from 1001 Contemporary Ballets
A good libretto, even an impressionist, double-exposed or
portmanteaued one, follows most of the rules of simple dramaturgy.
Balanchine once said the perfect type plot for a dramatic narrative
ballet was the story of the Prodigal Son. Once there was a man who
had everything, then he had nothing; finally he had everything again.
–Lincoln Kirstein, Ballet Alphabet (1939)A wealthy businessman has arranged to have knowledge of his daughter’s
blindness kept from her by threatening to fire immediately any of the family
servants who reveal her disability to her. A psychic tells the businessman
that only if his daughter knows of her blindness and wills its removal can
she be cured. Into her garden come two men, one of whom falls in love with
the daughter and, it seems, she with him. Her father declares that the
marriage cannot take place unless his daughter regains her sight. That
threat succeeds in miraculously curing her.Ice hockey is played not with a standard puck but a wiffleball.
Two young lovers, sunbathing nude on an ocean island, sink beneath a
While spasms of circumscribed movement break out among isolated groups
Several performers vigorously play nothing on familiar instruments, making
Contemporary Ballets consists only of a large message screen, probably a
Onto the stage comes a man who leaps into the air, where he hangs
A large man spits directly on his enemies, apparently blinding each of
In a dance lasting at least twenty years, a company of a dozen performers
A man falling from behind the top curtain brakes in mid-air, never
The performers scan the audience for past loves. Finding none from the