The original ballet "Latrec" by Choreographer and Director of the Nashville City Ballet, Peggy Burks, featured her as a composer in 1984. She was class pianist for The Nashville Ballet for 20 years. She has played master and company classes for ABT, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Eliot Feld Ballet, Harkness, Ballet Dallas, Alvin Ailey, Bournonville and many others too numerous to name. She has also been on the faculty of RDA/SERBA and associated with Tennessee Association of Dance. And she has been on the summer faculty of the Ballet Arkansas summer program, playing for Susan Jaffee, Elaine Thomas, and others.
She is currently the pianist for Centenial Youth Ballet.
In 1995 she released
New Piano Music for Ballet Class,
followed by her second
Piano Music for Ballet Class II and
Piano Music for the Young Dancer.
New Piano Music for the Dedicated Dancer with Susan Jaffe is her newest CD
Peggy Burks (Dance Advisor on New Piano Music for Ballet Class and New Piano Music for Ballet Class II) is a retired professional dancer who is currently a ballet instructor and choreographer at Vanderbuilt University. She is the Founding Artistic Director The Nashville City Ballet (presently The Nashville Ballet). Ms. Burk has also been teaching at The Knox County Performing Arts Magnet Schools and on the faculty at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Each CD is $25.00
An Open Letter to Teachers
(from Patience Clements)
When I was 15 years old, I got a job with my modern dance teacher's company, in Georgetown, Washington D.C.. The director was kind, but since I was really green, she gently let me go, and told me to come back in a year or so. And so, a ballet accompanist was born.
My first ballet school was the McLean School of Ballet (which is still around btw) and the only problem there was that the director Molly Vick encouraged me to play things like "The Nearness of You" for adagio, which went against the grain of my piano teacher. She, Jean Butler, was the supreme ballet accompanist. She could improvise in the style of any composer...... creating (on the spot) classically-inspired pieces that could take your breath away. To Ms. Butler, playing jazz standards for ballet class was a little wacky. Not that she couldn't wail on some jazz. Salsa, too.
But I learned at an early age that whenever it takes to get a dancer through (the arduous rigor of class) is what works. Having taken a class (a little bit...I look SO WRONG) I know how hard it is...and I've watched you train your students... seen to the need to be continually inspired.... to breathe art into the everyday class. Since those days in McLean, I've played for Master classes for everybody who would have me..... ABT, Pacific Northwest BAllet, Bournonville, Eliot Feld, Alvin Ailey, and many, many others.
I have been on the faculty of RDA/SERBA, TAD (Tennessee Association of Dance) and am currently company pianist for the Nashville Ballet. I am also a singer-songwriter, and play recording sessions in Nashville. I am lucky enough to have access to a recording studio with a GREAT PIANO!
So this is the second CD of my compositions. Derived from my experience in class, and my long standing love affair with classical and romantic music. I guess what I'm trying to do is be like my teacher. create a little world-premier performance for each exercise.... like we all would have our students perform in a perfect world. Lastly, there are one or two contemporary sounding (jazzy) pieces on this CD but not enough to worry my piano teacher!
The music is a result of the collective inspiration my teachers have given me over the years. Thank you so much.