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Balanchine centrism?


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#46 LMCtech

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Posted 09 July 2001 - 02:19 PM

And that is an entirely different thread. Maybo someone should start it.

Alexandra, your observations on the West Coast audiences are very astute. I agree totally. I think there are however Balanchine centric critics and audience members out here too. I wonder if they all are from the East Coast. Probably not.

I have never seen the obsession with Balanchine as a strictly NYC thing. I noticed it all over the Eastern Seaboard when I lived and worked there. Maybe that is my California bias. Do all of you out there think we are centric in anyway?

#47 Natalia

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Posted 09 July 2001 - 02:37 PM

Oh dear...I think that we're offending each other left & right, without intention. Before my dear Joffrey friends pounce on me, please note that I described the 1960s/70s Joffrey audience as 'hip and modern' in response to Mel's question [paraphrase]: 'Where have the 70s Joffrey audiences gone?' I didn't mean, in any way, to imply that Joffrey audiences were no longer hip...they certainly *can* be, with productions such as 'Billboards' and such. HOWEVER, I am personally delighted that, since the early days, the Joffrey has expanded its repertoire to include not only what is 'hip & modern' but also historic rarities from the Diaghilev/post-Diaghilev Ballets Russes + Ashton + more. Just to clarify. :)

#48 Alexandra

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Posted 09 July 2001 - 02:44 PM

Thank you, Jeannie. :) I'd also add that my comments about the Fourth Ring Society were not intended to be pejorative; quite the contrary. Someone (I believe it was Jeannie) commented that there were many ABT fans in New York as well, and I commented that my perception of the two companies' audiences was different. I meant that NYCB's was more company-loyal, while ABT's was more dancer-loyal. That's all. Of course the Fourth Ring Society is a great idea -- and part of ballet's traditions; there was always a "gallery audience," the devoted, knowledgeable audience -- in ballet.

#49 Drew

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Posted 09 July 2001 - 03:07 PM

BIG OOPS - I wrote this before having realized there was a page 2 to this thread...Now that I have read it, I see some of my points are a little untimely, but I will leave most of it, and just ask indulgence.

This is my first check-in to ballet alert in a bit, and I want to offer some support to Leight Witchel's earlier post. I understand that Alexandra's original question aimed at an understanding of audiences and taste formation (as well as "perceptions" thereof), but I think we can't limit the issue of "Balanchine-centrism" to the chance results of where one lives or local favoritism. I grew up outside of New York and was exposed to a range of classical/neo-classical choreography and modern dance at various levels of performance (local and international companies, including top ranked Soviet and British). My ballet tastes were and, to some degree remain, quite eclectic. As for Balanchine, I was taken to see Prodigal Son as a child (with Villela) and hated it, but saw some other NYCB occasionally (incl. A Midsummer Night's Dream) and got my first big dose in the early 70's with programs that included Ivesiana, Stravinsky Violin Concerto and Symphony in Three Movements. I was dazzled (particularly by the latter), but didn't quite know what to make of it or say about it. But I am now completely devoted to Balanchine's work. It is over the years, seeing more and more Balanchine, and, in particular, seeing how much his ballets yield on repeated viewing and, yes, even with different companies, that has confirmed for me personally not only the more or less consensus view that Balanchine is a crucial figure for the history of ballet, but also that a case can be made -- that has nothing to do with geography -- that he is THE crucial figure for twentieth-century ballet, much as one can make a case for Petipa in the nineteenth-century. That does not mean that Bournonville and Ashton lovers can't make their own cases in return, and certainly if one were to speak about "national" schools of dance, one would configure ballet history differently, but it's not just a matter of location and exposure that inspires admiration of Balanchine. I've seen Macmillan ballets danced over and over too -- by the Royal, not just ABT. And, in that sense, "New Yorker" love of Balanchine is not finally the same as, say, Stuttgarters loving Cranko. It may "feel" the same -- I'm sure there are those out there who admire Cranko as much I do Balanchine -- but that's a different matter, and probably a different thread. Geography can affect the formation of tastes, but there is rather more at stake if we are going to make JUDGEMENTS of taste -- which is what I understand Leigh's basic point to have been.

