Daily Archives: December 3, 2006 9:01 am

Pliés Pat Neary – Tonight from West Side Story

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This is day 3 in my Dance Inspirations Advent Calendar (II)

Some of the greatest dancers and teachers I’ve met have one thing in common at least: their mind is always ‘on’ as far as music is concerned, like someone who never puts the phone down in case the other person still has something to say. There’s usually one dancer in a studio who’ll give you the most fleeting of smiles because they heard the way you phrased something differently today than yesterday, or because there’s an extra hint of happiness or sadness in the way you played a familiar song, or because the piece has (if you but recognised it or thought about it) special connotations. Great teachers feel moved by the music with, if not before the dancers, and sweep the class along with them.

The first time I played for Pat Neary’s class was one cold winter morning at 10 am at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin (which feels like 7.00am in most people’s days), and instantly I realised she was one of those people who felt everything in the music.

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