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Hi everyone! I have been a member of BT4D (the dancers' forum) for a few years, and a lurker on this site for equally as long...having recently turned 16, I realized I could finally create an account here and actually contribute to the discussion, rather than just reading it :) I don't have many opportunities to see professional ballet live, but I thoroughly enjoy reading (and living vicariously through) reviews here and elsewhere. 

 

I've had a nearly lifelong interest in all aspects of ballet, especially its history, theory, and criticism; I really enjoy looking at the art form from a more analytical, intellectual point of view than is often encouraged among dancers (I aspire to dance professionally, but have no interest in being a "don't think, just do" technical robot), so I'm excited to be able to participate in the conversations on this site. I'm always looking to learn something more about this fascinating, beautiful art! 

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Welcome to Ballet Alert!, Sarabande!

 

I don't know if you've listened to Rebecca King's and Michael Breeden's three-part interview of Edward Villella for their podcast "Conversations on Dance," but Breeden asked Villella what he thought Balanchine meant by "Don't think, dear, just do," and Villella laughed and said, "Shut up!"

 

So even that canonical Balanchine statement might not have been meant quite that literally :)

 

Plus in "Restless Creature," Christopher Wheeldon talked about what Wendy Whelan taught him when they started their collaboration.  So there's hope out there!

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Welcome to the site Sarabande!

 

I'm interested in Villella's take on what Balanchine meant by "don't think, dear, just do,"--I haven't listened to the interview yet--but I'm not sure I think "shut up" -- however indirectly expressed by him or anyone else -- is much better when it comes to encouraging dancers to be more thoughtful and analytic about what they do. (Even if, in class or rehearsal, an inquisitive person does sometimes need to...uh..."shut up.")

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Villella did slip in that Verdy loved to discuss a lot. 

 

Maybe he meant "Talk to the hand," but maybe he meant, "Try it, and don't trip yourself up mentally."  

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