Wednesday, April 30, 2008

so this is what college kids do

If you've only read this blog and never met me (or even if you have) you'd pretty much have no inkling that I have a life outside of dance. I admit, most of the time I don't! BUT this morning I went to show some school spirit since I haven't had much to do with my college since I graduated in January.

Every spring they hold "Strawberry Fest" with free food and fun outside the school (they close off a block of New York City...yes, that is our campus right there). I wrote about last year's festivities for The Monitor here (see p. 11). I mainly went just to pick up my senior t-shirt, haha, but enjoyed some snacks on the way.

Some pictures from this morning's amusement...think advisors in a dunk tank, teachers climbing a wall in the middle of the street, and thousands of strawberries being eaten with a loud band. This is the extent of my "real life" college experience, haha.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

newspaper cuts

As much as I'd like to blame our culture's lack of appreciation for dance for recent cuts in dance criticism in print, the truth is that all editorial content in print is at risk.

Times reports newspapers on the decline.

Monday, April 28, 2008

are there any left?

Danciti just posted that longtime NY Times dance critic Jennifer Dunning is leaving as of April 30. I heard rumors of this in my writing class - that she's retiring. Another dance critic gone.

Any bets on if they'll take on another stringer to join Claudia, Gia, and Roslyn? And Macaulay? Or will we just slowly kill off all dance criticism in print as we know it?

dance irrelevant?

Check out this interesting (and greatly amusing) conversation going on at Dance Theater Workshop's blog about the Gawker comment arguing that dance is increasingly irrelevant (posted after Deborah Jowitt's firing from the Voice).

I certainly hope dance is not becoming irrelevant...

Cedar Lake Review

Should be on exploredance soon...even though we were allowed to take pictures, my camera was acting up so I enjoyed it without the lens to my face and thus have nothing to show for it except my words, haha. Any bloggers want to lend me pictures? You can see other blogger reviews here from Matt, Evan, Philip, and Tonya. And the Times review here.

Cedar Lake's Glassy Essence

Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet has been at the forefront of innovation in dance since its inception. Their newest venture, “Glassy Essence,” is a performance installation unique to the company’s greatest resources: its wealth of dance talent and its luck of space freedom. Highly publicized online through their website, the process is just as interesting as the product.

Throughout the performance, which runs twice a night for two weekends in May, dancers move about the company’s vast, open theater space that has been emptied of seats and wings. Here, there are no boundaries. The audience is part of the performance, moving amongst the constantly shifting exhibits of dancers, sometimes retracting back in discomfort, sometimes aggressively getting in the way of the action.

A panel of marley dance floor circumscribes half of the space. The center backdrop is like a cubed climbing wall, with squares poking out at various depths and heights. A raised stage slightly larger than a pool table sits at the middle of the room, surrounded by an unsure audience waiting for lighting cues to signal the start of their interactive experience.

As the dances come out and step off the dance floor into the crowd it’s like they purge from a magic mirror. Suddenly an idolized image becomes real. The dancer is a person, not a fixture on an untouchable stage. And yet they remain in their own reflective world, refusing to make eye contact but sifting through the audience with high sensitivity. The audience revokes as if the dancers’ auras cast them aside.

Gravity is nonexistent in their world that collides with ours. Large hang-gliding like structures harness the dancers at one point, allowing them not to fly carelessly but to slow down weight. Partnering with this quality is impressive, as two dancers waver above the raised stage, or the men stand upright on each other’s shoulders.

They defy reality even without special effects. As men sit on the cube wall they hold the women with their feet under their arms as if they just caught them from falling off a cliff. Danger isn’t an option, though. The hanging ladies swim and waft through space as if their air were heavy, imprinting their beauty invisibly on their atmosphere, not ours.

This is where dance is headed. Parts are reminiscent of a nightclub with flashy lighting and tight crowds, but the engagement of the audience in movement appeals to the new generation of dancegoers. While boundaries are broken, the dancers are still otherworldly. There is so much going on that it is difficult to catch many moments. But no performance will be the same, the exciting nature of this type of work.

