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Ari

Give It a Rest!

  

  1. 1. Give It a Rest!

    • [b]Firebird[/b]
      4
    • [b]The Nutcracker[/b]
      30
    • [b]Romeo and Juliet[/b]
      11
    • [b]Serenade[/b]
      3
    • [b]Swan Lake[/b]
      14
    • [b]other[/b] (specify)
      14

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35 posts in this topic

There are some ballets that never seem to go away. Whenever you look at the repertory a company is performing, at least one of them is being given. A company comes to town that you've never seen before, and you're eagerly looking forward to seeing whatever it is that makes the company unique, but what you see in the brochures is . . . you fill in the blank.

If you were World Commissioner of Ballet and had the power to ban all performances of any ballet with the titles listed above, by any choreographer, for a period of, say, five years, which would it be?

(Of course, we all acknowledge the importance of a continuous performance tradition. But this is spleen talking in this thread. :mad: )

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There's room for spleen in ballet too, Ari. Great topic! Can we only vote for one? :mad:

Seriously, I think there are ballets that need a rest, and when we see them again we'll be ever so grateful. Both for the rest, and to see them again. I have a long hit list, but I'll take the 5th.

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I agree with Leigh: Dracula.

(And I've even designed one; but I still hate it.)

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I obviously think Jewels has great merit, but rather than banning it, I might suggest that it be rationed, at least before the final ballet looks more like a bad Cubic Zirconium cocktail ring available at the QVC boutique to benefit the National Ballet of Anywhere.

I'd like The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude more if I saw it a bit less, too.

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That's a good point.

There is the "Flavor of the Month" problem. Every season, there seem to be four or five companies doing a ballet that has been out of rep for awhile, as though some giant, underground bazaar is havng a sale. This year it's "Rodeo" and "Slaughter" in the regions and "Jewels" in the majors. And the regional companies are beginning to acquire "Jewels" too -- it's becoming the new status raiser, I think, the way "Swan Lake" was in the 1960s and "Sleeping B" was in the 1970s or '80s.

One year at the Kennedy Center, we had seven -- count 'em -- seven companies doing "Swan Lake." One of them did it seven times.

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Swan Lake. I've never been particularly fond of this one, mainly because of the score, but now it seems like every choreographer has to have their own version, which makes me dislike it even more. I like Petipa, thank you.

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Tough time choosing between Romeo and Juliet vs. Serenade, but MacMillan finally won.

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Dracula gets my vote, though Manon and Onegin are not far behind.

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I was going to say Swan Lake, but actually I would love more than anything to see a real one--it's just that there aren't any left anymore. So if there had been a category for ersatz Swans I would have voted that way. Instead I voted for Nutcracker, not that there is any chance it will go away soon.

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Wait until Nutcracker is replaced by Christmas Dracula on Ice! Then you'll be sorry :D

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I voted for "Romeo and Juliet", because I've never been especially a fan of that ballet (and of its music). But in fact the choice for ballet isn't that large in France, as there are fewer and fewer companies, so it's hard to have too much of any ballet... And please, if some people want to get rid of "Serenade" for a while, please send it here (as far as I know, it last was danced in Paris in 1997)!

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I voted for Swan Lake, not that I don't love it but because every Company that comes to the UK features it. I have missed out on some of the touring companies in the past six or seven months because of the endless repition of Swan Lake. However I must also say that it is a box office hit, everone and his dog goes wild for Swan Lake. having said that I am booked for two performances by the Kirov as my next ballet :o .

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I'm the guy who voted for "Serenade". If there's a ballet out there that's in danger of dilution by proliferation, that's it. When I've seen companies other than NYCB do it, it seems to be all soft-focus, and even some small simplified choreographic options seem to be exercised. The most recent performance of it that I saw at NYCB was all blurry. It's lost incisiveness and clarity "in the country", and the disorder seems to be creeping back to the home source.

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I agree. This season, I've seen an excellent Serenade (Washington Ballet) and a soggy Serenade (San Francisco Ballet). Both were a surprise, because I've generally found SFB's Balanchine to be excellent, and Washington Ballet did a hideous Serenade last time out (under different direction).

I'd give all of them a rest, actually -- rest in the good sense. Don't bury them, just put them aside for a year or two or three until people start chomping at the bit. Where's Serenade? Where's Romeo and Juliet? Then bring them out, all spanking clean with the dancers hungry to dance them.

I haven't seen enough "Firebirds" to be bored with it -- with the exception of the Dance Theatre of Harlem's "Firebird," which they danced every season, whether or not they happened to have a "Firebird" in the house at the moment. But then, I don't think I've ever seen a really good "Firebird".

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I voted for others : it is not related to a specific piece, but rather to the programmation of the POB related to the french choregraphers; each year we have a Roland Petit or a Maurice BĂ©jard program and I'm tired of that. I want a Lifar program :o

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Can't I just ban bad performances of these ballets? That would be excellent. Barring that, I vote for R and J because I think if I hear that dumpty tum ti tum ti tum ti tum de tum ti dum dum one more time I'll run screaming from the theater.

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Without Words has GOT to go...far, far away...

So does Remanso.

What is it about Nacho Duato and the National Ballet of Anywhere?

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I like your choices, too, Ballet Nut. As for your last question -- he's easy. Easy to dance, easy on the eye and mind.

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Giselle--I can't get away from it--it follows me around. Guaranteed wherever I am the local company is doing Giselle. It used to be Swan Lake--but then I saw an amazing one so it put me in my place. Dracula IS awful--but I'm not running into it as much.

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I'm just not qualified to vote. There is so little ballet in Israel that I'd be glad to see almost anything. (Although I must admit that I often prefer to see modern dance than the Israel Ballet, whose repertory leaves so much to be desired.)

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Swan Lake. Some time ago I discovered an out of the way library that had three different perfomances of Swan Lake on tape. The idea of watching all three and studying them seemed worthwhile. And it was informative. I enjoyed the dancing; however, the music disagreed with me.

Cliff

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Guess I'm the only one out there willing to admit "Nutcracker". I realize it's a "big breadwinner" in terms of dollars into company coffers, but I'd like to attend something new and fresh during the holiday season.

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