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Making up alternate endings to great ballets-- a topic for the silly season?


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#16 bart

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 07:03 AM

[ ... ] 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!

#17 papeetepatrick

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 07:34 AM

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.

#18 printscess

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 12:57 PM

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).

#19 Mel Johnson

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 03:48 PM

"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!

#20 bart

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 04:22 PM

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?

#21 Treefrog

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 07:58 PM

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.

#22 papeetepatrick

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 09:04 PM

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).

#23 Memo

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Posted 18 July 2008 - 08:26 AM

OMG :o :helpsmilie:

#24 Roberto Dini

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 11:46 AM

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.

#25 whetherwax

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Posted 01 October 2008 - 03:41 PM

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.

#26 bart

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Posted 01 October 2008 - 05:52 PM

Manon could do environmental tours.

In a kayak! Occasionally, when she's fed up with virtue and is feeling frivolous, she'll choose an unenvironmental hydroplane.

Perhaps Manon and her group will come upon, the liberated spirits of the lovers Odette and Siegfried, gliding along the bayous. But ... that would be an alternate ending to another ballet. "Swan Swamp!" :)

#27 whetherwax

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Posted 01 October 2008 - 05:55 PM

Oh yes!!! The dance of the little crocs ( or crocks , depending on how fit they are)

#28 bart

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Posted 01 October 2008 - 06:00 PM

The dance of the little crocs ( or crocks , depending on how fit they are)

Choreographed by Disney to "Dance of the Hours," as in Fantasia?

#29 Hans

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Posted 01 October 2008 - 06:28 PM

But then they all get danced to death and thrown into Lake Pontchartrain by the wilis from 'Creole Giselle'....

#30 Charming_Lise

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Posted 02 October 2008 - 02:10 AM

In La Fille mal gardee Lise and Colas and up eloping to Vegas where they are married by an Elvis lookalike.


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