Times at midnight

Lately in my late night ways, particularly since I started the Writing on Dance course at DTW with a New York Times critic, I've taken to refreshing the NY Times' Dance page repeatedly until tomorrow's reviews are put online. I'm rarely in bed before at least 1am nowadays, so as I'm doing my work I keep checking to see what new 300 word critiques I can read and critique myself.

I go through time spurts where I never make it to a theater to see dance and don't really mind because I'm distracted by so many other things. And then I go through periods, like now, where I can't get my hands on enough tickets (press, comps, or paid) to performances because there's so much I want to see that I HAVE to make time for it. I've been very fortunate to get into some great shows the last few weeks, and this week I spent literally every night from Wednesday to Sunday in some theater or another - not dancing, but watching and writing.

It's made me more inspired to write quickly, too. I used to see something, wait a day or two until I had a free moment, and then writing a blurb about what I saw. Lately I've been dashing to my laptop as soon as I get home from the performance...or sometimes even on the way home if Starbucks is still open, haha.

Anyway. This Writing course has also gotten me more into reading criticism. Before I would skim the Times dance page to see who had been reviewed and what the pictures looked like, only reading in detail if it was something I had seen or was going to see (but not review). Now I'm obsessed with reading everything that comes off the Gray Lady's dance page (or...its internet page, admittedly), and as soon as it comes out. No time in the morning, I need me news at midnight, haha.

I was rooting for Rebecca Kelly to get a review over the weekend but if it wasn't published by now it probably won't be. Too bad...they deserve the publicity, good or bad! That's one of the issues I find really interesting in dance criticism: who is worthy enough to be reviewed at all. With so much dancing happening in New York City it seems like there should be some way to document it all...I suppose the internet is helping with that, but not entirely...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Dance at Dicapo review

One more review down...many to go...this should be on ExploreDance soon.

Dance at Dicapo

The Dance at Dicapo program included a poetic, resonant work from the Dario Vaccaro Dance Project sandwiched between two cheesy premieres by The Nilas Martins Dance Company.

New York City Ballet Principal dancer Nilas Martins founded his pickup group in 2003 and today borrows dancers from NYCB and Complexions Contemporary Ballet, among other companies. Despite the talent well of his dancers, the inherent problems in putting together a mish-mashed troupe were evident in Sunday’s performance.

It opened with “Nocturne,” which Martins co-choreographed with John Selya, a former American Ballet Theater principal and star of Twyla Tharp’s Broadway hit, “Movin’ Out.” The piece showed more than adequate influence from Selya’s Broadway days, with 5 Billy Joel songs as accompaniment just for starters. The musicians remained onstage throughout the entire program, and partnering tricks and playfulness were reminiscent of Tharp’s choreography. But where her commercial work meshed theatricality with art seamlessly, “Nocturne” stumbles slightly.

Three of the four men appeared in “Movin’ Out” in some capacity while it was running (Benjamine Bowman, Alexander Brady, Eric Otto). Theirs, and NYCB soloist Ask la Cour’s, boyish charm and technical finesse saved an otherwise cliché work. Parts of it seem like a desperately trying lyrical competition number, such as a solo for Christina Dooling (Complexions). Her confident presence is the only thing that makes the choreography work.

Martins’ “SwingFlight” is only slightly better. The dancers come from such varied backgrounds that it’s like watching four different shows when they dance together. Perhaps more rehearsal time would have improved this, but given the fact that he did manage to borrow skillful dancers from great companies, Martins pulled it off.

Similar to the opening piece, “SwingFlight” is a showy work with a live band and girls in brightly colored dresses. Of the 5 movements, the pas de deux between Drew Jacoby and Rubinald Pronk (both from Complexions) was the most exciting and the least overtly theatrical. Jacoby resembles an early Cyd Charisse with her long legs and sassy style. She has a natural presence that the other ladies lack somewhat. Pronk’s flexibility is admirable and grounded in strength.

Martins danced surprisingly little for his own program, but he and the other men were a vibrant force. William Lin-Yee (formerly of NYCB) stood out for his playfulness. La Cour’s technique was a smooth as the background jazz music.

