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Manhattnik

Whose Dream is Dreamier?

   23 members have voted

  1. 1. Whose Dream is Dreamier?

    • The Dream by Ashton
      27
    • A Midsummer Night's Dream by Balanchine
      36

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35 posts in this topic

Like Alexandra I, too, grew up with Balanchine's "Dream". Then I saw Ashton's and fell in love. I think I fell in love with the very Englishness of his interpretation - Shakespeare was, after all, an Englishman.

However, I do have to say that I wasn't entirely pleased with the way ABT did the ballet. I think Joffrey did it more successfully some years ago. Perhaps I'm just fussy, but nothing will erase my memories of Sibley and Dowell, Alex Grant, Wayne Sleep, and even of Ann Jenner (as the fairy who finds herself alone on the stage at the end of the scherzo).

I'd be curious to know where the person (was it Manhattnik?) who said that he was disturbed by being able to see Bottom changing into the ass sat. One must remember that Covent Garden is a much smaller theater and that when properly done one should NOT be able to see the dancer transform himself. Of course if one spends a lot of time trying to figure out how it's done.... Also please remember, he's got to put on pointe shoes as well as don the donkey head.

I do admire many things about the Balanchine version - I do enjoy the evening - but I find much of it over-done. Sometimes I feel that there is a lot of padding in it - just for the sake of creating a full-length ballet.

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By the way, I would love to see the film Leigh describes -- what a wealth of archival material you all have in New yOrk, my fingers itch...

There IS one tremendous excellence to the otherwise mostly disappointing Dance in AMerica/NYCB version of Balanchine's Dream, at least to me Adam Luders' cavalier in hte act 2 pas de deux is one of the most beautiful, noblest undertakings of such a part I've ever seen...... He's not calling attention to himself, but it's just staggeringly beautiful. (As the old joke says, "Madam, you pay for the restraint.")

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I prefer Ashton's "Dream" over Balanchine's. I saw both this spring season at lincoln center, and think that balanchine's was a little too long and repetitive. lots of kids running around and mime, while Ashton's condensed all of that into a much shorter ballet, which allowed us to see other pieces in the same performance.

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I chose The Dream, because I have always found Ashton's ballets to be nicer (for me), than Balanchine. but they are both excellent choreographers and it was a hard choice. I've really made an effort to educate myself on ballet, as well as attend ballets, and when I saw this poll and realised I was familar with the dances I was happy - my hard work is paying off!

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It's funny to see this poll from 2002 resurrected - people must be voting on it again.

Looking at my comments from three years ago is interesting to me in light of all the Ashton I have seen in the interim. I'm still not crazy about the Lanchberry score, but it doesn't push my buttons as much any more (familarity?). And there are so many things in the Ashton I love, but more than anything the female corps work. In Balanchine's I'm mad for Act II and the children.

Now, my answer would probably be "the one I saw last"!

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I prefer the Ashton.

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Many thanks to whoever exhumed this thread -- very interesting to see this again.

Hans, any particular reason?

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I think the story is structured much more coherently in Ashton's version; also, I just prefer his choreographic style to Balanchine's (that's just a personal preference; it has nothing to do with the quality of the choreography).

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