Monday, June 28, 2010

PBS POV documentary on Jock Soto (New York City Ballet), "Water Flowing Together"

Water Flowing Together” is a documentary film, directed by Gwendolen Cates, about New York City Ballet principle dancer Jock Soto, of Puerto Rican and Navaho ancestry, with much of his upbringing in Navoho country. His father was quite supportive of his ballet. The PBS Indepedent Lens link is here.  (I know, it's easy to mix Independent Lens up with the similar POV series.)

Later in New York he would live in “grungy as can be” communal circumstances (I don’t know if it was the East Village) to go to school.

He would befriend Jesse Jackson and particularly Andy Warhol.

The film emphasizes the physical contrast between New York and his homeland on the Arizona high country plateau, in the same general area as the Grand Canyon.

The film also shows some of the rehearsal and makeup scenes in the life of someone in ballet.

The film mentions his partner and gay lifestyle, but does not make a lot of it. However, the film is part of PBS’s POV Pride Month observance.

As he approached 20+ years in ballet, he decided to retire “while he was ahead”. He went to school to be a caterer, and would eventually run a catering business with his partner, but he actually was shocked that you needed a high school diploma to go to a cooking school.

The last night of his career indeed featured a grand performance at the ballet.

YouTube video of Jock at the American Ballet Winter Ball (from PlumTV).

I'll add a personal aside. In ninth grade (1958), my mixed chorus teacher (female) had actually composed a piece called "Ballet Music".  I sightread it at school. I don't remember much about it, except that it was in B-flat and 6/8 time and was rather lively.

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