I draghi di Chrysos (Italian Edition)

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But much more may be required. On this matter, at least, the great contro- versialist was correct: As Mr. Bloom wrote 50 years ago in Shakespeares Politics, there was a time when the political man seemed to be the most in- teresting theme of poetry. AnewKing Lear, which opened at Londons National Theater this month, restores this forgotten sense of priority. Already deservedly the hottest ticket in town, the director Sam Mendess production presents the downfall of the aging monarch as much more than a study in human implosion, familial collapse and lyrical introspec- tion.

This Lear deserves a Broadway transfer, and as wide a digital audience as the National Theater can muster. Simon Russell Beale, shrunken, shriveled and broken, shows as convin- cingly as any actor I have ever seen what it is to lose everything mind, chil- dren, kingdom. Yet his astonishing per- formance as Lear owes as much to an understanding of political dynamics as it does to the pathos of dementia. When we first meet him, he is a robust, impatient soldier-king, surrounded by an entou- rage of muscle. He divides his kingdom while seated his back to the audience, oozing disdain through his very posture.

What is striking is the contemporary resonance of this production, the way in which it nags at the political subcon- scious and stirs our present anxieties. This is not the leaden political theat- er of didacticismand finger-wagging. Rather, it uses the text of the early 17th century to illuminate the night terrors of the 21st, speaking directly to the pathologies of our time.

Mendes is right to claimthat it feels like a national play. King Lear was written in the infancy of what be- came the United Kingdom: Performed at Whitehall, London, in for King James I, who was also James VI of Scot- land, it explores the fears of fragmenta- tion and civil war that marked the declining years of the childless Queen Elizabeth I. Nowit returns to the stage only eight months before a ref- erendumon Scotlands future.

The polls suggest that independence will be rejec- ted by the Scots on Sept. Whatever the outcome, the fact that the question is being asked at all is un- settling for a union of nations such as the United Kingdom. Lear divides his kingdomto keep the peace; the out- come is precisely the opposite. At a less literal level, there is an even stronger correspondence between Lear and the spirit of the age. More than any other play in the language, it navigates the terrain between the per- sonal and the political, the threads that connect decisions of state to the vulner- able individual.

By stages, Lear is re- duced froma mighty ruler to a naked vagrant, no better than a poor, bare, forked animal, as he puts it to Poor Tom the loyal Edgar, son of Gloucester, who is disguised and feigning madness. This symbolic landscape is precisely where political battle is being waged in While the British economy is re- covering, its resurgence has yet to translate into a sense of well-being. The fear of personal indigence remains deep. Austerity, insecurity and the cluster of social problems that Prime Minister David Cameron calls the broken soci- ety continue to define the times.

No politician is more vulnerable than one who is not believed when he claims that things are getting better. Every re- gime is obsessed by what Lear calls court news: Who loses and who wins, whos in, whos out. But a coalition such as the Conservative-Liberal Demo- crat government headed by Mr. Camer- on is conspicuously vulnerable to the charge of introspection and detachment. The next general election, scheduled for May , will be won by the party that persuasively connects the econom- ic recovery to voters personal circum- stances.

In one of the plays great mo- ments of self-discovery, Lear considers the poor naked wretches of his realm, helpless before the pelting of this piti- less storm. He tells pomp his own to Ex- pose thyself to feel what wretches feel. Never has the need for political em- pathy been so exquisitely expressed. Herein lies the timeless demand made of those who govern on behalf of those with no apparent hope.

As Con- servative leader, Mr. Cameron has in- termittently presented himself as the champion of the vulnerable. But his party is still associated in the eyes of the electorate with pomp and indiffer- ence to the wretches of our own time. The twist is that, just as Lear was hailed for his strong kingship, so, too, the present prime minister is ap- plauded when he is tough on welfare. Even as they reproach his party for its lack of compassion, voters demand crackdowns on benefit scroungers such is the great knotted dilemma at the heart of modern governance.

As Shakespeare knew, the practice of politics is governed not by straightfor- ward rules but by a clutch of paradoxes. His plays are not manuals but mirrors held up to humanity. This is why Nelson Mandela and his fellowprisoners read and reread Julius Caesar on Robben Island, and why AbrahamLincoln turned to Macbeth as the truest por- trait of tyranny and warning against it. Every generation has its defining King Lear, and I amsure this is ours.

