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I'm so glad you said what you did about Orpheus. I have long felt that Orpheus is a ballet that has outlived its time. It may have been very innovative, even revolutionary, when Balanchine first choregraphed and staged it but for me, it no longer works - in every way, it looks dated and offers little or no real dance. Balanchine himself felt that some ballets, including his own, need to be retired, and I think that Orpheus is one of those. Apollo and Agon, on the other hand, remain treasures, especially when danced by the marvelous casts you saw last night.


The frustrating thing about ORPHEUS is, it's a great score and could make a really wonderful ballet. Unlike APOLLO, where the 'story' is told in dance, ORPHEUS staggers under the weight of the costumes and a narrative which seems obscured rather than expressed. I wonder if, without the programme notes or a familiarity with the legend, one could tell what was going on.


Philip... I can answer that question for you. I had NOT read my program note, and had not seen Orpheus in over a decade and I was completely unimpressed and, frankly, confused(And I rarely say negative things about NYCB!). The historical importance of the piece seems to be what brings it back into the rep time after time, as it was so crucial to the creation of NYCB, but there was just so much missing.

Happily, with Agon as an ending, the program concluded with a massive up note as the entire group of dancers was spot on! I was most impressed by the Seth/Amar/Teresa bit, they've clearly settled solidly into their roles, and who could complain of the sweeping legs of Maria Korowski - I don't think I ever want to see anyone else dance that role!


I suppose it would be considered heresy if someone were to take the ORPHEUS score and do a different ballet to it.


Yes, please someone retire Orpheus now. It is to sleep for. What a tedious, long-winded bore. JIM

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