If I never saw "Vienna Waltzes" or "Union Jack" again, my life would not be materially altered for the worse. I close my eyes for the last three minutes of "Duo Concertant," which I find unspeakably mawkish. (My apologies to the dancers; it's not you -- it's that gimmicky spotlight.)
If I never saw Concerto Barocco my life would be poorer...
I have not seen Ballanchine's entire oeuvre, and I do not like everything to the same degree. But I eventually will see all of them. I will do that before I start making broad generalizations.
If you go to the Barnes collection and see all the Renoires, or even if you go to any retrospective at MOMA - it is apparent that great artists do not put out masterpieces
time and again.
Ballanchine is a phenomenon. He is an American phenomenon. I think all tourist who come here and are part of "inteligentsia" should experience his ballets.
I see no reason to be offended by those who worship him and fail to understand why it ould elicit such antagonism. He is larger than life and comes from an era, the 1960ies, when we still had those larger than life intellects. I have not doubt that having lived through the flowering of culture in the 60ies I see Ballanchine differently than those who are younger.
Art has many layers and it can be experienced on a straightforward emotional level, or with the understanding of the layers of meaning, which comes with increased connoiseurship,which I am trying to acquire :-).
Recently I saw the sad documentary on Tanaquil Le Clercq, (who more than any other of his dancers epitomized the ideal Ballanchine body type), and now I understand completely differently ballets such as Agon, where the ballerina's limbs are being manipulated and placed by the male dancer, or La Valse.