I cannot think of a choreographer whose works I have enjoyed dancing more than George Balanchine. He is the man who created what is now the New York City Ballet. (in case any readers don't know of him.) He transformed the world of ballet with his neo-classical approach to the form. He made works that are still relevant today many years after their creation. I have had the honor of dancing in several over my career.
Along with loving to dance these pieces, I also love to watch them. Fortunately, it seems that I won't have to watch the next one we're doing in May. I spoke yesterday and the day before about the "audition process" for "Who Cares?" Today, we began learning the dance "Biding My Time" which is danced by five men, and I have a spot in it. I am thrilled. I'm in the ballet.
Of course one always dreams of dancing the lead role in a work, but this time, I am tickled at the idea of getting to dance in this corps section. This was the first Balanchine ballet I ever performed fourteen years ago as a student. Now, I'll get to go out on it. It will be the last thing I do on stage with the Kansas City Ballet. The music, the choreography, the energy of the piece are all not only crowd pleasers, but they are also dancer pleasers in my book.
George Balanchine spoke of being able to "See the music and hear the dance." His choreography makes the audience ever able to do just that. I love it.
By doing this piece, I will be able to perform it as an homage of sorts to my teacher, Melissa Hayden, who while I've expressed wasn't my favorite, definitely gave me my first taste of this style. I am honored and thrilled to get to say "goodbye" to Balanchine with one of my favorite of his works.