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Alexandra

Turkeys

37 posts in this topic

Hmm. Well, I guess by the proffered definition of turkey, most of the ones I mentioned wouldn't qualify. Sniff.

Pied Piper, maybe Organon.

Nureyev's Raymonda for ABT, back when?

Certainly Eifman's works are great popular successes, as were Bejarts.

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i seem to remember one ballet i saw called 'washington square'. i didn't like it, tho i don't know if it's considered a success or not.

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Thanks for the explanation about "turkeys"!

If I remember correctly, Nureyev did a "Washington Square" for the POB in the mid-80s, but it was not danced again by the company. It was the same for his "Manfred". I've no idea how much critical and public success those works had, but I suspect that they weren't well received. On the other hand, his "Nutcracker" (which I haven't seen) still is in the repertory, and seems to be quite successful with the audience (but well, perhaps it's a bit the same as what rg wrote about "Swan Lake": a "Nutcracker" always sell tickets...)

In terms of bad taste and pretension, I remember a Bejart, work supposedly about Pasolini, which was quite something, but it seemed to have an audience.

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re: alexandra's comment, truth to tell, i did publish the words "total turkey" when reporting on 'the pied piper' well before this thread spun itself out. the designation just popped onto my pages, so i guess i agree w/ alexandra that this a.b.t. creation qualifies somewhat aptly.

also re: alexandra's PAMTGG note, besides the little athletic 'turn/role' for castelli, i recall little, except von aroldingen's hippy-fringed costume, which jiggled alot when she did entrechats, if mem. serves. also, in plotting the groupings and pathways for the cast's formations, i recall there was a dancer with those torch-like flashlights that used to guide landing planes into their lanes etc. on stage giving guidance of some kind or other. other little moments may also surface some day again. i don't think i saw it more than once or twice, not that one had much chance.

nancy reynold's 'repertory in review' should be an aide memoire.

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I saw Washington Square. It was a turkey. Also, the Nureyev Raymonda, which seemed to have spun itself from photograph to photograph. The tableaux were perfect, it was just the getting there that was painful. Same went for his staging of the Laurencia pas de six for Joffrey. Not a happy concoction.

[ November 24, 2001: Message edited by: Mel Johnson ]

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i was told that balanchine told the dancers that for the last performance of PAMTGG they should wear whatever they wanted to!

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Under the guidelines, add my vote for Pied Piper. It was a complete waste of talent, IMO, and failed on every level except the dancing. In addition, I believe it played a great part in taking down a main component of the administration.

Possibly Snow Maiden -- I did think there were a few redeemable qualities but it cost a lot of money, the choreography was really thin and was never seen after its first season at ABT. Maybe somebody in Houston can tell me if it has had more of a life span at Houston Ballet.

Thank you RG for your view on PAMGG. It has a strange history in the mind of some critics. If I remember correctly from my readings, when it first appeared it was pointed to as proof that Balanchine had lost his touch after Farrell left and that Robbins was now the NYCB's best choreographer. After the Stravinsky Festival of '72, historians looked at the ballet again and saw that perhaps Mr. B used it as a laboratory for some of the things he developed to fruition in Symphony in Three Movements and Violine Concerto. Not having seen the work, I'm not sure. But I remember reading an interview with Diana Adams in which she said things like Electronics and Opus were experiements for later works that were considered masterpieces.

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Experiments for later masterpieces? Well, maybe, but "those who enjoy sausages ought not to watch them being made." wink.gif

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Mme. Hermine, I heard the same thing about the last PAMTGG from someone who danced in it. Patricia MacBride alludes to it in I Remember Balanchine, saying you knew a ballet was history when he told you to wear anything you wanted.

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Ek's Giselle and Sleeping Beauty - not even turkeys - rather ostriches or what have you. Beats the lot, I think, though I havent seen many of the works other posters have offered as pure turkey. Those two are my turkeys anyway. And if I can possibly help it, I will never see them again.

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What's really driving me crazy is I DID see PAMTGG as a kid, and I remember nothing about it.

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Amen to Mayerling, Martin's Swan Lake, and Edward II. I'd like to add votes for "Paradise Lost" (I remember telling someone that I might have seen a worse ballet somewhere, but I just couldn't remember where...) and Neumeier's "The Martyrdom of St. Sebastian" - I think it MAY even surpass Edward II in sheer awfulness. Also, being prejudiced, I'd like to add anything by Pina Bausch - but none of her stuff fits Alexandra's definition of a turkey.

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