They sat together, nearly at right angles to each other. They were comfortable with the topic and with each other, open to inquiry and speculation--both clearly interested in the larger conversation about the art.
Stephanie Reinhart's knowledge of international dance was authoritative, encyclopedic and obviously based on first-hand experience. In contrast, her husband (and ADF co-director) Charles was the raconteur: courtly, avuncular, a wealth of anecdotes.
One would occasionally finish the other's thoughts. But I remember that they didn't look at one another all that much. As they explored their answers, the two gazed off in different directions--into different but clearly complementary worlds. In retrospect, it almost seems they'd made a pact: You look this way, I'll look that, and between us both we'll get it all seen.
The dynamic changed only once during our entire conversation.
Stephanie was reviewing the new choreographers from Argentina. At one point she dropped the thread of the conversation, for a moment. Such things happen.
Charles was suddenly looking at her--and at nothing else in the room, or the world.
She found her place, of course, and the conversation continued, but not before Charles said, with amusement tinged with something else, "I'm the one who's supposed to be having the senior moments. Not you."
For a brief moment they looked at each other, in assessment. Reassured, they continued.
That was last summer.
Stephanie Reinhart died Monday, after nearly a year-long battle with leukemia. She was 58.