Compared to Martins’ smiley, in-your-face pieces that flaunt his dancers’ proud strengths, Vaccaro’s “Seguiti” was a welcomed dose to calm the pace of the program. Meaning “to continue on,” “Seguiti” is a more abstract work that explores change and pursuit.

In dull colors and poetic music, it begins with a man walking across with a suitcase, soon followed by another male traveler and two women. Between fragments of duets and ensemble moments, the dancers frequently flutter their hands in front of or beside their face, almost imitating common hand gestures referring to “talking” or “crazy.” The theme of covering each other’s eyes with their hands also reoccurs.

There are times when it’s difficult to determine where the audience should be looking, as a couple dances downstage while a single girl moves sensually in a calm light far away on the opposite side. But the challenge seems to have significance rather than being a choreographic mishap. There are also moments of humor – a male dancer crossing the stage with his suitcase wearing red high heels, another male answering a loud telephone from the audience under the spotlight. Qualities throughout the piece vary, exemplifying Vaccaro’s essence of “change.”

Peter Martins sighting

Just back from seeing 'Dance at Dicapo' where Nilas Martins & Company performed...full review to come in a little while (writing as we speak...)

Granted it was his son's performance, but I was still surprised to see Peter Martins in the audience. Maybe I shouldn't have been. But being a relatively small theater and small performance (especially compared to his company, NYCB)...nice to see support! It was a full house, anyway.

Review to come.

Reviews posted

Two of my reviews have been posted on

Kirov's Balanchine program here.

Company profile of Rebecca Kelly Ballet here.

finally saw Cedar Lake

After hopelessly retaining myself from reading everyone's blog posts about Cedar Lake's Glassy Essence Installation this week, I finally got to see the performance last night.

It was great. So different from a traditional performance, and very cool. I'll be writing more detail soon (I know I keep promising to do that - and I WILL do it, but I have finals this week among other drama)...I think this is where dance is headed, though. The interactivity with the audience is much more engaging than watching something abstract, sitting still, in darkness. Hm.

To complete my 5 consecutive day run of seeing performances, today I'm going to "Dance at Dicapo" where Nilas & Co. is performing. Looking forward to that...

The next week or two is going to be crazy...between writing reviews of everything I've seen this week, finishing up projects and exams for grad school (where did the semester go??), starting a new job (and waiting to hear back on another, important job...), and some other stuff, I'll be luckily if I make it through alive...

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Take Dance & more

What a busy Saturday and a full week(end) of dance events!

I'm running between performances and classes right now...Lots to write about...

This morning I went to a blogger preview of Take Dance, a company founded by former Paul Taylor dancer Takehiro Ueyama. Their performances will be at the Miller Theater at Columbia University May 15-17 at 8pm.

It was such a nice morning. Fellow bloggers Philip and Evan were there, and later I met Winger fan Sophie (had to laugh, she knew who I was before I introduced myself from my pics on the Winger...hah cool!) and it was nice to see everyone and chat about upcoming shows, since I missed the big blogger event at Cedar Lake the other night (but I'm going tonight...).

Anyway the dancing...was soooo good! Take's choreography is very free and released, with lots of swinging and throwing of the body. All the dancers looked like they were enjoying themselves so much. It seemed so natural for them, almost to the point that they were comfortable it seemed they good be improvising just from their own internal impulses of movement. I wanted to get up and move! It was interesting to see the process as well, as they worked through lifts and tough spots in between running the pieces. Being that close to the dancers was cool too, because you could share their energy entirely, feeling the landing of their jumps through the floor of the Duke studios (nice facility by the way...never been there).

I'm looking forward to seeing them perform in May. Take also has a piece in Eugene Lang College's spring performance next weekend at Ailey, so I'll be heading to that as well. Exciting.

Took class right afterwards and am having a quick coffee/blogging break now before pointe class later, and then seeing Cedar Lake's Glassy Essence. I've been at the theater, one or another, every night this week since Wednesday. Watching dance. That's a lot for one week...and a lot of writing to come from it (soon). Keep an eye out, and go see some performances if you're around!

Times' Sulcas on Yasuko

NY Times review on Yasuko Yokoshi's "Reframe the Framework DDD", which I saw and reviewed Thursday night...

