Saturday, May 31, 2008

ailey student showing tomorrow

Tomorrow afternoon is the little student showcase I'm in for the Ailey Extension program...

If anyone's in the city and bored, you should come :) It's at the Ailey studio at 5pm. Just come in and they'll show you where to go...we're expecting a much bigger crowd than the last time, so it's exciting.

In other news, today was another busy ballet day. For ABT intensive we had 2 seminars this morning - one on pointe shoes with the expert from Capezio, and another on the new ABT national curriculum (which I have lots to say about but don't have time at the moment).

Then I took my usual Saturday classes I do, running from studio to studio (in the rain...I got SOAKED running from buying shoes at sansha to running to city center and then to ailey!).

Looking forward to tomorrow's showcase even though I could really use a Sunday off from dancing after this crazy week, haha. Ah well, it should be fun.

Friday, May 30, 2008

long abt day, great nycb night

After the fourth looong day of ABT's intensive today, I spent a really nice night at NYCB.

An ABT update first...we had modern class today (which wasn't particularly thrilling for me...I'll stick with ballet for the moment please) and we've been working quick and hard in rehearsals for the showing at the end. Swan Lake is coming along...I'm a "little swan" so I'm slightly separate from the big corps some of the time, which is nice. Not sure yet if we'll get to do the variation though (I did little swans back one summer when I was like 13! a lifetime ago...). It's pretty though. Also the contemporary piece we're doing I really like. Some of it is our own choreography with a smaller group, and one girl in my trio is from France and barely speaks English! It was really interesting to work to put movement together with the language proved that dance is the universal language because the teacher said our group was one of the strongest in terms of communication and getting it together, haha. Thought that was amusing.

Moving on.

I ran straight from the studio to the theater for a dinner event at NYCB that my editor at ExploreDance invited me to. My friend and I enjoyed a mini buffet while listening to Daniel Ulbricht and Erica Pereira (she went to BAE before me) speak about Jerome Robbins and the ballets on tonight's program.

THEN the highlight of my week - we got to take a short tour of backstage, and since whatever rehearsal was going on had just finished, we got to WALK ONSTAGE at State Theater!!! Wow. It was amazing. Like the moment I walked onstage at The Met last spring as a super with ABT. Just wow. Both theaters are gorgeous, and the Met is much bigger in the wings and immediately offstage, but State Theater is so beautiful. What a fun opportunity. Now if I could only get to dance up there, haha.

While chatting in the lobby I ran into fellow blogger Ariel. Nice to see you!

The performance was great, of course. Our tickets were actually for the 3rd ring, where I've never sat before. Press tix are usually in the orchestra, and if I do student rush it's usually way up at the top in the back rows. The 3rd ring, dead center, is like the perfect seat.

My real review will come for ExploreDance soon. "Interplay" was fun and energetic. "Ives, Songs" was as long and dull as when I reviewed it in the winter season. "I'm Old Fashioned" was glamorous and one of my new favorite Robbins works!

More details of the evening and performance to come.

Busy weekend ahead even though I'm beat from finishing my first week of the intensive. Tomorrow we have seminars to attend in the morning (one about pointe shoes, the other about the new ABT national curriculum). Then being the crazy person that I am, I'm taking my usual weekend classes that I take, even though my aching foot is telling me I should take a day off since I have the time.

Ah well.

Sunday showing at Ailey, then back to the grind at ABT all next week!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

abt intensive seminar

Today at the end of a full (very full) day of classes at the ABT intensive, we had a 'meet the artist' seminar with Kate Lydon, former ABT dancer and current Editor in Chief at Dance Spirit Magazine. She's so nice!

She spoke about her dance career and her transition into writing and editing. Given my experience I was eager to hear what she had to say. You know that she is still pursuing her college degree?! And you know what I remembered, I might be wrong but I believe Pointe Mag's EIC hasn't (or didn't when she started there) completed her degree either. Interesting, no?

Kate was really inspiring to listen to. Her transition into her second career after feeling burnt out from ballet was interesting to hear about.

