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Worst idea for a new ballet


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#31 felursus

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Posted 10 August 2001 - 11:56 PM

I forgot to add the part about them voting each other off - oh, and the "tribes": anyone got some creative ballet-oriented tribal names? The reward, instead of being a million dollars, is a life-time, secure principal contract with the company of choice. :D

#32 Dale

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Posted 11 August 2001 - 07:44 AM

I'd like to see a ballet based on Miss Cleo, the psychic who advertises on TV.

[ 08-11-2001: Message edited by: Dale ]

#33 Ed Waffle

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Posted 11 August 2001 - 09:01 AM

Jane Simpson and Mary Cargill mentioned Schubert's song cycle "Der Winterreise". Like a lot of people who studied voice I learned it both as a school exercise and for performance.

It does seem that a ballet to the entire cycle it would be dreadful, but a couple of the songs might work. "Der Doppelganger", for example--it is from a different cycle, but could be done like a soft-shoe, but on pointe. With a follow spot, of course--"Me and My Shadow" for Lincoln Center.

What would be intriguing is a ballet done to a good recording of the John Cage masterpiece 4'33".

#34 julip

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Posted 11 August 2001 - 10:57 AM

...to the john cage masterpiece 4:33...now, would the dancers come out on stage to dance, would you actually choreography movement, or would just the stage empty of dancers be sufficent enough?

#35 Manhattnik

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Posted 11 August 2001 - 11:11 AM

Didn't Paul Taylor already do this?

#36 Ed Waffle

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Posted 11 August 2001 - 11:36 AM

Manhattnik--

Do you know what recording Taylor used?

There are a lot of great ones:

--Martha Argerich (even with her usual quota of wrong notes)

--Evgeny Kissin (a bit too classical for some)

--Stephen Drury (thought by many to be the best recording so far)


Julip--

I think the choreographer would have to make those decisions, depending on how he or she is inspired by the work--and, possibly, by the pianist.

[ 08-11-2001: Message edited by: Ed Waffle ]

#37 Nanatchka

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Posted 11 August 2001 - 09:05 PM

About 4:33-- it was first performed by David Tudor, who came out and sat at the piano. And you could watch him, and think about how long the time seemed, or how short.

When the Cunningham company uses the score (The Merce Cunnngham Dance Company) someone is in the pit with it, at the piano as I recall. If there is no piano, I don't know where the musician sits, but there is a musician. Then they dance for the length of the piece.

This might seem like the Emperor's New Clothes, but it does indeed make one think about the nature of time, and our perception of it.

[ 08-11-2001: Message edited by: Nanatchka ]

#38 Mel Johnson

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Posted 11 August 2001 - 10:33 PM

And I don't think Taylor used 4'33", I think he just stood there in silence for about five minutes. (Didn't Anatole Chujoy devote three whole column inches of blank space in Dance News to a review of this piece?) Now to make it a ballet, he would stand in 5th position!

Come on, gang, there are a lot more better fershtoonkener ideas for truly execrable ballets before we exhaust August, and this topic! We're actually verging on actual critical thought, and we can't have that in the Silly Season!

As to music visualization ballets: how about an abstract ballet set to Brahms' 2nd Symphony with the ballerina part cued to the second oboe?

[ 08-14-2001: Message edited by: Mel Johnson ]

#39 cargill

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Posted 13 August 2001 - 11:55 AM

Again, off topic, but there was a review of 4'33" in the Times, where the reviewer wrote that he was very much looking forward to a full length work by the same composer.

#40 Guest_Christopher_*

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Posted 13 August 2001 - 07:10 PM

I must agree with an earlier post... Gone With the Wind has got to be the silliest idea... and of course, it is being done by a company who seems to care more about theatre then ballet.. *sighs* I may go see it just to see how scarlett will manage fouettes in a hoop dress!! Haha!!

#41 Nanatchka

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Posted 13 August 2001 - 08:03 PM

Okay, Mel, since I have perhaps verged on critical thought, I repent by offering: Waiting for the Cable Guy, a Ballet in about 43 Acts.

#42 Mel Johnson

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Posted 13 August 2001 - 09:33 PM

NOW you're talking! I once submitted an idea for a ballet based on Life of the Slime Mold, but somebody told me it had been done.

Here's a REALLY lousy idea:

There's this fella, see, and he's gonna hafta get married to some gal his mom (a real pushy mom) has picked for him, and he's out hunting with the boys to take his mind off his troubles, and all of a sudden he sees this SWAN turn into a REAL WOMAN!...

What's that? It's been done? Never mind. :D

#43 julip

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Posted 13 August 2001 - 10:34 PM

how about "As I Lay Dying" (although put into the hands of Bill T. Jones it might be interesting)
...or, just for fun, "Tropic of Cancer" ;)

#44 Guest_Christopher_*

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Posted 14 August 2001 - 08:58 PM

Haha! Very true Mel... The story of swan lake is pretty out there when you think about it... But the music... ahhh.

#45 felursus

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Posted 14 August 2001 - 11:59 PM

Well, how about a series of "made for the ballet" ballets - just like the "made for TV" stories we see all the time - and based on a "true story", of course. Then we could do "Headline News" ballets - ones that depict the headlines fresh off your morning or evening newspaper. Fitting for either category could be something like: "The Trial of OJ". There would be lots of bit parts for an entire company. The ensemble gets to play the jury (remember they were sequestered and thus very, very frustrated), the spectators, the corps of reporters and the public eagerly lapping up each juicy bit. Solo roles for OJ, the ghost of Nichole, the defense team (each needs a star turn), the prosecution team, and the judge. Perhaps this ballet could include audience participation: just like the play "Edwin Drood" the ballet could pause at the point where the jury has to make it's decision and the audience gets to pick the ending. Thus each night there could be a different ending: innocent, guilty, innocent by reasons of insanity, hung jury, and a few more creative, hypothetical endings.

Is this horrible enough for you? I won't inflict a John Cage "Score" on you: the stage manager would quit after filing a suit for harrassment (I don't know of any full-length ballet to a Cage score). A few minutes is all the SM would be able to tolerate. Now Philip Glass is certainly a possibility! Perhaps mixed-media would also work. Any suggestions for choreographer? If we can pick one no longer with us, MacMillan might do a credible job. Any ideas for casting?? :D


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