Is Ballet Humane?

By Leda Meredith Today one of the young student dancers I rehearsal direct in a Nutcracker production came up to me and pointed to her right foot. A bad blister had bled through her tights and through her pointe shoe. She looked up at me with wide eyes and a well-trained ballet-school smile and asked…

A Passion for the Dance

A Passion for the Dance:  Choreographer Francis Patrelle By Leda Meredith Photo Credit: Eduardo Patino There are few choreographers I know of that are as generous and loyal to their dancers as Francis Patrelle, or who care as much about making sure that each dancer is shown at their best. Dance is a verb, not…

Making It Your Own

By Leda Meredith Joni Petre-Scholz & Abdul Rasheed in Patrelle’s ‘The Yorkville Nutcracker’. Photo Credit: Eduardo Patino Here is a scene that any dancer would recognize: You are in a studio with a mirror, barres around the walls, a stereo system, a TV and VCR. There is an opening night coming up, and you don’t…

Passing the Torch

By Leda Meredith Photo by Eduardo Patino of Leda Meredith as Francis Patrelle’s Lady Macbeth I am standing in front of a full-wall tapestry in a museum. It is magnificent. Reading the museum’s pamphlet, I learn that it took three generations of craftsmen to complete. Did they stick to the original design, or add their…

Part Four of The Essential Imagination Series

Living Other Lives Part Four of the Essential Imagination Series by Leda Meredith Photo by Tom Caravaglia, of Leda Meredith and Michael Jahoda in Jennifer Muller’s ‘The Spotted Owl’ This is the article that inspired my quest to bring Leda Meredith to the-vu Jeffrey the Barak, Publisher. Stepping onto the stage, I am living two…

Part Three of The Essential Imagination Series

Make Believe By Leda Meredith Photo by Eduardo Patino of Leda Meredith in Francis Patrelle’s ‘Macbeth’ Several years ago I was coaching a young dancer in a dramatic role and I asked what her interpretation of the character was. She looked at me with utter confusion and then described the mood of the entire ballet….

Part Two of The Essential Imagination Series

Detail and Nuance by Leda Meredith photo: Tom Caravaglia Make believe No, not fantasy, but truly how to make someone believe. How to make an audience suspend disbelief in what they are witnessing long enough to be moved by what they have seen and to think about it for years afterward. What do you remember…

Part One of The Essential Imagination Series

Essential Imagination By Leda Meredith “It’s just your imagination.” Was there ever a more detrimental thing to say to a child, especially a child who may someday wish to be a performer? Think about it: the computer screen you are looking at would not exist if someone hadn’t imagined it first. The design of the…