You call that ballet?

Last year I was asked to give a brief onstage introduction to one of my choreographies. Afterwards I walked down into the audience in full view and took my seat as the lights dimmed. Seven minutes or so into my piece (at about the moment pictured here) , a man sitting right behind me exclaimed in outrage,“You call that ballet?”. My face got hot and I worried for the rest of the piece that he’d have more to say. He didn’t, but the experience stuck with me because I was surprised by how much I had wanted to please. To please everyone. It made me think about the relationship between artist and audience. Is it pandering if I hope people relate to my work? Many wonderful artists have been u

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