16 September 2009

Mirabile dictum: Virgil Thomson

"Dancers are auto-erotic and entirely without conversation."

So said Virgil Thomson (1896-1989) whose quick wit informed his dual careers as composer and music critic. Thomson lived a full and fascinating life and - lucky for us - described it all with delectable aplomb. For more, you could start here. (Many thanks to the brilliant GG for introducing me to Mr. Thomson.)

Photo: © Leonard de Raemy/Sygma/Corbis


Diane Dorrans Saeks said...


Interesting to see his image.
In modern terms, his is not a great dancer's body...a little chunky, no? and the arms rather weedy.
But he has lots of brio and dash.
Merce Cunningham, who recently died and therefore knows of what he speak, said that sadly dancers do not leave anything tangible--no books or music folios or paintings. Perhaps that is the poignancy of dance--that it is so ephemeral and therefore like our own lives...
Auto-erotic? Perhaps narcissistic is what he meant, or self-involved. Would seem to be a job requirement.
happy days, www.thestylesaloniste.com

Elise said...

Wonderful ! If you are interested in dancers I have a whole site dedicated to them...

Thankyou so much for this wonderful post and I'm loving the rest of your blog too - best wishes

pve design said...

Oh, how perfect for today as I am hopping in to the city to attend the NY Philharmonic. My ears are ready to be whisked away!

Anonymous said...

OMG I'm totally on a dancer diet...tissues and water! LOL! We miss you!!


Karena said...

Ballet is an art form I adore, for all its beauty, and yes the ethereal feeling one has when listening to the troops dance to music by the philharmonic.