Tuesday, September 30, 2008

taking care of business

As the excitement is starting to turn into reality, I have to spend much of this week organizing and rearranging my life so that I can start full force with Christmas fun next week...and it's a tough task.

Last week I quit my part time job (no tears there, haha) and then today I officially told my new internship I'd have to leave. I felt bad because they hired me just 2 weeks ago after their first intern dropped out last minute on them, and now I'm pulling out, too. They understand, of course. I will finish out this week and the beginning of next week there.

On top of that I have school and writing assignments up to my ears that I need to take care of. It never stops...a good thing about my show schedule is that I can still finish school without interfering too too much, but my day off must be devoted to catching up on everything, haha.

In other news, I scheduled my costume fitting with the theater this afternoon. I have to go to their costume warehouse place in Queens next Monday (leave Manhattan???). But I'm excited to see what I'll be wearing...I assume multiple things to go with the multiple shoe changes (today I was told to go for another fitting, which will bring the shoe total to 5 pairs for one show!).

Anyway, that's the latest. Also just wanted to thank everyone again, those who have emailed or commented, for your support! I'm happy to be sharing this with blog readers :)

Monday, September 29, 2008

show schedule

Today's been yet another crazy day, as usual...

But I went by the theater to take care of more details and I received my show schedule.

If you're interested, click here and scroll over to November, and December. I have anywhere from 10-16 shows per week! Wow. And some are EARLY. No complaints though!!! I do have Thursdays off, and that means I have both Thanksgiving day and Christmas day off.

I signed the union contract today (!) and got info on where we rehearse, etc. Rehearsal schedules are still tentative, but will basically take up my whole week, as expected...

Still very excited :)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Hilarious Pictures

In the excitement of this week, my wonderful grandmother who has, like, archives of all the performances and such I've been in, came across these photos of my in front of Radio City as a kid...I'm not entirely sure why I had a bun ON TOP of my head like that, HAHAHA. But, it's hilarious. I believe that and the one in Times Square are from 1995, and the other was my first "recital" when I was 2-1/2!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Update on The Winger

I haven't posted on The Winger in ages and finally took a moment to update about all that has happened the past few months.

For the summary of everything - my apartment mess, the ballet company contract gone wrong, and the excitement of Radio City, read it here.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Wally Cardona @ Joyce Soho

On Wednesday afternoon I got to attend a rehearsal for Wally Cardona’s new work “A Light Conversation” at the Joyce Soho. The space, which is usually set up with a distinct separation between stage and seating, was rearranged so that chairs circumscribed the stage on three sides, and only rose up one stair. The result: intimacy.

“A Light Conversation” is a tense pas de deux for Cardona and Rahel Vonmoos. The two share an energy of connectedness, as if their impulses were one. With backs facing each other they move in unison, feeling the other’s sense of space. Being so close, the audience can tap into that tension and become engaged in performance, whether their movement is vibrant or not. May because of the periodic silence, the lack of surrounding viewers, or the highly sensitive energy, I found myself holding my breath at times in fear of disturbing something.

Though the dancers themselves have this extraordinary hypnotic power to seduce, the piece as a whole was not as moving. Spoken interviews about Socrates and his views interspersed with dense silence provide the soundtrack to an odd movement language. Whether a philosophy buff or not, I’d bet an audience member would drown out the meaning of the words after a while as I did. In a brief discussion following the rehearsal, Cardona mentioned the challenge of finding the rhythms within spoken word as compared to music, specifically how the male voices were less melodious. He also explained the desire to determine which words were important for the audience to hear and which could be ignored by focusing on the movement.

This intention was illustrated when, at one point, a theory about Socrates is read. In a flash of light (literally), pounding drums and symbols override the speaking. The dancers run emphatically around the perimeter. Few words are decipherable above the din. It’s like a college kid blasting rock music to drown out his interior monologue of studying.

This distinct change from the blasé, quiet, slow themes prior to it gives the work the bang it needs, but it almost comes too late. I’d be interested to see how long a dance audience can hang on a philosophy lesson.

“A Light Conversation” plays at The Joyce Soho Sept. 30-Oct. 5. More info here. See Philip's review here and Tonya's review here.

staying grounded

First of all, I want to thank all of you who have commented, emailed, called, and congratulated me over the past two days! It means a lot to hear from you all, particularly those blog readers I don't know or see in person. I like knowing there are people out there reading :) and I SO appreciate your emails/comments.


The initial rush of excitement has mellowed a bit. I'm still extremely happy but I'm no longer in that five year old state of gushing excitement, haha. In fact I'm very much grounded at the moment by the intense work marathon I'm in the midst of. I haven't had the time to day dream about what the coming months will bring - but maybe that's a good thing, haha.

I did finalize my pointe shoe order with the wardrobe people today, and I received word that my union information and contract are in the mail :).

