Long before Nike developed its famous slogan, Balanchine and Stravinsky were already just doing it -- producing their art, not for wealth (neither was ever wealthy), but because they established their artistic identities and had the discipline to continue developing those identities until they died.
Alastair Macaulay's 14 Feb. 2013 review of Pacific Northwest Ballet at City Center is a powerful witness to the human need for artistic vision. The discussion generated by one evening's presentation of three Balanchine ballets (Apollo, Concerto Barocco, and Agon) shows how comprehensive the combined artistry of Stravinsky and Blanchine was. We can't stop talking about what they produced together -- 85 years after Apollo premiered, 72 years after Barocco, 56 years after Agon. As long as there are dancers privileged to partake of the electric energy of Balanchine's choreography, and musicians willing to tackle Stravinsky's piercing complexity, the arts world will have its eyes reopened to life's possibilities.
PNB has marvelous dancers; I saw a foretaste of last week's program in early September when Peter Boal and several of the PNB dancers presented portions of the Balanchine ballets at the Guggenheim. Somehow those dancers made that tiny stage look at once both tinier and yet a fit place to host an artistic universe. I missed last week's City Center program because I was traveling to see my son Ian Bethany perform with Ballet Austin, but at least I have the Guggenheim performance to look back upon.
To just do it -- may we all be inspired to the level of vision, discipline, and belief in the value of our work as can be seen in Balanchine and Stravinsky. We don't have to be geniuses to contribute blessing into the world.