I find it ironic that Cuba—whose national ballet company is celebrating its 70th year—is as much renowned for its exceptional classical ballet, including its extraordinary male dancers, who rival the best dancers in Europe, or Canada or the States, or South America (another wellspring of gorgeous ballet dancers), as it is for its legendary baseball … Continue reading Ballet Story: More Than a Pastime for Cuba’s Boys and Men
The Episcopal School of Knoxville will turn 20 this coming fall, inconceivably. My 20-something kid was a kindergartner in its inaugural year, 1998. This matters to me mainly because it’s a school my ex and I founded, together with a few other families, the culmination of a mammoth effort that was about five or so … Continue reading Writing Story: A School Is a Place to Learn
When your mom is a ballerina, and other members of your family’s network—friends and other relatives—are involved in ballet or other performing arts, people expect you will go down that road, too: it’s only natural. My earliest memories are attached to ballet mainly, and they are powerful and sensorial: I can’t smell rosin or walk … Continue reading Equivocating My Way Through Life
Last night we saw ‘big’ ballet right down the road in Manchester. It’s a rare thing in these parts, in this underserved and sometimes overlooked state of Vermont, where a tiny population can’t support big art, or even medium-sized art of this caliber. We got lucky this time. Billed simply as ‘An Evening of Dance … Continue reading An Evening of Ballet: Refueling at the Mothership
The woman standing at the front of the classroom never suffers fools gladly. Instead she writes theorems on the green chalkboard rapidly, with her back turned to a roomful of privileged ninth grade girls at this pressure cooker prep school in Memphis, girls poised for success in one venue or another. She is lean, a … Continue reading The Boldness of Eccentricity: A Remembrance
If an alien visited earth and happened to tune in to any public radio station in America he might get the impression we’re building Utopia somewhere. The adverts for the corporate and foundation sponsors promise all kinds of rainbows and unicorns—equality for all, an end to hunger, obliterating disease everywhere, stamping out global violence, et … Continue reading Rainbows and Unicorns: Trolling for Utopia
Life promises nothing. And everything. An earnest young man named Tristan called me Wednesday night on behalf of the University of Tennessee’s Arts and Sciences Annual Telefund, he said. I found a mailer from my alma mater in the P.O. box last week, so I knew this was coming and already planned to give. Perfect … Continue reading Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor: What Does Your Life Promise?
How much bully-induced rage does it take to finally push a person over the precipice? Schoolyard bullies have enjoyed too much press for the last twenty or so years: there is nothing new under the sun to report about that, except possibly its lightning fast delivery through time and space thanks in no small part to … Continue reading Battle Cry of the Middle-Aged Bullied