Besides that I spent most of my day in meetings at my internship. I really like this new internship but I very soon must figure out if and how I can continue during my rehearsal period. I know the performance schedule won't leave me time, but maybe through October's rehearsals I can do both? I have a knack for doing too many things at once, haha.

No, today was good at my internship because it WAS a lot of meetings and such, and I get to be a fly on the wall and just observe. A "lunch and learn," a conference call, a staff meeting...so official, haha.

In other news, last night I gave my notice for my part time night job to quit, because it will be unnecessary and untimely with rehearsals, etc. It's been a decent job but the hours have been killing me (9:30pm-2:30am, 3 nights a week after long days already). I'm currently sitting at my desk getting ready to leave for tonight, and tonight is my last night.

Ah, change.

Anyway, work all day tomorrow and then possibly hitting Fall for Dance again tomorrow night (my ticket is way up in the rear gallery side and I wasn't thrilled with the last program I saw, so I may take the $10 ticket loss and just go to ballet instead, haha. Rather be dancing myself than watching at this point.)

Speaking of that I also received a syllabus kind of thing for the fall Writing on Dance Course at DTW that I was planning on taking. I'm not positive yet I'll be able to do so with the rehearsal schedule (boy, it would help me immensely in planning if the actual schedule were set...) but it should be a nice 6 week course if I do get to do it. I so enjoyed the spring one I did with Claudia.

Alrighty, well I better finish up work so I can squeeze in a full 5 hours of sleep, haha. Work marathons will be over soon...at least, desk work marathons. Dance work marathons are a bit more enjoyable!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

if the shoe fits

It's really happening!

Today I was called to go to the theater and Capezio for my shoe fittings for the show. After taking class this morning I rushed to Capezio and tried on 2 different pairs of heels I'll be wearing (one, I was informed, will actually be a boot...). Then I had to head to the stage door of the theater (where I previously stood waiting in an endless line of coffee-gulping dancers the morning of the audition in May).

You should have seen me walking into the theater. Not the actual house of the theater (haven't been there ever except once when I saw the Xmas show as a kid years ago), but the backstage, less glamorous area. I was SO excited. It reminded me greatly of my first time backstage at The Wang Center in Boston doing Nutcracker with Boston Ballet when I was 7. My excitement brought me back to about that age, haha.

Anyway, I headed up in the elevator (which cutely has floors labelled "Rockette Operations" and "Christmas Operations" in addition to dressing rooms and stage entrance). First top, wardrobe department for more shoe fittings. The lady there had me wait for about 10 minutes til the right guy came up to fit me, and while waiting - no joke - my eyes started to fill up because it was like, I'm here, it's happening. And if you know me, you know I never cry!

Well I didn't cry but, you know. So then the guy came and clarified my pointe shoe information (discussion led me to believe one of my parts is one of the dancing bears in the Nutcracker scene..hah!) and then fit me for jazz sneakers for "The Santa Number," whatever that might be. In total, I have four pairs of shoes for one performance. Oh my goodness!

After that thrill I headed to the office of the lady that delivered the good news yesterday to fill out paperwork. It's official! Then we went to get my ID for the stage door. It's official!

I left an hour later with a HUGE smile on my face :) Calls to come in the next week about costume fittings and exact rehearsal schedules. Cannot wait!!!


In other news, I squeezed in time to see a preview rehearsal at the Joyce Soho of Wally Cardona, which I'll blog about over the weekend. They perform next week, and you should go if you can. It was nice to see Philip and Tonya there :)

Now I'm off to another work marathon like last week...I had school just now and tonight I work at my part time job (which I gave my notice to quit this afternoon...), then tomorrow internship 9-5, school 6-9, work 9:30-2am, and work 9-5 on Friday! Friday night is another Fall for Dance night, and this wekeend, thankfully, is quiet now that I won't be starting Nutcracker rehearsals in Connecticut as per the pre-excitement plan!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

fate takes a jolly turn

Today the reason for all the past few months of drama showed it’s smiling face.

I’m sitting at my desk at a pretty slow day at my new internship. It’s about 11am and I glance at my cell phone to see I have a new voicemail. Usually in that scenario I see who called and postpone listening to the message til lunch time, but it was a New York number that I didn’t recognize, so I thought I’d check it to be sure.

I go to the kitchen in our office and listen.

“Hi Taylor. This is Radio City Musical Hall calling. Please give me a call back as soon as humanly possible! It’s about the show.”

My heart FLIPS.

In case you missed it, I auditioned for the dancing roles in the Radio City Christmas Show back in May and surprisingly made it through all of the cuts and callbacks. I went on a whim but was thrilled just to make it as far as I did. When I called after a few weeks to get the results of the audition, they politely informed me that they didn’t have a place for me. Ah well, another rejection.

As you can imagine, I was even MORE surprised to get a call from them today, months later.