One thing she mentioned that was particularly interesting was that she believes negative reviews are not at ALL beneficial to anyone. She spoke about how dance reviews should be trying to get people to support the arts and a bad review isn't going to get them to go see the ballet.

While I think this makes sense in itself, I kind of disagree...I think negative criticism, when done respectfully (that's the key here), can help the art form improve and can aid choreographers in improving their work. I also don't know about the idea that reviews should be PR, trying to sell tickets. That's what features and interviews and previews are for, I think. Reviews need to tell it like it is, and usually they come after a short run of performances is over, so they can't sell tickets anyway. Just rambling here but it's something to think about.

In the seminar she also had the big group of us watch a few people improvise and then write down a description of the movement. It was a fun exercise to hear people's interpretations.

My body is shot from the past few days, but the intensive is going well. In addition to rehearsing Swan Lake we're doing a more contemporary piece with Brian Reeder (who just got a good review from Claudia in the Times for his piece for Studio Company). It's a cool piece and we get some freedom with the choreography to add our own ideas.

In addition to all this I'm going to a dinner event and performance of NYCB tomorrow night, which I'm looking forward to. Review of that to come.

Plus Ailey student showing on Sunday.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

starting abt intensive

Yesterday was the first day of the ABT intensive I'm doing for the next 3 weeks. It's like a marathon for me because as usual I'm doing a million other things IN ADDITION to dancing 8 hours a day, haha.

It's going well so far...details to come when I have more time this weekend.
We're doing Act II Swan Lake for the showing at the end, and we've already started rehearsing.

It's kind of odd being back in strict black leotard/pink tights mode after the freedom I've had the past year. And class is very stylized in the new ABT curriculum, which is somewhat hard to adapt to after you build certain habits (like where the head goes at barre, etc). It's good though.

That's keeping me busy the next few days, in addition to working and going to a NYCB dinner event/performance Friday.
Student showing at Ailey on Sunday, also, which I'm looking forward to.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

a novel length update on everything else

So I finally had some time tonight (admittedly, while killing time at work before my next assignment...) to write about recent events I've missed blogging about. There's a LOT to say and I apologize for the length and disorganization, haha. If you care to read it all, great. If you don't, I totally don't blame you - it's all a little insane, haha. But it helps me just to get it all down anyway. So here it is: a novel length update on everything that's been going on that I promised to describe in an older post:

-end of my writing on dance course
As you know, last month I took a 6 week Writing on Dance Course with NY Times Dance Critic Claudia La Rocco at DTW. It was one of the most interesting and exciting classes I've taken in my intense college/graduate education thus far, and it didn't even count for anything except my own enrichment.

It was so great. Each week we had an assignment to see a show and write about it in a different way - in a specific word count, bending certain rules, etc. It really got my creative juices flowing and got me so much more engaged in reviewing performances than I had been previously. From the conversations and the workshopping of different people's writing I started to notice different aspects both of dance and of criticism that are really exciting to me. I was really inspired each week and since it has ended I've missed it! Haha I guess that's a bit odd but not really...I'm super quiet by nature and didn't say much during the discussions, but taking it all in - everyone's opinions, creativity, passion for dance from all perspectives - was such a unique and great experience. I hope DTW continues to offer that kind of course because there is little outside opportunty to disucss the art form on that level (which is a shame).

I churned out quite a few reviews during the course and definitely think it has improved my writing compared to those I wrote beforehand.

-numerous recent auditions
Ah yes, spring is audition season. Ballet company -type auditions were early this year but I skipped out on most of those, largely because I've made up my mind that it's not worth it to me to be an unpaid, overworked, under-performed (made up word, yes) apprentice or student with a ballet company in a smaller city or town when I can do that and SO much more here in New York City. I have too much to be thankful for in my life here and now that what I once wanted makes no sense anymore.

SO I have been only doing auditions for things around here. As you saw from previous posts, the most successful one thus far has been for Radio City's Christmas Spectacular. I'm super excited about that and I want it SO much, but I won't know for sure until July. I'm trying to be optimistic (a concept often lost to me, unfortunately) without getting my hopes up too much.

