From Dance Informa
When I was younger I grew up dancing at a school that used ballet class music from CDs. The songs became intimately familiar, every track memorized, and every song seeming to fit just right to the steps our teacher had set. Of course, I wondered how the artistic director for that album chose the music, but it seemed like they must choose from an endless list of perfect songs adapted from the old musicals or older classics. When I grew older and took my regular classes with live accompaniment, I realized that the success of the combination or even the whole class could ride on the choices of the pianist, and I wondered regularly just how they accomplished that symbiosis between step and note.
To find out more, I spoke with one of my current favorite class pianists, Patrick Gallagher. Patrick is young compared to most of the accompanists I have known, but he is also one of the few who when I see him in class I know it’s going to be a good one. Originally from Ohio, Patrick won first prize at the Buckeye State Piano Auditions at age 16 and moved to New York to attend Sarah Lawrence College, where he studied both music and dance. This combined artistic background gives him a unique insight into the musical demands of class.
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