I think I met Roslyn Sulcas without knowing it was her, haha...Claudia was talking to our Writing on Dance class and I stepped away for a second, came back and another lady was talking with us about dance criticism, but nobody caught her name. She sat with Claudia and then this review just came out, so I can only assume it was her, haha!

Friday, April 25, 2008

curtain rises on rkb

Tonight was one of three performances of the work I've been understudying the past few months. What magic to see it finally danced on a stage!

I'm tired and will try to post over the weekend about it, even though there's a ton more I need to blog about after tomorrow (TAKE dance company blogger preview, seeing Cedar Lake's installation, and more...).

But the theme of the night:
I wish I had been onstage.

Youth in Yasuko's "Framework" review

completed review of Yasuko Yokoshi's "Reframing the Framework DDD" at The Kitchen tonight. Not being posted anywhere else since it's just for my Writing on Dance course at the moment, but enjoy. May help to read the previous post before this one...FEEDBACK WELCOME and encouraged. I'm trying to improve my writing through this class and otherwise...

Youth in Yokoshi’s Reframing the Framework DDD

“Talk with Mom so she doesn’t think I hate her.” “Finish that essay.” “Science class.”

Everyday high school kids from suburban Vermont shout their daily tasks. But “perform a groundbreaking live dance drama in New York City” should be added to their modest list.

Nine students from Brattleboro School of Dance perform in Yasuko Yokoshi’s “Reframing the Framework DDD,” a recreation of choreographer David Gordon’s 1984 piece “Framework.” Through a marriage of video, dance, and spoken word, we learn more about these kids in one hour of performance than any casual conversation or flimsy Facebook profile could reveal.

Videos of interviews with the students play as the backdrop to the teens, who recount anecdotes of friendship, cattiness, sisterhood, and first kisses. Their words are powerful. Resonating, each story is told with mundane facial expressions. Dialogue is interspersed with gestures representing punctuation marks - a jump for an exclamation point, a curved hand for a comma, a stomp for a period. Even the squiggly hyphen used to sign off in today’s email jargon is embodied with a worm-like movement when one dancer completes a touching monologue, where she reads aloud an email about her depression.

Their nil default emotion is occasionally freed with yells of frustration and then immediately recuperated. The angst of teenage-hood is hidden beneath their young eyes, trembling behind unquivering lips, boiling below broken out skin. And it is all released when they go silent and just dance. It’s the heart moving moments – the separation of lifelong best friends, the awkwardness of sexuality – that are expressed entirely through motion.

“I enjoy dancing,” one says briefly, with a straighter face than a serious student perfecting plies. Hinting at irony, she continues. “It makes me feel good. Free. Happy.” Their ability to mask this with empty expressions while physically embodying that joy is commendable given their youth.

An orange rectangular outline the size of a doorframe is often shape-shifted between them, usually moved by Andrew Marchev, the only male in a sea of gaggling girls. The frame reverts back to Gordon’s original choreography, which is screened just long enough, at the very beginning and end, to give the live work context. Where the 1984 piece commented on the communication technology of the telephone, Yokoshi’s interpretation gives relevance to today’s conversational conventions, including Myspace and typing abbreviations like BTW (by the way) and G2G (got to go).

Yokoshi has created much more than a dance docudrama. This is a live, ephemeral vehicle for these kids’ experiences that gives each the opportunity to be his or herself and explore troubled emotions further. We meet them and hear their stories. We attach emotionally and see them grow. By the end, we care deeply about who they are, expressing as dancers and as humans.
After the bows the video continues with outtakes. Two girls gossip to the camera. “Like, what if we perform it well but people just don’t like the piece?” they ask sarcastically, igniting a laugh from the audience. There’s no adolescent annoyance here. The piece is a youthful breeze in the stark wind of contemporary dance.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Yasuko's show saves my day

Gosh, I had a really rather awful, insane day today. Moreso than usual.

LUCKILY I was saved tonight by a WONDERFUL performance at The Kitchen. Yasuko Yokoshi's "Reframing the Framework DDD" is so good, and if you don't have plans to see it this weekend you need to rearrange your schedule immediately. I had to go and review it for my Writing on Dance course (still the highlight of my week) and all of us sat together...and it was great...

