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NYCB to present Romeo and Juliet in 2007


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A caution, volcanohunter. Someone made a joke on the forum about Eifman doing a ballet about Balanchine around '01. We all laughed. Three years later. . .

In case Eifman is thinking about it, I'd suggest a final scene in which the ghost of Kirstein rises from his grave a la "Don Giovanni" to demand the repentance of Peter Martins.

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A Martins' Romeo and Juliet?

"Not all the water in the rough rude sea

Can wash the balm from an anointed king;

The breath of worldly men cannot depose

The deputy elected by the Lord."

Ooops. Wrong tragedy.

I would think, I would hope that some of his Board members would have tried to talk him out of this. What in the world is his motivation for Romeo and Juliet? I'm beginning to fear that Giselle might not be safe.

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A Martins' Romeo and Juliet?

"Not all the water in the rough rude sea

Can wash the balm from an anointed king;

The breath of worldly men cannot depose

The deputy elected by the Lord."

Ooops. Wrong tragedy.

I would think, I would hope that some of his Board members would have tried to talk him out of this. What in the world is his motivation for Romeo and Juliet? I'm beginning to fear that Giselle might not be safe.

Why stop there? 'Mayerling," anyone?

I try to avoid making little 'remarks' in the Links, but I couldn't restrain myself today.

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I think it's unreasonable to ask dancers who are usually asked to make the projection of their personalities secondary to the projection of choreography and who are discouraged from "emoting" in plotless ballets to suddenly produce fully realized, flesh-and-blood characters on stage.

Hmmm ... I’m not sure I’d say that they’re asked to “make the projection of their personalities secondary to the projection of choreography,” but rather, that they are asked to project their personalities through the choreography. “Emoting” would then indeed be beside the point and something of an artistic failure. In the case of Balanchine, at least, the ballerina role is a fully realized persona, if not exactly a “character” per se, and some dancers are better at realizing that persona (or versions of that persona) than others. On the face of it, I wouldn’t have expected that the difference between the successful realization of the ballerina at the heart of Theme and the successful realization of Aurora would be so vast a chasm as it sometimes appears to be, but I gather that it is. (I like Weese in both roles, by the way.)

But I digress ... :) Per Kirkeby! I absolutely loathe the violently inert sets and costumes he did for NYCB’s Swan Lake. A bare stage and a blue cyclorama would yield a more fertile environment in which to tell a story. It’s not that his sets and costumes are ugly, it’s that they’re pointlessly ugly.

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It's going to be a mess....

casting...don't get me started.

Decor .....nervous scribbity scribble...

Karoui will fly through at breakneck pace...

and we'll all leave the theatre unmoved by the ballet but twitching from the awfullness of it....

Much worse than Swan Lake, which had some redeeming features.....

This is supposed to be a tribute to Lincoln Kirstein.....more like one more tribute to Mr. Martins.

It will rank with the laughingstock of ABT's Pied Piper which heralded the spring a few years ago.

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Great. Another story ballet for a company of non-actors.
This is an excellent point.

Romeo and Juliet asks its participants, from the leads to the people who haunt the market square or dance at the Capulet ball, to believe deeply, unquestioningly, and completely in the world they inhabit . NYCB dancers have no trouble in making this kind of commitment to the world described in Midsummer Night's Dream. Can they also commit with equal abandon to a world as emotionally charged as the one portrayed in R&J?

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I try to avoid making little 'remarks' in the Links, but I couldn't restrain myself today.
It's a good thing my new keyboard at work is liquid-proof, because I had just taken a swig of soda when I read your comment :)
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I don't know what is more offensive---Martins or Kirkeby---an ice-palace R&J...--oh, to see the Renaissance inspired Tudor work once again.....fortunately my spring vacation will have me in Italy when this is taking place.....

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I can see it all now. The curtain opens and there are Juliet's friends in a semi-circle (all with diamond earrings). They do saute arabesque, glissade, saute de chat to the right; they do saute arabesque, glissade, saute de chat to the left. Then the little girl children come out. They do saute arabesque, glissade, saute de chat to the right . . . I can't take thinking about this anymore.

