altongrimes

Reimagine

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In my dance studies, I have occasionally discovered the word "reimagine". Does the definition imply that there are, as in Balanchine's Cotillion, too many "missing pieces" to speak of the effort as a legitimate reconstruction?

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you've understood the gist of this usage here; another way to define "reimagine" is to understand the effort to put the ballet back on stage as more an educated guess than a carefully researched reconstruction using notations, films, and the memories and efforts of dancers who knew the ballet first-hand..

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In some cases "reimagine" seems to be used for efforts that don't aspire to be 'historical' or 'traditional' stagings at all but that try to take up the themes/imagery of an older work and recast them in entirely new terms with new choreography for a different era. That's at least how I have seen the term used quite recently--say, in coverage of the Akram Khan Giselle or Matthew Bourne Sleeping Beauty.

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Terms like reconstruction, restaging, and setting are usually used with productions that aim to replicate the original work (indeed, when you're working from an actual score, rather than from memory, reconstruction is the quasi-official term).  Reimagining has much more flexibility, depending on what you're attempting to imagine.  Often, as rg says, the object of the imagination is the original work in its context, but it can also be what people call an alternate universe (not to be confused with alternative facts!).  For example, I've heard people refer to Mark Morris' "The Hard Nut" as a reimagination of "Nutcracker."

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Wonderful highly informative replies. Thank you !

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