The piece brings a group of senior high school students from Vermont into a recreation of David Gordon's 1984 piece "Framework." We watched a clip of it in class before heading over to The Kitchen all together, but this work stands on its own without any prior knowledge necessary of the original piece. I'm doing a full review to be posted later tonight or in the morning, but wow. Good stuff.

See Claudia (teacher of my beloved writing course)'s feature about the work in Sunday's NY Times here. Tickets here.

My review to come soon. It was a nice night after a hectic first time at The Kitchen, which is a nice downtown space. And a (Village Voice dance critic) Deborah Jowitt sighting. And before the show I was talking with some classmates and Claudia about the lack of full time dance critics. I think we established that Alastair at the Times is the last one in the US actually on staff at a mainstream publication. Oy.

Anyways...go see the show if you can. It saved me from going insane tonight, haha.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

RKB Dress Rehearsal

While all the other bloggers were at the fabulous preview of Cedar Lake's Glassy Essence installation (wish I could have made it to catch up with everyone...I'm going on Saturday though...) I was at the dress rehearsal for RKB's performances this weekend.

It was so great to finally see the piece we had been rehearsing all this time go onstage with costumes and lighting and everything. I admit I was a tad jealous I wasn't up there dancing :( haha it's okay though. I'm in the program at least :) that was a nice surprise. The company looks great and it's going to be a good show for everyone, I'm sure. Some of the tech stuff was still shaky but it was still just the process. I'm looking forward to seeing the real deal with the audience on Friday night.

I should take this moment to say how glad I am that I got to be a part of these rehearsals and everything the past few months. What a good experience.

Lots of reviews and excitement in the next few days...RKB, Cedar Lake, Yasuko @ the Kitchen, Take Dance Co. blogger rehearsal preview, and more...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Miami City Ballet in NY

This weekend Miami City Ballet is performing on Long Island. I so would love to go see them but my weekend is already jam packed with performance-going, so I can't make it...

Take a look at this Newsday feature on MCB principal Jennifer Kronenberg by Apollinaire. Jennifer is absolutely gorgeous and amazing! When I went to MCB for their summer intensive a few years ago (2004? wow, a lifetime ago it seems!) she was my level's main teach and she staged the friends dance from Copelia on us, and I (and another girl) got to do Swanhilda. It was so wonderful working with her...she's an incredible dancer and she is so sweet! And a great teacher. I would love to see her perform...those of you who are going to their Long Island performance, let me know how it goes. They're doing Twyla Tharp's "In the Upper Room" which is an amazing piece I saw ABT do a while ago. Should be a great performance.

showcase rehearsal

We've started rehearsing for another little student showcase like we had in February with the people I take open class with. It's set for June 1, but my teacher is going away for the month of May so we are scrambling to finish setting choreographing and everything. There's a lot more people involved this time and it's a little chaotic, but it's fun..

I'm doing the Pas D'esclave pas de deux from Corsaire, and the variation that goes along with it. I'm also supposed to be doing this modern-ish solo thing, but we haven't had time or space to rehearse it in a month so that might be off. Plus there are several group pieces and such in the works, so it should be a nice little show. It falls right after my first week of ABT's intensive, though, so that week is going to be insane!

It's nice to have so much going on though. I'm doing an audition this afternoon and have a few other prospective opportunities in the works, both dance and otherwise, so I'll be posting more soon.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Times on Kirov/Balanchine

And so Macaulay's final foray from the Kirov's season comes...

I'm a little confused by it, though...he argues both that the Kirov's style and Balanchine's style are exceedingly similar and that there also is a huge gap between the two:

First, "When you watch the Kirov dancing any Balanchine ballet, you see how strong a stylistic connection still runs between the two."

Later, "But it’s also true that the Kirov dancing almost any Balanchine ballet will show how deep the chasm is between these two ballet cultures."


