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Deanna Seay to retire at end of season

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#1 bart


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Posted 30 November 2009 - 09:01 AM

Principal Deanna Seay discusses her feelings about retiring at the end of the season. I just found this post on the company blog and wanted to start a thread for MCB fans on Ballet Talk, even though I will need time to gather my own thoughts and feelings and put them into words.

My first reaction: genuine sadness, followed immediately by a series of marvelous visual memories of Seay's touching performance in "I Can Dream, Can't I" during the Company B performances a few weeks ago. The news is sad. Having memories are bittersweet.


A sample:

This is where I find myself at this moment, part way through my twenty-first season here with Miami City Ballet. I decided, a few months ago, that I would retire from the stage at the end of this season. I have spent the dancer’s equivalent of a lifetime here; indeed, I feel that, here, as an artist, I was “born,” grew up, matured, and am now facing what feels like the death of my life as a ballet dancer. Somewhere I read that dancers experience two deaths: the “death” of their careers and then their true death – and now I understand. Maybe death is a strong word, but for me, it acknowledges the completion of a journey and the chance to move on.

#2 Hans


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Posted 30 November 2009 - 10:44 AM

I only saw her once, in less than ideal circumstances, but she was wonderful. I wish her all the best for the future.

#3 jsmu


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Posted 30 November 2009 - 04:27 PM

I only saw her once, in less than ideal circumstances, but she was wonderful. I wish her all the best for the future.

This is a tremendous loss...a ballerina of the highest refinement, the most ethereal elegance, with a sensibility which one virtually never encounters in any art form or from any performing artist. I shall never forget her lapidary performances in three of the most varied and demanding ballets on earth: Square Dance (!), the adagio of Symphony in C, and above all Diamonds....unforgettable.
Ms. Seay, you will be sorely missed.

#4 cubanmiamiboy


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Posted 30 November 2009 - 10:36 PM

...if only could I have seen her in the waltz of Chopiniana... :o That would have been THE perfect role for her in this stage of her career. Yes, Miss Seay...you will be certainly missed.

#5 bart


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Posted 01 December 2009 - 06:57 PM

As Cristian says, Seay will be missed. There isn't much in the MCB repertory that Seay hasn't danced, and danced well.

I have had the opportunity to see her perform all kinds of roles, from the Siren (Prodigal Son) to Swanilda (Balanchine's Coppelia). When you think about it, there aren't many dancers who with a range like that. Inevitably, some parts fit her style and personality better than others. What I will remember most fondly are her deeply felt Woman from his Past in Lilac Garden, "All the Way" from Sinatra's Song, the second couple in In the Night, the walking pas de deux from Emeralds(at an Open Barre performance), Balanchine's Swan Queen, and the poignant solo from Company B, already mentioned.

Roles like this demand refinement, technique that does not keep calling attention to itself, delicacy of detail: all qualities suggested by jsmu's term "lapidary." They also demand the capacity to suggest the more delicate emotions: yearning, vulnerability, emotional maturity, quietness, even serenity. Seay has all of this.

But I also find myself replaying my memory tape of her cannonball Stomper in Tharp's In the Upper Room! Now THAT was a surprise -- and a revelation. I can see her, in her striped pajama suit, jumping and rolling on the floor right along with the company's kids. And obviously having a great time.

I notice that Seay is listed as teaching in the MCB School. I don't know her plans for the future, but I am willing to bet that she has the potential to be an exceptional teacher.

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