As an audience member, I too want the twentieth-century classics next to the nineteenth-century ones--and not by any means always danced by the same companies (sometimes yes, sometimes no: depends on the company)--and I have to say that after a middle-aged lifetime of attending the ballet, ballet today feels a lot more thrilling than it has in decades because some substantial new choreographers are on the scene.
Exactly. And I'm sure the dancers in those new works feel the same way.
I then say lucky you all you have been exposed substantially to such great new choreographers. As per me, I can't say I'm particulary thrilled with the contemporary stuff I've seen not only in the last decades, but during my whole lifetime of ballet viewing. My greatest memories are all about the great Giselles, Sylphides, Chopinianas, Swan Lakes, Filles, Coppelias, Nutcrackers, Bayaderes, Paquitas, Grand Pas de Quatres and a handful of XX Century ballets by Balanchine, Tudor, Ashton, and Robbins. My loss probably....
I have the same experience in opera. Most singers want to sing new works, and you can't blame them. I am sure dancers are the same way. People want things composed or choreographed for them so that they feel they are making a mark in history and not simply copying what has been done before. Artists want to feel they are part of the creative process, not just puppets following what so many people have done in the past.
So I totally understand why dancers and singers want to dance and sing new works.
However, I think the average audience member likes to see the classics (Swan Lake or in opera Tosca or La Traviata) over and over and enjoy seeing a new work occasionally, but most new works do not make us swoon like the classics. It is because new works are too close to us. They probably do show a slice of the times, and we tend to find our own personal times (Year 2012, for example) to be less thrilling since our lives seem so mundane often. A century from now some of these new works will become part of the canon of great works that represent the 2000s or 2010s, but only some of them. Many will fall off the radar b/c they did not stand the test of time.
Basically, my point is that dancers are always going to want new works, and that is normal for a dancer. But I think it is normal as an audience member to want big heapings of the classics. Some people are more adventurous in their viewing, and that is a good thing too.