LOURDES LOPEZ / ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

A Retiring Reverie

Post by Principal Dancer Deanna Seay

Deanna

As a ballet student, you never think that the day will actually come when your career as a dancer might become a thing of the past. Caught up with the rigorous challenges of training, you are more anxiously conscious of wanting your career to begin. Then, you find yourself in a company, dancing every night, waking early to take class and rehearse, and time goes by. In the middle of it all, another ten years seem to be so much time to enjoy what you love to do, and with all the work to accomplish- the ballets to learn, the performances to prepare for, the endless strings of Nutcrackers, it doesn’t seem possible as you dance through your twenties and into your thirties that a career could ever end. Suddenly, though, the day comes when you realize it is time to move on, and you are left with years of memories, and the realization that time and careers do pass.

This is where I find myself at this moment, part way through my twenty-first season here with Miami City Ballet. I decided, a few months ago, that I would retire from the stage at the end of this season. I have spent the dancer’s equivalent of a lifetime here; indeed, I feel that, here, as an artist, I was “born,” grew up, matured, and am now facing what feels like the death of my life as a ballet dancer. Somewhere I read that dancers experience two deaths: the “death” of their careers and then their true death – and now I understand. Maybe death is a strong word, but for me, it acknowledges the completion of a journey and the chance to move on.

What can I say after two decades of dance? I have had an amazing time. I have been lucky to enjoy the career I have had- I am not sure it would have been this way anywhere else. I have been allowed to dance to the divine strains of Tchaikovsky more than my fair share, I think, as well as those of Stravinsky, Mozart, Delibes, Prokofiev, Ravel, Faure, Chopin and countless others. The music that moves our souls- I was granted the chance to dance to that- to live- to exist.

All of the ballets I will dance this year hold special meaning for me, and to be able to visit them again before I leave the stage is a special gift. And so I am looking forward to a season of little private moments of goodbye. Dancing my last performances of Company B and Allegro Brillante during the Kravis weekend, words such as,”…and this is the last time…” would float through my head, and the lump in my throat would start to swell. Each moment became a private goodbye to that part of my on-stage world. Bittersweet though it is, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

DS Diam.2
Deanna Seay in “Diamonds”. Photo by Steven Caras

Category: Announcements, Dancers

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6 Responses

  1. cubanmiamiboy says:

    I had the pleasure to see your Kravis performance of AB, along with that in Broward. If anything, I just want to add that for me, personally, it has been a pleasure to watch your dancing in this later stage of your career, where your artistic maturity can be felt pouring out of your skin, and going beyond the technical challenges of the choreographies. Coming from a place where ballerinas used to danced well in their late 30's and even 40's, it is very rewarding to see a mature dancer offering that different approach that only the onstage experience does. I really wish you the best in your future, and again…THANKS FOR ALL THAT DANCING DEANNA!!

  2. jsmu says:

    Ms. Seay, you have given us so many divine performances that to enumerate them all would take pages. I want to thank you especially for your Bizet adagio and for your “Diamonds”–both lapidary. We'll miss you beyond words.

  3. Joan Hazirjian says:

    I was in the audience at Kravis yesterday (4/18/10) and during Who Cares the soloist in blue fell and appeared to be injured. I do not know for sure if it was Deanna Seay, but am guessing that it was and am concerned as to her condition, whoever she is. I was thinking, how terrible for a dancer to be injured and could it end her career, and now, here I read that she had decided to end it anyway – how ironic. Is there any way that I can find out what happened to that dancer? I used to dance way back in the 50s and studied with Martha Graham etc. so it is a heart breaker. Please respond

  4. Joan Hazirjian says:

    I was in the audience at Kravis yesterday (4/18/10) and during Who Cares the soloist in blue fell and appeared to be injured. I do not know for sure if it was Deanna Seay, but am guessing that it was and am concerned as to her condition, whoever she is. I was thinking, how terrible for a dancer to be injured and could it end her career, and now, here I read that she had decided to end it anyway – how ironic. Is there any way that I can find out what happened to that dancer? I used to dance way back in the 50s and studied with Martha Graham etc. so it is a heart breaker. Please respond

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