He didn't like "Rubies," which was my favorite of the program...However I do agree with his opinion of Lopatkina.
Just finding it interesting with these performances to see all the different critical perspectives. There is so much history and such a complex context with which to place this season and judge it, particularly the Balanchine program. Very interesting.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

"one should have something to be correct about"

Go read Joan Acoccella's New Yorker piece on the Kirov's season. It's exactly what I was getting at in my initial response to last night's performance but didn't know how to say, and of course she has said it perfectly...

The first half of the article is on a puppeteer whose work I didn't see, but the second half describes the ballerinas and their fault: all technique and no emotion. She prasies Diana Vishneva (who I didn't see this time around but caught her solo season earlier this year) for having meaning behind her dancing, being able to play with the music and create nuance.

"Somova’s other attractions include a lovely face, and hair the color of Barbie’s. She also has the emotional range of Barbie."

I also didn't see Somova, but this could be said of many of the dancers onstage.

"Vishneva seems to know why she is dancing—what it is that’s important about the ballet she’s doing—and this knowledge translates into phrasing, which is the dancer’s primary dramatic resource. As she inflects the steps, she is taking you somewhere, and you follow her bug-eyed, whereas, with many of her colleagues, you could go out into the lobby and get a drink of water, and, when you came back, they would look as though they were doing the same thing as before.....she is a lesson, from which the company could learn. Correctness is fine, admirable, but one should have something to be correct about."

Exactly my feeling about the performance I saw and about ballet in general right now. Why bother with perfect lines and extensions and precision if there's no meaning behind the art?

Russian Flavor to a NY Staple

okay, my insomnia led me to my official review last night...should be up on exploredance soon

Russian Flavor to a New York Staple: Kirov Does Balanchine

To have the Kirov Ballet performing in New York City is a treat in itself. But to have the troupe of perfect bodies and technical epitome dance repertoire that is typical for New York audiences but with a taste of Russian flare is a sweetness like no other. Such was the case at Saturday evening’s all Balanchine performance at City Center, the last of the programs the elite company brought with them on their 3 week tour from their home at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The program commenced with “Serenade,” his first ballet choreographed in America (in 1934) after leaving Russia, where Balanchine himself trained at the Mariinsky Theatre. It was a fitting piece for the lavish corps de ballet and the delicious Tchaikovsky score, but if the evening were a decadent dessert to await, this ballet was the cumbersome course to get through before the sweet stuff. Though Ekaterina Osmolkina sparkled with her amiable interpretation of the Russian role (one of the lead parts of the ballet is so aptly named), the rest of the piece was no standout compared to the numerous companies that perform it.

One memorable moment of the choreography is when a male promenades a ballerina from her bottom leg hidden by her tutu, appearing as if she were impressively spinning independently like a dancer in a music box. Saturday it was disappointing. The partner’s hands accidentally wrapped the voluptuous skirt around as well, making a mess of the illusion. Often the ostentatious takes on Balanchine’s exaggerated upper body style were over the top for the proximity of the audience in City Center, though the overextensions may be appropriate at the company’s home theater.

A craving for something more was quickly fed with “Rubies.” The slinky, jazzy section from “Jewels” brought a tart spark to their fine technique. Olesia Novikova was outstanding as the crackerjack lead. Her carved lines could scoop gold out of thin air with their perfection. Balanchine’s staccato playfulness in her pas de deux with Leonid Sarafanov gave them a charming chemistry. Nadezhda Gonchar’s precision and strength kept her grounded in the quickness of the choreography while giving her the freedom to explore a unique flirtation with the audience. By far, this spunky side of the company was most enjoyable.

“Ballet Imperial” concluded the evening with a sugary rush of beauty. The work, which is now known in America as “Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Major,” is one of Balanchine’s more classically driven ballets. Cotton candy pink dresses melted into the taffy quality of the corps de ballet’s dancing. Weaving and intertwining patterns lent themselves gracefully to the languid arms of the Russians. However there were times when, along the sides framing the flavorful Uliana Lopatkina and Igor Zelensky, the corps looked comparably stale.

Yana Selina and Svetlana Ivanova were exquisite in their featured corps roles, raising the question of how a hierarchy structure is imposed on this company loaded with brilliant bodies, luscious movement quality, and a presence that serves any audience’s palate worldwide. New Yorkers must have an appetite for more of the Kirov after this 3 week glamour sampler.

