Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Farewell 2008

I'm writing to you from a sunny balcony overlooking a gorgeous empty beach in southern Florida - just the break I need after 110 shows of Radio City. Yesterday's final 4 show day was difficult in many ways, but I'll blog about that when my mini vacation is over on Monday. For now, a happy new year post...

Another year in dance has whisked away, marked by the wrath of audition season, the joy of summer study, the excitement of premieres, the stress of rehearsals, and the bows of the final Nutcrackers (or Christmas Spectaculars!). 2008 was a great one in the New York dance world. Here are my choices for the top 8 performances of '08. Did you have other favorites?

8. NYCB's Jerome Robbins Tribute (particularly "West Side Story Suite," and "Fancy Free")
7. Rebecca Kelly Ballet's Iraq war-influenced, "Long Time Passing" (and my opportunity to apprentice with them)
6. Hubbard Street Dance Chicago's season at The Joyce
5. ABT's classic, "Giselle"
4. Kirov Ballet in Balanchine's "Rubies"
3. Yasuko Yokoshi's "Reframing the Framework DDD" at The Kitchen
2. Cedar Lake's "Glassy Essence" Installation
1. Liza Minnelli in "Liza's at the Palace"

2008 was a big year in my own dance life, as well. My personal top 8 moments of '08:

8. Being involved in growing Kat's student showcases at Ailey (Feb. '08 we had 20 people in the studio audience. This March '09 we'll have 2 packed shows in the theater!)
7. Attending the Dance Critics Association meeting in Washington and participating in a Writing on Dance course with a NY Times critic
6. Teaching and choreographing completely on my own for the first time for NYC public high school students
5. Dancing at a summer intensive at ABT
4. Interning at The New Yorker
3. Finding an affordable, rodent free apartment in Manhattan
2. Being fortunate enough to have landed a paid ballet company contract AND a paid publishing internship, and being even more lucky to pass up both opportunities for still better things.
1. Finishing my Master's Degree in Publishing
And the big bonus that surpasses the whole list: Dancing 110 shows of The Radio City Christmas Spectacular

May 2009 bring health and happiness to you all. Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The End

(The ensemble on the roof of Radio City Music Hall this morning)

Today is my LAST day of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.

And it's a four show day.

I am currently getting ready for show 3 of 4, and it's getting sadder as the day goes on. Our morning show was emotional because it was, like, the last morning waking up to do this. The second show was more automatic and tiring. These next two are going to be tough but...must stay happy!

This has been an incredible ride and I refuse to accept that this is the end - maybe the end of this year, but NOT the end of Radio City. I MUST be back next year, even if in the touring's a must.


Luckily, to save myself from feeling post-show loss I'm heading down to Florida for New Year's and for the weekend to visit family. It was a last minute trip but I definitely need it.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Have you seen...

...the new design over on The Winger? Check it out. The site looks great.

I just posted a ton of new Radio City pictures over there so take a peek.

Speaking of new designs, after shows end and I have more time on my hands I want to get a new layout for the blog and make some major updates to my website. Any suggestions are welcome!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Even More RC Pictures

Again, in lieu of writing...

the theater on christmas night (although it always looks this wonderful :)

onstage with my grandmother during a backstage tour.

the OLD fashioned control panel by the stage manager's desk. they work the stage elevators and gold curtain contour thing from there.

our nutcracker wands on the prop table

i will miss this.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from NYC!
My first time actually spending Christmas eve and day IN the It was definitely a different holiday than years past, but just as merry.

Now it's onto my last week of shows at Radio City. Sad! But, we must stay in the Christmas spirit through Tuesday...:) Hope everyone had a happy holiday!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Spirit

Perhaps this is becoming a photo blog for the holidays, haha.

Normal blogging really and truly will return after Christmas. There is lots to catch up on.

