The very first ballet class I played for was a big surprise, because I had no idea what to expect or what would be expected of me by either the teacher or the dancers. I walked into the studio and the first person I saw was the teacher (who seemed to me to be very old), holding a lit cigarette in one hand and a cane in the other!
“As dancers we face our reflection so much that you would think we know what we look like. We spend hours every day in front of a mirror in nothing more than skin tight clothing and a skirt if we are lucky. But I have found that the opposite is true. Most of us have a distorted idea of our image.”
Foot Phrase is a section in the ballet A Pulse Stolen by Ted Seymour (see more in an interview and clips from A Pulse Stolen on YouTube), which had its world premiere on May 21, 2010. This section of the ballet is done in total darkness except for three sets of illuminated, moving feet.
The painter Degas seemed to enjoy capturing the natural asymmetry of dancers in training. He preserved the everyday moments of dancers between barre exercises, waiting or tying their ribbons, or shared with viewers the skewed perspective of performance from the wings.