Home > Repetiteur > Donald Mahler: Tudor’s Humanity

Donald Mahler: Tudor’s Humanity

Having recently returned from Butler University where I staged Dark Elegies and having now a short breather before heading out again, I have been thinking a great deal about what Mr. Tudor’s works mean to me and what I have experienced working on them with so many of today’s dancers.

It has been tremendously moving and meaningful for me to see and feel how these great works have touched their lives. How they are not only inspired to reach higher levels of artistry but how their hearts and indeed the hearts of the audiences are so moved by Tudor’s humanity and compassionate understanding. What other choreographer has been able to shake us up and bring us to such inexplicable tears of sorrow and tears of joy?

In rehearsals I often find myself unable to speak just from watching his marvelous works unfold. Who could fail to be moved deeply, for example, by the Pas de Deux in Dark Elegies or the final duo in Pillar of Fire, with its expression of love and compassion? I remember once when having completed Echoing of Trumpets, we had the first run through in the studio. As the last note of music faded to silence, everyone in the room – the dancers, ballet mistress, artistic director, management and I – were in tears! Why? Because Mr. Tudor understood people so well and populated his works not with dancers but with real living breathing people, whose experiences evoke and mirror those of the participants on both sides of the footlights.

So, just as with the students at Butler University, dancers come to realize that there is more, much more to dance than tendus and plies; more than circus tricks and certainly more than ego. They are lifted up by Mr. Tudor to a new and I hope infinitely better understanding of themselves and of our wonderful art form.

Categories: Repetiteur
  1. diana levy
    September 27, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Dear Donald, love the stories and photos. What a great website. You and Sally have truly honored Tudor and kept his work alive. They are treasures and do hope they will be appreciated forever.


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