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Ripped From Today's Headlines

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well, tabloids have headlines, too.

"Scientist To Clone 5 U.S. Presidents.

News Readers get to pick."

The photos included Lincoln and FDR, and then I averted my eyes:)

Better than the People's Choice Awards! I thought we should have a chance to play, too.

If the scientist has an interest in ballet -- or perhaps the First Runner Up Scientist; we can't be picky -- and you could pick 3 ballet people (choreographers, dancers, whatever) from the past to clone -- not bring back as little old men, but reborn, ready to apply their genius to today's troubled times -- who wouldl they be?

(I am not making this up. Check it out when you go to the grocery store. It's the one with the screaming headline: 'Hitler's Whacky Predictions" which included "internet porn and the rise of J.Lo." I wish I wrote for a tabloid. It would be so much more FUN than writing about dance.!)

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Ooh, I'm about to run out the door but I couldn't resist, easily my picks would include Ashton and MacMillan. I would love, love, love to see what they could create on the dancers we have today, on Rojo, Kobborg, Cojocaru and Acosta... I'd love to see what Ashton would make of Sylvie Guillem! And what of her Marguerite (and Armand)? And hear what their views would be on all the issues in ballet at the moment - the internationlization of companies like the RB, how they would bring in new and younger audiences, see how their choreography would adapt to all these changes, that dancers are more athletic than they've ever been, the tendency towards over-extensions, etc, etc... and to see new work by them would make up just a little bit for all the ballets that are being 'lost' that I will never see.

Can we choose composers as well?

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I'd like to give Fokine another shot, with a company this time. The others I revere -- dancers or choreographers -- would take one look, turn around and run, I fear, except possibly

Balanchine, who is the one choreographer who could adapt to any age.

And I'd be very curious to see how the Vestris family would make out in New York :) That's very greedy, because there were about a dozen oof them, but they'd share a room.

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Kirstein -- good clone. Since my Vestris family suggestion was out of deviltry and curiosity, I'd trade them for Lincoln, with his vision and selflessness.

I'd like to see what Nijinska would do, too, although she might well have been a modern dancer/choreographer rather than a ballet one had she joined the firmament at a later time. That, too, would have been interesting to see.

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I hate to ask, but can one really clone the dead? Doesn't the cell have to be living? Which would be a different question. But let's see.

Tannaquil LeClerq (who will dance into old age)



Igor Youskevitch

Erik Bruhn

Stanley Williams

Is that too many? If we're back to presidents, I'd like to see Thomas Jefferson.

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If you have a complete DNA sequence intact, from either a living or a dead source, it is theoretically possible to clone a replicant of the donor. I don't know that anybody has done anything above microorganisms with dead donors. Dolly the sheep was the most complex organism ever positively known to be cloned to date.

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I want to see the legendary ones, and even some still living that I never saw on stage live at their peak...

Nijinsky, of course,










St. Denis


... oh darn, way past 10.... and not even mentioning Legnani or Essler

But of course, without the original surrounding culture to inspire them the clones might just end up couch potatoes, right? Aren't clones supposed to be faded copies of the original... age faster, probably get injured & stiff sooner?

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Are we limited to the dear departed? Or can we clone the alive but retired and/or alive and dancing? I'd nominate Carolyn Adams, who left such a huge void when she retired. Farrell, Vilella, Makarova, van Hamel. A clone of Gelsey Kirkland would probably require a second (back-up) clone, maybe a third, just to be sure. One of Jose Carreno for the coming generation, and one for the next and the next, etc. And Angel, although he appears likely to dance magnificently well into the future.

Are there any administrators whose cloning we should lobby to prohibit?

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I'd bring back Pavlova and Petipa, just to ask them what they thought about ballet today.

I' d second Balanchine and Karinska

LeClercq, Robbins

and pull out of retirement Deborah Wingert, Farrell, Sibley, Arthur Mitchell.

I'd clone Elizabeth Walker too, just so she's always there :)

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