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Sunday, March 06, 2005

Danny Duell

I had an awesome experience last weekend, one of those that only happens once in a lifetime.

There was a School of Ballet Chicago audition at the studios that Violette had arranged for, she is good friends with Danny, both of them from NYCB. The Cesbrons made sure that none of the pre-college students heard about it; a self persevering, yet very un-ethical thing they like to do. The Cesbrons run a very small summer program in Maine, they don’t want any of their students to get the idea that there might be a better thing out there. The majors received an email that said Danny had invited all of us to take the class. I talked to an old teach Thom Clower about Danny, he had only had good things to say about him. They worked togeather at an RDA workshop in Dayton years back. For me that sealed the deal, I decided to trudge down to the studio for the early Saturday class.

Low and behold, the Cesbrons have more power than I imagined. When I arrived there was only one other girl at the audition. A 16 year old recreational dancer from pre-college that had just starting en pointe. There was some slight confusion too, I had assumed that the emailed invitation meant we were permitted to take the class free of charge. As it turned out I was expected to pay. Partially due to being caught off guard and I think equally due to my non-existent financial status I initially second guessed whether I would take the class. After thinking about it for a few min and calming down I realized how stupid it would be to pass up what might be a basically private class with a man like Danny, even if I had to pay the truly minimal fee.

I paid without regret and had a great time. I liked him, and he liked me. I became enthused with energy and at one point during center he commented that he could tell I really loved to dance. That was a moment I won’t soon forget. I have never been told that it looks like I love to dance. I don’t think of myself as a performer. Like many people who tend to habitually over think and intellectualize dance I am usually told to simply let go, to relax, to do what is natural, and to enjoy the movement and the time I have to do it. Coming from a man like Danny, it meant more than I could begin to explain. His class was very nice too, I can’t remember the individual exercises but considering his background in Balanchine it was very grounded and rounded, much more than I expected.


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