sandik

Who Was Your First?

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my first really vivid memory is of John Kriza in Billy the Kid – I think Kriza was the first crush I ever had.

I had a crush on John Kriza, too. Could have been my first crush, as well. smile.png Also, at that time, I crushed on Jacques d'Amboise over at NYCB. Ballet crushes are the best!

The Capezio calendars handed out to us when we bought ballet slippers or dancewear in the 1950s were a wonderful source of pictures of our favorite dancers to hang on our bedroom walls.

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Although I saw ballet performances from an early age, I think the company that probably was the closest to my heart was London's Festival Ballet, which became eventually English National Ballet. My parents and I belonged to their club, which was totally different from the various "Friends" organisations that exist today. We joined almost from the beginning and the membership was very special. My mother and I would "man the table" every now and then in the Royal Festival Hall trying to recruit new members. In the days before mass communication services this was the only way. The club had events including a summer garden party and a Christmas party (where my Dad got to dance with all the beautiful ballet girls to his delight!) and we had lectures by important guests, such as Alicia Markova (I was chosen to present her with a bouquet, which was a proud moment indeed!) and Beryl Grey. We really felt part of the company and loved it. We had our own magazine "On Pointe" and could submit articles for it. We went to lots of performances including of course Nutcracker every Christmas season. It's a shame that there is no longer such meaning or pleasure in being a member of the "club".

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That sounds wonderful, Hamorah!

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my first really vivid memory is of John Kriza in Billy the Kid – I think Kriza was the first crush I ever had.

I had a crush on John Kriza, too. Could have been my first crush, as well. smile.png

...and I wonder why...? innocent.gif

5077456.jpg

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I don't quite fit the most common "pattern" here (seeing one's 1st ballet early in life). My first was when I was 19, and the memory of it is indelibly etched in my memory (altho that's been 49 years ago now!). I was going to school at UC Berkeley studying physics -- which is a pretty far place from the world of ballet wink1.gif. Indeed, I'm not sure I even knew ballet existed.....altho I presume I must have. My parents were not the type to go to performing arts, so I had no experience with such things. However, thanks to exposure by some high school friends, I had developed a love for classical music and jazz.

One day at Berkeley, a friend told me that if you went to the student union, you could get a "usher pass" that allowed a college student to usher at the San Francisco Opera House which then allowed you to stay and see the performance. I had very little money, so this sounded pretty good to me. Soon I was on my motorcycle heading over the bay bridge to see what I thought was my 1st live symphony orchestra performance. Little did I know that the scheduled performance was to be a ballet.

I remember as distinctly as if it had happened yesterday, standing in the back of the orchestra level, behind a short wall where ushers were parked after their duties were discharged, when the curtain rose. Wham, and wham again. What I saw in that moment changed my life.

The gods were with me that day because the program started with Balanchine's Serenade! Can you imagine the effect of that opening tableau on a young, impressionable 19 year old?? It was quite simply the most beautiful thing I had ever seen (the opening curtain on Serenade still brings tears to my eyes to this day). In 5 minutes I was forever hooked. As soon as I got a job, I became a SF Ballet subscriber and went to every ABT, Joffery, or whatever company came to town (normally every night they performed). Once I moved to Seattle, I transferred my allegiance to PNB. My love for ballet has never wavered in these nearly 50 years since that first curtain went up.

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I caught the bug in college, via the library's collection of dusty old films. I definitely recall watching Plisetskya in The Little Humpbacked Horse in a little viewing cubicle at the library, with a bulky set of headphones squeezing my head like a vice. The first live performance I saw was San Francisco Ballet in Swan Lake, in either 1987 or 1988.

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The gods were with me that day because the program started with Balanchine's Serenade! Can you imagine the effect of that opening tableau on a young, impressionable 19 year old?? It was quite simply the most beautiful thing I had ever seen (the opening curtain on Serenade still brings tears to my eyes to this day).

That would indeed grab your heart for life. I can't remember the first ballet I ever saw, but the first one I really knew thoroughly was Four T's -- to this day it makes me weep.

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I caught the bug in college, via the library's collection of dusty old films. I definitely recall watching Plisetskya in The Little Humpbacked Horse in a little viewing cubicle at the library, with a bulky set of headphones squeezing my head like a vice. The first live performance I saw was San Francisco Ballet in Swan Lake, in either 1987 or 1988.

This is excellent -- I saw live work first, but when I got serious about dance I spent hours and hours in my college library, watching their Dance in America tapes and their eclectic collection of dance ed films (Graham's A Dancer's World was especially stunning) And yes, those puffy headphones -- my son has a set he likes, and they always make me giggle.

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I first saw Swan Lake performed by the Royal New Zealand Ballet, but this several years after I had started ballet. A family friend was playing the swan queen and we just had to go and see her! The most amazing thing I've ever seen

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