At different moments in history certain places do become energetic centers for artistic activity of one kind or another. Theater goers in London around 1600 really did get to see some of the best, if not the best, drama in the European world at that moment -- with a little competition from Spain. Their "Shakespeare-centric" view of drama may have been limited, but it wasn't merely some misbegotten quirk of English taste even if, for a century or so, several French critics liked to say it was and complained bitterly about it...

[ 07-09-2001: Message edited by: Drew ]

#50 Alexandra

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Posted 09 July 2001 - 03:51 PM

That's all right, Drew. The custard pies have, unfortunately, already been thrown :)

As always, you've made some very interesting points. On the question of standards, I agree that any dance capital is going to have standards; that's partly what makes it a dance capital. Whether younger choreographers like it or not, they're going to be held up to Balanchine. "Not good enough; go back and try again." (I keep remembering the story of how Papa Taglioni brought Marie to Paris, thinking she was ready to be the Next Sensation; saw one evening at the Opera and realized that times had changed and she still needed work.) I don't think that has changed. When it gets to a point, though, that so many choreographers think their work is not getting a look because it doesn't look like Balanchine's -- not that it's not as good as, but because it's different from -- there's a problem. It may not be solvable. It may merely be a case of, "Tough" -- or will be solved when the next great choreographer comes along. I think the scrambling for Who's Greatest is usually put to rest when there's a dominant figure.

I think dance critics could be more careful about how they write "he's no Balanchine" reviews. And this is what I meant by the Balanchine-centric issue. Centrism to me isn't that I love this person more than all others, but to see the world through that framework and to assume that everyone else sees it the same way. So when a critic writes, "Of course, he's no Balanchine," what does that say to someone who's 25 years old and hasn't read the dozens of previous reviews that explain exactly why this or that choreographic sin makes a work not up to snuff?

I do want to say, though, that no one is saying that Ashton or Bournonville is the greatest, greater, etc. etc. and one of the things that I've found troubling about the turn this thread took is the idea that if you've ever dared mention the name of another choreographer, or do not say that Balanchine is *the only* great choreographer, then some people read that as being anti-Balanchine, and I protest that. As several people have said, I think it is possible to have many loves.

I do think there is a geographical element, as well as a time element. My older friends have much more catholic tastes than my younger ones -- and I think that's because they were exposed to more good work, good dancing, and have more models. But there are thousands of Russians who think that Grigorovich is *the* great choreographer, I imagine -- certainly every interview with a dancer or critic from the 1960s through the 1980s I can remember seems to assume that everyone knows that "Grigorovich, of course, is a great genius." It's not a view I share, but I write that from minimal exposure. If I saw his work night after night after night, I may well find riches and subtleties in his work that I don't see now. I may not. I don't know. (I was hoping that one of our Russians would chime in on Grigorovich, or the view from that part of the world on Balanchine, not to try to whip up an anti-Balanchine faction, but because I'm genuinely interested.)

I certainly agree that Balanchine's influence on the history and development of ballet is of crucial importance. One thing that I've learned from doing the Ballet Alert! calendars for the past four years that surprised me -- shocked me -- however is that that influence is not as visible now outside New York as it was 20 years ago. (I mean this in the sense of the repertories in regional -- oh, god, smaller, lower-budget, not-full-season, mostly-outside-of-New York -- companies. We still read that American ballet is made in Balanchine's image, and there certainly are many choreographers working within the Balanchine aesthetic, but
the repertories aren't, for the most part (Miami City Ballet aside) chock full of Balanchine. 20 years ago, I think you would have found a Balanchine ballet on every program. Now, it's more likely to be one Balanchine ballet every year. (San Francisco Ballet has more; Pacific Northwest Ballet usually has more, but not, I think, this year. Washington Ballet, which has been doing only one Balanchine a season the past few seasons, will do one per program next year; these are the exceptions. There also companies that don't do any Balanchine. If you don't believe me, you can subscribe and get the Season's Preview issue :) )

At the risk of starting another food fight -- and I honestly do not mean to insult anyone by writing this -- the Joffrey Ballet model seems to be the dominant one in America now. A combination of neoclassical, contemporary and pop ballets. And I think the San Francisco Ballet model -- which has gotten much more tilted to the contemporary dance/homegrown "classics" model than it was a few years ago -- may become more of the model than either New York company as well. (Again, I guess I have to clarify, that's neither a wish nor a fear, just a prediction.)

