Sunday, June 3, 2007

Shoo Ba Do Ba Doo Bah- Dance!

Next time someone says that the American public has no interest in dance you can tell them this-- the most popular show on television last Wednesday night was Fox television's "So You Think You Can Dance." It averaged 9.2 million viewers.

I read this headline on the dance page of Arts Journal, a site that compiles the most interesting arts headlines from various newspapers. I highly recommend it. As with this blog, you can sign up to receive it by e-mail so you never miss your dance news fix again.

Arts Journal also made me aware of a story on NPR, which you can listen to on line, about how a marine colonel brought ballet to Pittsfield, Maine. I found the story interesting for two reasons. First, Andrei Bossov, the Russian teacher featured in the story, is one of Valery Lantratov's many acquaintances in the small world of Russian ballet. Another dancer, with whom we both have worked, also taught at the featured school. I remember her fondly as a great teacher and wonderful with children.

Second, it illustrates something we've discovered as we tour and teach classes. You find pockets of quality ballet all over the world, wherever there is one person with enough passion for dance to make something happen. We've had some of our greatest experiences far off the beaten path.

Which brings us todays topic-- dance news. We will continue to keep you updated about Valery Lantratov's career and adventures, of course, but we want to make this blog much more than that. As much as we'd like to think that you're fascinated by our every move, we suspect it might be more valuable and interesting if we widen the focus and try to incorporate as much educational information and news from the greater dance world as we can. Thus we've changed the name of our newsletter from Valery Lantratov's Travels to Valery Lantratov's Ballet Blog. (I'm Laura Lee, author of the book A Child's Introduction to Ballet and Valery's U.S. representative and all around helper.)

As you may have seen in the last post, I've started a new feature "this date in dance history." Let us know if you have any suggestions for recurring features.

On Wednesday, I will be interviewing Valery Lantratov. The results will appear as a series of podcasts (technology permitting). There's still time to get your questions in. Send them to