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The Simple Pleasures

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Moderators, please remove this is if this belongs in the Ballet Talk for Dancers Program or something else :)

I just got back from attending my former High School's Outstanding Young Woman Program, a scholarship contest for the most dynamic seniors of high school this year. Each girl had to showcase a talent, and 4 of them chose pointe variations. True, Gamzatti seemed a little too tired to be devious, and Sugar Plum was blinded by flashbulbs (when will people learn?), but all four were exquisite in their joy and love for the art.

One girl did a pointe variation to traditional African music. Technically, OK, not spectacular, but fantastic in her smile.

I noticed that as a former dancer (and a person who is obsessed with technique), I keep picking out mistakes. In my mind, I was yelling out "(name) Fingers! Passe, not retire!".

I don't know if I like that. I love being able to critique intelligently and learn, but what happened to enjoying a delighted smile, a sparkle in the eye, and seeing the joy of the younger generation?

How do you, as an audience that is MUCH more seasoned than myself, manage to not nitpick at every little detail and just...enjoy the show? Is there something I should be keeping in mind? I like watching ABT and staring at perfect fingers and hands, but I just want to enjoy the simple pleasures.

By the way, the 2 runners up (and my very good friends) were the girls that did the Gamzatti Variation and the African ballet.

ngitanjali :)

I also opted not to got to Itzhak Perlman, since I have midterms this week. The responsible side of me prevailed, sadly, but I'm looking forward to Boccatango and (in February) Romeo and Juliet!

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Some people NEVER outgrow the technical "nit-picking".

When Erik Bruhn returned to Denmark after his early foreign guesting, he threw a triple pirouette into a Bournonville variation. His teacher was in the audience and the senior citizen stood up in his seat and shouted to the stage, "YOU KNOW THAT YOU MUST NOT DO THAT!!!" :)

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I think we have had variations on this topic before, ngitanjali, the tension between awareness of technical flaws, however small, and appreciation of the broader aspects of performance quality being ever present, but it's worth discussing again. Do others feel this way at times, and if so, how do you cope?

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