[ 07-09-2001: Message edited by: alexandra ]

#51 Saxon90Minkus

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 10:26 AM

I think it's very sad that so many people are Balanchine-Centric. I admit that he's a good choreographer but he's certainly not so good that all other choreographers should fall by the wayside because of him. In my experience, it seems that people who have trained with SAB or have some childhood connection with NYCB are unwilling to accept that any other choreographer could be just as good, if not better than Balanchine. I find it incredibly difficult to comprehend that these people also go as far as to say Petipa masterpieces are "boring" and have not even heard of Antony Tudor, Kenneth MacMillan, Frederick Ashton, Leonide Massine or Mikhail Fokine.

#52 Ray

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 11:30 AM

I think it's very sad that so many people are Balanchine-Centric. I admit that he's a good choreographer but he's certainly not so good that all other choreographers should fall by the wayside because of him. In my experience, it seems that people who have trained with SAB or have some childhood connection with NYCB are unwilling to accept that any other choreographer could be just as good, if not better than Balanchine. I find it incredibly difficult to comprehend that these people also go as far as to say Petipa masterpieces are "boring" and have not even heard of Antony Tudor, Kenneth MacMillan, Frederick Ashton, Leonide Massine or Mikhail Fokine.


I think the kind of ignorance you're describing is certainly sad, but I think you can be both "Balanchine-centric" and well-informed (if I do say so myself!).

More seriously, though, I often question my own Balanchine-centrism, as I know it is borne out of my limited (but also rich and focused) experience as a dancer. I will defend dances without music, but I don't always enjoy them (and as a dancer I was stymied by them); I can see how other choreographers compose skillfully, but only Balanchine elicits from me emotional and intellectual responses; I can see how different choreographic lineages coexist side-by-side, but my gut feels them in a coarse Darwinian fashion--as all steps leading to Balanchine. I am not a believer by nature--one of the reasons I left the dance world--but Balanchine's work tested my limits in that regard. Balanchine was not my first exposure to ballet, but the first one I cared about.

#53 SandyMcKean

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 12:46 PM

I think it's very sad that so many people are Chocolate-Centric. I admit that it's a good flavor but it's certainly not so good that all other flavors should fall by the wayside because of it. In my experience, it seems that people who have lived on the east or west coasts are unwilling to accept that any other flavor could be just as good, if not better than Chocolate. I find it incredibly difficult to comprehend that these people also go as far as to say Vanilla is "boring" and have not even heard of Strawberry, Peach, Rasberry or Rocky Road.

(....with apologies).

#54 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 09:39 PM

It's rather odd to see a decade old thread revived, but it's more ironic to re-visit what I defensively wrote just 9 years ago. (Another reason to wish that the Internet had a delete button.)

In the ensuing years I think I've become a good deal less Balanchine-centric. The Ashton Festival had something to do with it. Having friends and family in England opened me naturally to more as well. So did working as a dance writer - I felt that my taste had to be more open, not just to other forms of ballet, but other dance as well.

Some of the process was purposeful, other parts just happened. All of it is simply the evolution of a viewer.

#55 Paul Parish

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 11:13 PM

There are many issues involved, especially if you ARE a dancer and have actually danced Balanchine.

But the biggest of these is this -- ballet does not record well, unlike opera -- with ballet, 90 per cent of the excitement is lost if you don't see the great performance live. The 3-d experience, the kinds of things that happen in your brain as you focus on whatever it is that is so appealing to you that you make extra effort to actually see it happen, that, and the mystery of the weight transfer -- those things only register when you're in the real presence. Video is a flat-screen medium that robs the figures of weight, so it's hardly a miracle that they move so gracefully.

Which means that your own local dancers, if they're good enough, are the ones you love -- wherever you are, in Tulsa, San Francisco, Seattle, New York. And different companies dance Balanchine differently -- SFB does not clarify the steps as sharply as NYCB, but does emphasize the sweep of the phrase in a wonderful way.

But the result is that ballet is LOCAL-- and New Yorkers not only have a troupe brought up on Balanchine, they have a troupe they can FOLLOW-- for decades they've been able to follow the casting, posted in the lobby, and follow the dancers: corps (remember Renee Estopinal?) as well as principals. if it was Kyra you wanted to see in Diamonds, you could save your money and spend it on her; if it was Darci, you could blow off your mother in law and go to the ballet DARCI's night.

