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Oh, the possibilities...


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I've noticed a trend over at Disney these past few years: taking the classics [The Little Mermaid, Lady & The Tramp, and Peter Pan, to name a few] and capitalizing on their popularity by making sequels to them, usually many years after the original was created. Thus, we have titles like "Little Mermaid 2--Return to the Sea," "Lady & The Tramp 2--Scamp's Adventure," or "Peter Pan 2--Return to Never Never Land" [too bad Spielberg already did Hook!:rolleyes:].

I'm sure you can see where this is heading. How about it?

1. Swan Lake 2: Odile's Story

2. Sleeping Beauty 2: Queen Aurora

3. Giselle 2: Albrecht & Bathilde

4: Jewels 2: Sapphires, Amethysts, & Opals

That's enough for now.

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Or what about a prequil, which is just as common. We could finally know what drives Mrytha to hate men (too bad Macmillan isn't around any more). I suppose the awful prologues to Swan Lake are sort of prequils, but a whold ballet starring Rothbart as a young and enthusiastic jumper (perhaps he started life as a jester) would finally give men a chance to really take over Swan Lake.

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The Giselle prequel could also include a bit on why Albrecht feels the need to go slumming with peasant girls, and also it could explore his relationship with Wilfrid. Very Freudian. Not to mention explaining where Giselle's father went.

Even though Sleeping Beauty has a prologue already, you could have a prequel which would explain why the king and queen hate Carabosse so much, and what kinds of traumas Carabosse endured in her childhood that would make her so vindictive and brutal.

Note to creatively starved choreographers & directors: Don't try this at home, kids.

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In certain corners of Corporate America (where I spend my days, and alas, some of my evenings, weekends, and holidays), "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" has a big following. (Since I could never remember more than two of the seven habits at any given time, and can't seem get rid of the seven-squared bad ones that I already have, I've remained a model of one of those Highly Ineffective people whose life is organized -- I use the term loosely -- by a plethora of yellow post-it notes stuck on every available surface ...) So, perhaps it's time for a sequel to Balanchine's Four Temperaments called The Seven Habits. There would of course have to be a variation for each habit:

Be Proactive

Begin with the End in Mind

Put First Things First

Think Win-Win

Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood


Sharpen the Saw

Perhaps a different Diamond Project choreographer could be assigned to each habit. As for music, hmmm? -- do we use other of Hindemith's works, commision something new, or let the choreographers choose?

Since the New York Times now has a best-seller list for self-improvement books, perhaps it's time for a whole self-improvement triple-bill consisting of "The Seven Habits," "Chicken Soup for the Soul", and "Who Moved My Cheese" (I don't know what this could be the sequel to, but I say we give it to Mark Morris, whom one could imagine actually having fun with it). I think Martins, Forsythe, and Kylian have already done their versions of "Men are from Mars; Women are from Venus." Indeed, I think Martins has done many, many versions ...

Alternatively, the Fairies in Sleeping Beauty could bestow the Seven Habits (e.g., we could replace the Fairy of Generosity with the Fairy of Synergy, say, or the Win-Win Fairy).

There would be some rights issues of course -- the copyright on Melancholic, Phelgmatic, Sanguinic, and Choleric had long expired by the time Balanchine commissioned the score ...

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Ah! So now cash-starved ballet companies can auction off the naming rights to their fairies, just like cash-starved municipalities have been selling off the same rights to ballparks and the like.

But why stop there? Why not put EVERY name, including all the characters and the names of the ballets themselves, up on the block?

How many rich, doting daddies wouldn't just love to change the name of Clara (or Masha, or whoever) in the Nutcracker to their own special little girl's? How many ballet companies wouldn't seize on this new source of revenue if it were to be made feasible?

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Odile is saved by environmentalists * who clean her feathers with a detergent (New sponsor here - Proctor & Gamble etc. Sample packets distributed in the lobby) Snowy white once more she and Siegfried go off together to live happily ever after.

* Or was it the Suds Fairy?

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