When selecting music, teachers and choreographers have to find something that complements and enhances the work. Music and dance should correspond perfectly. As Balanchine most famously said, "Dance is music made visible." And, "See the music; hear the dance." An added challenge for teachers in class, however, is picking the right tracks that will keep kids focused and engaged.
Here are 10 teachers on how they approach the, at times, arduous process of choosing music.
Finis Jhung, Ballet for Beginners
Jhung leading a class at his Ailey Intensive in February. Photo by Stephen von der Lanitz, courtesy of Jhung
When choosing music for beginners, Finis Jhung takes a thoughtful approach. "Beginners need beautiful slow adagios," he says, "which adult beginners find relaxing and meditative, so they have time to think about what they are doing." He goes on to admit, "I stopped using live pianists for these adult-beginner classes because most pianists cannot sustain four-minute-long adagios, and they cannot match the fullness of orchestrated music."