... I'd prefer to see rare and demanding Balanchine - Ivesiana and Variations Pour une Porte et un Soupir, for example....
Remember the old admonition, "Be careful what you wish for!"
Back in the day, Variations Pour une Porte et un Soupir, maybe the most uncompromising of Balanchine's surrealist efforts in my experience, drove the audience out. Or the rat-a-tat Pierre Henry musique concrete soundtrack, played at volume over the theater PA system, did. The audience trooped in for it after intermission as usual, but by the end of it, the main floor seats were pretty empty, mainly except for me (and, in the middle of another row not far away, a little girl) the handful of times I sat through it.
Shall I describe this rarity a little more? In my day, it was only performed by its first cast, Karin von Aroldingen and John Clifford. I don't say "danced," because she was nearly immobilized in the center of the stage by her costume, a very long black cape, the end of which was attached to the proscenium opening, all the way around, like one of the curtains. Clifford, on the other hand, had all sorts of lively gymnastic moves, many on the floor, directed toward her place but never really engaging her or passing by her. We decided he was the Sigh, she the Door; she never opened to him, and frankly, the ballet never really opened up to me, either. But now, writing this so many years later, it occurs to me that maybe that was it! An impenetrable ballet! (Aha, Mr. B., you've done it again, although it sure took a while for me this time.)
Hah, thanks, Jack.That reminds me of the first time I saw the Cunningham company, in 1993. That company, or at least their music, was of course famous for driving people off, but this was an American Dance Festival audience, and you'd think it would have known what it was in for. Still, many people left.
Now I really want to see Variations Pour une Porte et un Soupir. I've seen Farrell's stagings of The Unanswered Question, just not the whole ballet.