Brandywine- How was I to know?
Spent a wonderful week teaching and creating a new short piece for the Brandywine Ballet Center and Brandywine Ballet Company. About an hour west of Philadelphia is town of Westchester, PA. It is only 30 miles from Philadelphia, but takes an hour to reach.
Founded by Donna Muzio, the school and company are well established and the students and professional dancers there are talented and well trained. It is always a pleasure work with dancers who want to learn.
I had a student ask me today (after a week of classes), “I love this, I learned so much. Is this a contemporary Ballet Class?”
I was a bit stupefied, and my response was “No this is a ballet class and welcome to the 21st century”.
On the drive home I needed to reflex….
I started my career at ABT at 16 yrs old.
I did a year as an apprentice and had a company contract for the last 2 weeks of the Met Season. But on my own feeling and the advise of the Press Secretary from NYCB. I left that situation and head for The School of American Ballet (SAB).
So, the first week at SAB, I run into my new teacher Stanley Williams in the elevator. I knew he was Danish and so I ask him, “So Mr. Williams, will our men’s class be a kind of Royal Danish, Bournoville Class?”
He just smiled at me and said, “No I don’t think so”.
I was a kid trying to ask a Zen Master, “Are you this?”
Life is funny sometimes.
I was to learn an understand later that Ballet like any Art form has a higher level of evolution than titles can explain. And I will further explain to any one who asks.
T B M