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Anne Coburn Whitmore

What a sweet and stirring post for me to get to read today!! Thank you, Philip - your writing is so lovely, graceful and transporting ...you dance with words!, and create the most beautiful imagery and energy through them.

Truly a gift to all of us readers!, as well as to the dancers and artists you write about so eloquently.

Anne Coburn Whitmore


As a former teacher and evaluator of teachers, I have to agree that Jock Soto is an outstanding teacher. SAB and its students are very lucky to have him. The advanced SAB students are all good but it's interesting, is it not, to see how certain ones, even in class, immediately catch your eye. It's exciting to discover a particular student for the first time in class, then see her/him shine in the annual SAB Workshop Performance, and finally, follow her/his ascent through the ranks at NYCB.


Bob, I agree that following dancers from the early stages right thru to the full span of their careers is one of the special joys of having NYCB and SAB only a city block apart.

Anne, your very kind comment reassures me; it is not always easy to write about this ephemeral art form day after day and to attempt to express what it means to me. I am so glad when people tell me they understand and appreciate what I am trying to convey.


What a treat for those of us who love Jock so much to read your post, Philip!

I was at NYCB this afternoon (Maria and Philip were sensational in "Slaughter"), and was thinking about the art of partnering. Besides Philip (an excellent partner), Chuck was with Wendy, and Tyler with Katie. All these men are terrific partners (as is Jared, and a few others). But Jock! Jock was in a league of his own (although Peter Boal was also an exceptional partner).


Deborah,with respect to the art of partnering, the only one I ever saw who equaled or surpassed Jock was his mentor - Peter Martins himself.


I had the privilege of watching Jock teach an Advanced Boys class at SAB on Friday, as it was an Open House day for donors. He is a natural teacher. He gave technical corrections as well as practical ones that the boys will be able to carry with them on stage. I cherish these moments when I am able to watch the students in class, and, like you said, seeing a select few progress throughout the ranks at NYCB.


Actually, Nilas is also a very skilled partner and his style reminds me so much of his father's. It was Nilas who helped make Sara Mearns' first Swan Queen a memorable success.


You're right about Peter, Bob. Although I've only been attending NYCB since 1976, I was lucky enough to see Peter with Suzanne (sigh...).
But I still think that Jock had an extra special chemistry with his partners -- especially Heather and, of course, Wendy -- that I didn't quite see with Peter and
Suzanne (at least in those years).

And speaking of good NYCB (but trained in Denmark) partners -- I also really liked Adam Luders.

Finally, although not Danish, I thought Sean Lavery was a wonderful partner in his own right.


I always loved the way Nikolai Hubbe acted on stage toward his partners. Totally enthralled and absorbed.
And yes, SAB is very lucky indeed to have Jock teaching.
I sincerely hope that when Wendy retires she goes into teaching as well. What gift it would be to learn from her!

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