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Several decades ago, a leading U.S. weekly, perhaps Time, conducted an interview with the singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. At one point, the interviewer, noting that Dylan wrote the haunting lyrics for his own songs, asked him if he considered himself a poet.
“Nope,” Dylan said.
Well, then, the interviewer went on, he must consider himself a composer, since he wrote all his own music, too.
“Nope,” Dylan said.
But, the perplexed interviewer wondered, if Dylan didn’t consider himself a poet or a songwriter, then what was he?
And Dylan said, “I’m a dancer.”
-Overheard in line while waiting to be seated for a performance at the Brooklyn Arts Exchange, January 7, 2004.
Ballerina and choreographer Ruthanna Boris remembers this home remedy that dancers of the ceaselessly touring Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo used when they had to perform “white lots of stuff streamed out of the nose during pirouettes”:
-Set out several sets of nightwear.
-Prepare your bed to be ready to jump into.
-Draw a bath so hot that you can barely tolerate it.
-While the bath is running, prepare a mixture of hot water, lemon, honey, and you favorite hard liquor. (The alcohol can be eliminated; however, she says that the Ballet Russe dancers preferred Jack Daniels.)
-Set the drink on the edge of the tub.
-Get into the bath, and, while you lie there until your skin puckers, slowly slip the entire drink.
-When you get out of the bath, wrap yourself in a big towel. Do not attempt to dry yourself off completely. Instead, throw off the first set of nightclothes and jump into bed.
-Soon, you will begin to sweat profusely. Throw off the first set of nightclothes and get into the second set.
Continue this process throughout the night, until you’ve run out of nightclothes. In the morning, you’ll find that “you’re either cured, or you’re dead.”
-Mindy Aloff, interview.
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