I am not a New Yorker, but that's what I imagine I WOULD have done. I do live in the Bay Area, and i know that a decade ago I'd blow off my best friend to see Loscavio in Ballo, and now I plan if I can to see van Patten when possible and Zahorian in any of Patty's roles -- she is OUTSTANDING in Dybbuk and Opus 19, like Schwarzkopf in Capriccio, the only person who makes those ballets make sense, and she makes them glorious.

OK -- so whoever you form your taste on makes other companies look peculiarly mannered. Denby covered this subject pretty much a-z.

BUT ALSO, IF YOU DON'T SEE THE RIGHT PEOPLE DANCE A CHOREOGRAPHER LIKE ASHTON, IT'S NOT VERY LIKELY THAT HIS PARTICULAR
OOPS, CAPS LOCK.....

SHALL WE SAY, SWEETNESS --
Ashton is sweet like honeysuckle, it's not cloying, it's intense and glorious and not cheap in any way -- but it is also EXTREMELY difficult to dance Ashton with amplitude and full musical value, EXTREMELY difficult -- the whole body must dance, the upper body must be as pliant and willing to tilt VIOLENTLY, as willing as a modern dancer's, above arrowy footwork that is in fact as fast as Balanchine's, and there are very few who can do it and maintain a limpid flow of movement.

I formed my taste on Ashton -- but it did not take me any time at all, the first time I saw Balanchine it was heart-breaking; San Francisco Ballet was dancing in Berkeley, a concert with Christensen and Balanchine, and Christensen was lots of fun and Symphony in C just made me weep, Betsy Erickson was out of this world beautiful in the adagio -- and in fact, I've never seen anybody except Allegra Kent on video approach the musicality and daring of Erickson's performance -- when that high melody kicks in and she dives into those penchees, Erickson was like a swallow, she swooped and soared and turned twice and swooped again fearlessly, like a swallow, i was GONE.....

The fact is, Balanchine is one of the great imaginations of the modern era. It's partly the style he created, it's partly his ability to keep making new things and KEEP ON making new things, always responding to the music, so there is a lot of Balanchine you can get to know and a lot of Balanchine NYCB can present, but the main thing is, he had a great imagination, and we were SO lucky....

In France, when a poet is asked "Who is the greatest French man of letters?" they say "Victor Hugo, alas...." As if we had to say that Edgar Allan Poe was our greatest poet, alas. WE don't have to say that, since we DO have Walt Whitman, alas.... But we do NOT have to say "our greatest choreographer? George Balanchine, alas.... there is no 'alas' to it. We can say, "Hallelujah!"

#56 Paul Parish

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 11:22 PM

Your daughter is a friend of my heart.

my friends have a 2-cab rule -- you may not discuss hte performance until you are in the SECOND cab of hte evening, nad truly on the way home -- since SOMEONE mightknow ne of hte dancers, and it would be terrible if you said something detrimental htat dispirited them.... SOmetimes I'mve ready to get in the second cab after we've gone one block....

#57 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 12:02 AM

Thank you Paul.

I can't say how important process is to forming these sorts of attachments. It mattered hugely that NYCB made standing room affordable and didn't police people who took unused spaces in the fourth ring. It meant as a student I could afford to go three or four nights a week if I wanted to. I watched Balanchine's ballets, but I also watched dancers grow and develop in them.

As much as I know people love videos - and it's a lot better than never seeing it at all; I need the experience of being in an audience together in the dark, seeing it happen live.

#58 Paul Parish

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 12:15 AM

Fabulous.....

THanks for the extended quote from Denby; that's he gospel truth........

#59 bart

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 06:28 AM

But the biggest of these [issues]is this -- ballet does not record well, unlike opera -- with ballet, 90 per cent of the excitement is lost if you don't see the great performance live. The 3-d experience, the kinds of things that happen in your brain as you focus on whatever it is that is so appealing to you that you make extra effort to actually see it happen, that, and the mystery of the weight transfer -- those things only register when you're in the real presence. Video is a flat-screen medium that robs the figures of weight, so it's hardly a miracle that they move so gracefully.

