Knoxville Ballet School In 2006 I launched Knoxville Ballet School with the goal of bringing classical instruction in its purest form to a city of roughly a half million—unrelenting quality in that singular discipline, and nothing else, would be the thing to distinguish what I was peddling from what other schools in the area offered, … Continue reading Surviving a Pandemic: Got a Plan B?
Dancers are the athletes of God. –Albert Einstein Last Thursday, television personality Lara Spencer publicly shamed England’s young Prince George on Good Morning America in front of a live studio audience, taunting him about the ballet classes the young English Royal takes as part of an ambitious program of studies. Ms. Spencer’s observations were tantamount … Continue reading A Message to Lara Spencer (And Her Ilk) about Boys and Ballet
But you’d never know it from the ‘seasonal’ departments in all the big box retailers. I defy you to visit one and find that thing you had your eye on for your backyard deck or patio a couple weeks ago, but decided to think on it: ‘Tis gone, gone, gone now, and in its place—Crayola … Continue reading Vacation Postscript: It’s Still Summer, Dammit
When I disemboweled Knoxville Ballet School, liquidated it in the summer of 2012 just before my divorce was final, I was flush with pianos. Shortly before his death, my Uncle Stan had implored me to take the piano from my grandparents’ house in Chattanooga, the one he’d grown up playing before he launched himself into … Continue reading Piano Story: Taking Care of (Unfinished) Business
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
The fall has come not a moment too soon, some might say. Peter Martins stepped down as Ballet Master in Chief at New York City Ballet last week after allegations of sexual harassment and the verbal and physical abuse of company members, reported the New York Times. This is not the first time he has … Continue reading Falling from Grace: Ballet Has a Reckoning
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
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?