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Making up alternate endings to great ballets

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Manon could do environmental tours.
In a kayak! Occasionally, when she's fed up with virtue and is feeling frivolous, she'll choose an unenvironmental hydroplane.

Perhaps Manon and her group will come upon, the liberated spirits of the lovers Odette and Siegfried, gliding along the bayous. But ... that would be an alternate ending to another ballet. "Swan Swamp!" :)

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In La Fille mal gardee Lise and Colas and up eloping to Vegas where they are married by an Elvis lookalike.

Hey, Charming_Lise, it could WORK!

The stylized and caricatured 18th-century farm yard is, in some ways, just as unreal as 21st-century Las Vegas.

Wouldn't you have to add music to allow for the transition through time and space? How, exactly, might the "elopement" be staged, I wonder? What are they escaping from? Do you imagine the other characters pursuing them, or do they leave -- and arrive -- alone?


Here's another ending that I've often thought about. At the end of Pas de Quatre, the 4 tres-spirituelles ballerinas pose frozen in their iconic concluding tableau. Silence. The audience, of course, begins to applaud. But no one moves. The applause begins to taper off. The audience is uncomfortable.

At that point, the flower boy emerges from the wings. He walks towards the 4 ballerinas. From behind his huge bouquet, he withdraws -- one after another -- 4 custard pies. He plants each firmly, almost sacramentally, on a ballerinas' face. They remain in pose. He performs a courtly bow to the ladies and departs, stage right. Curtain.

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Over the years I have seen performances, in various productions, of Romeo and Juliet where I cannot understand why Juliet has not run off with Paris before the end of the ballroom scene!!

Or in Onegin, Tatiana runs off with him at the end instead of collapsing in grief?

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Alternative ending for Raymonda: J de B is a wimp and Abderam is fun so Raymonda jilts J de B and runs off to live happily ever after with Abderam! (Thus shortening a three hour ballet to 2 hours!).

An added bonus to this ending: their mixed marriage is so stunning and so RIGHT that it ends the religious/political violence in the Middle East. The wedding is celebrated as a truly multi-cultural gathering and a renunciation of ancient animosities. The curtain falls on a tableau-apotheosis to Peace and Tolerance. :)

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Not so much an alternate ending as a post scriptum. Quite unable to decide which one of them gets to arrange the parties at Aurora's and Désiré's, Cattalabutte and Gallison launch a television show on which they compete head-to-head organizing fabulous soirees, picnics, hunting excursions and gala balls, with a jury of fairy tale characters deciding the winner.

Seriously, every time I see The Sleeping Beauty I wonder how those two will ever get along.

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Romeo & Juliette.............

. She marries Paris -- it's distasteful to her, but it's not about her anymore, but about securing a future for her baby who she plans to name Romeo.

How can she marry Paris? he's been killed before Romeo does his bit with Juliet. Very much necrophilia as he doesn't knowshe's really still alive.

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o, no, no, the temple police arrest him for public intoxication, he's tossed in the rajah's pokey; after tten years he emerges to find gamzatti is playing house with the golden idol and is raising a bunch of little golden idolettes (great time for the corps de ballet here); whereupon solor makes a fortune writing a book that novelizes the inner life of his former fiancee.FIREdevil.gif

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Regarding R&J. If, as has been suggested, Juliet marries Paris, what happens when her little "Romeo" grows up? If her son marries, possibly to Raymonda, who lives just across the Adriatic, Juliet becomes a mother-in-law. So what about Balanchine's statement that there are no mothers-in-law in ballet? Will Juliet have to give up her dancing career?

Regarding Bayadere: especially the suggestion that Solor might marry Gamzatti. This would require serious character adjustments on the part of both. Does the vocabulary of classical ballet allow for things like "growing up," "maturing," "compromising," and even "growing up"? I know that Aurora is allowed to "grow up" in Sleeping Beauty. But the spectre of watching someone actually "reform" on stage might be a turn-off to many in the audience -- despite the high level of moral absolutism we in the US are currently enduring in our national political debates.

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Did anyone ever see the Russian/Soviet happy ending to R&J? What happened?

Soviet sensibilities are also a little odd since SL, and I assume Giselle, kept their original sad endings, but the powers-that-were then didn't want the same for Shakespeare.

(Still my favorite scene of an alternate interpretation: Romeo doesn't get the note about Juliet being still alive in the Luhrman (sp?) film because no one was home when the UPS/FedEx guy came.)

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Juliet becomes a mother-in-law. So what about Balanchine's statement that there are no mothers-in-law in ballet? Will Juliet have to give up her dancing career?

Precisely. This is the reason for the otherwise unexplainable fact that Mr B never did a sequel to any of the existing R&Js.

however Raymonda has an aunt! (why not a mother? how are we supposed to guess?)

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I didn't see the Russian happy ending to R & J, but I did see their happy ending to the "duck pond". The Kirov/Maryinsky performance was brilliant - after the third act we were in tears and then came the 4th act........... The music soared and there we were expecting duck and prince to rise up to heaven in their duckmobile, when the prince somehow manages to kill Rothbart and he and aforementioned duck stand centre stage in a very mundane pose, whilst the divine music makes us long for some matching visual magic. It was like everyone in the audience started muttering together - "Why did they do that? How could they do that? Talk about lame duck.............

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