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When did ballet become an obsession for you?


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#1 Alexandra

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Posted 20 June 2005 - 12:07 PM

Assuming it did :dry:

By "obsession" I mean having to go to more than the one performance a week on your subscription, or reading more than was in the subscription brochure. What turned you from a casual balletgoer into a regular, an aficionado, a balletomane?

#2 Farrell Fan

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Posted 20 June 2005 - 02:41 PM

This is easy. I'd been a casual balletgoer for about ten years when Suzanne returned to NYCB in 1975. Balanchine's obsession was over and mine began.

#3 richard53dog

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Posted 20 June 2005 - 02:48 PM

When I was in high school. I had gone to a number of NYCB programs that I had appreciated, but hadn't really grabbed me.

What did grab me was Romeo and Juliet with Fonteyn and Nureyev in the Spring of 1969(yes I was STILL in high school)

That really opened the door for me. I must have gone to 6-8 performances over the course of a few weeks. I started cutting school to go into Manhattan for standing room.

Richard

#4 carbro

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Posted 20 June 2005 - 03:18 PM

My name is carbro, and I am a balletoholic.

I think I was born that way, although neither of my parents had the problem. But both grandmothers treated me to performances of NYCB when, as a suburban youngster, I'd come into New York.

For the first few years I lived in the city, I either had classes or jobs at night and weekends, but in '73 I got my first (and third-to-last) subscription (the third being NYCB's "retirment" subscription this season, as insurance). Midway through the first season, I'd started adding performances to see ballets again which had been on subs programs. And from then on, it was a downward spiral. During the spring, I could often be seen dashing across Lincoln Center Plaza during intermissions, because NYCB had a great opener and closer, but I just had to see ABT's middle piece. Or the reverse. Ticket prices then made that relatively pain free. Not so any longer, which is fine, because my energy level is not what it was, either.

I thought I was alone, but it wasn't long before I began to meet fellow sufferers. And I'm so grateful to have this non-judgmental group, BalletTalk, with whom I can confess my shameful vice.

#5 bart

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Posted 20 June 2005 - 04:56 PM

I had a long interest in ballet, going back to my mother who trained as ballet dancer in NYC in the 1920s. I attended NYCB and ABT starting in 10th grade and became a subscriber on moving permanently to NYC to go to graduate school. Over the years, I balanced -- still do -- attendance at ballet, modern dance, opera, theater (with preference for the classics), and symphony. I always spent a significant percentage of my income of tickets.

What got me to focus on ballet -- to become a "balletomane," as opposed to a frequent and fascinated audience member?

Several things:

-- a) moving to a small city, where I found I needed to attend mujltiple performances of the same program because relatively few programs are offered -- and then, learning how to observe, compare, label and remember;

-- b) getting into shape and starting to take ballet classes . Doing ballet, at even an elementary level, is a remarkable ticket to observing it well. Not to mention giving me a completely new appreciation of what it is that dancers do and how miraculous it is to do it well.

-- c) finding Ballet Talk a year ago. You all allow me to tap into --- and participate in -- a rich cultural and historical context of ballet all over the western world.

#6 BalletNut

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Posted 22 June 2005 - 06:20 PM

My parents always took me to the Nutcracker when I was a kid, but it was my first non-Nutcracker performance--Swan Lake--that did it for me when I was about 15 or 16. Plus discovering the Kultur catalog, and the public library. And, as Bart says, Ballet Talk just made it official. I gave myself the only username I could think of. And the rest, they say...

#7 Mme. Hermine

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 02:39 AM

when i was little (you know, when dinosaurs ruled the earth) there was a book by mae blacker freeman about ballet that i would repeatedly take home from the library, hold onto a chair and try to twist my limbs into those shapes (didn't help that it featured her daughter in a home setting doing exercises, i figured that meant i should do it that way too). i didn't start ballet lessons until after high school, when i could pay for them myself, but i think the epiphany came at the first performance i saw, which was ruth page's nutcracker, with guests violette verdy and helgi tomasson. i tried to see every company that came through chicago and eventually moved to new york just to *be* there.

#8 perky

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 04:19 AM

When did ballet become an obsession for me? When I joined this board!! Or is this just the food that feeds the obsession? :)

#9 Hans

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 06:33 AM

When I started taking classes at age seven. :)

#10 danceintheblood

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 05:29 PM

Once upon a time, when I was still a little girl, my mother would take me to the theatre. I loved everything about it - getting dressed up in my best dress (the one with tulle petticoats), the long drive into town, the plush foyer, sitting in the theatre as the orchestra tuned up, the hush that fell as the lights dimmed and the orchestra began, to be then utterly transported by the magic of beauty and pure fantasy - all things that I love about it to this day!

