Thursday, December 2, 2010

My Dance with a Prima Ballerina

             My best friend, composer Michael Small wrote music for nearly fifty movies; Night Moves (including music and lyrics for the hit song), Comes a Horseman, The Postman Always Rings Twice,  

Klute.   One of his earliest was Pumping Iron with Arnold Schwarzenegger the big pumper. 

                Michael wangled me an invitation to the production party on a Hudson River houseboat the night before the film was released.  

              It was cold and we waited on the 79nd street pier for a launch to take us across the river.  I barely noticed a small, shy young woman buried deep in her parka.  She smiled and I smiled back but we never spoke.

              The party was fabulous; the barge had big picture windows facing the dark river and the towers New York City lights rising out of the water.  There was some fine weed and I fell asleep on a bank of cushions.  
            And was woken up by a kiss.  This delicious girl was pulling me up, urging me to dance with her.  
            Normally dancing with me is dangerous.  My clumping feet can do serious damage.  But on on that night I was a wonderful, inventive dancer, light on my feet. My partner was floating, magic, just out of reach.  The music stopped and she was gone. 

              Who was she I wondered?  "New York City Ballet Prima Ballerina Martine Van Hamel, fool," someone whispered.  Turned out all she wanted from me was to make her boyfriend jealous.  

                Months later I went to see Martine dance Swan Lake.  "I used to dance with her," I told my date.


1 comment:

Sharon said...

Ahhh - the 79th St. Boat Basin. Love the blog - love thinking about Michael. Hope all is well with you.
Check out - you might be amused.
Hope we'll get to see you again one of these days.