-my "choreographic debut" with the high school kids i taught
The kids I was teaching all this semester did really well with their performance. It was my official little 'NY choreographic debut' and I was pleased with it. I wasn't able to make it to their dress rehearsal so I was a bit nervous for them the night of the show, but it went really really well. I was proud of them and it felt good to see my work completed with lights and costumes and the works. They brought me up onstage to introduce me and give me flowers - a nice touch :). Teaching has really been a side thing for me to this point but it's definitely something (one of MANY things, good God) I'd like to pursue eventually.

-seeing my old studio's spring performance
Since I am still in charge of their newsletter even though I finished an issue just recently, I got to attend my old studio's spring performance. I'm working on the next issue for June and had to squeeze in time to catch the show between everything else going on, but I'm glad I did. All my former classmates were wonderful. It's so funny to watch like that as an outsider when I was once so involved myself (the past 2 years). But I wasn't really nostalgic or wishing I was a part of it this time, which is odd. It felt right to be in the audience cheering them on and writing about it like I've been doing for a while now. They deserve the spotlight.

-additional blogging opportunity
Amongst new endeavors for the summer, a new website has asked me to blog for them. I know, I continue to add projects endlessly but I do try to see them through and I only take things I think are worth it (okay, maybe I say yes to everything that comes at me, but it's all worth it so far). recently launched and I'll be writing for them. It's a social network kind of thing along with dance videos and such. Interesting...check it out.

-not getting one of my dream jobs
This was a big one. Being the obsessive person that I am, I'm constantly on both audition and job websites looking for my next opportunity. Since I just completed my internship at The New Yorker, my 4th magazine internship and 6th internship overall, I've come to the logical conclusion that my days of unpaid labor are largely over and done with, haha. And what's the next step after that and graduation?

Well, it SHOULD be a full time job, I suppose. Unless you're only 19 and in graduate school. But that didn't stop me from applying to the most ideal entry level job ever for my situation. I don't want to specify exact details just yet, but it's exactly the position I would want in publishing...but maybe, like, 5 years from now.

I was asked in for an interview (a story in itself...) and I seemed to have a decent change of getting it. The problem: it would have meant a full time job, which means no time for dancing. The long week I waited to hear back about the job practically killed me - on the one hand, I wanted it so bad because it's exactly what I've been preparing for and a great step towards my one career. On the other, much stronger hand I couldn't bear the thought of sitting at a desk full time at this point in my life, and giving up my first love. No I could never quit dancing all together, but basically getting this job would have meant (to me, anyway) the end of my pursuit of a professional career.

Many have told me this wouldn't have been the case and no decision means forever and blah blah blah, but it was tough for me to consider. Luckily, or unluckily depending on my mood, I didn't get the job. I'm glad for the moment because I can continue trying to dance for now, but part of me is a bit lost in thinking what will come next. I've been going crazy over this one...more details someday when I get the courage, haha.

-being interviewed for the big website, one of the sites I check regularly for publishing jobs (ironically, where I found the aforementioned failed dream job listing) contacted me for an interview to be posted on their site. I found it kind of humorous honestly, because I feel like that site is so professional and high status and I'm just a (relative) newbie to the media industry. BUT the writer spoke with me about arts journalism and starting a career in the field. It was really interesting to hear myself talk about this, haha, because I'm still navigating my way and trying to launch myself in this dying area. I'll be interested to see the final article in a few weeks, and will post a link when it's up.

-official college graduation ceremony (and getting sick beforehand!)
Just as a funny milestone of the past month: I went to my official Marymount Manhattan College graduation ceremony at Avery Fisher Hall (!) a few weeks ago, even though I officially graduated months ago. It was amusing for many reasons, but mostly because I got really sick that morning for no apparent reason. It was not fun, but funny in hindsight. I was quite miserable the whole day, which was unfortunate because that's one of the first "real life" milestones I've experienced. My high school graduation was a joke because it was held in a ballet studio with 4 other graduates. Prom was equally lame. Moving away to college was unmomentous because I had been away since age 14. So finishing and sitting through the ceremony was kind of big, haha. I felt like I was at Hogwarts or something with all the professors in uniforms and such. Maybe I'm revealing a bit too much of myself in this post, hahaha but I don't care.

