On the afternoon of Saturday, September 27th, about eleven collective members (and one alum) met at the Lincoln Center to see The New York City Ballet’s performance of All Balanchine, a showcase of three different selections from Balanchine’s original repertoire. The performance was an excellent mishmash of classical ballet: Beginning with traditional variations from the ballet Donizetti, it then eased us into a classical story-ballet, La Sonnambula, and lastly into the most anticipated performance (and a rather wacky one): Firebird.
It’s always fun for me to see a ballet with a group of non-dancers. Having grown up a student in a fairly intense ballet school, going to the ballet — either to sit in the audience or to dance on stage — was always a regular event for me. My friends and I would gasp at a dancer’s technique: her hands, feet, extension, blurred little bourrées and how quietly she’d land after a jump. But people who did not grow up in a dance studio notice different things. And the people in the Edwards Collective who didn’t grow up in a dance studio grew up in studios of their own: music studios or art studios or writing studios. They pay attention to the music, or the set, or the costumes, and of course the dancing. For many Collective members it was their first time to a ballet, for many more it was their first time seeing pure Balanchine. For me it was the first time seeing a ballet with a diverse group of art-minded people.