Kirov does Balanchine

I finally got to see the Kirov perform tonight - their second to last performance here after 3 weeks at City Center. I would have loved to have seen all of their different programs, but there's only so much time in a week haha. So tonight I saw the Balanchine program.

I'm writing a real review for exploredance (and my crit course...) but my thoughts for now...

they are all such incredible dancers. their feet and legs and everything are just amazing. wow

the program was Serenade, Rubies from Jewels, and Ballet Imperial. By far my favorite was Rubies. Serenade is a gorgeous ballet in itself, but maybe because I've seen it too many times I didn't think it was anything special tonight. I just saw it on the same stage when PA Ballet did it in November and yes the dancers are far different, but I don't know. Rubies was a huge treat, though. Amazing. Ballet Imperial was the only one I hadn't seen ever before and it was pretty...

Maybe I'm going through a phase since I've seen a lot of contemporary dance lately, but, and I reeeeally hate to admit this, I was almost a teeny tiny bit bored tonight. I shouldn't even be writing that casually about a company so great - and they ARE incredible - but after seeing some deep downtown stuff recently that dug further than just 'being pretty' it was kind of a lot of superficial stuff.

I'll probably erase the above paragraph in the morning when I've come to my senses after thinking about the performance and what I'm going to write in my actual review...but that was my initial thought despite the immense talent of the company.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

dance writing week 3

The Writing on Dance course I'm taking just keeps getting better and better. It's already half way over, and I wish it were a full semester kind of class instead of a 6 week workshop!

Tonight we got our reviews back that we turned in last week. Mine was what I wrote on Petronio for ExploreDance, which we took apart during the class last week. But it was so wonderful to get written feedback from someone so well respected (C. La Rocco from the Times) as a dance critic. So helpful to see and hear tips and listen to other critiques and such.

Lately I've been able to meet and speak with people about dance on a much higher level of conversation than I've ever had access to before. It's interesting that that doesn't occur more in a school-type situation but rather amongst professionals or just audience members. I love it though.

Just some interesting notes I made to myself throughout tonight's class I thought I'd share...

-readers will not necessarily be able to see the dance piece you are describing, so their experience of the art is only through your verbal interpretation of the movement as the critic

-in contemporary dance you're going into the unknown, which is different from traditional classical dance

-criticism is the meeting of minds: the writer and the artist (choreographer)

-a critic's dialogue is with the audience, NOT with the artist

-what are some theatrical cliches?

I have tons more notes and things to think about and incorporate in my writing but just thought I'd put those up for discussion. I'm so inspired by this course and don't want it to end!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

modern, & teaching

Two things to post about today to make up for yesterday's lack of blogging...

-This morning we had company class with RKB, our last one before their performances next week. It was such a good class...but it was modern, which I haven't done in quite some time. I'm going to be sore, but it was wonderful to not be at a ballet barre as a warm up for once, haha. Like when I first took her class in January, I noticed how different their style is and how not used to it I am, but things I picked up before started coming back. I really enjoyed the change of pace...probably should branch out more often but I barely get time to do enough ballet for myself (it's never enough actually - and some would argue I do too much..)...hmm something to think about.

-I went back to teaching right after rehearsal. I was out sick last week, and the kids have school vacation next week, so it's a little stressful knowing we only have 2 more rehearsals til they're onstage! The piece still needs a lot of tweaking, but I'm sure we'll pull it together in time. I noticed as we were going through and having come right from that modern class how much of an influence the people I've worked with have had on me, both in the way that I teach and the choreography itself. Sometimes I listen to myself babble on and I think, Oh my God, I'm [my teacher]! Funny stuff. Oh and we came up with a name for the dance today: "Let it Go." I actually let the kids determine the name because I couldn't think creatively of a title today. Many of the movements are about release and freedom within the body, and I'm always saying 'just let it go...' so it seemed fitting. I'm getting excited for them now that we're discussing lighting and costumes and such...this is my first time being in control of those issues. eek!

