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« Poetic Justice: A Note on Donald Justice [by David Lehman] | Main | Navigating Through Dreams [by Lera Auerbach] »

August 06, 2021



I clicked “Like” even though I “Loved” the interview. Suzanne speaks the way she danced.

Having worked in many ballet theaters with choreographers and dancers around the world, I read this interview with great interest. The questions and answers shed splendorous light on the process and the meaning of the creator-creation relationship in dance. " you become experienced and you perfect the technique, you have to remain vulnerable and not lose that wonderful innocence," is a profound comment. It is when technique disappears into the background and the seemingly effortless movement of expression (as a child dancing in the living room) the circle is completed. Thank you, Emily, for this valuable offering.


This is an amazing, moving interview.

Many thanks for this wonderful interview. I loved the distinction Ms Farrell makes here: "The words of a great poem are written down. They don’t change, but choreography is subjected to many variables. Our medium is humanness. The human body is constantly changing. It alters with time, emotion, humidity, with health. It has lived one day longer. You should never assume that a human body will be predictable."

Thank you, David and Stacey. Of the many moving lines in this interview, I also loved the profound: "Our medium is humanness...You should never assume that a human body will be predictable."

Thanks Emily for the questions that elicit “the state of balletic grace.”

I have never read any commentary on dance that told me more about its beating heart. Emily Fragos, one of America's top poets, uses her sheer intelligence to say precisely the right words to elicit exactly the right response. Fragos (also a cellist) is an authority on music and dance, and this is little known because of her reputation in the poetry world.
This interview is nothing but exquisite--the sensitivity about the art, the insights revealed, what commitment means. The saddened world suddenly glows better and better, as I read this interview again.

This is a wonderful interview with Farrell, questions and answers, both. Farrell, in describing the specifics of working with Balanchine, says many of the same things Todd Bolender told me and and many others about working with him in the studio (which he did from 1940 to 1960, originating roles in Four Temperaments, Ivesiana, and Agon, to name a few). I interviewed Bolender extensively for my book, Todd Bolender, Janet Reed and the Making of American Ballet; Bolender, who was arguably Balanchine's first choreographic apprentice, was particularly interesting about analyzing roles, which Balanchine left up to the dancers, never in fact seems to have mentioned. And Emily, my copy of the Everyman anthology of dance poetry was given me by Ursula Le Guin. I value your work.

I am honored that the great Ursula Le Guin read my anthology. Her "The Lathe of Heaven" remains one of the greatest science fiction novels of our time. Thank you, Ms. Ullman West, for your post about the interview and my work.

Thank you for this glorious interview, Emily. This is a powerful exchange on living the artist's life. Art never betrays and "just hold onto the air" are excellent counsel.

Dance, dance, dance the objects in your room, dance in your sleep, dance in your pajamas.

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That Ship Has Sailed
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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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