayadere work.

Any other ballets that need alterations or an update? All suggestions are welcome. They don't have to be elaborate -- even a short

Share this post


Link to post

Alternate ending Sleeping Beauty:

When Aurora finds some dude about 80 years younger than her (with the wierdest taste in clothes and hairstyle) kissing her awake, she goes straight to Carabosse and asks to be put back to sleep. This is emotionally so damaging for the 'wicked fairy' that she sees no more point in being bad and sets up as the Lilac's biggest rival in 'good magic'.

The prince is so shocked by the experience of a 116-year old 'statue' coming alive when he kisses it that he is assigned to a mental asylum for the remainder of his life.

Share this post


Link to post

Alternate ending to dearest Twyla Tharp's "Night-pot":

mmm...let's see, let's see..(oh, God...the ballet is so bad, that i can't even think of anything...sorry)

Note-I promise I'll get back with something...

Note 2-Actually, this is not true, i DID came out with something- :tiphat: - but since this imaginary scene involves the ballet's creator portraying herself plus some violent atmosphere, i think it would be too much to bear for some out there...so I'll keep thinking.

Share this post


Link to post

I have always enjoyed the ending of Mat Ek's 'Giselle'...Albrecht gets his come-uppance at the end and is literally naked and alone. :)

Share this post


Link to post

Ostrich, I love it all. But is sit fair to Aurora to allow her to fall asleep again, presumably forever? How about persuading her to give up that boring court life, pack a bag and venture out into the world of real people, hopsefully to find a more socially useful vocation and a partner really worthy of commiting to?

atm711, regarding poor Albrecht. Does NO ONE believe in the redemptive power of love anymore, especially the kind that works from beyond the grave? I haven't seen the Ek version. What happens to Giselle?

cubanmiamiamiboy, I am starting to get the impression that you just a tiny bit disappointed in Tharp's Nightspot? Mon dieu, is that possible?!? :)

More alternate endings, PLEASE! Swan Lake, Nutcracker, Raymonda, Don Quixote, Sylphide, Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella, Midsummer Night's Dream (or The Dream), Fille Mal Gardee --- all await your revisions. Even revival kitsch like Pharoahs' Daughter might benefit from a few changes. And, how about a popculture version of "Diamonds," entitled "Rhinestones"? (One of my dreams is to see someone throw a pie in the face of some of those manically happy peasants that the 19th century inserted into all too many ballets.)

Share this post


Link to post

Romeo & Juliette.............

It turns out that Juliette realizes somehow that she's pregnant from her one night stand with Romeo. So after Romeo's death she decides to live for the sake of her baby. She marries Paris -- it's distasteful to her, but it's not about her anymore, but about securing a future for her baby who she plans to name Romeo.

Share this post


Link to post

OK, so here i go.

Alternate ending to Swan Lake:

Everything goes as we all know up to the point of Odette's suicide. Siegfried gets very disturbed by it, although he doesn't follow her steps. Instead, while sobbing on the floor, everything seems to start changing around him. It looks like the spell is broken...and surprise, because of the magic of love, even evil Rothbart is having a transformation! So now, the malevolent character is getting transformed right before Siegfried's astonished eyes into...wow, the handsomest of the males creatures ever imagined. So hypnotically beautiful is this new male presence, that Siegfried falls totally in love right there...and viceversa. At the end, we can see them both holding hands and walking off the stage in total ecstasy of their newly found homosexual love.

(Please, don't kill me :) )

Share this post


Link to post
(One of my dreams is to see someone throw a pie in the face of some of those manically happy peasants that the 19th century inserted into all too many ballets.)

well, you could do a catch-all ballet, call it 'torture' and make it nothing but the happy peasant dances from all the classics, strung together... :)

Share this post


Link to post
(One of my dreams is to see someone throw a pie in the face of some of those manically happy peasants that the 19th century inserted into all too many ballets.)

well, you could do a catch-all ballet, call it 'torture' and make it nothing but the happy peasant dances from all the classics, strung together... :)

actually, on second thought, that would be act 1. act 2 would be all the national dances from all the classics strung together. one after the other.