-other teachers i've been taking class with
Since my fabulous teacher went away all this month I started branching out and taking ballet class with numerous teachers I haven't experienced before...and I really like them! Different styles, different approaches...but good classes. The famous Madame Darvash was teaching at a small open studio and few people knew about these classes, so it was an extreme privilege to learn from her with a very small group. She gave me a ballet book she swears by to "study" and taught me A LOT about her way of seeing placement and weight distribution and such in a very short time. She's great. As are many of the others I've been taking with and plan to continue with after ABT's intensive the next 3 weeks.

-recent & upcoming performances
Last week was the little play I was in, which went well. Next Sunday is our student showcase, and I'm doing a variation from Le Corsaire, which I just saw ABT do (wonderfully). We're also doing some group pieces...should be fun. Also at the end of ABT's intensive we have 2 studio showings, but won't know what we're performing until rehearsals get underway this week.

Well, there you have it...a novel about the past month. There's probably a ton of things I've missed and should have added, or tons I should have left out (haha) but it is what it is. The rate my life is going right now is insane and hard to keep up with, but I'm enjoying every minute. Thanks for keeping up with my blog despite some lag time :)

PS- If you made it all the way through this crazy long post, I admire you! Haha

Happy Memorial Day to all, and I'll be starting at ABT's Collegiate Intensive on Tuesday so look for posts all about that soon.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

recent reviews posted

Since I've been behind in my blogging I haven't posted many of the reviews I've been writing on here, but they HAVE been going up on ExploreDance. Here are links to the most recent ones if you want to check them out...

-Dance at DiCapo
-Cedar Lake Glassy Essence
-NYCB Bernstein Collections
-TAKE Dance Company

ABT's Corsaire review to come soon...other performances coming up include an NYCB dinner event, Cedar Lake's spring season, Trinayan Collective Dance, and more.

Plus I've made some updates to my website, which celebrated its 1 year anniversary recently :)

new blogger

New York Times dance critic and teacher of the Writing on Dance Course I took last month Claudia La Rocco has joined the blogosphere!

Check it out here.

Interesting conversations are already developing...I'm looking forward to adding this to my daily list of blogs to read :)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

an update

Again I'm slow on the blogging front...

The other day I had my call back for Radio City and it went really well...they didn't make any more cuts, and there were only 30 of us left. They said there's lots of jobs because they're adding an arena touring company in addition to the NY show and those in other cities, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. They won't tell us for sure until July! Can't wait that long...wish me would be such a great opportunity. Either way I was happy to make it that far in the audition...I actually had to SING at the call back, which I DO NOT do, haha. It brought me back to my middle school days when I was in chorus at school and I used to lip sync and let my friends with loud voices do the singing, haha. But I guess it went okay...they were more concerned with presentation than a good singing voice, so we'll see. I can fake it, haha.

Yesterday was opening night of the little play I'm dancing in this week. It went's a pretty small theater but cozy. We had a nice audience response last night so that's good. It runs tonight and tomorrow and then that project is done.

What else...I have lots to update about but still don't have much time...I start ABT's intensive next Tuesday. I'm in a student showcase the following Sunday at Ailey. ABT has a mini-showing at the end. Dance Critics Conference coming up. Amongst other things.

Trying to get back on the blogging bandwagon. Bear with me!

Monday, May 19, 2008

minor excitement

Okay, for the moment I've figured it's no use trying to catch up with blogging past events since I don't have time. I WILL do it eventually because some important things have happened, but for the moment I'm starting fresh with today.

Minor excitement of the moment: I made it through 3 cuts and have a callback tomorrow for the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular! Not to be a Rockette (i'm too short and don't tap!) but for one of the dancer parts. Exciting! Even if I don't make it it's nice to know I got this far since I rarely do these kinds of auditions.

