Children shine at Reid, photos capture event
To the editor:
Eagle photographer Stephanie Zollshan did a masterful job with the program presented by the collaboration of the Albany Berkshire Ballet (ABB) and the Norman Rockwell Museum at Reid Middle School on Oct. 13. Photographing dance is difficult, but Stephanie took a great series of pictures.
As a member of the board of ABB, I was fortunate to sit in on this performance. The choreography and the dance were wonderful and I learned much from Tom Daly's talk on Norman Rockwell, his history, and his art. But perhaps the most important thing I came to focus on was the audience.
These 7th and 8th grade kids sat quietly and respectfully throughout the performance, definitely counter to my expectations for this age group. The most intriguing part, however, came during the question and answer session at the end. The dancers sat on the stage and the kids raised their hands to ask questions like, "How old were you when you started to dance?," or "How long did you have to practice the dances,?" or "Is this your regular job?". The answers told them that these are just regular people going through life, but doing interesting things.
I could see that behind these questions were the deeper, hidden ones that the children were asking themselves: "Could I be a dancer,?" "Could I be an artist,?" "Could I be a set designer?," or even, perhaps, "Could I be a news photographer?"
A performance like this is beautiful to watch and informative, but its real value comes in presenting an opportunity for a child to ask, "Could I?". That is the hard question that each child must answer for himself before he becomes an adult.
Richard Hiam, Pittsfield