My ABT Wish List [I know that this post doesn't belong here, but couldn't find a better place.] This is what happens when it's New Years Day and I delude myself into thinking that I have nothing better to do. Maybe it'll prompt some comments.
Recognizing that ABT’s schedule probably is set at least a year or two in advance, and further recognizing that no one has asked me to do this (and, after they read it, will probably wish that I hadn't), below is a list of ballets that ABT has performed in the past that I would like to see revived (of course, I haven't included anything choreographed by Baryshnikov), and another list of ballets that either have been produced by other companies and might be available, or concepts (based on film, literary works, etc.) that have seeped into the crevaces of my mind. And I haven't given any consideration to obtaining and paying for the rights to existing ballets, or to the difficulty of creating and producing any ‘from-scratch’ production. The list does not include changes in casting of ballets already regularly performed, since...been there, done that.
Previously performed by ABT (and in no particularl order)The Taming of the Shrew
. Although I missed it somehow when ABT did Shrew
, I thought that John Cranko’s work was delightfully engaging when I saw the Stuttgart perform it in New York, and it would be a welcome change from the usual. Among others, I can see Gillian Murphy, Paloma Herrera, or Isabella Boylston as Bianca; Herman Cornejo, Marcelo Gomes, or Ethan Stiefel as Petruchio. Miss Julie
. I can’t believe that ABT last performed Birgit Cullberg’s Miss Julie
roughly 25 years or so ago, when I last saw it. I must have missed a more recent revival. But it’s still been a long time. They’ve got dancers who can do the passion and venom. I can see Murphy, Herrera, Julie Kent (after seeing what she could do with Juliet), or Stella Abrera dancing the lead; with Ethan Stiefel or Marcelo Gomes as the Butler (though I doubt that any of them could erase my memory of Cynthia Gregory and Fernando Bujones).Carmen
(Petit). I can envision Herrera, Veronika Part, Misty Copeland (as I’ve previously written, a stretch for her, but I think she could do it), Maria Riccetto (also a stretch for her). But I think many others could also pull it off.The Moor’s Pavane
. This fantastic Jose Limon work was on the first ABT program I ever saw – and, to my knowledge, hasn’t been back in the rep since. Marcelo Gomes or Herman Cornejo as the Moor (Othello); Sarah Lane, or Hee Seo as His Wife (Desdemona); Cornejo or Angel Corella or Craig Salstein or Gennadi Saveliev or Daniil Simkin as His Friend (Iago) (though I have a hard time seeing anyone dance it other than Dennis Nahat); and Herrera or Stella Abrera or Michelle Wiles or Simone Messmer or Boylston as His Friend’s Wife (Emilia).Mayerling
. OK. You couldn’t do Manon
this year because you’re doing Lady of the Camellias
. So why didn’t you do Mayerling
? [I don’t’ recall with certainty whether ABT did this before, or if I saw it with the Royal. If they didn’t, it goes into the next section. They should.] Onegin
. Speaking of Manon
, why not Cranko’s Onegin
Tudor’s Romeo & Juliet
. If there’s a year when ABT decides not to do MacMillan’s masterwork, like this year, why not do Tudor’s version? I remember liking it when I saw it, pre-MacMillan, at City Center many moons ago. Fall River Legend
. If it’s too soon to do Jardin aux Lilas
again (it’s never too soon), why not Lizzie Borden? [Although seeing someone other than Sallie Wilson might prove problematic.] Etudes
. This crowd-pleaser by Harold Lander has been out of the rep for too long. Billy the Kid
. This piece by Eugene Loring has also been out of the rep (to my knowledge) for too long. It may look dated, but it’s important.Rodeo
. I know this was done fairly recently, but it was also on the first ballet program I ever saw, and I go into withdrawal if I don't see it for more than a year. And I know that neither Christine Sarry nor Erica Cornejo is around to do it, but how about Marian Butler? Intermezzo
. Speaking of Christine Sarry…I didn’t see this piece done by ABT, but I remember it from Eliot Feld’s company (Eliot Feld Ballet), and I recall liking it a lot. It’s been much too long since we’ve seen any ‘classic’ Eliot Feld since he moved on to other things. Harbinger
, which I think ABT also did, would be great to see again also.Push Comes to Shove
. This Tharp piece is too much fun not to see more frequently. Sinfonietta
. Jiri Kylian’s creations, at least his early ones, should not be absent from New York for as long as they've has been. ABT has done this piece before, and done it well. The stagecraft alone is worth the price of admission. Diversion of Angels
. ABT didn’t do this with a great deal of success, as I recall. But I’d love to see them try this Graham piece again anyway. Flower Festival in Genzano
. Another that I didn’t see ABT dance (though I think when they did it, it was just the pas de deux, and maybe only for a studio or school performance). But if they haven’t done the full length, they should. It’s been too long since the RDB has been here, and, although no one does Bournonville like the Danes, based on La Sylphide
, ABT dancers could do a good job with it.
. I saw this film as a ballet while I was watching it, strange as that may seem. It’s got everything (except maybe humor). If some genius choreographer could somehow successfully translate it into a ballet,….Alice in Wonderland
– I know that other companies have tried this, and I don’t know if any of those productions were any good. But a good production of Alice would be great fun to see – and would sell tickets.The Wizard of Oz
– I’m not sure, but I think this has been attempted by another company. See Alice.Peter Pan
– See Alice.Gone With the Wind
– I can’t believe that this hasn’t been done – so it probably has been done. A new dramatic ballet would be welcome. And a good version would be boffo too.Dr. Zhivago
– See Gone.The Tempest
. See Gone. Moulin Rouge
. A ballet version of the Baz Luhrmann movie. See Gone.The Rite of Spring
. I know ABT did a version by Glenn Tetley. Maybe a new and improved version? Astarte
. If The Joffrey’s not doing it anymore, or even if they are, try to get it. I’m sure it’s way too dated, but what a kick. Could include it in a ‘time capsule’ or ‘baby boomer’ evening.
Speaking of The Joffrey, could you steal Suite Saint-Saens
? Fantastic Arpino ballet.A Beatle Ballet
. Why not? [Tell me some company's already done it.] Some of the Beatles songs lend themselves to ballet, others would be a stretch, but it might be interesting, and it certainly would be fun. Something, She Loves You, Octopus’s Garden, Norwegian Wood, Eleanor Rigby, Penny Lane, Do You Want to Know a Secret, Lady Madonna, Hey Jude, Let It Be. Another piece for a baby boomer evening.Short Stories by Isaac Bashevis Singer
. A group of three or four in an evening. Yiddish Seasons. Give it to Ratmansky.
. . Love in the Time of Cholera
. Marcelo Gomes as Javier Bardem. Can’t wait. The Joy Luck Club
. [No, I’m not thinking a season at the U.N.] Amy Tan’s novel was beautifully transferred to film; perhaps it could be a ballet also. Lost Horizon
. The concept of a Shangri-La is sort of built in to many Romantic ballets. So why not the real McCoy? Avatar
. I see blue people. Dancing. A can’t miss. Even I could choreograph this. [right]. But good luck getting the rights until the next millennium.
I encourage adding and subtracting, and yelling and screaming.
Happy New Year.