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Thread: Are there any ballet-class piano players here?

  1. #1
    Junior Member TSWO's Avatar
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    Default Are there any ballet-class piano players here?

    I'm a pianist myself, been playing for ballet classes for 2-3 years now... I always remember my first day in a proffesinal ballet school, having all that great Beethoven, Chopin, Tchaikovsky music, and not finding something to play for them for "Jetes" or "Grandes Battements"

    It's a really special field...

    Is there anyone with more expertise on that here? Would love to discuss repertoire.


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    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    Sorry - I can only speak as an audience member. I recall watching Jerome Robbins' "The Goldberg Variations," and from time to time thinking, "There's a pianist up there playing one of the summits of keyboard literature, and nobody's really paying attention to him." It's not even really his interpretation as he had to cater to the choreographer and the dancers.

    He did get a nice round of applause.

    I had similar thoughts watching "Ratmansky's "Pictures at an Exhibition," set to the piano original.
    Last edited by jegreenwood; Nov-26-2016 at 22:52.

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    I did help out the music school in my home town once, with playing piano, whilst their own accompanist was ill.
    Sorry, that's all.

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    I did a fair amount of this kind of work many years ago because I needed the money. Not only did I think that I wasn't very good at it (even though I continued to be asked to do it), I really felt somewhat out of sorts in the sense that I began to wonder what I was doing there and why these dedicated students seemed to need to have what felt like my somewhat hapless efforts at the keyboard to accompany their technical exercises. At one point, during a break, I actually said as much when one of the dancers engaged me in conversation and she rounded on me and said "if you dare to try and leave, we'll lock us all in; of course we can't manage without you!". Flattering as that sounded on the face of it, I have to confess that I remained somewhat unconvinced and I think that this was only partly because I wasn't really a pianist per se.

    So someone needs to do it, I guess!...

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    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    I have done this work since 1992, and am only recently retired, involuntarily, simply because there is no longer any work available where I live. Most studios are small operations and have gone to using recorded music for financial reasons. You're fortunate if you live where there are still jobs available.

    As to repertoire, I can't be of much help, since I improvise every bar of music I play.

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    Junior Member TSWO's Avatar
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    @Ahinton Nice to see you here too, I know you from some of those vitriolic posts on pianostreet... I'm thinking of their reaction if something like Sorabji hit them after Gizelle hahaha...

    Anyway, it's not the best thing to do, but as with most jobs it's good to get your bills payed, doing what we love to do most, play music, even if it's a I-IV-V-I repeated ad infinitum!

    All the best!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TSWO View Post
    @Ahinton Nice to see you here too, I know you from some of those vitriolic posts on pianostreet... I'm thinking of their reaction if something like Sorabji hit them after Gizelle hahaha...
    Not vitriolic from me, I hope! Anyway, nice to make your acquiantance!

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