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Ashton ballets

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Before Ashton's ballets disappear from the face of the earth, I'd like to see some of them revived (while some of the dancers are still around to help). Since "Picnic at Tintagel" and "Illuminations" were choreographed for an American company, I wouldn't mind them, for starters. (I know Joffrey Ballet did "Illuminations," but -- well, I think I'd like to see a company more used to romantic ballets have a go of it.) And, since American companies are collecting "full-length" ballets at a rapid clip, why not "Sylvia" and "Ondine"?


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I'm all for that one. The Joffrey Ballet is going to revive it this season (you'll be getting the new Ballet Alert! newsletter with the third part of the Calendar in about a week, Giannina).

Problem is with Ashton revivals is the style is so foreign to most of today's dancers -- the musicality, the phrasing, the subtlety -- and, apparently most of today's stagers, that sometimes when they've been revived, I have second thoughts, and wish they hadn't been. I honored Robert Joffrey for wanting to do so many Ashton ballets, but the performances never quite lived up to the dream (not to mention "The Dream.")

There is a good bit of "Monotones II" on the British TV show, "Anthony Dowell: All the Superlatives" with the original cast. And it's all about line -- three bodies that were nearly identical in line -- and silken phrasing.

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