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By Jack Anderson

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Startled and abashed, he promises to be faithful. A marriage has been saved. Yet the masquerading also implies that if marriage is not to grow stale, it must retain some measure of surprise and adventure. Once one has attained a state of harmony or balance, one can be thoroughly ebullient. The dances that conclude the third act of Napoli are ebullient indeed. But they celebrate a marriage-a joining together of people in what it is hoped will be a harmonious relationship. Lasciviousness is alien to Bournonville.

So did the visual effect of the white gloves. Indeed, in eighteenthcentury candle-lit theatres, the gestural clarity that white gloves helped create may have been welcomed for practical as well as aesthetic reasons. And when performers struck poses in Les Fetes, those poses seemed punctuation for the work's musical and dramatic sentences. Ariodante more closely resembled what we today recognize as opera. It told only one story, and though Handel included many dances, he did not mix singing and dancing as Rameau did.

The traditionalist producer tries to reproduce the choreography danced at a ballet's premiere or, occasionally, at some important later date. For instance, most producers of La Sylphide seek to reproduce August Boumonville's choreography of 1836, rather than Filippo Taglioni's version of 1832. And no one in his right mind would want to copy Swan Lake's original production of 1877, when it had a clumsily arranged scenario and mediocre choreography by Wenzel Reisinger. Instead, our versions of Swan Lake derive from the staging of 1895 by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov.

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