Lewis Segal wrote an LA Times piece back in December 2009 about the state of ballet (dance) today as it pertains to choreography and choreographers.  It talks about how classical ballet is now more performed and used in television and film than ever, but there aren’t any choreographers truly blazing a trail for the future of ballet.

The classical ballet of Petipa spurred the neo-classical ballet of Balanchine, and broke further ground with the morphing of modern from Tharp & Cunningham, that has resulted in the works of Wheeldon, Ratmansky, and now, the young Peck.

While new choreographers have either stayed with the themed non-story works, or the reimagining of the classical story ballet, it is as though the telling of stories, emotions, themes have lost their impact.

Choreographers that claim that it’s all about the music aren’t really listening to it.  Dancers are so focused on the technique that they are not feeling the music move through them and not truly taking the time (along with the proper coaching) to learn the intention behind the story, emotion, or theme.

Dancers move us through their movement.  It is truly great dancers (Baryshnikov/Vishneva) that show us so much of the soul in their character/piece, that the technique and artist become one.

I encourage all of you teachers, choreographers, and dancers (myself included) to listen to yourselves.  What is inside you is very important, and can bring so much joy and fulfillment to those who see you perform at your best.

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