The National Ballet of Anywhere!
Posted 17 May 2002 - 12:10 AM
Posted 13 May 2002 - 06:38 PM
Thank God I never realized my dream of becoming a dance critic!
Posted 15 May 2002 - 05:50 PM
At the same time, however, I must note that the increasingly commercial nature of support for arts institutions (at least here in the US, and from what I have seen, in Western Europe as well) has a constricting effect. For instance, the New York City Ballet has offered a Christmas-season Nutcracker for some four decades. Faced with four weeks of the same ballet, dancers tended to rebel, and the New Year's Eve performance became known for its high-jinx -- pink bows on the mouses' tails, multiple dancers leaping from the "Tea" box, a conducter (Robert Irving) appearing in full drag for the second act, and so on. In recent years, Peter Martins has forcefully discouraged such trickery, on the grounds that "the audience has paid too much to see anything but the real thing."
OK, but he's also discouraged me from attending my umpteenth performance.
When it comes to Nutcracker commentaries, Mark Morris has written the book. His The Cracked Nut, set to the original score and alluding to the original scenario, but including a black drag nanny and Freud to help Tchaikivsky deal with his fantasies, puts the work in a contemporary context. Its audience was limited but its insights are worth noting.
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