Kathryn Ricketts, Edmond Kilpatrick & Pale Dry SherryMonday, October 23, 2006
On Friday I went to La Bodega with my friend Paul Leisz. Hector, our Guatemalan barman, poured me the last glass from a bottle of La Gitana Manzanilla. This is a pale and extremely dry sherry that James Michener described in his book on Spain, Iberia as, "...for Manzanilla is one of Spain's noblest wines, a sherry so pale and dry that it seems hardly to be a liquid but rather a delicate spirit." Spanish Sherries use a system called a solera. A very old cask of sherry is on the top of a row of casks with younger and younger wines. Small quantities from the old are poured into the newer ones. My Gitana manzanilla had elements from a sherry hundreds of years old; diluted, perhaps, but still there.
It ocurred to me that when I photographed Sandrine Cassini a few years ago, since she had danced at the Paris Opera Ballet that there were elements in her of Marie Van Goethem Degas' little ballerina. And now I find that two of Rebecca's dance teachers at the Arts Umbrella are dancers I have photographed before and who bring with them their own version of the solera method. Kathryn Ricketts, who teaches Rebecca Pre-Character dance, I photographed with Grant Strate, the grand old man of dance in Canada who was one of the original dancers and choreographers of the National Ballet of Canada. Ricketts studied modern dance at Simon Fraser University when Strate was director for the Centre for the Arts there. She is now the Artistic Director of Vancouver's Main Dance. Rebecca's other teacher (jazz) is Ballet BC's Edmond Kilpatrick seen here with his ex-wife Victoria.
An Englishman once described the solera principle: "Young unblended wines are the letters from which words are formed, while the solera represents a completed word. Sherry, then, is the poem made from these words." I only wonder what Rebecca will become some day with a solera background that is in spades.