Shakespeares greatest play is an invita- tion to stare into the abyss and contem- plate the fragility of power and decency. Indeed, but how much worse is the politics of delusion. Before rushing ahead, Japan and Taiwan should consider gamblings downside. Lured by Singapores success, the Taiwan Legislature could soon allowthe opening of casinos. And Japan, with an official goal of tripling the number of foreign tourists in 20 years, is considering building casinos. But these countries should also pay attention to another aspect of Singapores experience apart fromrevenue.

Singapore has gone to considerable lengths to shield some of its most vulnerable people fromthe negative social consequences of gambling. Promoters naturally emphasize the positives of gambling, mainly howcasinos attract foreigners and their money. But they say little about the negatives: addiction, broken families and criminal activities like loan-sharking, all of which fall heavily on local communities and on low-income groups.

After a survey showed an increasing proportion of low-income gamblers playing with ever-larger sums, the state decided to prohibit entry by the unemployed, people on welfare and people who have filed for bankruptcy protection. As South Koreas experience shows, local residents generate lots of money. Of the countrys 17 licensed casinos, only one, Kangwon Land Resort, in a remote mountain area more than miles fromSeoul, is open to locals. Casino investments under consideration in Taiwan and Japan could total several billion dollars.

The promoters, of course, advertise gambling as a revenue-producing leisure activity. But if these investments go forward, both countries need to consider the downside and, at the very least, seek ways to curb addictive and self-destructive behavior. Along with Ceuta, the enclaves share the European Unions only land borders with Africa and are targets for would- be migrants desperate to reach Europe. Spain has long maintained high-tech fencing systems around the enclaves in an attempt to keep the migrants out, but they had removed barbed wire fromthe top of Melillas fence in after it inflicted serious injuries on those who dared to climb over.

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Last November, though, in response to an increase of migrant assaults on the fence, the Spanish authorities re- stored the wire. The move angered hu- man rights activists and religious lead- ers across Europe. In a letter to the Spanish interior minister, Bishop Santi- ago Agrelo Martinez wrote: Barbed wire with blades on fences in Ceuta and Melilla is an attack on the physical in- tegrity of immigrants: those blades cut, injure, [and] maim.

The bishop ap- preciated the Spanish governments re- sponsibility to secure the nations bor- ders, but he laid bare the fact that the blades cause only pain and death. The reinforcement of the fence around Melilla echoes the current build- ing boomof border walls. According to Reece Jones, a University of Hawaii geographer, nearly 30 newborder barri- ers have risen worldwide since There are newfences on Americas bor- der with Mexico and along Greeces border with Turkey. India erected barri- ers on its frontiers with both Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Israel built a wall around Palestine and recently com- pleted a fence along its Egyptian border. Through technology, barriers to trade, travel and communication keep falling, and yet our world has never been more physically divided by the geometries of bricks, barbed wire and steel. The political and economic ramifica- tions of the walls are oft-discussed and well understood. So, too, is the psycho- logical trauma suffered by those living in the shadowof the walls. In , an East German psychiatrist even coined a termfor the disorder: Mauer- krankheit, or Wall Disease.

But Bishop Santiagos objections to Melillas freshened barbed wire reveals something even more horribly inti- mate: In an attempt to control our bor- ders, weve designed systems to phys- ically hurt those who defy them.

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The walls act upon the flesh. In January , the fencing along the India-Bangladesh border acted upon the flesh of Felani Khatun, Felanis father, Nurul Islam, had arranged for her to be married to her Bangladeshi cousin. On the morning of her wedding, Nurul paid a pair of cattle smugglers to help himand Felani scale the fence into Bangladesh so they could walk to the village where the groomwas waiting.

Felani climbed the fence with a bamboo ladder the smugglers provided, but when the barbed wire snagged her blue skirt she panicked and started to scream. The noise alerted Indian border soldiers, who fired their rifles in the di- rection of the fence. Asingle bullet pierced Felanis chest and she sagged, mortally wounded, on the wire. She begged for water for a half-hour before finally bleeding to death. Felani hung upside down, a memento mori fixed into place by the barbs, until morning sun burned away the fog and the border soldiers pulled her down.

They tied her hands and feet to a bamboo pole and carried her away like a butchered animal. Barbed wire also spins cruel calli- graphy along the United States-Mexico frontier, but crossers have more to fear than just the violence of the barbs. Doc- tors at the University of Arizona Medical Center treat about 40 migrants each year for broken bones and spinal injuries suffered fromfalls off the border walls. There are bullet wounds, too.

