Reine Duell Bethany - Author and Illustrator
My Blog

Reopening the World through Balanchine

MY life is expanding in a different direction from dance. This new direction is god and right and meant to be. I'm a gifted writing teacher, I have discovered, and my desire to learn more and more about teaching writing will, eventually, work together with my desire to help children stay out of gangs. I am keenly aware that what happens in school may have direct influence on the temptation to join a gang. Also, I am keenly aware that the early stages of learning to read and write have enormous influence on how children handle schoolwork, and whether they attach a sense of failure or success to scholastic endeavors. My movement into young adult novels is part of this whole effort. This writing, teaching, and research on writing is profoundly fulfilling to me.
     Even writing my Balanchine bio was a matter of writing for me, more than a matter of dance, albeit the writing was informed by my own life as a dancer and as the sister of two New York City Ballet dancers (Daniel and Joseph Duell). 
     YET--in the midst of writing and research, I cannot help but return over and over to dance -- and to Balanchine. From seeing my own son, Ian Bethany, dance Marius Petipa's choreography for the Bluebird in Ballet Austin's Sleeping Beauty, to burying myself in the wonder and depth of the writing and photography in Ballet Review, to reading Frank Ohman's autobiography Balanchine's Dancing Cowboy, to watching Dance Theatre of Harlem's Michaela DePrince executing impossibly beautiful ballet at a world class level -- I marvel in the power of the gift of movement. I revel in the joy of seeing how much Balanchine did to awaken America and the world to the expressive power of ballet.

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