Sometime in the Winter of 1974-75, TJ began talking about the adagio. He and I were living together in the dorm at Sarah Lawrence College - he as a senior and I as a 'guest'. We had spent the previous Summer together on Cape Cod, where I'd had my first taste of ballet and in fact had taken class and even danced in performances before I ever saw a professional ballet company onstage.
Now that we were living within striking distance of Lincoln Center, we'd been going to New York City Ballet as often as we could afford to, and I was discovering the Balanchine repertoire which was to become such a vital part of my world. TJ had of course been going to watch Mr. B's Company since he was a high-schooler. He knew all about it: the rep, the dancers, the back-stories.
TJ had told me the Suzanne Farrell story over the Summer: of how she was Balanchine's muse, how she had been 'fired' by him when she committed the treasonous act of marrying, and how they had somehow patched it up and that she'd be dancing for him again in the upcoming season. And now, here he was: buzzing about the adagio and how fantastic it was that we'd have the opportunity to attend Farrell's return and witness her in this piece that, as I came to find out, was part of a larger work called SYMPHONY IN C.
And so we were there on the evening of January 16, 1975 and I experienced the wave of anticipation that swept thru the house as Robert Irving gave the downbeat for the start of the symphony's second movement. Farrell appeared with her cavalier Peter Martins and the atmosphere in the theatre was palpable. "So this is the adagio. No wonder TJ's been raving about it: it's intoxicating."
SYMPHONY IN C re-enters the repertoire at New York City Ballet tonight and for all its other glories it's that moment - when the adagio begins - that I'm most eagerly awaiting.