I got there at 8:30am this morning for a 10am audition and already found myself drinking my coffee halfway around the block from the stage door! So many people - it looked like the lines you see on TV for American Ido. Funny. I was in the 2nd audition group (of 5 I believe) so we waited for an hour before I even went in. After a short combo they made a cut and then had us wait for like 2 HOURS! Insanity. They had us dance a lot more and made some cuts and after 6 HOURS of being at Radio City they called my name for a call back for tomorrow. Yay! There's still a lot of people they kept so I can't get my hopes up, but there were tons more that left earlier in the day, so I was happy.

Running amongst rehearsals the rest of the day...I'm performing in a small dancing part in a play at Manhattan Repertory Theater this Wed-Fri and also prepping for a student showcase next Sunday. AND getting in shape for ABT's intensive starting a week from tomorrow. AND other things.

The relaxation of Florida was wonderful but I'm glad to be back dancing to the faster pulse of New York!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

back to blogging soon...

No I haven't fallen off the planet. I've just been catching up with life after taking a few days off in Florida and haven't had a second to blog.

Regular posting will resume soon, haha. Here's just a few things I have to update about:

-end of my writing on dance course
-numerous recent auditions
-my "choreographic debut" with the high school kids i taught
-seeing my old studio's spring performance
-additional blogging opportunity
-not getting one of my dream jobs
-being interviewed for the big website
-official college graduation ceremony (and getting sick beforehand!)
-other teachers i've been taking class with
-upcoming performances next week
...and more.

So much going on as always.
Tonight I'm going to see TAKE Dance to review, and tomorrow I have rehearsal most of the day...but I hope to write a brief post on all these things soon.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

the crack of dawn

I got up LITERALLY at the crack of dawn this go take class at Miami City Ballet. Our condo is 40 minutes from the studio.

These (unedited) pictures are from the balcony at 6:15am. Wow!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Saturday, May 10, 2008

break time

I'm off to Florida for a few days rest and relaxation after an insane semester (and before an insane summer).

In the airport now and can't wait to get to the sunshine, since it's nice and dreary here today in NYC.

I have many things to blog about from the past week and I'm hoping to find time the next few days...

I return Wednesday...blogging should return to normal then :)

Friday, May 9, 2008

interview for my students

So much to blog about and so little time! I'll catch up...some day.

I'm winding down my semester of teaching/choreographing for these high school kids and they interviewed me for the program of their performance next week (my NYC choreographic debut...haha). Just thought I'd share for filler content til I get back on track with posting...

1. Where did you grow up & where do currently live?

I grew up in a small town outside of Boston, MA and moved away from home at 15. I spent 2 years in Philadelphia before moving to NYC, where I’ve been the past 3 years.

2. Where did you go to college?

I just graduated from Marymount Manhattan College with my Bachelors degree in Communication Arts, NOT dance! I’m currently in my 2nd semester of grad school, pursuing my Masters of Science Degree in Magazine Publishing at Pace University.

3. When did you first start dancing?
My family owns a local jazz dance school in my hometown and I started taking their 8 year old ballet class when I was 2! I walked, and then I danced. It was just natural for me. I started taking it seriously when I was 6 and began attending Boston Ballet School. Dance has defined me since diapers.

5. What are you currently doin in dance?
Living and learning. I just finished an apprenticeship with RKB and am rehearsing for a few separate performances around the city this summer. I’m auditioning and taking class a lot – sometimes too much – with Kat W., who has become a mentor to me. It’s all about working hard while still enjoying the process, a constant tension.

6. What kind of career do you have?
Dance career? I’m just at the brink of it right now. I’ve worked with so many incredible people and am so thankful for the opportunities I’ve been given, but I always want more. It’s really tough to be a professional dancer and still survive (financially, physically, mentally) and I’m at a transition point at the start of my career.

