Echt ballet, echt American Ballet Theatre, 1987.

Just came across a snapshot I’d taken in Los Angeles in March of that year.

I was there on some Radical Rags business. ABT was there as part of its annual marathon four-month tour, that usually began in Washington, D.C. in December and ended there in April. Grueling for the dancers, but also great because they had so many performances.

Tchernichova and Leslie Browne were sharing a motel suite in Wilshire, some ways from the Shrine Auditorium, where they were in residence for a full three weeks. Ballet still had cultural heft then, crossover oomph. It was during ABT’s run that Martine van Hamel filmed an excerpt from Sleeping Beauty for the movie Little Nikita. Together with ABT’s Michael Owen, Robert Hill, Christine Dunham.

In their hotel suite, I saw an anonymous motel bureau enlivened by a incongruous concatenation: Browne’s flowers from the night before, plopped into a garbage pail drafted into makeshift service as a vase. And next to it an array of pointe shoes lined up in formation.

It was so echt I had to take a snapshot. May put it up but it’s too dark perhaps to register much.

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