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This is day 17 in my Dance Inspirations Advent Calendar (II)

tooting_illuminations_small.jpgMost dancers seem to hate adage. And if they don’t hate it, they need such ‘support’ from the music that playing for the exercise is like administering CPR to a cow, or blowing up a tyre with a puncture. You hardly dare let the music breathe in case they fall over or lose the will to développé.

I was surprised, then, to hear Victor Alvarez say, during a quiet moan about the drudgery of daily class when you’re not feeling like it, “Actually, I don’t mind adage. Wafting around a studio to Chopin, I like that bit. That’s fun.” It’s worth knowing that not everyone needs adage music to be an iron-pumping piano frenzy, and that for some people – even men, it’s an opportunity to let the spirit free and be poetic.

I don’t know which piece of Chopin he may have had in mind, but I adore the ‘Raindrop’ prelude, and I’d give anything to see Victor waft around a studio to it.

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Jonathan Still, ballet pianist