School finishing hasn't really made my life less moment to write a blog so, yet again, here are some pictures celebrating the Christmas spirit. I made gingerbread houses with friends on my day off the other day and it was such fun!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

More RC Pictures

Perhaps on my day off tomorrow I'll find time to actually WRITE a blog entry. Til then, more photos!

in the elevator, the sign for our dressing rooms

ballerina bears backstage without heads

me in my santa costume. oh yes. those glasses stay just that crooked throughout the entire dance, impairing my vision as we do santa aerobics and the stage raises up and down and we ride the turntable

my mirror in my dressing room

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

4 Show Photo Fun

Since I no longer have mounds of school work to do during my breaks between shows backstage, I thought right now I'd upload some pictures to share.

It's a 4 show day today, so in later breaks I'll add some more!

This first one is when we are Santa's Helpers at the North Pole. That's "Mrs. Clause" and I'm on the left.

This was from a notes session after a dress rehearsal. We're all in the lobby waiting to get corrections...I'm on the left in purple looking at my phone.

This is part of the show...after we dance at one point in the "New York at Christmas" scene, we come down on the choral stairs in the audience and sing and such. I'm in the yellow sweater.

This is part of our dressing room...we decorate BIG TIME as a competition between the two casts (blue and gold, hence the decorative colors)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Another Milestone

This afternoon, after a weekend of 8 shows at Radio City Music Hall, I sent in my last paper for my master's degree.


Technically the semester ends this Friday, so that is my official graduation date. But...I'm done.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

So Much & So Little Time

Between finals and shows I haven't had a second to blog, even though there is much to update about...

Today is my day off and I have SO much to do and so little time...after I finish up school and after my family comes to the show this weekend I will do major blog updates.

For now, check out my review of Misnomer Dance Theater here. Finally got a chance to get out of my theater and into another one, haha.

It's scary how time is flying. My next day off is my official graduation date from grad school. The following Thursday day off is Christmas. And the one after that? New Years = show is over. Sad!!!

Still working out what will come of January. Stay tuned.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Busy Weekend

It's been a long, very full weekend. Updates to come probably tomorrow on the multitude of shows (Katie Holmes and baby Suri were in the audience today!), seeing Liza Minnelli on Broadway from the 2nd row (!!), and a review of Misnomer Dance Theater.

Will blog tomorrow!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Suggestions Welcome...

Ugh. I wasted a good 6 hours or so of my day off tonight trying to come up with a plan for my life beginning in January. You see, as of December 30 everything in my life as I know it ends.


No, it's not funny, actually.

Radio City ends. School ends sooner. No more option to take internships (you must get school credit for those). No more dance jobs on the horizon.

It's a bit frightening and I've been trying to avoid thinking about it, but today it kind of swamped me. So far, I've come up with an unfortunately small variety of very expensive options that a poor 20 year old with a master's degree could do:

-get a pilates certification (thousands of dollars, if you can believe it!)
-take continuing education courses in various subjects at Columbia, NYU, or online at Harvard (tens of thousands of dollars)
-spend every hour of every day pitching almost-out-of-print magazines, newspapers, websites, book publishers, etc and freelance full time (as I try to do now and still make little money)
-spend every hour of every day auditioning for every little thing that comes to the city

Any other suggestions or ideas for life plans would be appreciated! It's driving me crazy to the point that it's 2am, I'm still doing research, and I must be onstage at 10am for three back to back shows. Help.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

New Movmnt Out

The new issue of Movmnt came out this week. You can get a copy at Barnes & Noble or Universal News in NYC.

My article on dance and education - "Plato vs. Balanchine" - is towards the back, if you take a peak.

The magazine has also recently started putting articles from past issues up online, so you can read all of my clips here.

Out of Touch

(warning: this post is random, has no semblance of order, and rambles on for a while...apologies...)

Since the show started a month ago (has it already been that long? wow time flies) pretty much my entire life consists of being onstage, eating, sleeping, and making it to ballet class once in a while. And I love it that way.

