Yearly Archives: 2014

Confessions of an anxious ballet pianist day #25: 9/8

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I was tempted to put the ballet-class equivalent of the Holy Family on the 25th of this advent calendar, to finish off the series with a heart-warming sentimental twist that starts “… in spite of all these things that make me anxious, I love playing for ballet, … Continue reading

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Confessions of an anxious ballet pianist day #24: Happy birthday

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Special occasions make me nervous. Take birthdays, for example. It’s someone’s birthday, and so one of the dancers comes up before class and says “Can you play happy birthday for so-and-so, please?” Sure I can. But the question is, when? … Continue reading

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Confessions of an anxious ballet pianist day #23: Metre-less counts

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An absence of metre is kind of cool. It’s like decorating a room white, having no books or furniture, and hanging Malevich’s White on White on the wall. You have no history, and you give nothing away when you mark an exercise with counts, … Continue reading

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Confessions of an anxious ballet pianist day #22: Inappropriate music choices

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When I say inappropriate, I don’t mean in 4/4 rather than 3/4, or a barcarole instead of a mazurka. I mean inappropriate in the sense of “Oh no. Let the earth swallow me up. Get me out of this tune … Continue reading

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Confessions of an anxious ballet pianist day #21: The grand battement “march”

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Ballet classes seem to be full of things that aren’t quite what they should be: polonaises that are really boleros, waltzes that are mazurkas, mazurkas that sound like minuets, rhumbas that are choro. Then there’s the what you might call the “fondu tango,” … Continue reading

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Confessions of an anxious ballet pianist day #20: Too much attention

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As a pianist in a ballet class, being ignored feels awkward—but too much attention is even worse. Continue reading

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