13 December 2012
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.