Yes, I probably am. The other day I was reading this complaint by Terry Teachout about the arts programming on PBS, and I have to agree with him that documentaries on Pearl Jam and Women Who Rock are really not what we need PBS for. (And Andrea Boccelli with Celine Dione?!?!) But one thing in that list caught my eye: the George Balanchine ballets.
I suppose I have a slightly higher degree of tolerance for ballet than the average man: whereas, on a scale of -10 to 10, most men would probably rate watching ballet at about -5 or so, I might go as high as 2. And I think that's mainly because of happy memories of taking my children to see "The Nutcracker" at Christmas when we lived in Huntsville.
But in recent years my interest has been piqued by two things. One is Terry Teachout's admiration for Balanchine. Here's a guy who likes a lot of the same things I do, and when he described his reaction on first seeing a Balanchine work performed--"Why has no one ever told me about this?", or something to that effect (much like my first reaction to tera misu)--I wondered what he saw in it.
Second, Laura Jacobs' writing about dance in The New Criterion. I used to skip those pieces, but one day I read one, and found it intriguing: again, what does she see in it? Well, she's a very good writer (though sometimes a bit on the precious and self-consciously artful side), and although I really had no interest in the subject, her descriptions made me feel that it would be nice to see what she sees. Which I suppose is what good criticism of good work should do. Here's a sample: "The Nutcracker": A New Awakening, from the March 2011 issue. I have to admit that what this piece really provokes in me is a desire to hear Tchaikovsky's opera Iolanta, which Jacobs says is sort of a companion to "The Nutcracker."
Anyway, the people who know seem to think that Balanchine is, like, the Dylan of dance or something. So I'm planning to watch this performance. It'll be broadcast on October 28 here but I don't know if that holds for other places. You can read more and find a schedule at the PBS site.