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Farrell Fan

Born to be Mild?

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What if you had to choose four NYCB males for the kind of PBS show that is causing such comment on the ABT forum. I suppose it's a given that Peter Martins would preside, with a fully buttoned shirt, perhaps stuffed, and that the classically-pure Christopher Wheeldon would choreograph the little ballet at the end, thus obviating the kind of criticism Mark Morris has been getting. But who would the four guys be? Please explain.

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What a terrific idea, FarrellFan. (As are many of your ideas :( )

Peter Boal, because, as I once wrote in a review, he's the company's "clarion classicist."

Albert Evans, because, although he doesn't have many roles, there are several that he has defined for his generation.

Nikolaj Hubbe, because he makes everything he does look interesting.

And Woetzel, because he's the company workhorse and tremendously popular.

Gosh, three of these are Americans. Isn't that curious? And there's nothing regular about these guys, or what they dance, or how they dance it. :)

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Woetzel, Boal, Evans and Soto.

At first glance, I thought Alexandra's choices were perfect -- she chose my four favorite male dancers. But the replacement of Hubbe with Soto has a certain balance. I think these four better represent City Ballet, its repertory and contrasting styles. Plus, they have the benefit of being All-American. That seems fitting to me given that I think NYCB is the apogee of American ballet (note that I didn't say Ballet in America.) "Born in America" instead of "Born to Be Wild"?

(Having said this, the irony that Martins and Wheeldon are foriegn-born isn't lost on me.)

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I wouldn't want to remove anyone mentioned above, they really are the first to merit inclusion, but I'd like to put in a (biased) word for Charles Askegard. He's the newest to the company of all concerned, so certainly doesn't have pride of place to the others mentioned, but he's underrated as a technician and performer, though he's always gotten his due as a partner. It doesn't hurt that (like others mentioned) he's a gentleman and a professional in rehearsal as well.

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Why not include all of the above and have a two-hour special instead of one?:)

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Excellent idea, Old Fashioned, but we'd need another title to go along with it. "The Wild and the Mild"?

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