In 1998, Vanity Fair asked me to write a big piece for them on the 50th anniversary of the New York City Ballet. My life, to a great extent, had been spent at and with the New York City Ballet, and I decided to try it. It was very scary, writing about something I loved so much and had such strong opinions about.
What 'War and Peace' is to the novel and 'Hamlet' is to the theater, Swan Lake' is to ballet - that is, the name which to many people stands for and sums up an art form.
The heart of the classical repertory is the Tchaikovsky-Petipa 'Sleeping Beauty,' and no ballet is harder to get right.
You can approach 'The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death' in a variety or combination of ways: as a startlingly eccentric hobby: as a series of unresolved murder mysteries: as the manifestation of one woman's peculiar psychic life: as a lesson in forensics: as a metaphor for the fate of women: as a photographic study.
A steady diet of the higher truths might prove exhausting, but it's important that we acknowledge their validity and celebrate their survival.
Who would have thought that a tap-dancing penguin would outpoint James Bond at the box office? And deserve to? Not that there's anything wrong with 'Casino Royale.' But 'Happy Feet' - written and directed by George Miller - is a complete charmer, even if, in the way of most family fare, it can't resist straying into the Inspirational.
Most famous stage actors tactfully fade away.
Despite the rigid classicism of the famous Paris Opera school and company, the French have done more than their share to unmoor la Danse from its traditions and standards.
Paul Taylor's 'Offenbach Overtures' has lots of zip and charm, and its pair of dueling soldiers in red, who end up starry-eyed about each other while their disgusted seconds take up the quarrel, is nonstop funny.
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