Which means that your own local dancers, if they're good enough, are the ones you love -- wherever you are, in Tulsa, San Francisco, Seattle, New York. And different companies dance Balanchine differently -- SFB does not clarify the steps as sharply as NYCB, but does emphasize the sweep of the phrase in a wonderful way.

But the result is that ballet is LOCAL-- and New Yorkers not only have a troupe brought up on Balanchine, they have a troupe they can FOLLOW-- for decades they've been able to follow the casting, posted in the lobby, and follow the dancers: corps (remember Renee Estopinal?) as well as principals. if it was Kyra you wanted to see in Diamonds, you could save your money and spend it on her; if it was Darci, you could blow off your mother in law and go to the ballet DARCI's night.

[ ... ]

[W]hoever you form your taste on makes other companies look peculiarly mannered.

Bravo and thanks, Paul. Like the earlier (2001) part of this thread, you say so much that helps clarify my own experience for me.:lightbulb: Now I understand better why I identified so much -- and so positively -- to Leigh's statement on page One of this thread.

I'm not really interested in whether Balanchine was the genius of ballet. He was a genius of ballet, and most importantly, my genius of ballet. If I need to adjust my eyes to look at other choreographers, I can, but it takes effort.


As Leigh says in his most recent post, looking back from the vantage point of 8 years further on in life, our way of looking at things does change over time and with expanded experience. The NYCB, with Balanchine's dances and dancers, were my "local" -- my zone of comfort, my intuitive home base -- for 25 years. I've always known that, but never really understood why. Of course, one learns to "adjust" one's eyes and appreciate other forms of movement. (Living in NYC in our impressionable, formative years gave many of us an advantage: there was so much other world-class dancing (ballet, modern, national, etc.) to enjoy and to learn from. Aside from Miami City Ballet, this is not the case where I reside now. Thank goodness we do have a few quite nice local companies and have a market that attracts frequent touring groups from the outside.)

This kind of thoughtful, knowledgeable writing is what attracted me to Ballet Talk in the first and what keeps me fascinated 7 years later.

Please, Alexandra and Helene, never delete those older threads. And please, BT members, never stop reviving them. :clapping:

#60 papeetepatrick

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 09:58 AM

In France, when a poet is asked "Who is the greatest French man of letters?" they say "Victor Hugo, alas...." As if we had to say that Edgar Allan Poe was our greatest poet, alas. WE don't have to say that, since we DO have Walt Whitman, alas.... But we do NOT have to say "our greatest choreographer? George Balanchine, alas.... there is no 'alas' to it. We can say, "Hallelujah!"


That's a matter of opinion. To me, it sounds like somebody talking about Wagner and Bayreuth in particular. As for this 'ballet is LOCAL' business, that used to be the case with me, since I started with Balanchine and still love Balanchine. But no longer. The NYCB is nominally the 'LOCAL' ballet company of New York, maybe even a bit more than ABT, but while I'll go to NYCB if something comes up, I'm going to 'invest' in ABT, POB (when they come), and other companies. NYCB is actually a wonderful company to start with: Once you've put them in proportion, you're free to look at literally every other dance company in the world (whether ballet or anything else) and judge them clearly and fairly--because it's a case of freedom from NYCB and Balanchine as well. Which doesn't mean you give up Balanchine just because you want to 'play the field' and be totally promiscuous now.

BUT ALSO, IF YOU DON'T SEE THE RIGHT PEOPLE DANCE A CHOREOGRAPHER LIKE ASHTON, IT'S NOT VERY LIKELY THAT HIS PARTICULAR
OOPS, CAPS LOCK.....

SHALL WE SAY, SWEETNESS --


????? In any case, the Ashton people continue to re-state their devotions as well, including those on this board when they care to (Simon, leonid), and for this I am glad. I'd have never thought to even lightly concentrate on Ashton had it not been for them and a few of the other Brits. In fact, the oddest irony is that I find an enormous amount of this 'Balanchine centrism' at BT, but it's reading BT regularly for over 4 years now that's broken me of my own extreme symptoms in that direction.

Some of these new remarks are interesting, and I value them because I can see why I'm not purely Balanchine-centric, Ray put that very well, as here:

I think the kind of ignorance you're describing is certainly sad, but I think you can be both "Balanchine-centric" and well-informed (if I do say so myself!).


