Dance: Dark Nights At the Opera

Nureyev's double role in Paris achieves dubious results

A Swan Lake that is set indoors. A ballet version of Henry James' Washington Square, featuring, among many other intrusions, cartoon black minstrels and cowboys. Not what one might at first expect from so historic an institution as the Paris Opera Ballet, but both items came along on the troupe's first American appearance since 1948. Expectations for the visit ran very high. The company's school is considered one of the world's best, a preserver of both the French and Italian technique and dance vocabulary. The institution itself has an ineffable aura of glamour, and in three years as dance director, Rudolf...

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