The Current State of Affairs 11/27/10 

Mood: So. Much. Better. For the most part. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that it sticks. I have a number of theories as to how this happened. Most importantly, I think that I finally took a critical appraisal of my relationships and activities here in CHS, realized how unsatisfying many of them are, and began to take steps to switch things up. So far it seems to be working. 

Movies: Catch Me If You Can - AWhit has been raving about this movie for years. I finally saw it, and as always, she was right. 

Music: Etta James and some old staples: Sufjan Stevens, the Avett Brothers, Deer Tick, Coldplay, Gomez

Comestibles: Scrambled Egg Sandwiches. Best after-work-midnight-snack ever. 

Libations: Palmetto Espresso Stout - Thank you Aaron at CFB.

Adventures: 

  • Janksgiving 2010 - My first Thanksgiving away from home and not surprisingly, it was a big janky mess. I was at the restaurant until almost 8:00 and only then did festivities begin. Hi-lites included wine in martini glasses, turkey smoked mexican style over a backyard fire of palmetto bark (did you know that palmetto trees are 1) totally unrelated to palm trees and 2) not even trees?! Apparently they are actually giants bushes. Weird.), and to-go packets of salt and pepper. All that being said, the food was incredible, and the company delightful. 
  • Holy-City Bike Co-Op - I have a bicycle again! Two-and-a-half hours spent in a janky little shop over king street and I have a lovely little red and silver road bike, fixed up just for me by the delightful Mr. Flodin. I tried to help, but all I really managed to do was fetch and carry and hold things in place. Ah well. OH. AND THE BEST PART? IT ONLY COST ME $20. I REPEAT: $20. I could not believe my luck. 
  • Along the same lines, a few nights ago I raced a pedi-cab driver halfway up Meeting Street. It was not my idea, but I won by a long shot. He owes me a drink. 

The ballet company is on break until Monday. It’s nice to have a few days off, but I wish I had more to do. Certainly there are plenty of things that I could do: cleaning, mending, Hanukah presents, read, etc… but part of me is still parched for human interaction. Sometimes I’m very torn… 

When we go back we have only a week before our first Nutcracker preview, and less then two weeks before the real things opens. That means only three weeks until we’re off contract, and only four weeks until Lindy Focus. Soooo excited :)

Days in the life of a ballerina, Part 3

I’m baaack. With more fun and games for my (hopefully) devoted following. 

This time I’m going to talk a little bit about the rehearsal process, another area that can differ drastically from company to company, and even more specifically from choreographer to choreographer and from regisseur to regisseur. Choreographers are people who make dances. Taking inspiration from sources numerous and varied, they visualize movements, patterns, and formations, and direct the dancers to realize those visions. Regisseurs (in this context) are people who “set” ballets that have already been performed. Using videos, notes, and usually a highly developed memory, they reconstruct ballets from seasons past, teaching the steps and patterns to the dancers, and making sure that the work is performed as the original choreographer desired. 

On a given day, I may find myself called (asked to show up) for several different flavors of rehearsals. If we are mounting a “new work” (a ballet that exists only in someone’s imagination), then the dancers will be working directly with a choreographer to create the new dance. This process can be incredibly arduous for all parties. Oftentimes the choreographer will have extremely specific and detailed ideas about how they want the piece to look. It can be very difficult to get the dancers to successfully understand and execute those ideas. Try as we might, we can’t always read minds. 

Working on a new ballet usually means doing tiny little sections of choreography over and over again, tweaking things here, cutting things there, etc. etc. Frustration runs high, and tempers often fly. On the dancer’s side, we want to know exactly where to run, exactly which path our arms are following, and exactly how long to hold a given pose. More often then not, the choreographer can’t answer those questions right away and so we all operate in a state of semi-limbo until things are clarified, and the piece begins to come together. 

If we are setting a ballet that has been performed previously, the rehearsal process *can* be somewhat more straightforward. The regisseur, ballet master/mistress, or other company staff member running the rehearsal is usually is familiar with exactly how the steps should be danced, and just needs to show the dancers what they are supposed to be doing. Of course, undoubtedly questions arise, and then there is the problem of remembering exactly what we are supposed to be doing. When you are working on three or four ballets at once, each with their own incredibly specific, particular steps and instructions, one can start to feel like one’s head is going to explode. 

That’s about how my head feels right now. Wheee.

Seriously folks, I need some more ideas for this little series. What else would you be interested in hearing about? 

Nobody knows the Dreidel Song in Charleston…

We open with “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” this weekend. I have mixed feelings about this show. I don’t celebrate Christmas, but clearly I have to pretend to for this production. This doesn’t bother me per se, but it’s a little strange. 

