The New York Times is not exaggerating. Nor is Le Figaro, nor Altamusica, nor LePost.fr ...
The production is in parlous state.
Whether the ballet should have been revived at all, is moot.
Four hours of unmitigated boredom, at public expense.
Gives Ballet a Bad Name. At the best of times, this is an off-beat art form, burdened with curious, indeed RECONDITE conventions.
So LET US NOT PUSH OUR LUCK.
Back to Raymonda.
The argument is thin. Fair Game. So, what else is new in the ballet?
The score is sickly-sweet. So, what else is new?
The décor and costumes are over the top, and make the men, in particular, look somewhat ridiculous. So, what else is new?
Nureyev has tampered with whatever was left of Petipa's choreography, and has made a thorough-going mess of it. So, what else is new?
The POB, in sharp decline over the past decade for reasons that it would be otiose to discuss here, but that are not precisely unknown, can no longer field a full cast of leaders able to dance with fire and conviction. So, what else is new?
Taken singly, each of these factors could, possibly, be dealt with. Now that I think about it, we DEAL WITH THIS EVERYDAY in the ballet. Goes with the terrain! People have been known to make this sort of twaddle not only look, but BE, great art!
But when such adverse factors bear down upon us, glowering, all at once and in droves, like a herd of Tyranosaurus Rex, this spells TROUBLE.
No, the ballet should NOT have been revived. The troupe can no longer deal with it.
This being a Governmental Body, made up of high-ranking civil servants, would it be too much to expect that Someone be answerable to Someone, in that Room at the Top?