Outside career? I’m a very busy freelancer. I write quite a bit about dance for various magazines and such. I’ve completed many publishing internships (most recently The New Yorker). I’ve done some work in public relations and marketing for dance companies. And multiple other odd jobs that I enjoy, even though they keep me busier than probably any other 19 year old you’ll meet (dancer, grad student, writer, intern, choreographer…the titles are endless).

7. In dancing where do you see yourself in a couple of years?
You know, for most of my life I was taught to believe that the only thing to aspire to in the dance world was to be prima ballerina at a major ballet company, with all the perfection and beauty that goes along with it. For a long time, that would have been my answer to this question.
But now after enriching my dancing with an entirely separate, though equally important, life I realize that I can never be that star with the perfect body and the beautiful feet. Nor do I want to be anymore. There are other friendlier, healthier, and more satisfying options for me, personally. I’ve learned through much rejection that life has a way of picking you up and leading you to places and people you never dreamed of, and from that I can say that I honestly have no idea where I see myself in a couple of years. But I know I will be dancing.

8. How was it working with the dance company?
It was a real joy to work with everyone in the dance company. One of my favorite teachers ever once told me that his job as teacher was to pass down the knowledge and support that his teachers gave him, and I hope that that’s what I’ve done in my own classes. The choreographic process was interesting because it was my first time directing such a large group, but everyone was very cooperative and willing to learn, which I greatly appreciate. The improvement from February to now is wonderful to see.

9. Do you have any advice to give to the girls...
My catchphrase is, “Follow your dreams. But why be a follower when you can be a leader?” You have to make things happen for yourself when you want something – dance or otherwise. And whatever you do, don’t let anyone, ANYONE, discourage you from seeking what you want. You may not get it, but there is still valuable learning in the process. It’s not worth having negativity hang over you all your life, and nobody deserves that power to control your emotions.
I hope we can work together again in the future. Best of luck to everyone in their artistic, academic, and life pursuits!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

internship conclusion

As I wind down my last few weeks as an intern at The New Yorker I'm going back over all that I've learned through my experiences there. Since I'm receiving school credit for my work I had to write a paper summarizing the semester, and below is an edited version of it. I had to take out some parts (perhaps the most interesting parts!) because they don't like you to divulge "trade secrets" and certain information as an intern, so this is a rather vague account of my wonderful time. I am SO thankful I had this opportunity.

Experiences as an Intern at The New Yorker

When I first saw the advertisement saying that one of the country’s greatest magazines, The New Yorker, was looking for interns, I jumped at the chance to be a part of such an institution. Six months later as I finish my internship in the Cartoon Department of the magazine I can say that it has been a wonderful experience that I’ve been lucky enough to take part in. What started as menial administrative tasks like any other internship turned into much more.

When I first went in to interview for the position I knew this wouldn’t be like any of the other 3 magazines I had interned at. For starters, the Conde Nast building has such a hustle and bustle of important publishing professionals that just walking in the elevator seems to put you into another element. I met with my soon to be boss and he asked me to take a quick quiz – almost like a “funny test.” I left feeling unconvinced but was happy to get an email a week later offering me the internship.

The first few weeks were mostly basic “intern” type tasks. Opening mail was a big one, since the department receives several hundred submissions from amateur cartoonists hoping to have their artwork printed in the magazine. My job was to go through these many envelopes and be the first set of eyes judging if they were worthy of the editors’ consideration. Those that weren’t had to be sent back in the included envelopes with a small rejection slip thanking the person for their submission and apologizing for not being able to use it.

I enjoyed reading through the slush pile and picking out ones I liked, but it was hard to keep sending rejections to the same people who submitted week after week! I actually had great responsibility in selecting what was good from what was not. Finding autonomy and purpose within simple duties is the key to being a good intern and enjoying the process, in my opinion.

Aside from sorting submissions, filing original art, and sorting through endless piles of photocopied cartoons, another major responsibility of the internship was checking new cartoons against the magazine's library of all previously published cartoons. It’s a really interesting process.

