Guillem and the Pink Panther: a partnership that wasn’t to be

6000 Miles Away, a showcase for Sylvie Guillem, is the umbrella title for three works by the distinguished Europe-based choreographers, Jiri Kylián, William Forsythe and Mats Ek.

Guillem dances in only two of them, Rearray, by Forsythe, and Bye, choreographed by Mats Ek.

In 2011, these two choreographers made their works especially for Guillem.

But why didn’t Kylián?

Could it be that he was going to make a piece for her but that it didn’t work out?

One plausible answer I’ve heard is this – Kylián planned to make a piece for Guillem to Henry Mancini’s theme from The Pink Panther but there were complications with the copyright to the music.

Trouble might have been brewing in 2011 because in May 2012 Billboard reported that Northridge Music Inc, the publishing company of the late Mancini, run by his heirs, had filed a claim against EMI, the publishing company that owned the theme, for over $US1.35 million in net profits on music for The Pink Panther movie.

EMI had previously acquired the music from United Artists.

Northridge Music was also seeking punitive damages to terminate EMI’s administration rights.

Maybe Kylián did not have anything else to offer Guillem at the time and so instead he gave her the rights to include his work, 27’52”, as part of 6000 Miles Away.

If the Pink Panther idea was in fact Kylián’s intention what a pity it fell through! Guillem in panther mode would be something well worth seeing.

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The Pink Panther in wire, designed by by Reynaldo Molina

Sylvie Guillem in Eonnagata, photo © Erik Labbe