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The Buzz, 12-12: If...
'The Green Table' at the White House

"A special holiday performance of American Ballet Theatre's (sic) 'The Nutcracker' will take place in the East Room of the White House on Monday, December 5 at 10:30 a.m.. With President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush in attendance, ABT will perform excerpts... for an invited audience of area public school students and children of the men and women serving in our nation's armed services. 'As America's national ballet company, ABT is truly honored to perform at the White House,' said artistic director Kevin McKenzie."

-- American Ballet Theatre press release

"To serve one's country not in submission but to serve it in truth."

-- Patriotism, as defined by Senator Eugene McCarthy, who passed away Saturday. (Quoted in the NY Times.)


-- John Lennon

By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2005 The Dance Insider

The scene: The White House. Kevin McKenzie, resplendent in tuxedo, takes the stage to a smattering of applause, and begins to speak.

"Good morning President -- er, vice president -- Cheney, President and Mrs. Bush, and invited guests. It's our privilege to be performing today in this hallowed place, which for so many years was the citadel which protected our democracy and projected our values to the world. There will be a change in program, due to injuries -- more than 10,000 injuries, that being the number of young Americans who have been maimed or wounded in Iraq since we illegally invaded it on false pretenses in 2003. More than 2,000 American soldiers have been killed, as well as tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians, since the war was launched. Part of the power of dance is its ability to help us viscerally understand ourselves, our society, and our world. Therefore, and as neither the vice president nor the president have ever actually served in a war, we thought it would be edifying to present one of our biggest hits of this season, Kurt Jooss's 'The Green Table,' which contrasts the machinations of the faceless planners and plotters of war with the death and devastation they unleash. We hope you enjoy the show."

The press release and quotes from Lennon & McCarthy are real; the rest is imagined.

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