Luckily the internship experience didn’t stick just to these kinds of duties. One of the highlights of my time there was a two day span when my boss was away and asked me to fill in for him. I got to completely step into an editor’s shoes for these days, and it was challenging and exciting. The preparation as an intern was good, but nothing like actually being in the moment.

There was one situation he had forgotten to warn me about, which happened to occur the day that he left. Normally he plays an integral role in the process from cartoon on paper to cartoon on the magazine page, and now it was my chance to take over. Some of the steps involved had never been explained to me, but thankfully other editors were more than willing to help out. The second day I filled in for him was quieter but still gave me insight to other aspects of the cartoon department. Those two days were definitely a turning point. Following that I was able to me more active in other processes.

I was very appreciative for the opportunity to be part of such a wonderful publication for a short period of time, and to have it turn into an experience beyond mailing and phone calls was an added bonus. I really enjoyed my internship at The New Yorker and am sure that it has helped me in my quest for a full-time position in publishing in the future.

small world!

I'm way behind on blogging and have many things to post about when I get the time, but I had to share this right away...

Since my usual teacher is away for the month, I've been taking class with some other teachers here and there (a separate post will come to tell you of the wonderful torture I received from Madame Darvash...), and this week I've been taking form Judy Rice.

I come out of the dressing room to stretch right before going into class and I see Judy sitting and talking with a very dancer-looking guy. I do a double take, and he's wearing a Winger t-shirt. Then I remember a post on The Winger a few months ago about when Judy Rice first came to the city to teach.

And who wrote that post?
Our very own Matthew Murphy, whom I have been in contact with A LOT online through the Winger and through our work for movmnt but I have still never met in person. We've missed each other at blogger meet-ups and had yet to be introduced face to face.

Until today!

As I pulled out the barre and stretched my (bad) Achilles he walked past and we were both like, um...finally he asked what my name was and we realized it was indeed our time to meet. Too funny! He only stayed for barre so we didn't get a chance to talk or anything afterwards, but it was an ironic way to finally meet. Small dance world!

Nice to meet you Matt!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

semester over but more nerves

Yes, after a long night and day of powering through the rest of my school work I finished everything for my 2nd semester of grad school! Thank goodness.

But I'm still not relieved, haha. This week has a few other stressful things happening, but I don't want to write details until I see what comes of them. I promise to at least write about the biggest of them once I find out the outcome Haha is that vague or what. I guess you'll have to wait to read about it...I was hoping it would be settled by today, but alas it is not.

Luckily once I get through the next few days I have a break ahead. I decided last minute to take a quick trip down to Florida to visit some family, so I'll be dropping everything and heading for the sun next Saturday til next Wednesday (just 4 time for more). Sometimes you need to just step away from life and get out, and that's where I am right now after all this work built up. I'm looking forward to a quick release before more insanity at the end of the month.

Sunday, May 4, 2008


Tomorrow is the last day of the semester and I have two big papers due by noon...both of which I must finish tonight!

I spent most of the day avoiding this moment where I finally have to sit down and work, haha. I had rehearsal early, and then went straight to NY State Theater for NYCB's all Robbins program. I'm writing a real review for ExploreDance but...

Fancy Free is one of my favorite ballets, and it was so good today! Marcelo Gomes from ABT was guesting and it was so fun, hah. Dybbuk followed, but it was SO long and dull compared to the first one. Janie Taylor was beautiful though. West Side Story Suite finished the program with the same cast I saw do it a few months ago. So good.

Then I went to dinner with a friend I haven't seen in a long time...this has been a week of reminiscing, haha. I've heard from a few people I haven't talked to in years, and I literally ran into 2 others today between the theater and dinner. The dance world is so small, haha.

Okay, off to FINALLY do work. Hopefully tomorrow I can post about being done for the semester!

New School at Ailey

Yesterday I got to see the New School's spring dance performance, made up of works from a number of good choreographers. I went with some fellow bloggers (thanks to Philip for inviting me) and it was a nice program.