But I seem to be waaay out of touch with the rest of life, haha. So many other performances are going on that I would have loved to attend/review, other things to do, people to see, and so forth. As I head into this next (and last :( ) month of shows I'm really going to try to maintain some semblance of an outside life besides the walls of Radio City, haha. Starting with, um, school...which will be officially done two weeks from today! Tons of work to do before then. Finals and Nutcracker season have always collided every year, but this is my FINAL set of finals, haha.

Enough of that.

Plans for the next few weeks to get back in touch with the world include seeing Misnomer Dance Theater at Joyce Soho this weekend, Liza Minnelli on Broadway (!!!), Nutcracker Rated R (which a friend of mine is in), Alvin Ailey at City Center, and some others. It's an ambitious list for my free time right now, but...


Some highlights of things that are happening...

The other day the buzz backstage was that Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas were in the audience with their daughter! It was so funny - any time we were onstage it was like a Where's Waldo search for the celebrities in the third row, while we were dancing! That theater is so huge and beyond the orchestra in the dark you can barely see past the third row or so, and there is rarely a moment in the show besides the curtain call when we can have the time to actually LOOK out and pay attention to what we see.

But after many rumors of the location of Catherine and Michael I finally caught a glimpse of them by the end of the show. I have to say, it made the repetitiveness of the show a lot more interesting, haha. And once it was confirmed that they were indeed there, it gave added excitement...just to know that important people like that are coming to see something I'm in! Cool!

If that weren't enough, I actually RAN INTO THEM backstage after the show! Like, literally almost bumped into Catherine Zeta Jones. I was giving a tour to friends who came to see the show and on my way out the door to get them, the "Chicago" star was walking in with stage managers for a tour of her own (well, for her daughter I suppose). It was so cool, I have to say. And I'm not big on the whole celebrity craze thing.

Besides that excitement, shows have been running pretty much smoothly and tiring-ly as usual. It's so automatic now that I don't even have to think - and I love that. In life I think too much. In dance, I can let it go. I'm very thankful my body is holding up through 16-show weeks (though not without its aches and pains).

What else...oh, we started having 9am shows. Yes, in pointe shoes in a bear head at 9AM. Oy. I was talking to my super-Balanchine teacher a few weeks ago about these early shows and she told me a story of how she used to do a Nutcracker guesting tour around the country with her partner before NYCB's season, and she remembered waking up in her hotel room and having to put on fake eyelashes before her eyes would even open. I thought it was a funny story at the time she told me, til it came true for these 9am shows, haha. Luckily my sleep schedule has kind of adjusted enough so that I'm semi-awake by the time our Santa number rolls around, haha.

We've also had some more 4 show days, which are getting only slightly easier, haha. Well, more manageable anyway. Again, we have a potluck so that we constantly eat all day. I finally got to actually enjoy it this week, because last week was the day after I was sick and I barely could eat a thing. Also, between our third and fourth shows, the final home stretch of exhaustion, all the guys in the ensemble had a fashion show in our lounge area. It was SO funny. I took tons of pictures, but they might murder me if I posted them here. They are one funny crew.

In other news, Claudia (NY Times dance critic and WNYC blogger) has started a performance club, which you may be interested in if you're in the city. Check it out. I'm hoping to attend the first performance event next week. She's also trying to arrange to see one of my shows and interview me :) Fun.

And while we're going down the random path, my ballet teacher's e-newsletter for December is out. I'm the webmaster/editor for it, so check it out here.

Okay, enough rambling about a thousand and one unimportant things, haha. My mind right now is so scattered, hence the disorganization of this post. Forgive me, it's my day off and I need rest, haha. Planning to post on The Winger this afternoon and that might make more sense :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Another 4 Show Day

Today was another four show Tuesday, so I am beat.

Shows have been going well...plan to blog more about everything on my day off, Thursday!

Til then...