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« Charise M. Hoge, Guest Author January 15-19 | Main | Full of Strange Experience: Seven Brief Reviews by Dante Di Stefano »

January 15, 2018


Great song expertly rendered by Mr Nat King Cole. A musicologist tells me that the song seems to derive from a Judaic melody. Thank you for the dance.-- DL

It's a haunting melody. And seeing these movements out of the context of the classical music (and story) they're usually paired with is so interesting––it works.

I have so much to say about this! Years ago I sat next to a young dancer from the Miami City Ballet. (I had turned in an extra tkt a he got it.) Although I've been a ballet fan for decades, I'm not a trained dancer so I asked him during an intermission to tell me what he observed about the dancers. He pointed out the way certain dancers held back from the beat. "That's classic Edward Villela," he said. You hang back and that creates tension. Certain dancers seem to stay airborne or on point for a nano-second longer than expected and the observers can feel this in their own bodies. I agree it is similar to what might happen in a poem (Emily Dickinson comes to mind) when a word or a line is a complete surprise and yet precisely correct. The tension is resolved. Once upon a time in summer both Nureyev and Baryshnikov were dancing at Lincoln Center though with different companies, Nureyev and the Metropolitan Opera House and Baryshnikov at the NYS Theater (now the Koch theater). I went up there for single seat and opted for Baryshnikov (most likely b/c it was the less expensive of the tkts.). While I don't regret my choice (how could I?) I do wish I had seen Rudy. I had visited both theaters before making my choice and the tkt seller at the Met almost talked me into seeing Rudy in Romeo and Juliet. "He kisses her," she said. "It's gorgeous." Thank you for this terrific post Charise. Two of my favorite subjects, ballet and poetry. -- Stacey

Well said! Yes, spectators have a mirror experience of the dancer they are watching (sometimes referred to as kinesthetic empathy) in their own bodies. Same must be true for the audience of a poem. Nureyev or Baryshnikov––what an impossible choice!


Very much enjoyed your posts on dance, the body, and poetry this week; thanks for being.

My best,

Thanks for letting me know, Kathleen. At times I felt I was going out on a limb (no pun intended, but there's that language of the body creeping in), so it's good to hear how much you enjoyed these posts.

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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

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