Dance: Flotilla of Fun

What's in a flag? To George Balanchine, who is as symbol-minded as the next choreographer, a flag stands for the ritualistic, pride-bearing side of a nation. How and why the repetitious pace of ritual should be transformed into dance are questions that Balanchine alone seems able to answer. In Stars and Stripes (1958), he made a brilliant humoresque out of close-order and other U.S. military drills. In his latest creation, the hour-long Union Jack, he has come up with a visually stunning, three-part divertissement that masses the clans, changes the guard and salutes...

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