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Reviews: City Center Week 1


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The question is a good one: It's not what to think of a few mistakes but "What to think when a dancer leaves out the hard stuff?"

And I don't know the answer can be general. It depends, I suppose, on what specific hard stuff is left out in what specific role, and whether you care varies accordingly.

This is a very good question. We know that Balanchine changed things for dancers who couldn't do a certain step or lift. He changed a part of Apollo for Suzanne Farrell because her knees were bad and she couldn't jump. To me that doesn't mean that the steps don't matter and anyone can change things. For one thing, Balanchine was there to provide an alternative. He might have changed the turn the Veronica Part had a problem with to something else entirely, not just a double. We don't know.

On the other hand the integrety of a piece can and should be able to withstand changes for a dancer who delivers the real intent of the ballet.

On the other hand ballets can't be watered down for no good reason.

One more thing. Who staged SC? Usually people from the Balanchine estate have a strong opinion on what is acceptable or not.

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ABT's Susan Jones is listed as having staged it in the playbill. From an interview I did for a future story, Susan Pilarre was scheduled to work on the ballet, as well, for the Balanchine Trust.

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Thanks to all those who posted in this thread. This was a most enlightening view... I don't think I will ever see any of those works again with out being informed by this discussion. I find it immensely interesting at how articulate dance people (balletomanes and dancers) are about this art form which is completely absent words.

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I find it immensely interesting at how articulate dance people (balletomanes and dancers) are about this art form which is completely absent words.
Yes, indeed. Thanks to all on Ballet Talk who help make this true.
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In response to the question about dancers that leave out the hard stuff, well, then what do you think of the ones that insert extra steps and tricks? Is this any more or less appropriate? Some ballets seem to be geared more for that sort of thing- the bravura full lengths, but even so, I can never forget the fact that I want to see a BALLET- not a circus. Even with something like Don Quixote- there is a story to tell, and while the steps are used to display high spirits, etc, I would just as soon seen 32 perfect single fouettes rather than a series of 32 double-triples with flicking fans, etc. As far as simplifying things- while the choreography should be recognizable, I would rather see the story, with appropriate qualities, performed on the stage than to see a dancer unable to convey any of this because of the struggle with the steps. And we all have our bad days...

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