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Green Table for Mr Bush?

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From Links:

President Bush does not enjoy ballet, reveals Time magazine.



His Prague agenda included sitting through 45 minutes of ballet by the National Dutch Theater, a cultural duty that didn't exactly thrill the president. "He'd rather dance with Gerhard Schroeder," quips one administration aide.

Perhaps a performance of The Green Table would have kept him awake.

Watermill (playing Hamlet to Bush's Claudius)

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Actually, Ronald Reagan had to sit through the Green Table during his Evil Empire period. It was quite satisfying to sit there thinking that he had to watch it :D (Reagan came to several Joffrey performances when his son was in the company.)

Bush41 came to the Joffrey once, too. He had to. Gerald Arpino created a ballet and dedicated it to him.

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Well, if the Prez is not crazy for ballet, I see no reason for TIME not to report the fact. It does bring up the question of whether or not the president is, or should be, required to support the arts in his official capacity even if he doesn't like them, or all of them, personally. (In other countries, where the head of state is not running the government, there is sometimes a kind of division of labor in these matters, but that's not possible here.) As an example, Mrs. Kennedy would invite Casals or whoever to the White House, and drag JFK to recitals and whatnot, and her tolerant hubby would listen dutifully and then go back in private to the show tunes he actually preferred. This seems reasonable.

However, JFK and Bush the Second had different constituencies; it was good PR for the Kennedy administration to look smart and cultured and au courant, but that would not do for Bush, even if he were capable of simulating said qualities, which I doubt he could do in any case – we're talking about someone who has fairly recently said "gooder" several times in public. (You don't read this in most places, of course, because the cooperative folks at TIME and other major news outlets clean up his grammar for publication.)

It did occur to me to defend Bush by saying that at least he's no hypocrite – he's not pretending to be something he isn't. On the other hand, his handlers do seem to want to convey an image of him as an Ordinary Guy – which, as a card carrying member of the American elite and the head of a flourishing political dynasty, he most certainly is not.

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You gave me the wonderful gift of a full-out belly laugh. How refreshing to laugh about a subject that usually makes my stomach hurt.

Thank you.

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I recall being seated next to a Secret Service goon at a performance of the Joffrey while Ron Reagan was a member. It was a lot like sitting next to a sphinx with an earpiece. The "guests of honor" that night were the UN delegation from the People's Republic of China - and the performance was on Veteran's Day! When young Reagan didn't appear in the last ballet - "Green Table", natch, the sphinx disappeared, and I moved over into his seat, which was just a little closer to center.;)

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OK, I just have to say this:

Regardless of my personal opinions about GB2's politics, policies, personal tastes, etc., I'd like to not consider his intellect in terms of how well or poorly he uses grammar, syntax, spelling, pronunciation, etc.

It has NO bearing on intellect.

He has stated that he needed tutoring as a child for reading problems. From my observation, he also has an expressive language weakness as (most likely) does his father. IQ's of people with these weaknesses run the same gamut as the rest of the population. The weaknesses themselves don't indicate anything about intellect. Some of the individuals I work with have more creativity and raw intellect than the most academic among us.

They certainly DO handicap his ability to be seen by others as a bright individual.

That just tells me we have a long way to go in educating the broad population.

Sorry - it's not pertinent to the discussion but as a champion of people with different learning styles, I have trouble not coming to their defense, whether or not I agree with their politics.

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[board Host Beanie on. . .]

We're heading waaaaaaay off-topic folks.

Mr. Bush arouses partisan opinions in people, many of which are only tangentially related to this forum. Let's try and wrench this one back to ballet, please.

[board Host Beanie off]

Parenthetically, has anyone tried to make a ballet adaptation of The Crucible? I'm curious if it's been tried.

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vagansmom, I intended no references to the President's intellect or lack thereof, but only to his inability to simulate a certain style of taste and speech, and I hope it goes without saying that I do not assume that to be inarticulate is also to be not "a bright individual."

It would be interesting if someone tried "The Crucible" again, although the obvious choreographer of choice, Kenneth MacMillan, is unavailable. It would have been a good subject for Martha Graham, too.

Would it be seemly to make a ballet about people who would most likely passionately disapprove of theatrical dancing? (Or any other kind.) There's an entry in Kenneth Tynan's diaries wherein he goes to see Peter Duffield's Mary Queen of Scots ballet, and he remarks on the incongruity of having the redoubtable Puritan John Knox grab the Queen's Majesty by her thigh and waist and toss her around in a pas de deux. The right choreographer might be able to avoid such faux pas, of course.

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What is "The Crucible"?

About "The Green Table": I remember a public rehearsal of the Ballet du Rhin which included an excerpt of it, and its co-director Jacqueline Gravier said that they had premiered it in Strasbourg just on the day of the beginning of the Gulf War- the theater was not very full, and the atmosphere was very tense...

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Estelle, "The Crucible" is a play by Arthur Miller. It was his follow up to "Death of a Salesman" and concerns the witchcraft trials that took place in Salem, Massachusetts in the 17th century. It was written in the Fifties at the height of the Red scare here in this country, and was taken as a commentary on the actions of the House Un-American Activities Committee, although Miller has always been a little coy about that.

Miller takes as his protagonist a farmer named John Proctor, who has made the mistake of cheating on his wife with the ringleader of the group of "possessed" girls. (The girls have been caught dancing in the woods, and concoct a defense of demonic possession.) Proctor opposes the growing hysteria, and himself becomes one of the accused.

The play is flawed, but has strong dialogue and continues to hold the stage -- it was recently revived on Broadway with Liam Neeson and Laura Linney (as Mr. and Mrs. Proctor) and a movie version was made a few years ago with Winona Ryder, Joan Allen, and Daniel Day-Lewis as a very studly Proctor, complete with open collar and the only suntan in Salem. It's a pretty good movie, though.

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