#11 Alexandra

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 11:10 AM

My first season :tiphat: I went to my first ballet almost by chance -- I organized a small group of friends to see a Nureyev and Friends program out of curiosity. We were in our mid-20s and trying to be more "grown up" (about time!) and take advantage of all the cultural events and arts programs Washington offered. I was immediately enchanted and started reading, went to New York to see a few programs and subscribed. But I was still normal :yahoo:

The first company on the subscription was ABT -- two weeks, six programs. Ah, those were the days1 I bought tickets to every program, then the casting was released and I realized I wasn't getting either Kirkland or Baryshnikov in six out of 14 tries. The more I saw, the more I wanted to see, and the more I read. By the time New York City Ballet (the second company on the subscription, three weeks, nine programs) came, I was buying tickets for nearly every night -- every program, every cast. Orchestra seats were $10.90 back then, and I had a real job and could afford them :wink: By the end of the season, I was an addict.

More stories, please! There are a lot of obsessed people posting here and you all have a story!! We want to know :dry:

#12 Tiffany

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 12:44 PM

My story is not really a story. I have always been obsessed with ballet. I vaguely remember seeing ballet on TV when I was about 3 years old and loving it and begging for classes. I started ballet classes in first grade and am still dancing 17 years later. I go to any dance performances that I can attend, which are few in my town, but there are more in cities that are within driveable distance. I love to read about dance and look at pictures of famous dancers. No one else in my family shares my love of ballet.

#13 MichelleW

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 02:07 PM

It's my mother's fault -- really. She passed her obsession on to me. She had taken lessons at the old National Ballet School here in Washington, back when Miss Day was there. When I was old enough for creative movement, I started with those lessons. Then it was ballet and tap. I the first performance I ever saw was the North Carolina Ballet's Nut when I was six. I never looked back.

I also received a copy of Jill Krementz's A Very Young Dancer for Christmas when I was five. I wanted to be like Stephanie. That was my first exposure to City Ballet, to Suzanne Farrell and to Patty McBride and I wanted to know more. I knew, just from the photos, that they were special. I still have my copy (and, it turns out, that Jill Krementz went to my college which is something I'm very proud of).

All through the late 80s and the 90s, until I graduated high school in 93, season tickets to the Kennedy Center were part of either my birthday or Christmas gift. One of my favorite-ever performances was the 1990 (I think) Fort Worth Ballet tour when they received so many curtain calls that they finally danced an encore. I remember that Eight by Adler was on the program that afternoon.

I danced until I graduated high school even though it was clear I had neither the temperament nor the talent for a professional career by the time I was about 12. As an adult, I have danced on and off based on health/work/graduate school. Currently I'm taking about three classes a week.

Edited by MichelleW, 26 June 2005 - 02:08 PM.


#14 Paquita

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 03:31 PM

For me, it started after I had been studying ballet for a year or so. I was a late beginner at 13, so unlike my friends who took ballet at 6 or 7 years old and got bored with it, I was fascinated with the logic and repetition of ballet class. I had terrible stage fright, but I loved working in the studio and had an excellent teacher who patiently taught me everything I needed to know.
I started attending performances at the NBoC, the first being Manon with Greta Hodgkinson, and I borrowed lots of videos at the library. It made me appreciate the discipline of ballet even more, and I was delighted when I recognized famous ballet music that was played during class.
I found this board around the same time, and I chose my screenname because I was learning my first solo that year from "Paquita" (also my first tutu, which was very exciting!).
I continued to dance throughout high school and also taught as well. I am currently working on my undergrad degree and taking ballet recreationally at the University and at Toronto's Dance Teq (drop-in classes).
No one else in my family ever studied dance seriously, but there are a lot of musicians in my family, which made getting involved a little easier.

#15 fandeballet

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 04:54 PM

In 1973, my mother wanted to take me to see Nureyev. I told her I did not want to see "those f----ts dance. In March of 1974 I found a Life Magazine article with pictures of Rudi dancing--and jumping!!!!! So I asked my mother about how he was able to jump so high. "Does he use a trampoline?" She said, "No dummy. He does that himself!" I went to see him in Sleeping Beauty with the Canadians. I've been obsessed ever since!!!!! :P :) :blink: :yahoo:


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