Share this post


Link to post

In Mayerling, all the well-loved decadence is proceeding apace, until Bratfisch won't go far away when Rudolph tells him to. Not only are the glamour and glory of suicide prevented, they are even caught in flagrante delicto and become victims of coitus interruptus--nor will they be allowed another chance at any better choreogarphy; and they will they never get any more morphine....Early Bolsheviks, who have broken off from the ranks of the Hungarian separatists, now no longer favour Rudolph in particular-- and thus arrive to force multiple polygamies on the Crown Prince and his father Franz Josef, and the epilogue is not a cemetery but an incredibly boring ashram, where Mary has to work in the laundry room and sing Kollective Farm Songs. Rudolph has k.p. duty, and also has to teach Marxist workshops, which have paying upper-middle-class students Viviana Durante and Irek Mukhamedov.

Share this post


Link to post

Swan Lake:

In the fourth act Von Rothbart realizes the error of his ways and repents. Odette and Siegfried marry and open a bed and breakfast located on the scenic banks of The Rhine. Forgiving by nature they hire Von Rothbart as the B&B's head chef. Unfortunately things don't work out well as the new head chef's speciality is "Roasted Swan with Chaudon Sauce".

Sleeping Beauty:

After being defeated by The Lilac Fairy, Carabosse decides that perhaps a relocation is in order. She packs up her spells and spindles and heads to the kindom around the corner. She is joined by three other girls. White Cat, who has just been dumped by Puss In Boots after she spit up a hairball the size of a Buick on his mother. The Canary Fairy, who is darn tired of being the "up and happy" one all the time, and finally The Queen, who's bloody miffed that she missed 100 years of fashion shows. The four become best friends and spend their time sipping Cosmopolitans and discussing their sex lives. They support Carabosse in her new career as a writer for a column called "Sex in the Kingdom."

Giselle:

After Giselle returns to her grave, Albrecht is devasted. Naturally, being an aristocrat makes him facinating to the local people. He is contacted by the editor of a magazine called "In Touch with Us aristocratic People". Albrecht writes a story about his deception of and redemption by Giselle. The title is "Willi Or Won't He, Albrecht's story." This is a huge success and starts Albrecht on the path to being a writer. His best selling book is a self-help tome for lovesick men called, "She's Just Not That Into You, How To Tell If She's Just Being Coy Or Just Dead." He becomes a big success but alas is unable to enjoy it as while on a book tour in The Pacific Rim he trips on his sword and falls into a volcano. Somewhere Myrta is laughing.

Share this post


Link to post
I haven't seen the Ek version. What happens to Giselle?

She doesn't die--but ends up in a psychiatric ward.....

Share this post


Link to post
And, how about a popculture version of "Diamonds," entitled "Rhinestones"?

Or Swarovski Crystals

Albrecht writes a story about his deception of and redemption by Giselle. The title is "Willi Or Won't He, Albrecht's story."
:)

Share this post


Link to post
[ ... ] not a cemetery but an incredibly boring ashram, where Mary has to work in the laundry room and sing Kollective Farm Songs. Rudolph has k.p. duty, and also has to teach Marxist workshops, which have paying upper-middle-class students Viviana Durante and Irek Mukhamedov.
But, Patrick, why does this have to be "boring"? Why not something whimsically upbeat, as life in the Soviet collective in Bright Stream? Ballet -- especially Imperial Ballet and the kind of Soviet ballet Stalin liked -- has often demonstrated a rich capacity to prettify and happy-fy even the dreariest of reality.

Which makes me think about Perky's Canary Fairy,

darn tired of being the "up and happy" one all the time.
I never thought about it, but that must be hard. Often, in large families, one of the siblings (usually a woman) is assigned this role. It must be dreadful at times. Perhaps a Twelve Step Group for her, the happy peasants, and all those others whose main social function seems to be to make the rest of us feel okay about grumbling, criticizing, and being less than nice ourselves.

I'm also surprised that no one has included the White Cat's hairball in their reworkings of Aurora's Wedding. What a challenge for a post-modern director! What a delight for the kiddy matinee audience!

Share this post


Link to post
But, Patrick, why does this have to be "boring"? Why not something whimsically upbeat, as life in the Soviet collective in Bright Stream? Ballet -- especially Imperial Ballet and the kind of Soviet ballet Stalin liked -- has often demonstrated a rich capacity to prettify and happy-fy even the dreariest of reality.

