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How are the Balanchine futures holding up?

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Blue chips are always good to hold, although Balanchine will have a slump whenever the Next New Thing really happens -- but it will be temporary. Don't sell.

This does happen in the arts. Both Vivaldi and Handel were "greater" than Bach for a long time, now one would have to be careful saying that in a drawing room :)

When I was in college, I was taught that there were three great American novelists: Fitzgerald, Hemingway and Faulkner. Fitzgerald had been Number One (on style points) but was losing ground to Faulkner ('cause he was Deep). 20 years later, when I was first teaching, I asked a student who was the frontrunner that year. Shocked that I would ask, she said, "Melville, of course."

I wonder who it is today? Twain?

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Twain at least has the White House imprimatur of Laura Bush, who characterized him as "the first real American writer" if I recall her phrase correctly. One sees what she means in a way, although I imagine Messrs. Melville, Hawthorne, and Thoreau are somewhere nearby, clearing their throats. Not to mention Anne Bradstreet.

To the topic: Balanchine's a keeper.

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Gadzooks!! Did she really say that?

What happened to Washington Irving? If the author of Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow isn't an American author, I will eat my tri-cornered hat.

And James Fenimore Cooper, of The Last of the Mohicans and The Deerslayer?

Not to mention Benjamin Franklin, Julia Ward Howe, Emily Dickinson (who makes it in under the wire), Orestes Brownson or a lot of others I could mention but won't.

Mark Twain remains my favorite U. S. author--I re-read "Life on the Mississippi" every four years or so. Twain and Franklin were among the first "serious" books I read as a young boy, so they have a personal importance as well.

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Bournonville is an accident of history. He had the luck to work in a provincial capital, and, especially, the luck to have a balletmaster (Hans Beck) who knew he wasn't as great a choreographer as Bournonville and dedicated his career to preserving/refreshing Bournonville. Then, for a long time, there would be one or two dancers a generation who fought to save him. Now they're sick of him, so while his stock may be high on the global market, it's not all that high at home. Ask the balletomane on the street and you'll get, "We think he is a little bit old-fashioned," and I swear the dancers think the American's infatuation with the first Mr. B has something to do with the stories.

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Actually, Alexandra, I'm aware of the problems of being Bournonville post mortem in Copenhagen. The trouble is, only one major academy offers the training necessary to keep the style true. And that's where the heritage is cherished . . . or not. Just so sad to see them skirt the brink of extinction from time to time.

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I've put everything in Petipa, who will be popular forever :).

Among authors, I still prefer Edith Wharton to Henry James. Her stock is slowly rising, I believe, as one tends not to mysteriously wake up with her book on one's face, as sometimes happens with James.

And how about the other other Mr. B (Béjart)? I fear his stock is not quite as high as the first two, except perhaps in Europe.

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True. There was, after all, that period during which people seemed to prefer Gorsky revisions (what on earth were they thinking???). I'd better buy up some Ivanov--Act II of Swan Lake won't go out of favor either, nor will the Nutcracker.

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I'm amazed at how much I love Lavrovsky -- I can't figure out why, not really. It must go deep -- I think there'll always be dance-lovers who care about him.

Wordsworth said he wanted to write something "the world would not willingly let die" -- it's a good way to put it. What's kept Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert, et al alive (as Charles Rosen has said) is the artists who wanted to play that music; similarly with Shakespeare, the actors and directors want to DO that. Likewise with choreography -- dancers want to do Balanchine, it's fascinating to them as movement and as a panoply of effects.... It was fascinating to see Jewels last week here, to see hte situations where it looked like the dancers had just tied themselves into some unslippable knot from which they'd never be able to escape and then, with a simple half-turn, walked right out of it.... not just in Rubies, where it was part of hte atmosphere of challenge, but very much so in DIamonds, and even in the "somnambulist" pas de deux in emeralds.....

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Lavrovsky will never be blue-chip, but there will always be savvy niche investors interested in him, I think. :(

Interesting point about works being kept alive because performers want to do them, and a little worrisome in a sense, because what happens if a generation comes along that has other fish to fry?

In ballet, the question is more urgent, because while Shakespeare is on the printed page and can always make a comeback, a body of work in dance can be lost in one generation.

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that is so true, dirac, about having those words on that page...

video is NOT hte same......and what about Square Dance, not to mention Baiser de la Fee or Figure in the Carpet.....

Darling Carbro, what does dear Albert Evans have to do with Haiku, and has he become a choreographer? How can those endearing young charms he has in such abundance today return even 4 percent in 50 years?

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Yes, sweet Paul, Albert Evans is the choreographer of Haiku, which many posters have enthusiastically praised on the NYCB Winter Season [2003] Weeks Three and Four thread. (E-mail me if you want the specific notations.) I have not been fortunate to have seen other samples of his choreography. Yet.

I hope Evans' career as a choreographer is worthy of his talents, as his career as a dancer has not afforded him the range of opportunities that he clearly deserves. That's the catch. But I'll put my money into something risky if I believe in it. (This is "Monopoly" money, is it not? ;))

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Originally posted by dirac

Interesting point about works being kept alive because performers want to do them, and a little worrisome in a sense, because what happens if a generation comes along that has other fish to fry?.

Some works are reliably notated, and are, in addition, recorded as video, so there's a reproducability that didn't exist before. It's not quite the same as getting it handed down directly from the choreographer, or a stager who had danced the work, but it's better than losing the work entirely. J.S. Bach went through about a 75-year hiatus of performance tradition until he was "rediscovered" by Mendelssohn. Those first revival performances of Bach might have been wrong-headed from the baroque standpoint, but at least they were there, and they were then able to be studied by musicians, to find out how to produce more proper period style.

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As someone who came to ballet late, I always wished that each company offered a series of some sort that showed beginning works and what's happening now.

It's unfortunate that ballet seems to feel it needs to keep changing in order to get new audiences in. There's such a vast rep already in existence.

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Thank you, Calliope :( Why the ballet repertory has been reduced to A: A Thousand and One Swan Lakes and, B: Works Whose Only Notable Attribtue is That They Were Choreographed Last Week is one of the great mysteries of mankind. And says much more about the, er, breadth of knowledge of the current generation of artistic directors than about the ballet repertory.

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