Mikhail Baryshnikov Directs, Our Son Judges

He was only around 8, taking ballet in Florida. The year before he had taken a tap and ballet class at our local rec center. That class was in a room that others walked through, many distractions, and he noticed that one little girl was not doing the step right and the teacher was not correcting her.

What was the little guy to do but blurt it out, "Ms. Blank, why aren't showing "Mary" how to do the step right,"

Yes, our son, off and running to becoming his own person. It sounded cocky and yes, later, he developed that trait quite well, although it was not as bad as it might sound, but at the time he REALLY didn't understand why she didn't help the little girl. My heart, already completely entwined in his, well. . . you know.

The next year he began taking classical ballet at a ballet school. They even picked him up at the rec center after school so he could get there, after all, in the 80's you didn't find many little boys. OK, flash forward, on stage, an extra in a ballet in Tampa that Baryshnikov was directing. He passes the two boys in the hall and pats the other boy on the head. He was slightly older and understood "star", said he wasn't going to wash his hair.

Our son, on the other hand. . .Well, let me set it up:

During rehearsal, Baryshnikov, as the director, was walking around the stage in boots, not ballet slippers, occasionally doing a step as he told experienced dancers what came next. Our son, not understanding that Baryshnikov was not attempting to do the steps properly but merely showing their order to the professional dancers had this to say to us when he came off stage, "I don't know why everyone thinks he's so good, he doesn't even do the steps right!"

Yes, I did try to explain the difference between performing and directing. . .
and no, our son did not grow up to dance on grand stages, another story.

BUT -- I thought to write this because I loved Jamie's post, DUWARD DISCUSSION: Dancing Sitting Down,with an awesome video of Baryshnikov. Check it out!


Danielle B. said...

What a great story!! I am sure your son's view of the world remains the same...and that is a good thing actually...no pedestals for people to fall off of ;)...Wanted to stop by and say thanks for visiting my place. I visit here often but don't comment as much as I should...I promise to get better at this 'delurking' thing!!!