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So...How Many 'Stars & Stripes' Will We See This Season?

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Last night, while listening to the 185th rendition of the song "God Bless America" on TV, a crazy thought crossed my mind:

I bet that NYCB and other US ballet companies are quickly rehearsing Balanchine's "Stars and Stripes" for their winter repertoires....even if the ballet was not originally scheduled for performance this year. Anybody want to place a bet with me? If ever there was a moment for this ballet -- this is it.

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Why not indeed? Balanchine used to program Stars and Stripes during the 1970s, when patriotism was Out and flags were little in evidence. It bothered some people, and others seemed to think, "Well, he's an old guy and he's foreign" -- it was definitely against the mainstream mood of the country.

Have you noticed that the photographs of firemen, children, etc. are beginning to look like Norman Rockwell illustrations? I think there will be a Big Change in the arts. Whether something noble, or merely hokey, comes of it is still an open question.

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I was wondering what other ballets might become suddenly popular, or rediscovered, in the present climate. Europe had several World War II ballets; we did not (we weren't involved in the same way--we at home, that is.) "Fancy Free" was quite different from what Ashton and Massine were doing.

Is it imaginable that a 30-something choreographer will do a new "Stars and Stripes?" If you had to plan a season and you wanted to match the mood, what would you program? (I remember Ed voted for "Coppelia." That's something to think about, too. The World War II period was a high water mark of comedy.)

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PNB performed the finale of STARS AND STRIPES last night at the end of their gala program. Another work was to end the propgram but the dancers requested STARS, and Francia Russell staged it for them last week. My impression was that it came over as very sincere and was appreciated by the audience. :)

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Just checking in since I posted this...and I'm already winning my bet, as I see from Doug's report on PNB.

Can Peter Martins/NYCB Opening Night Winter Season Gala be too far behind? It's New York, after all...I'll be shocked if they do *not* dance STARS & STRIPES.

I might add 'Who Cares?' to Mme. Hermine's list of all-American favorites to be danced in a tribute/gala - that NYC skyline in the background and famous Gershwin score. What can be more 'I-Love-New-York' than that?

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