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The Mail


To the Editors of the Crimson:

You lose much of the Crimson's excellent reputation when you print such articles as the Balletgoer in your issue of May 9, 1946. J.A.L. reveals his total ignorance of ballet matters when he unfavorably compares the Ballet Russe ensemble as second rate with that of the Ballet Theater. Actually, under the superb guidance of maitre-de-ballet Frederic Franklin the corps de ballet has gained the precision of the Rockettes, while the corps de ballet girls in the Ballet Theater keep their own time and often fall flat on their derrieres in "Swan Lake" and other romantic ballets which require the grace and accuracy that the Ballet Russe alone can offer.

As for stars incapable of handling more difficult roles--since when has Alexandre Danilova ceased being the leading ballerina of the United States? And who in the world of dance criticism but J.A.L. will say that Natalie Krassovska, Ruthanna Boris, and Maria Tallchief are not capable of matching, if not equalling Janet Reed, Nora Kaye, and Alicia Alonso of the Ballet Theater? The only male dancer in the Ballet Theater who is tops is Andre Eglevsky, while John Kriza, John Taras, etc. are strictly still in the stage of development. Obviously no company in America can offer Frederic Franklin in such a wide variety of roles as the "Champeen Roper" in "Rodeo," the "Golden Slave" in "Scheherazade," the "Baron" in "Gaite Parisienne" and in a variety of classic roles ranging from "Les Sylphydes" to the "Nuteracker," and in such modern classical roles as "Danses Concertantes" and "Mozartina."

J.A.L. speaks kindly of "Rodeo," saying patronizingly that "this simple, attractive story" stood up well beside works of greater fame. If "Rodeo" is not one of the most famous ballets presented in recent years by any ballet company, what is it? Does J.A.L. realize that "Rodeo" by Agnes de Mille was the force behind ballet in all musical comedies? When the Theater Guild saw the Ballet Russe's production, they hired de Mille to do the choreography for "Oklahoma!" and even J.A.L. surely doesn't need diagrams drawn from here on.

As the finishing touch, speaking of Frederic Franklin's crippling absence from "L'Apres-midi d'un Fanne," does J.A.L. realize that Franklin has never danced the role in his life, and according to him on last Saturday, he never expects to, either? If J.A.L. followed the ballet a little more closely, he wouldn't leave such large pitholes for himself. Enamo Tellab.

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