Dance: Baryshnikov Remodels the A.B.T.

Misha shows that he can take over a company and turn it around

It is a predictable New york cultural rite: a gala fund-raising performance by the American Ballet Theater. The audience, lavishly dressed for the party that will follow, sits through a numbing succession of virtuoso turns: gaudy pas de deux and solo flights by resident stars, international étoiles and great names of the past who walk through famous old roles. Even the curtain calls are a production, usually choreographed more carefully than the rest of the show. The balletgoers finally leave, convinced...

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