Waelsung, on 06 September 2012 - 12:54 PM, said:
Drew, on 06 September 2012 - 12:41 PM, said:
Waelsung, on 05 September 2012 - 08:28 PM, said:
Macaulay hates the classical ballet. Always has, and probably always will. But this article must be a new low even for him. To criticize Petipa's masterpieces because they do not adhere to the strict rules of political correctness and do not reflect the exact ethnic mix of the XXI century America as was determined by the latest Census? It really makes me sick.
I don't think this is a fair summary of Macaulay's article and certainly I don't believe that he hates the classical ballet. Specifically, he does not have a problem with Petipa masterpieces in this article ... it is revivals of those works that are full of inaccuracies/revisions or otherwise pastiche (not Petipa at all) that nonetheless retain or, much more problematically, exagerate the racism of the original--even, in the case of the Bolshoi Raymonda he discusses, putting it in where it did not necessarily exist in the Petipa masterpiece. He is also very careful to say that he does not believe in applying a strict "political correctness" to works of the past and even goes so far as to defend national stereotyping in the Nutcracker.
But didn't he object to the whiteness of the Shades? It's not even funny.
As I read the article he did not "object" to their whiteness--What he does say is that when the ballet imagines a heaven for its Indian maidens it is a white heaven and he seems to intend that as a reflection on the generally problematic attitudes that shape these ballets. For me, that was not one of his strongest points since there are strong ballet traditions shaping the scene that aren't simply a matter of ethnic codes...In fact elsewhere in the article he alludes to moments of transcendence in Bayadere and surely it's pretty obvious that he means the Shades scene.
I realize though we are in the realm of "ballet writing" rather than "Met season" ... For myself I was also surprised by news of a new Corsaire production if only because the old seems such a success, but perhaps costumes and/or sets were in need of repair and it seemed worth the investment. (I have no fears that they will be replacing Julia Trevelyan Oman's designs for A Month in the Country
and hope that it's true that Ashton's ballet is in the works for ABT.)