Category Archives: Behind the Scenes

Dance/Music

My name is Elizabeth Crittenden and I am the Company Manager with the Makaroff Youth Ballet. Most know me as B, which I’ve gone by since I can remember. Growing up, I danced at a small studio where I studied tap, jazz, lyrical, ballet, and pointe. My experience at the studio offered to me a group of peers who were committed to spending several hours a week moving and sweating together to create art.

In my first year at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, I had the privilege of taking classes in the dance department and performing with a dance company on campus. The program was primarily focused on contemporary styles of movement, with which I had little experience. I learned how to feel and move in a more abstract way: to truly feel the floor, to be more aware of my weight, to come in full contact with people and items in the space surrounding me.

With majors in music and psychology, I no longer had the time or energy available to participate in the dance program beginning sophomore year. Instead of attending rehearsals in dance studios, I spent that time in the music building. I expected to miss my time dancing, the moving and “sweating together” that I had always cherished. However, the movement that I no longer experienced while dancing I was able to express in my music-making. Participating in band, orchestra, choir, and chamber ensembles were significant elements of my college experience. In these ensembles, I found both the capacity to feel and the intimate togetherness that I so love about the performing arts.

Famous 20th-century ballet choreographer and director George Balanchine was known for demanding that his dancers “See the music, hear the dance.” I carry this with me in all my performing arts experiences, and I know that Ms. Makaroff stresses and educates on the relationship between ballet and music. The duality of dance and music is inevitable; both art forms have and always will exist and grow in tandem. In some languages, the same word means both “music” and “dance”.

I am grateful for this opportunity to reconnect with ballet and for a new role in the performing arts as Company Manager with MYB. I am consistently impressed by the athleticism, passion, knowledge, commitment, and talent possessed by the MYB company dancers. They fully embrace the material put before them, devoting several hours of their week (including weekends) to the idea that movement and music are meaningful to their community and to themselves.

I am ecstatic to introduce MYB’s new website. I hope it will be a resource for past, current, and future followers of MYB’s performances and news, as well as a home-base for all to connect with MYB’s rich history and bright future.

B Crittenden
Company Manager, Makaroff Youth Ballet

Photo: Molly Murakami, www.mollymurakami.com

Photo: Molly Murakami, www.mollymurakami.com