Stealing a few minutes from my work day, I called the happy voice that left the message back.

“Taylor, we’d like to offer you a role as a dancer in the New York show of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular!!!”

OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!!

She went on to explain details. Apparently someone dropped out and they needed a replacement and for whatever lucky reason I happened to be the next in line.

Of course I accepted on the spot, gripping myself to the chair so as not to jump in excitement in the middle of the publisher’s office where I was supposed to be working!

For the rest of the day I had to sit with this incredible news stewing in my mind as I tried to be a good little intern, haha. After about an hour I still literally COULD NOT BELIEVE IT. I honestly and truly had to keep looking at my cell phone call history and re-listen to her voicemail to confirm that it did indeed happen and I wasn’t just daydreaming the whole thing. Seriously.

It didn’t fully click in until later tonight as I sat stretching before taking class and checking my emails on my iPod. I got one from Radio City asking for my pointe shoe order info, and telling me to go by Capezio for a shoe fitting. I will hear from them Thursday about a costume fitting and a contract signing time. Rehearsals start the week after next, and shows start Nov. 7 – Dec. 30. I have to join the AGVA Union (= better pay than most ballet companies!) and it is all very exciting.

For most of the day I was terribly excited and yet terribly afraid, after the drama following my luck with the Minnesota Dance Theater contract offer over the summer, that it wouldn’t really happen. But since getting the email about shoe fittings and such, I’m convinced that I can go ahead and be happy!!!

What a round about path I took to get to this exciting place…since the time most others were offered these roles, I’ve been through 2 new apartments (and the accompanying mess of that), 1 failed ballet contract, a new paid internship (which now must cease), and so forth. The good thing is that if I had been offered the role at the normal time I probably would have chosen not to finish school this semester, but now that I’ve started I have to get it done and will find a way to do both.

I am extremely excited about this and will keep you posted on details as they happen! I have lots to take care of in the next week before we start rehearsals, and I have yet to sign an official contract. So until all of that happens…….

(SEPT. 22, 2009 NOTE: Read the archives about the full Radio City experience here. Stay tuned for the 2009 version coming soon ;)

MAJOR excitement!

Major exciting news coming soon...

Very excited.
Details to come.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fall For Dance 9/20 review

My review of Saturday's Fall For Dance program is up on ExploreDance.com

Read it here.

on overdrive

I think I may have to rename this blog "Excuses of Why I Haven't Been Blogging." That seems to be all I write nowadays...

Well, after my last post I went into overdrive mode...every time I think my life can't get any more full of responsibilities I surprise myself and get that much busier. I'm not complaining this time...things are going well (minus a slight cold from lack of sleep), but it leaves me little time for blogging fun.

Last Thursday I started a new internship for the fall. My plan for my last semester of grad school here was not to take an internship because I can't really continue to do slave labor for free (though enjoyable) without getting paid, as I've done my share and paid my dues by now (6 internships in 2 years). However, I fell into an opportunity that is actually PAID, finally.

It's in the publicity department of a major book publisher owned by Barnes & Noble, and though it's not exactly what I want to be doing in publishing eventually, I'm really enjoying it so far! I've only been there 2 days, but the people are really wonderful and the company itself is great. Their books are nice, too.

It's 3 full days a week, but the thing is I'm still finishing school full time, and working part time at night, AND trying to get in shape for Nutcracker season...this means that in the 48 hour span from last Wednesday night until Friday night, I worked (internship, school, or part time job) almost 40 of those 48 hours!!! No wonder I have a cold, haha.

I'm hoping to figure out a way to balance my schedule more effectively to not make that happen again, but in the meantime I was offered ANOTHER internship at a big magazine publisher who asked me to come on the spot in the interview. That one is still being worked out because it is unpaid and I can't get academic credit for it so...but that would mean the other 2 days of my week would be packed as well.

Geesh. I do love being busy. Just need to find a way to get it all done...on top of all this I have about 3 big articles due today (or...ahem...last week...) and I start Nutcracker rehearsals in Connecticut this coming Sunday. Ah!

Okay, I'm done complaining! :) It's all stuff I want to be doing so I'm really not complaining, just thinking out loud I guess.

In other news, I went to Fall For Dance this Saturday and will be reviewing for ExploreDance soon. Tonight I'm supposed to go to Works & Process at the Guggenheim but my cold is knocking me out and I must skip it, unfortunately. Wednesday I'm seeing a rehearsal of Wally Cardona at the Joyce Soho, and Friday is another Fall For Dance night. Reviews to come...eventually!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Great Combination

Alexei Ratmansky + Joan Acocella + Cedar Lake's Chelsea studio + The New Yorker = it doesn't get much better than that!