I suppose his immediately following remarks made me realize how I see this now. I now want to look at Balanchine and my more intense focus on his works and NYCB in particular fit in with all the consumption of all World Dance, not just ballet and modern. Ray's mention of 'emotion' and 'being moved' apply as well to me regarding Balanchine, but not more than to Martha Graham and not more even to the DVD of Ashton's 'Month in the Country' (I never saw anything like that from Balanchine.) Ultimately, it does seem like the reproduced performances ought to automatically mean that the ballet is 'lesser' to you if you only saw it there than live. Except that many things I've only seen on DVD, and some of these matter more to me than ballets I've seen many times live; so much for that, then, even though it's obviously the case if it's one you're most crazy about, it's going to have much more dimension live.

I'd say the same thing about Chinese dance, South Indian Bharata Natyam dance, Cambodian dance, they have definitely sometimes moved me as much as Balanchine. I always resisted this, in fact, didn't like that something Eastern was coming up to 'compete' with the fact that I wanted all those ballets I'd seem Farrell dance to be greater. But I didn't always think they had been greater. The Cambodian Dance I saw at the Joyce in about 1990 (stravinskyviolinconcerto brought this up at one point) definitely made me start doing a mental comparison with some of the ballets I'd seen at NYCB in fairly recent years. At the time I thought they all actually seemed more tinselly and artificial compared to the Cambodians, but by 2006 my view had changed back somewhat: the old performance of 'La Valse' in 1986, right after Joseph Duell died, seemed as meaningful to me again. And that was Balanchine.

But there have been many threads on this choosing and determining the 'one genius'. It's done in all fields, and it says more about those judging it than those judged. Professionals do hack work all the time, they are never the purists that fans and critics tend to be. Not that hack work alone would be enough for the greatest. So it has to do with whether one needs to decide that 'Proust is greater than Faulkner' (I don't think he is, but not lesser either), or whether one doesn't care about such things. Alexandra said sometning on this thread many years ago about how we 'can have many loves'. Yes, we can. So that sometimes what is called 'greatest genius' may still be just 'our favourite'. 'Our favourite' can also be 'a great genius', but you can never prove that he is 'the greatest genius'. Yes, even if many people say the same thing. The very fact that there is an 'Ashton Contingent' proves this. They are never Balanchine-centric, and they are not obliged to be. My thread on the Nutcracker has been about how this one particular ballet is unique in its popular power, but also (with many contributors) how it may not necessarily be considered the 'greatest' thereby. And, interestingly, not a single person who responded on my thread did say that they thought it was the very greatest. Although fans of SB and Giselle have said at different times that these are the 'greatest ballets'. But it's not the case, because it can be disagreed with. I said SB was my favourite ballet, but I do not claim that it is 'the greatest'. This kind of thing always reminds of when Pauline Kael wrote that she thought 'Intolerance' was the greatest movie ever made. Who needs it?

I myself am Balanchine-centric to the extent that I once was, and saw more of his work than anybody else's, but that changed. I still think it's very amusing and ironic that being exposed to a wider range of thinking from dancers and dance fans here at BT is what broke me of that. But, as I've said so many times, how can it be any different in dance than in the other arts? How can the Mozart Freak definitely be 100% right? Because he is both right and wrong. There's a sense of comfort and security that comes from allying oneself to one school or cult or another. Some pianists swear by late Beethoven, and then then the Mozartians get all condescending to them. So I'd just say I've been deeply moved by Balanchine a few times, Graham a few times, and by music and dance from Asia a few times--and that, ultimately, it all matters equally to me--insofar as 'equality' means anything at all, really just that I can't choose one over the other, they're different. For some kinds of thinking, people want to ally themselves with Picasso, with Rembrandt, with James Joyce, with Wagner, with Mozart, with Beethoven, with Petipa, with Balanchine...

But it's this very board that has proved that you can be 'Balanchine-centric', but that those who are not don't consider this to be a dominant trope, and they just don't pay any attention to it. When people write about Bournonville and when people write about POB, they're not trying to be any numbers of the forms of 'Balanchine-centric' that all have discussed. Balanchine and 'Balanchine-centrism' is a subset of ballet and dance, not the subtext. Neither is Petipa, incidentally.


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