Accord- ing to a investigation by The Ari- zona Republic newspaper, American border patrol agents have killed 42 people since Some, like the teen- ager Jos Antonio Elena Rodrguez, were killed on the south side of the bor- der by American agents shooting through the wall into Mexico. Female migrants risk an even more intimate violence. Border activists speak about rape trees in the borderlands of Arizona and California where human smugglers, many connected with Mexic- an drug cartels, pause their journey to rape their female charges.

When they finish, the rapists hang their victims bras and panties on the branches as a morbid accounting of their conquests. Those granted passage through the walls must offer up their flesh in some way or another, too. Palestinian laborers press their bodies through steel chutes and turnstiles each morn- ing to reach jobs in Israel. Elsewhere in the West Bank, farmers lift their shirts in front of young Israeli soldiers before receiving permission to work their own fields their exposed midriffs proof they are not wired to explode.

Even when the walls dont cause the body pain, they demand, at least, some brief physical humiliation. In , a barbed wire salesman, John Gates, enclosed a fewhead of ferocious bulls within a barbed wire pen in San Antonios central plaza. Gates deliberately provoked the longhorns who then charged the fence, only to be repulsed by the barbs that tore into their flesh. Their wounds exacerbate their rage, Mr. Netz writes. The bulls continued to throwthemselves against the wire until their agony led to an instinctive with- drawal and resignation. Finally, they stopped trying to breach the fence. The bloody spectacle proved that through the application of pain, even the fiercest beast can learn to respect a border.

Our skins, Mr. Netz writes, just a little beneath the surface, are endowed with special nerves activated by pressure rising above rather low thresholds.

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You can use those nerves against us. By cutting through the boundary of our skins, you can act to protect the boundaries of your prop- erty, your prison, your border. This is also what our walls do. They exploit our bodies lowthreshold for pain. Beneath the high-minded ideals of security and sovereignty lies the grim truth that weve designed the walls to hurt people. We opt to control move- ment across sensitive geography by in- flicting agony upon the flesh.

We need to confront the inhumanity of howwe choose to defend our lines and, like Bishop Santiago, see the barbarismin the barbed wire we uncoil. We need to confront the inhumanity of howwe chose to defend our borders.

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The International New York Times is an exciting new offering that delivers essential global news, business insights and cultural content. Experience all the International New York Times has to offer today with a digital subscription. This is an issue that, frustratingly, the right has hijacked and the left has been reluctant to confront. Yet its intimately related to poverty in our country. It isnt politically correct to call at- tention to the effects of the increase in single women giving birth, wrote Colton, one reader who suggested the topic.

Three important effects are the greatly increased incidence of long- termpoverty, poor development out- comes and poor educational achieve- ment among the children. Our hesitancy to face the problem may result fromfear of accusations of being moralists, racists, anti-woman, anti-freedom, supporting government decisions into personal decisions, Lucinda noted. Conservatives are, I think, correct to highlight family stability as a funda- mental issue that goes to the welfare of children as much as food stamps or anything else.

Children raised by a single parent are more than three times as likely to live in poverty as those raised by two parents, according to census data. After Daniel Patrick Moynihan raised the issue in in the context of black families, he was condemned in liberal circles as intolerant if not racist. Over time, though, there has been a growing appreciation that he was ahead of his time, and as the Urban In- stitute notes, the percentage of white babies born to unwed mothers is now the same as it was for black babies when he sounded his alarm.

Yet if the issue is critical, it often emerges as part of a narrative that hec- tors the poor for their poverty. Republi- cans focus on personal irresponsibil- ity or suggest that theres nothing to be done about poverty until those people stop having kids outside of marriage. As I see it, conservatives are right in their diagnosis that the issue is critical in addressing poverty, but they are wrong in their prescriptions, while lib- erals are often too politically correct to address the issue at all.

First, the backdrop. At last count in the United States, almost 36 percent of births were to unmarried women, ac- cording to census data. The birthrate for unmarried women is up 80 percent since Furthermore, census data showthat a majority of high school dropouts hav- ing babies are unmarried; only 9 per- cent of college graduates are. Two- thirds of black women giving birth are unmarried; just over a quarter of white women are. Of course, what matters isnt whether the parents have a marriage certificate but whether they are partners who are both committed to raising children they want and love.