My favorite piece was Take's, whose company I saw rehearse last week. It was so beautiful, and again, watching his movement makes me want to get up and dance. I'm looking forward to seeing his full company perform soon.

I don't have time to write about the rest of the performance, but read Philip's post on it here.

I'm off to see NYCB this afternoon, my first for their spring season. Fun!

Big stuff happening this coming week...blogging should be amusing...i'll keep you posted (pun intended).

now for good dance writing

Two good articles for your reading pleasure:

-Jowitt on Yasuko Yokoshi's work in the Village Voice (she was at the same performance I reviewed here). She's brilliant with description...I felt like I was entirely reliving the piece as I read her writing.

-Times on lighting dance, which often goes overlooked especially in classical dance

"...'the current international trend of lighting dancers from angles that will make them partly or largely shadowed to the audience.' If it is a trend, it suggests a move away from an emphasis on the dancer as individual toward the dancer as an element in a visual composition...have a particular resonance in a contemporary world filled with visual and aural fragmentation. (The individual dancer is also more likely to be de-emphasized when the full-length story ballet is no longer the paradigm for new work, even if it is still tenaciously loved by audiences and those who balance ballet company budgets.)" -Sulcas

Very interesting.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

note to self: Starbucks

Note to self:

When sitting in Starbucks early on a Saturday morning to write a 6 page complicated final exam that requires extensive page flipping, disorganization, and sanity-inducing coffee sipping, DO NOT choose the table right next to the sugar/milk/napkin counter.

I've been sitting here trying desperately to concentrate on the 2nd of 3 major exams/papers due on Monday and people keep interrupting, passing by, spilling things, and such.

My advice: get a table in the back in the corner where nobody goes. Too bad the weekend is like busy New Yorker heaven at Starbucks and there were no other tables.

Random. Sorry. Haha.

Friday, May 2, 2008

let's be critical

From a dancer's stand point, I can't believe today's review of NYCB from Macaulay!

Read it here.

He bashes all of the wonderful dancers but pretends to sugar coat it by giving a half compliment first, before tearing them apart. Is that necessary?

"Wendy Whelan’s upper body was a nightmare of inelegance..."
"Daniel Ulbricht, whose amazing elevation and spruce timing often excite, just as his unrefined line often dismays..."
"Tiler so bold and strong that I wish she didn’t also seem hard-boiled..."

He goes on with naming and criticizing like 5 other dancers in the space of one review.

I feel like this kind of critical response should be reserved for the artistic director and ballet masters, not for the general public's reading. It's getting personal and it's fine if he feels that way and even if some of his arguments are valid, detailing such things in print is just like a child running off a list of annoyances about his friends. You know he'll keep going back with a smiling face and pretend nothing happened, so why bother hurting them publicly like that? If it's to "help the art form improve by criticizing it" that's all well and good, but when it comes down to the nitty gritty like that, just tell them in person in a rehearsal rather than subjecting the few of us left who read dance criticism to a petty bashing.

Rant over :)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Lupone in Gypsy

As a very last minute decision this afternoon in efforts to continue my procrastination on finishing up my final school work for the semester I bought a student rush ticket to see "Gypsy" on Broadway. It's been a while since I've seen a Broadway show and this was one I was less familiar with (I must have seen "Chicago" a hundred times...and maybe "Chorus Line" 20 or so..haha) so I thought I'd treat myself.


First of all, student rush tickets are great because even though they're usually partial view, they are SO close to the stage. I was in one of those box seats you think the rich people get, like right next to the wings. Yes, partial view, but full view of backstage, haha, which I enjoyed.

The show was great. Patti Lupone is amazing. She made her entrance and literally they had to freeze frame the show and stop for the applause for a good 5 minutes or so. What power.

I'm glad I went...but now it's back to much to do over the weekend since the semester ends next week, along with some performances to review, rehearsal, and so on. No more distractions til it's all done...

new dance videos

Dance Magazine and the other big dance publications recently launched a new website where user can upload their own dance videos. It seems like a youtube just for dance, which makes sense given the amount of dance videos already up online.

Check it out.