On Style

21 05 2008

Above: Allegra Kent and Edward Villella in George Balanchine’s Bugaku

┬áIt is only a personal truth, but I believe that a dancer who tries to analyze the music, to interpret every note physically, to accentuate the obvious climaxes, will bypass what music is really about. It is a definition of time, and that can only be spontaneous. Moving with music is not an intellectual feat; it is an emotional, physical, sensual response to a specific moment in time…

One of Balanchine’s most important innovations in dance was to declare- and insist- that music be the first priority of the dancer… In Balanchine’s world, the dancers were in service to him, but everyone, including him, was in service to the music.

-Suzanne Farrell, former Balanchine ballerina, in her autobiography, Holding on to the Air
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