An Australian study found gay parenting had better out- comes on average, apparently because gay couples dont have kids by accident. Conservatives blame war-on-poverty welfare programs for undermining mar- riage. Academic studies indicate that this effect, while real, is small. The per- centage of births to single mothers has been rising steadily in the United States and other countries since the s.

Republicans tried marriage promo- tion initiatives during the administra- tion of George W. Bush, and these are worth testing, but, so far, they have failed the litmus test. They didnt work. However, there are several steps that we could take: First is to expand family planning so that teenagers and young adults dont have babies they dont want and are ill- prepared to care for.

Four out of five teenage pregnancies are unintended, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Its promising that a randomized trial found that the Carrera pregnancy pre- vention curriculumin low-income schools reduced teen births by half. Family-planning initiatives save tax- payer money nowspent on health care and the safety net, yet, after inflation, Americas investment in Title Xfamily planning has fallen some 70 percent since Thats crazy.

Second is to end Americas disastrous experiment in mass incarceration. We quintupled incarcer- ation rates since the s, according to the PewCenter on the States, and, thus condemned millions of men often men of color or with lowincomes to life at the margins and made themmuch less attractive as husbands. If the family has broken down, we helped break it. Third is to back outreach efforts and job programs that give young people a lift and a stake in the future. Programs like Nurse-Family Partnership that work with low-income mothers have a proven track record of keeping families together.

Likewise, an evaluation found that of young mothers in an Illinois out- reach effort called Options for Youth, 97 percent delayed a subsequent preg- nancy. Talk about personal responsibility! Its irresponsible on our part to fail to take these steps. So, readers, thanks for raising this is- sue. And lets address it not with platit- udes but with proven policies that dont just hail the family but also strengthen it.

First there was his love affair with the actress Julie Gayet. No real sur- prise there, but the images published by the tabloid Closer did seemto re- duce the lofty presidency De Gaulles seat of French glory to the level of a motorcycle courier service. Asuitable caption for the helmeted gentleman en route to a tryst might have been: I am more normal than you think. When I asked Christine Ockrent, an acute observer of France, what she thought of the affaire, her immediate response was: Hes a man. Its nor- mal. It would not damage Hollande for now, his popularity being so lowanyway. In matters of the heart the French shrug holds sway.

This is healthy. Bof, cest normal, a ubiquitous phrase, is the shrugging expression of a fierce realismabout life in general and sex in particular. As Saul Bellowobserves in his novel Ravelstein, The French were genuinely educated or had been so once. They had taken a bad beating in this century. However, they had a real feeling for beautiful objects still, for leisure, for reading and conversation; they didnt despise creaturely needs the human basics. The French are indeed at home with creaturely needs. They do not squirm.

They do not preach. It is safe enough to predict that Valrie Trierweiler, the first lady spurned, will not be at the White House with Hollande next month. She has been badly treated. Be- yond that it is likely that the only con- sequence of Monsieur Normals late- night forays will be the further demysti- fication of the Fifth Republics highest office, a process underway since Fran- ois Mitterrands death in Bof, cest normal. The second revelation about Hol- lande may be of greater consequence.

It came at a recent press conference but, because of the affair, was scarcely noted. In the midst of a performance that was a tour de force he let drop a confession that was brave. AmI a So- cial Democrat? Hol- lande said. This may not seem a radical statement in the second decade of the 21st century, but it still is in France. Hol- lande, adhering to French socialist prin- ciple, had never pre- viously ventured this far.

To do so was to concede that his goal is to soften the harsh edges of capitalism rather than overturn it; to pursue social cohesion through compromise between capital and labor rather than class struggle; to suggest heresy of heresies that wealth must first be accumulated before it can be distributed; and to aban- don the heady glory of the Popular Front for staid old German social democracy. But, you may say, all this happened long ago and you would be right.

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That, however, is not the point. The lex- icon of political ideology is more impor- tant in France than anywhere. Hollande crossed a doctrinal line.

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This, in Paris, constitutes an event. Hollande went further, proposing big business tax and budget cuts, even sug- gesting he was a supply-sider. During his time in office, a decade ago, reforms were passed that cut social benefits and changed the rules for receiving themin ways that meant it no longer made eco- nomic sense to remain unemployed rather than take a low-paying job. The German left partially dismantled the welfare state built by the German left.