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Haglund's, I'm hooked. Please finish this scene at least. Perhaps an invitation to the Diamond Project awaits.

All kidding aside, speculating on what this production will look like could drive someone back into therapy. If Martins wanted to try Shakespeare, why not Richard II or something that hasn't already been done by true geniuses? The dancers deserve so much better. They really, really, really deserve so much better.

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I have been trying my best to hold my tongue, but.......... :jawdrop:

Here is a company with incredible resources and finances, not to mention talent and this is what the AD 'chooses' to produce? I am dumb-founded, truly. While Balanchine looked forward, I guess this man likes to move backwards.

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Excellent point, socalgal. In every interview I've seen/read where Martins is asked about NYCB's role as THE repository of Balanchine, Martins "justifies" the new works with "We have to move forward, as well," or words to that effect. I don't disagree with the theory, but as Balanchine works drop out of NYCB's rep, they are not replaced by works of (cough, cough) comparable quality.

Yes, it is important that dancers have new ballets that will stretch their talents, but is there a single dancer in NYCB (besides Nichols) for whom (as Balanchinomane suggests) the discarded Don Quixote is not new?

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Yes, it is important that dancers have new ballets that will stretch their talents, but is there a single dancer in NYCB (besides Nichols) for whom (as Balanchinomane suggests) the discarded Don Quixote is not new?

Is the problem that Suzanne Farrell holds the rights to Don Quixote?

Perhaps the solution for New Yorkers is to head north to see the National Ballet of Canada's production the ballet in the third week of June. I'm guessing it would be an effective way to purge Martins' R&J from their systems.

www.ballet.ca/performance.php?0607_season/balanchine

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If Jenifer Ringer is still with the company (I haven't kept up with NYCB dancers' comings and goings) I'll bet her Juliet would be pretty extraordinary. Just please don't let Per Kirkeby (sp?) design the sets....

I haven't read the rest of the responses, but sorry to report, from the NYCB Press Release:

The sets and costumes for Romeo and Juliet will be created by Danish painter Per Kirkeby, who previously collaborated with Mr. Martins on the 1996 production of Swan Lake for the Royal Danish Ballet, which entered NYCB’s repertory in 1999.

I have never minded the Prokoviev R&J score, but can't help remembering that Balanchine never choreographed to his music again after the composer turned down Mr. B's request for a slight increase in royalty fees for "Prodigal Son."

My objections to NYCB's doing R&J have nothing to do with their lack of acting experiences, but that a narrative ballet is so much less challenging to the mind and heart than an abstract one -- well, depending upon the choreographer I guess. I also did not like the designs for PM's "Swan Lake," but who knows, maybe this one will be better.

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All kidding aside, speculating on what this production will look like could drive someone back into therapy. If Martins wanted to try Shakespeare, why not Richard II or something that hasn't already been done by true geniuses? The dancers deserve so much better. They really, really, really deserve so much better.
NYCB would have done well to have staged Ib Andersen's version, although it would need to be expanded for the larger State Theater stage.

The challenge of taking on a new Shakespearean work (or other play) is the lack of an original score. However, this did not stop Kent Stowell from creating the lovely The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, the score to which was assembled by Stowell and Stuart Kershaw from mostly obscure Tchaikovsky, the exceptions being the Pregheria from Tchaikovsky's Suite No. 4 and the slow movement of his 3rd Symphony.

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Leigh -- Sorry I wasn't clear. What I heard was that Farrell was invited to stage Don Q for NYCB and declined, saying she'd been invited to do it elsewhere.

I read in an article that came out in 1993 that Farrell was invited to stage the dream scene of Don Q by Martins/NYCB (for the big Balanchine celebration), but that she didn't feel doing an excerpt would do the work justice. That was the reason she declined.

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if mem. serves and sources were reliable, it seems that around '04 when farrell was asked about staging DON Q for nycb she understood that the kirov ballet was interested in staging the work and at that time remained committed to that request from st. petersburg. what happened then, and how much was expressed 'interest' and how much a more formal deal i cannot say.

what one can say is that the kirov 'plan' did not come to pass and that farrell decided to do the staging herself in concert w/ nat'l ballet of canada.

the rest is recent history.

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