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Alexandra

How Did You Discover Ballet? #2

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Please continue posting here. Newcomers, or anyone who has not already answered this question, please tell us how you discovered ballet, either as a dancer or as a watcher (or both, of course!).

If you haven't checked the original thread in a few weeks, there are some new posts on it from Savoye, Lauren and Mary which I think are quite interesting, so please go there and read, but come here to post.

Thanks,

Alexandra

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I discovered ballet a few times.

The first time was when I was nine, and the Saratoga Performing Arts Center opened with a great deal of fanfare. My parents dragged me to see City Ballet a lot; even their first night at SPAC, I believe.

So my first ballet was Dream, with Melissa Hayden, Eddie Villella and Arthur Mitchell. I remember as a kid thinking there had to be wires or something holding Villella up, or maybe invisible jets of air shooting up from the stage...

I also remember watching Farrell pose for a publicity shot at some stables near my home (there are a lot of stables in Saratoga), with some Royal Lippezaner stallions which were performing there that summer. She wore her Diamonds costume, and the horse did his damndest to eat her tutu.

Well, such are the things that stick in a kid's memory.

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Nothing so fun as above, but perhaps a note for those N*t weary dancers... my parents took me when I was a three year old to see Princeton Ballet's version. I fell in love, right then and there, apparently for life... something about the men flying through the air... as far as I can figure, the Sugarplum held no enchantment for me, and pink tutus and toe shoes seemed a disgusting and misleading stereotype to me for years... maybe it was the tomboy in me, but ballet was about men flying, not tutu princesses... anyway, for those of you who dread December, just remember the little timebombs you may be setting off and dance your hearts out for the new-to-dance audience that old warhorse brings to the theatre... rumor has it, I was so enthusiastic that I kept jumping up and calling for more at the end of each divertissement... I don't remember much from age 3, but if I close my eyes I can still see the snow falling that night as we drove home... pretty good for a several-decade old memory... will probably flash before my eyes on my deathbed...

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I remember being taken to see Atlanta Ballet's Copelia with Tom Pazik, Gil Boggs and Maniya Barredo and what I most remember is Maniya sitting down with her feet en pointe imitiating the dolls eyelashes with her fingers and Pazik pointing at her. From then on I looked for anything to do with ballet, The Red Shoes, newspaper articles. I went on to dance 11 years. Now my oldest daughter is studying with Maniya.

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