(picture from newyorker.com)

The New Yorker recently announced its schedule for the annual New Yorker Festival Oct. 3-5, 2008 and one of the "Writers and their Subjects" events is a discussion between dance critic Acocella and in-the-hot-seat choreographer Ratmansky! Maybe she'll unveil the mystery of why he's heading to ABT rather than NYCB...? Actually I think he was scheduled as the guest before all this week's drama. Anyway, you can get $25 tickets to the event, which will be held at Cedar Lake's amazing space in Chelsea, here.

Other New Yorker Festival events sound exiting also, with many a big name visiting and many a great writer speaking. I got my ticket to the Ratmansky talk, but another one I would love to attend is the Cartoon Caption Contest Game with my former intern bosses! I'm going to see Christopher Wheeldon's company that night, otherwise I'd be there!

Many of the festival events are taking place at Cedar Lake and also at the Ailey Citigroup Theater, so if you're in the dance neighborhood check it out!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Fall Dance Season

I'm absolutely amazed at how time flies, whether you're having fun or not!

Mondays always seem to invite a huge influx of emails and phone calls, and today was no different. In preparing my week and month ahead I've been keeping an eye on upcoming dance performances to review and am suddenly finding my schedule packed (is this a surprise?). Here are a few things (performances and otherwise) I'm looking forward to:

-Fall for Dance at City Center, of course. The $10 programs kick off on Wednesday. I plan to attend two different shows over the next week or so. Should be nice to see some different companies.

-Works and Process at the Guggenheim next week, with Brian Reeder's new piece

-won't be able to make this one, but sounds interesting: Via Dance Collaborative at Ailey Citigroup Theater Sept. 25-27 with Doug Varone dancer Daniel Charon

-Christopher Wheeldon's company, Morphoses, at City Center in early October. Since I missed their season last fall I'm super ready for this one.

-San Francisco Ballet at City Center

-auditioning for Eglevsky Ballet's Nutcracker
-starting Nutcracker rehearsals with the company I worked with last year in Connecticut

-starting the fall session of the Writing on Dance course at Dance Theater Workshop, which I also participated in last spring

And the other news is that I got a fall (paid!) internship lined up, starting this Thursday. Details to come, but I'm very excited about it.

Are there other upcoming performances people recommend?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering September 11

As I walked home from school tonight I saw the lights shining up from Ground Zero into the sky to mark where the World Trade Center Towers once stood seven years and one day ago. Though of course I've seen the memorial lights on television and in pictures over the years since the tragedy on September 11, this year's anniversary was the first time seeing them in person. It is a terribly eery sight.

Tonight because of the cloudy haze in the sky the lights seemed to peak at just where I would expect the buildings reached their full height. I don't have an actual memory of seeing them in person before they were hit, though I'm sure on one of my visits to the city as a kid I must have seen them. My imagination brought back images of that morning as I walked towards the lights tonight. Scary.

I remember being in French class that morning, in 8th grade. They turned on the television in the classroom and my math teacher came in and told us something had happened in New York City. Oh no, I remember thinking, my beloved city. I had been here exactly one week before the planes hit the towers at an agent's call audition for Clara at Radio City. One week before. And I remember not understanding the magnitude of the attacks until my mom picked me up from Dunkin Donuts next to school that afternoon. The first thing she said was, "Are you very upset by what happened?" It didn't occur to me until then how terrible this was.

That morning my French teacher told us we'd always remember where we were when this happened. This was a horrible event that would go down in history. And I certainly haven't forgotten.

My thoughts are out to the September 11th victims and their families tonight.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

did anyone see this coming?

NY Times today at noon: "Alexei Ratmansky, the artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet and one of the ballet world’s major talents, will join American Ballet Theater as its resident choreographer." Read article here.


Monday, September 8, 2008

Blogging Hiatus to Finish Shortly

This summer has been a horribly inconsistent blogging season. But I have my reasons.

This week should be the last week of issues before I can return to regular blogging - I hope. I've had some major apartment issues and after the whole episode with not being able to take a ballet job out of state because my apartment lease held me hostage, I ended up facing worse problems with the building and left the apartment anyway (getting my money back on TOP of getting out of the lease. Timing is just awful - 2 weeks after I wanted to leave in the first place.)

Anyway I was a bit of a nomad for a while trying to find a new place and staying with friends (and my ballet teacher?!) but I finally moved to a new (and final) apartment over the weekend. After this week of unpacking (not to mention writing deadlines galore that have been delayed because of all this) I will be back to blogging!

Many thanks to those who keep checking in :)
Happy fall with this beautiful weather! (minus the torrential downpours on Saturday that I got stuck in while moving bags of now-dead pointe shoes and clothing etc!)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Cedar Lake Review Posted

My review of Cedar Lake's "The Copier" was finally posted.
Read it here.

Major changes going on this week and I will update at length soon when I know what's going on with...stuff.
Happy Labor Day, haha. Hope everyone enjoyed the long weekend.