A fair number of carols are sung over the course of the show (I assume that’s what the songs are… I can’t really understand the words in the recorded music, but I can pick out “Christmas” now and again), and the other day I thought I would try and add a little amusement. A couple of years ago, my brother’s acappella group did a a version of “12 days of Christmas” that involved him jumping out in the middle to interrupt with “I had a little dreidel, I made it out of clay..”, to great amusement. I figured I could do the same thing. After the last bow and carol, I struck up my little Chanukah ditty. Everyone in hearing distance just looked at me funny. No one knew what the heck I was singing. Womp Womp.

I admit to being supremely disappointed. I was pleased with my cleverness and thought I was being ironic and amusing. Guess I’m just not in the proverbial Kansas anymore. I kind of thought the Dreidel Song was something that everyone learned in elementary school these days, along with Jingle Bells and various other festive tunes. Clearly I was mistaken. I’ll have to keep my Chanukah festivities to myself. At very least N. got a kick out of it at EBC. 

In other news, things are going well. I’ve got lots to write about, but it’s not going to happen just now. I gotsta go buy a can opener. Later though… Here’s a sneak peak:

1. Dick in a box closet. 

2. EBC

3. Grumblings about the CHS dance scene

4. The amazingness of Miss Tess and the Bon Ton Parade

5. Nutcracker, Willi Wonka, and Carnival of the Animals

Intrigued yet? 

teehee hee.

The Current State of Affairs 10/31/10

 

Hi there. It’s been a while.

All I can say is that nothing has been easy lately. I’ve been busy - the last two weeks have been chock full of rehearsals and engagements, but I’m still wandering somewhere off the path. I have every intention of continuing with my little ballet series, never fear, it might just take a little bit…

In the meantime….

Mood: I really like to be happy. That has been hard lately. I know that everything will get better, but I keep feeling like I’m gettingless capable/responsible, instead of more. Someone asked me if I was depressed the other day. I don’t think that I’m depressed… but I don’t know what it is that I am. 

Music: Acceptance, Deer Tick, John Mayer, Jelly Roll Morton

Movies (can you believe it?!): The September Issue and the Mysterious Case of Benjamin Button (<— As I told a friend, this movie made me want to jump on a train to New Orleans, wear beautiful dresses, and drink sazeracs all night)

Comestibles: Homemade vegetarian chili. I was really proud of myself. I have a picture somewhere…

Discoveries:

  • Love Me Again on Coming St. A sweet little vintage/used clothing shop. I traded a jacket and pair of pants (neither of which I ever wear) for a wool Anne Taylor trumpet skirt and a pair of T-Strap heels (perfect for dancing). Helloo EBC :)

Adventures:

  • Teaching the Charleston to a rep from the Princeton Review as an audition to be an SAT tutor. He was totally into it. We’ll see if I get the job. 
  • Demoing with Dylan at CSDA last night. We threw together a little number to “It’s a Man’s World” and I think it went rather well. Working on getting a video…
  • CBT Debut as a Transylvanian Transvestite in the Rocky Horror Picture Show. My career has reached a new height.

Upcoming Adventures:

  • After a 36 hour freak show involving a strap-on penis in the closet, I am moving into a new apartment sometime early this week. I’m not even sure I’m prepared to say anything else on the topic just now. 
  • EBC EBC EBC!!!!!!!!!
  • Rehearsals have begun for How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Willy Wonka. Apparently we will also start Nutcracker and Carnival of the Animals this coming week.

Rants:

  • Blues Dancing ≠ Club Dancing. If it makes me uncomfortable to watch, it might need another name. 
  • Micro Blues SHOULD NOT BE LED FROM YOUR FINGERTIPS. NOR YOUR HAND. EVER.

My eye still isn’t healed. I’m still not working enough to pay rent. I’m moving to a new apartment but it’s only real draw at this point is its price. Rocky Horror is amusing and all, but I’m getting to the point where I would be game for pointe shoes and a tutu. I get super excited about going out dancing, and inevitably end up supremely disappointed. Sigh.

Too much down. Here’s some up:

  1. I just got a letter from H.Good and an email from my Grandmother. Also talked to AWhit and Blue Bear on the phone.
  2. Was taken out last weekend by a supremely nice boy. The last thing on my agenda right now is dating, but I did have a lovely time. 
  3. Southwest Airlines is beginning service to Charleston on March 13. $200 Roundtrip to Philly, Boston, NYC, Cali… so pleased.

Sayonara Cyber-Web. Happy Halloween :]