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4/21/2007

Hillbilly Banjo Ballet Revolution.

By Ryan. Filed under: TweedBlog.

For the past four years I have worked as an acompianist for the School of Ballet Chicago at 218 S. Wabash in downtown  Chicago. This has put me in contact with principle Goffrey dancers who’s children are in my classes, (we were in the same building for years) as well as many other proffessional dancers from Alvin Ailey company, to the director of Deeply Rooted, and  Luna Negra. In fact I have been submerged in the dance world for many years having worked as an acompianist for Collumbia College, River North, Zephyre, Hubbard St, and have two (legitimate children, which are both mine), with a proffessional dancer. The last time I was on a New York subway I ran into at 4 or 5 different dancers that I knew from different jobs. I have trained with highly regarded musicians, and am currently surrounded by old school Russian ballet piano players.

So what’s the big deal, all of this sounds rather normal for say a pianist. But I am a banjoist. I love Scruggs, and play many a fiddle tune for tendus, and chasses’ as well as classical guitar peices from Sor, to Bach, having learned how to adapt guitar music to the banjo. I must say that reactions to seeing a banjo in a point class turns many a head. In fact like, much of my past, people think I am lying or crazy when I tell them about it.

The truth may be that this marks a point when the hillbillies like their Irish ansesters after the fall of Rome, are reintroducing the masses to the classics during these dark ages, and the fall of the Amercan empire. And like our Irish ansesters the muslims will probably get the credit. This is evident in that “Hillbilly Teeth” can be purchased in the the vending machine at the Pizza Hut near my house, and movies like “Joe Dirt” dont seem offensive to people. If Pizza Hut sold “Jungle Bunny Hair or “Jew Noses” they would be sued and it would be national news. Poor whites are the outgroup in the current politics of hate. Banjo players are at the very bottom of this class. I have coined the term “lower leisure class” to describe this demograhic.

The Russians are very concerned about banjo in the ballet class, but they are are dying off and replacements can not be found. Maybe the banjo is reaching  the appex of Western Culture and we banjo players are the new cultural warriors bringing civilization back the barbarians, or western culture is in much worse decline than we thought. Either way I have a job.