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Though I unfortunately missed Ana Sophia Scheller's debut in Ballo Della Regina, I am not surprised that she gave such a sparkling performance. She is not only a consummate technician but grows in her artistry with each outing. I have greatly admired her dancing since I first saw her in a SAB Workshop Performance and she is well on her way toward becoming one of the future stars of the company.

It's funny how two people who love the ballet so much can perceive a particular ballet so differently. I obviously did not see last night's performance of Fancy Free but I have seen that ballet countless times and never ceased to enjoy it. In fact, it's one of those ballets that I recommend to people who are going to the ballet for the first time. And yet you would be quite content to never even see it again. The 13th century philosopher and theologian Thomas Aquinas defined beauty as "id quod visum placet," which literally means "that which, having been seen, pleases." But as is often the case, what pleases one pair of eyes disappoints another. Further confirmation of the old adage that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder."


A couple of weeks ago I was talking to a principal dancer who said he is deathly tired of FANCY. I asked him why specifically and he said that the music is trite and the dancing is 'ballroom'.

TJ, who introduced me to ballet, had an interesting idea as to why Bernstein and Robbins arranged it so the sailors don't get the girls.

I normally leave during intermission if FANCY is on the programme but Wei had never seen it. If we could have left without disturbing others last night we would have been home before the ballet ended.

Faye Arthurs

Dear Philip and Wei, I cannot thank you enough for your unwavering support over the years and also for the lovely flowers on Tuesday evening! Your bouquet found its way to me right before the performance and it certainly gave me an extra lift in spirits. Your blog is always impressive in its attention to detail and how eloquently you are able to articulate your reactions to such an ephemeral and often abstract art form. It is a great pleasure to me and my colleagues--and especially my dressing roommates--to read of your appreciation and your thoughtful, emotional responses to our work. Thank you again. Fondly, Faye


Today has been a great day for me as a blogger. Not only am I getting more visits than on any previous day because people all over the world - literally! - want to read about OLTREMARE, but also two of my favorite dancers have contacted me: I heard from Edwaard Liang earlier today and now to get this note from Faye Arthurs...I just can't believe it!

This blog is a very humble way of attempting to express not just my admiration for the NYCB dancers but my great regard for their hard work and commitment which provides us with a source of beauty and inspiration in a world that often seems so desolate.

Over the years I have found that by concentrating on the hundred or so dancers of NYCB - rather than rushing madly from venue to venue - my evenings at the ballet are far more rewarding. The repertoire, the constant exploration of the new, and the incredible variety of dance personalities make every night an adventure.

Faye, Wei is going to be so happy to read your message. Thank you so much for taking the time to write. And - thanks for that big balance!

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