Music: Feet First

Brooding before a video-tape machine, a cigarette drooping from his mouth, Eliot Feld was working and reworking the choreography of his 1972 ballet of Stravinsky's A Soldier's Tale. Two dancers stood by. Finally, Feld snapped off the TV and nodded to the pianist. Spinning out a series of steps, he recited, "Passé, chassé, saut de basque, heel, toe." On the next run-through, he renamed the steps: "Strength, will, talent, musicality, perseverance, time."

Feld has built a career on those six nouns. His dance company's current Manhattan season is S.R.O. and has been extended. At...

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