A celestial event today, a solar eclipse in which the moon passes between the sun and Earth and blocks all or part of the sun, mesmerizing the public for a good two to three hours. This cosmic happening spurred a memory by Gary Moore, a former dancer with the Harkness, San Francisco and Pennsylvania Ballets, now based in Colorado. The story concerns George Balanchine’s ‘Serenade’ created in 1934 to Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings.
Years ago when I toured with Pennsylvania Ballet we were in Charleston, SC at the time of a total eclipse. We were on stage tech-ing ‘Serenade’ when someone ran in and shouted “It’s happening!” All of us, in full costume, grabbed our eclipse gear and ran outside as the birds started to go crazy. The darkness descended, the sky turned a deep deep dark blue. The stars came out. It was incredible.
On a personal note, I first saw “Serenade” danced by the Pennsylvania Ballet. It was, of course, exquisite. The ballet, which plumbs a pipeline into deep eternity, fits with today’s profound phenomenon of nature.