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Paul McCartney Is Composing A New Work For NYCB

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Thanks, abatt!

In its current state, the ballet lasts about 45 to 50 minutes, ...
45 to 50 minutes of original PM choreography? :wallbash:
The other half of the gala program will consist of George Balanchine's "Union Jack," a sprawling work that Mr. Martins said would be a tribute to City Ballet's latest Liverpudlian contributor.
:yahoo: Wasn't I just saying how much I missed UJ? (Yes.) I guess I'll be there.
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What about the McCartney part of the McCarney/Martins team?

The following strikes me as less than enthusiastic:

“This is Paul’s baby,” Mr. Martins said, adding with tongue in cheek, “The only thing he has left to do is choreograph.” He said Mr. McCartney created the libretto on his own. “He knows exactly what this is going to look like,” Mr. Martins said. “He even has choreographic suggestions. He did a nice little jump for me. I said, ‘To me, Paul, that needs work.’ ”

The author of the article, Daniel Watkins, seems exceptionally diplomatic in his comments. That is not the usual Arts Beat approach to this kind of story.

Mr. McCartney has long staked a claim in the world of classical music, and branching out into ballet music is just his latest foray into other realms. He has published books of poetry and children’s literature, and mounted shows of his paintings.
Rather retrained, not to say reticent, for a culture journalist, I would think.

I realize that no one here has actually heard the music, or read the libretto, but -- given McCartney's other work outside the realm of pop songs -- what are you anticipating?

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You professionals shouldn't sneer at gimmicks. Gimmicks work. I became a subscriber after 1988's American Music Festival, which I think many of you thought was a disaster. But I bought tickets for my husband and myself because I wanted to hear Ray Charles. Not being much of a judge of ballet back then, I do remember being knocked out by the sheer athleticism and technique of the dancers. So I wanted to see more. My tastes may have changed but I've been a loyal fan ever since.

A few weeks ago, I took a friend to NYCB who had never been to any ballet. I thought it was a great program for a beginner -- Divertimento No. 15, Magic flute and the Stroman. She liked everything but her very favorite was the Stroman and because of the Stroman, asked if she could join me again. I doubt she'll become a lifelong fan but you never know.

And here's hoping that the past few weeks Swan Lake sellouts create some new ballet-goers. You may not like this version but someone at NYCB was thinking ahead when they timed the run with the release of Black Swan. I bet there will be more than few converts as a result. Say what you about the production, people's taste evolve. It is the idea of ballet as enjoyable that needs to germinate with audiences at first.

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The Liverpool Oratorio of some years ago, composed by McCartney with Carl Davis, was just okay but better than many expected and generally well received. McCartney's musical powers are not what they once were but his melodic gifts have never entirely deserted him and to give him credit he's still in there punching. There's no reason not to expect this to be a respectable effort.

McCartney has always been interested in the arts outside his own speciality and as far back as his earliest years of fame he could reasonably be described as a culture vulture, always out with Jane Asher at the theater and other events during his man-about-town period, dabbling in experimental music and film, funding an art gallery, etc., etc. He also composed a film score during that time. McCartney's father in law, Lee Eastman, was de Kooning's attorney and Paul and Linda were good friends of the painter.

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