By  on June 5, 2008

Twenty minutes — that's how long the intermission lasted at the Metropolitan Opera House Tuesday night, and it made for quite a palate cleanser. In the first half, the American Ballet Theatre presented a revival of Harald Landers' "Etudes"; in the second, the premiere of Twyla Tharp's highly anticipated "Rabbit and Rogue." The program proved a delightful contrast. Dances don't get more traditional than "Etudes," which plays like an ode to various ballet exercises — from simple barre positions to pirouettes to a dizzying tarantella. But "Rabbit and Rogue" pairs Tharp's legendary modern dance infusions with composer Danny Elfman — better known for the theme songs for "The Simpsons" and Tim Burton soundtracks. On top of that, dancers slinked around the stage in a Norma Kamali-designed wardrobe that was hardly your basic ballerina wear: bikinis and flesh-baring bodysuits.

"With Twyla, it's almost like with Bob Dylan," says Kamali, "you interpret what you like. There's a lot going on there."

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