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Peter Boal Interview with Jenifer Ringer


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I don't think it was recorded -- it was essentially a stop on her book tour. He's a good interviewer, though, and seemed to make her very comfortable. Of course, it didn't hurt that they are old friends and colleagues.

She read several selections, spoke about her early dancing life as a kid (she was an Abba fan), expanded on the comments she makes in the book about dancing Serenade, and spoke about her difficulties with eating disorders, weight, and self-worth. She gives the impression of someone who has grappled with a difficult challenge and knows her limitations. She also seems to be a genuinely nice person.

One of the questions from the audience was to both of them -- would they encourage their children to pursue a career in dance. Interestingly, they were both hesitant -- the gist was that it had been a very rewarding life for them, but is not for everyone.

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There was a meeting upstairs about raising the minimum wage in Seattle to $15, and at one point, there was a loud crash. (Possibly a fallen rack of chairs.) I think her comment was a quizzical, "Go [or yay?] minimum wage," which cracked everyone up. She would know: her husband, James Fayette, was involved in the dancers union at NYCB.

Ringer mentioned how she had been in Boal's farewell performance, and he told us how she had made a path of rose petals for him that led to the stage.

I'd only seen the early part of her career live. She came across in person as lovely as she did on stage, and with a great sense of humor. (I'd never seen her in a humorous role on stage.) She was very funny describing how when she was first sent to ballet class at five, she didn't understand all of the weird things she was made to do. "This wasn't anything like dancing to ABBA!"

She did a book signing afterwards.

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A nice point Jenny made in her New York reading, at Barnes and Noble, involved Peter Boal.

It was about how her first kiss was with Peter on stage in her debut in the balcony scene of Romeo and Juliet (in Sean Lavery's version). That it was her first starring role (or one of them) and that in rehearsal Peter never kissed her, always "respected her modesty" or her "innocence" or something like that, is what I remember her saying (it's in the book anyway). So he'd just do a little air kiss while they were learning the parts. And that later on their first night was thus her first real kiss. She was very respectful, kind and sweet about Peter during that reading.

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