Unemployment fell, the economy boomed. Germany today is Germany and France is France. This brings us to another troubled couple that once held hands, did big things and had big dreams only to fall into a sulk. That would be France and Germany. Because the war generation is gone, because the balance in the relationship was lost to German dominance, and be- cause ever-closer union in Europe has withered as a political idea, the nations have been looking past each other.

But there are stirrings. The return of the Social Democrats in a German grand coalition and Hollandes ideological pivot has led to talk of what Laurent Fabius, the French foreign minister, re- cently called a newimpulse to Franco- German cooperation. With Britain consumed by anti-Euro- pean rumblings, nothing is more impor- tant for the future of Europe than a re- invigorated French-German couple focused on political and budgetary inte- gration, reignited growth, renewed democratic legitimacy and a revived European idea. Social democracy may be old but, as Germany shows, it is needed.

AGerman car rental company, Sixt, has been mocking Hollande with an ad that says: Mr. President, next time avoid the scooter. Sixt rents cars with tinted windows. Who cares? Step into the light, Monsieur le Prsident, and lead an old couple back. Today, a popular comic known as Dieudonn MBala MBala his stage name is simply Dieudonn claims not to know, be- tween the Jews and Germans, whos telling the truth but I have my own little ideas on the subject. We know what those ideas are: Dieudonn in- vited onstage at one of his shows Robert Faurisson, a theorist of Holo- caust denial, who argues that the exter- mination of the European Jews is a Jewish invention.

Dieudonn, who revels in stoking controversy while hiding behind ambi- guity, recently came up with a rallying gesture for his supporters. He calls it the quenelle literally, a dumpling, a French version of gefilte fish. The move consists of the right armpointed straight down, which the left hand keeps fromlifting very like the repressed Nazi salute of Peter Sellers in Dr. MBala MBala claims this is not anti-Semitic but anti- system, a defiance of authority, but his true disciples have caught on, pulling quenelles in front of synagogues.

On grounds that inciting racial hatred is illegal in France, the interior minister, Manuel Valls, decided to ban the comics shows, creating a furor. Canceling Mr. MBala MBalas tour not only gave himfree publicity, but it has also risked making hima victimof censorship. At first glance, the Dieudonn affair seems a newformof anti-Jewish ex- pression. Of course, it is. But it would be wrong to say thats all that it is. French society has suffered froman economic and social crisis for three de- cades.

Whichever party has been in power, the unemployment rate has hardly dipped below8 percent since the s; more than one in four young people are out of work. I recently returned to France, after six years working in the United States, to discover some unpleasant surprises. In la France profonde, a diffuse popu- lismis stirring.

Reminiscent of Amer- icas Tea Party, this movement combines a nostalgic mind-set that everything was better before with a radical aver- sion to taxes and a hostility toward the detested European bureaucracy. According to a recent study, only 8 percent of French people espouse racial inequality, yet there is a palpable con- viction that everything bad comes from outside: Brussels, globalization, immi- gration.

Whatever the lawsays, the freedom to express racist, xeno- phobic and anti-immigrant views has reached newlevels. Le Pen used to claimto say out loud what the people think in private.

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Lately, many have begun thinking out loud. The Dieudonn af- fair is symptomatic of an insidious slide to- ward intolerance, but anti-Semitismis the least of it; racismand xenophobia manifest themselves more of- ten as anti-Arab, anti- Muslimor anti-black. Last year, in Car- pentras, a town notorious in for the desecration of Jewish graves there, swastikas were spray-painted on the headstones of French Muslimsoldiers. Late in , the minister of justice, Christiane Taubira, a black woman origi- nally fromFrench Guiana, was called a monkey by a National Front candi- date in municipal elections; the same slur was repeated by a representative of the conservative Union for a Popular Movement, the mainstreamopposition party.

Urban neighborhoods where poor Af- rican, Asian or Caribbean populations live have become increasingly ghetto- ized. In French political parlance, this is called a failure to integrate, or a rise in communitarianism. France has be- come a hotbed of tensions that has seen a steep rise in ethnicist views of soci- ety.

It is not just Mr. MBala MBala who has flourished in this atmosphere; other comedians trot out the most hackneyed racial clichs. The phenomenon cuts across social class. Take Alain Finkielkraut, a profes- sor of philosophy at the elite cole Polytechnique: He recently published Lidentit malheureuse, a book be- moaning the dilution of an eternal France about to be defiled by swarthy barbarians threatening to plunge European civilization into a multicul- tural bouillabaisse.

Among the objects of his disgust: Halal butcher shops and fast food. Finkielkrauts sentiments echo those of Renaud Camus, a writer not related to Albert Camus who has de- nounced the great replacement of populations, which imposes on the true rooted French those who are not. Such ideas have even found resonance in the media, thanks to commentators like the political journa- list ric Zemmour, who laments the fate of the white proletariat, helpless before the ostentatious virility of their black and Arab competitors seducing numerous young white women.

The worst came last fall with a cam- paign against Frances Roma people. The previous president, Nicolas Sarkozy, had already singled out this vulnerable population of 20, as a dangerous nuisance despite the fact that the Roma constitute just 0. The interior min- ister, Mr. Valls, has nowcalled for their expulsion. Well might we wonder about the integrity of a politician who defends Jews fromDieudonns quenelle while deporting Gypsies.

The son of a white mother and a black father, Mr. MBala MBala will continue to surf a wave created by the competi- tion of victims in a country that is his- torically guilty twice over: toward the Jews, for its participation in the col- laborationist Vichy regime, and toward its black and Arab citizens, for its coloni- al past.

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By calling Jews slave traders, Mr. MBala MBala plays a game of pro- voking the authorities squeamishness about anti-Semitism, even as other ex- pressions of racismget a pass. When Dieudonn described Ms. Taubira as a cheetah, there was scarcely a stir. Unless things change, this deplorable clown has a bright future.

This essay was translated by Edward Gauvin from the French. French couples Modern family matters Deciphering the quenelle With one couple on the rocks, anoth- er France and Germany is in need of revival. The next neglected topic suggest- ed by readers is family breakdown and the rise of single-parent households.

Behind a provocative comedians defiant salute lies a swirl of ugly prejudice that is roiling France. Peck rocked dangerously for- ward, almost toppling over his head. Liam Scarlett, the British choreo- grapher who is creating a work for New York City Ballet that will have its premiere next week as part of the New Combinations program, looked thought- ful. Maybe if youholdher a little higher on the hips, he said, lifting Ms. Peck overhead with apparent ease, and con- templating the result in the mirror for a moment.

Are you going to put me down? Peck said, giggling. Its not every choreographer who can show his dancers exactly what he wants, particularly when it involves holding grown women over your head. But its not too long ago that Mr. Scar- lett, 27, had a day job as a corps dancer with the Royal Ballet, where he shot to choreographic fame in with his first work for the Covent Garden main stage.

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That piece, Asphodel Meadows set toPoulencs Concertofor TwoPianos, and a large-scale, ambitious work for 20 dancers was a success. But it might have takenlonger for Mr. Scarlett to gain an international reputation if Edward Villella, then the director of the Miami City Ballet, hadnt happened to watch a stage rehearsal just before the premiere. He immediately commissioned a work for Miami, andbythetimeViscera had its premiereinJanuary, gainingcrit- ical praise, Mr. Scarlett was a hot prop- erty. But first there is City Ballet, a com- pany that Mr.

Scarlett said he had dreamed of working with ever since a stint at the New York Choreo- graphic Institute, which City Ballet runs. I owe Eddy Villella a lot, Mr. Scar- lett said in an interviewin a cafe close to Lincoln Center. I was very aware of people watching how Miami would go, and everyone called within the next two weeks, which justified my decision that this, choreography, is really what I want to do. Given the success of Asphodel Meadows, it seems surprising that Mr. Scarlett hadnt already made that de- cision.

Like Christopher Wheeldon, he joined the Royal Ballet School at 11, and stayed there until graduation, when he was hired for the corps de ballet. He began to choreograph at the school and later for the companys annual Draft Works showcase, but he was an un- known to most of the ballet world until Asphodel Meadows appeared. I kind of associated choreographing with my career at the Royal, Mr. Scar- lett said. To go to another company as an exterior choreographer, like any oth- er, and have people respect you for that, really affirmed things for me. You learn more, grow more, probably make more mistakes and learn to fix them as well.

Scarlett certainly looked confi- dent and in charge during the two-hour rehearsal of his second cast, which in- cluded a young corps dancer, Sara Adams, a late replacement for the in- jured principal dancer Janie Taylor. Very good, Sara, really, he told her warmly after she finished a pas de deux full of tricky, slippery partnering, with Andrew Veyette.

To do that after youve only just learned it is amazing. Adams smiled shyly and looked at the floor.