I agree, 'boring ashram' is a redundancy, perhaps even a tautology. 'Incredibly boring ashram' is truly de trop...But they are also 'whimsically upbeat', and anybody in them had better agree that they are if they want to stay alive. Universal Ballet could probably get the effect: I met one of their founder's 'married couple', and the girl told me in front of her husband that she would have never chosen him if left to her own devices (but we were in a private living room in New York, not headquarters). But I'm not sure Rudolph and Mary really living happily ever after is enough 'wages of sin'. They need to do a lot of 'karma-yoga' and have to talk about and pretend how much fun it is (just stand out of the line at Integral Yoga store, even by accident, and you'll find from a clerk just what a peaceable kingdoms they've all got in mind); as well, Mary may not sing any of the Liszt waltzes, since impure compared to the wealth of folk-music that Liszt 'corrupted.' There can no reference to the old publicity-drenched suicide pact, of course, on pain of capital punishment.

Share this post


Link to post

The Prince and Marie eat too much in the land of sweets, they gain tons of weight and their sleigh crashes and burns. (for those of you who watch Balanchine's Nutcracker).

Share this post


Link to post

"Pillar of Fire" - Hagar goes with the Young Man from the House Opposite and discovers too late that he is an insurance salesman, and they spend the rest of the ballet negotiating policies. He offers Hagar $100 if she can get her sisters and mom to buy policies, too!

Share this post


Link to post

Printcess, do their teeth fall out, too? I've often wondered how the Sugarplum Fairy stays in shape, considering the amount of confectionary with which she surrounds herself. Lots of difficult variations, I suppose.

Mel, I love it. But could we consider an alternate character, making a subprime mortgage lender? I mean, just for states like Florida where the problem is especially huge.

Given the current crisis in the housing market, this would certainly strike a nerve with contemporary audiences. It would also explain the ostracism that Hagar receives from familiy, friends and townspeople, since everyone on the block will have lost their home by the end of the ballet.

As the curtain falls, could we see Hagar and the Young Man walking away, hand in hand, moving on to the next group of potential victims as the romantic swells romantically?

Share this post


Link to post
And, how about a popculture version of "Diamonds," entitled "Rhinestones"?

My aspiring choreographer took Chemistry in high school last year. She and I have been sketching out her next ballet, "Joules". It starts out quite slowly and languidly, as the Atoms (bathed in cold blue light) barely interact. Naturally, the music, lighting, and dancing all heat up until the newly energized Atoms cannot avoid each other. I leave the frenetic, steamy conclusion to your imagination.

Share this post


Link to post
Printcess, do their teeth fall out, too? I've often wondered how the Sugarplum Fairy stays in shape, considering the amount of confectionary with which she surrounds herself.

The obesity (and diabetes?) from printscess's narrative need a lawsuit, but not to sue MacDonald's because already been done and no fairy confections, I guess, or even the ABT Burger King--rather Payard Patisserie, patisserie to the stars, NYCB ones that is... In court, they will be told that Stevia is 50 times sweeter than sugar and healthier than Splenda and that they should have used it!(nevermind you'll ruin a decent custard or creme patissiere, with either of them just like you will with soya milk).

Share this post


Link to post

This idea, while not an alternate ending to a ballet, was inspired by Julio Bocca's final performance of Giselle, where he left his shoes by Giselle's grave.

After describing that incredibly moving moment to a friend, I decided that I'd love to quit my job that way. I wouldn't say anything to anyone or even give notice, but one day, I would just take off my shoes and leave them by my desk and walk out.

I realize that Julio's shoes were tools of his trade and leaving his shoes was much more symbolic, but I just love the idea of people saying, "He left his shoes by his desk and walked out the door. We haven't seen him since."

It's such an inappropriate and nonsensical way to leave an office job (no one would get the reference unless they read it here), which is precisely why I love it.

Share this post


Link to post

Bart, seeing Manon is not your cup of tea, maybe the ashram could move to the swamp and rehabilitate all those whores. Manon could do environmental tours.

Share this post


Link to post

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   You have pasted content with formatting.   Remove formatting

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead