13 December 2012

The Choreographer

Reporter: We are so pleased you could sit down to answer a few questions for us.

Maestro: Not at all. My pleasure.

R: You have recently come forward to acknowledge your role in creating – and correct me if this is not a fair description – perhaps the most widely performed ballet of all time.

M: That is correct. My reputation, of course, is wrapped up with this one work. But only my closest friends knew about it. They insisted I “come forward” as you put it. To receive the credit they thought I deserved.

R: Can you tell us a little more about this work?

M: Certainly. It is performed by amateur and professional companies, and by beginners and seasoned dancers.

R: And the movements, I understand, are exquisitely suited for a spectrum of abilities.

M: Yes. The movements are both simple and elegant – and take into account improvisational elements.

R: That is fascinating. How did you come to design this dance?

M: Hours and hours of watching.

R: I think you are being modest.

M: Not at all. Just hours of observation, refining my vision, and then seizing the opportunities as they presented themselves.

R: And I understand there is no music.

M: That’s right – another tiny innovation of mine that…

R: And... Sorry to interrupt. There is also no applause – and this is across all cultures?

M: O, yes. It’s a worldwide phenomenon. It’s been quite moving actually – there is an almost sacred silence surrounding this artistic endeavor. I have to confess, though...

R: Yes. Go ahead.

M: Sometimes I am tempted to stand up and applaud. But, I stop myself - given the strong conventions of silence that have established themselves.

R: I have a confession, also. I have to confess that before now - before meeting you - I was not a big fan of ballet – I’ve heard of The Firebird and The Nutcracker, and something about After Tea with a Faun, of course.

M: You mean, I think, The Afternoon of a Faun – debuted by Nijinky, quite a scandal.

R: My bad. And before we go off the air – we almost forgot to mention the name of your wonderful ballet.

M: Indeed. The title is: Danseurs d'étirement et réglage leurs jambières.

R: Sounds beautiful. But I’m so sorry Maestro, I don’t know French and probably most of our listeners don’t either. Could you translate for us?

M: Certainly. Dancers stretching and adjusting their leg warmers.

R: Maestro, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule – I understand you will be present at two other performances this very evening.

M: That's correct.

R: Thanks again, Maestro.

M: My pleasure.

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