Susan Stroman, for whom I have spent most of my career working, brings me such joy. She is, quite simply, a great person. I have performed in two Broadway shows and two movies for her as well as last year’s Kennedy Center Honors. But every now and then I get to spend time in a studio with her as she creates a new ballet or musical. Last month was my third time working with Stro on a new ballet. I enjoy her process and it brings out the best in me. We have a great short hand and with each idea incorporated, or jettisoned, I can narrow in on what will serve her vision. With all of her preparation and clear direction Stroman still manages to make me feel like a contributor to her vision. She takes such pride in the experience of creating. And does it with joy and humor and such care; such empathy. Hers is the safest rehearsal room in NYC – and possibly the funniest. We laugh. We dance. We laugh some more. There is always a physical joke or character nuance that will crack us up. It’s Laugh and dance. Dance and laugh. Here’s the release from NYCB:
“Highlighting the season will be a new ballet by Broadway choreographer and director Susan Stroman, who will create a companion piece to her 1999 work for NYCB, Blossom Got Kissed. The winner of multiple Tony Awards for her work on such Broadway shows as The Producers, Contact and Crazy for You, this will be the third work that Stroman has created for NYCB. She last worked with NYCB in 2004 when she created the full-length Double Feature.”
Blossom Got Kissed is about an uncoordinated wallflower who finds her inner ballerina when she falls for a triangle player from the onstage jazz band. The music is by Duke Ellington. This new ballet, For the Love of Duke, is a companion piece to Blossom, also using Ellington’s music. It’s a trio; a hilarious love triangle that premieres on January 28th, 2011. I can’t wait to see the amazing dancers at New York City Ballet dance Stro’s latest creation.