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Swans in, Sylphs out -- program change for NY

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October 9, 2003

Ballet Nacional de Cuba

will perform "Swan Lake, Act II" as part of their

Mixed Repertory Evening at City Center

October 15-19th

Ballet Nacional de Cuba announced today that they will substitute the second act of Swan Lake for the once planned Les Sylphides. This is in response to a claim of copyright infringement by the Fokine estate, although the version danced by the Cubans was one taught to Ms. Alonso by Michel Fokine himself and differs in many respects from the version licensed by the Fokine estate.

In addition, the Fokine estate has given exclusivity of performance of Les Sylphides to American Ballet Theatre (ABT) for a period of three years. This was unknown until yesterday.


As a result, the substitution will be made. Reached at her home in Cuba, prior to her arrival in New York next week, Ms. Alonso was disturbed by the news. "How sad it is that I won't be able to show my company perform my version of this beautiful work. Usually dance companies help each other and this comes from my own home company [ABT]."

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Of course, the ironic thing is ABT hasn't performed it in a long time. I think the Fokine trust needs to see if it is harming or helping the legacy of Fokine. I would vote on harming, especially in this case.

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It's very sad to hear this. Seeing Les Sylphides would have been a highlight.

Why must filthy lucre always get in the way? I'm half kidding here.

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