Off to night class the rest of the evening. My life is so funny right now. I have days where I'm writing all day, working at my internship, not even a flashing thought of dance goes by. And then I have days like today where I get up at the crack of dawn (well, it feels that way) to be in class before rehearsal, before teaching, before multiple other classes, and it's just dance dance dance. What's odd is that I love BOTH kinds of days...I'm just hoping they can coexist a little longer.

Monday, April 14, 2008

i pretend to be a photographer

Two weeks a year I pretend I'm a photographer: the week in early November when the foliage is at its peak, and the week mid-April when the trees blossom into clouds of pink! It's unfortunate that they don't remain pink all year round...I think that would make the world a little happier, haha. They make me smile on an otherwise crazy Monday...

All photos (c) Taylor 2008

Sunday, April 13, 2008

reviews & rehearsal

My two recent reviews for ExploreDance have finally been posted:

Petronio here
Ballet Tech here

News of the day is that I started rehearsals this afternoon for this little performance in May. It's part of the New York's Amazing Play festival, and a girl who takes class with me sometimes is directing a short piece and asked if I'd be a part of it. I haven't gotten a chance to read the full play yet so I'm not sure where our dance fits in, but it's me, the director, and one of the actresses that do a dance to "celebrate spring." It's pretty! It's something to look forward to anyway...a week of shows before I start the ABT intensive (which I just received paperwork for...amusing...I'll leave it at that for the moment...) so it should be fun.

After rehearsal I had a private with my teacher like last week, and she basically killed me again, haha. I'm already sore. It's a good soreness though...if there is such a thing.

Anyways...lot's going on in the week ahead. I've finished 2 big articles and have 1 more to go before tomorrow...I get to dance in my usual rehearsals this week because one girl is out so I get to fill in...and some other busy stuff going on. Fun fun.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

love this weather!

yay for spring

"big" ballet & outkast

As revealed the other day, I'm doing an article on Atlanta Ballet's collaboration with Big Boi from Outkast in the new work "big," which premiered Thursday night in Atlanta. You can see video of a rehearsal of the piece here.

Here's their NY Times review. "Ballet can’t achieve modernity by association, only by an extension of its own physical laws and principles." Hmm.

I love how the Times only covers out of town when it's reeeally important.

Also since I was working on my piece yesterday and searching to see how opening night went, I was slightly annoyed to have to wait until NOW to get a review. No bloggers in Atlanta posting immediate feedback?

Friday, April 11, 2008


This writing course has made me really inspired to is my review from last night's performance of Eliot Feld's mandance project. Should be up on exploredance soon, but this is the longer version...warning: it is QUITE long.

One of the things we discuss in the course is the balance of judgement versus description in a review. Until recently I found it hard to DESCRIBE a dance visually with words, but now I'm finding that my whole review is description! Hopefully the way I describe conveys my opinion about the piece...comments/critiques welcome! I'm in a learning phase...

Mandance Succeeds Again

Eliot Feld’s MANDANCE PROJECT has been a returning event to Joyce Theater audiences for the past four years. The 2008 season, which runs April 9-20, proves why: with two premieres, exquisite dancers, and an artistic team that steals the show, MANDANCE PROJECT is a treat of a showcase for this artist’s work.

His 2004 dance, “Backchat,” kicks the program off with high energy. Two oversized stage lights sit on either side of a large dismembered wall. A pair of legs appears upside down from atop. Soon two other pairs emerge. What unfolds is an athletic act of climbing for three men who retain the strength of a sportsman and the finesse of a dancer.

Often their molasses movements turn to sharp wiping motions with hands taut with tension, a contrast that repeats. Each jumps in unison to catch himself mid-air, legs spread and head thrown back as if holding on for dear life. One can easily forget the floor is there. They interweave with each other’s bodies but always have contact with the wall. They are fearless and as vibrant as their bright costumes: colored shorts and biker shirts that are revealed to be all black on the front when they face audience.

The final image is of them hanging upside down like young boys on a jungle gym, with their legs swaying overhead as if to say, “Look what I can do,” tauntingly. Even after their bow, they hurdle up to the top of the wall for a final humble glimpse of the audience.

“Pursuing Odette” is the most emotionally moving of the works. The solo for Ha-Chi Yu portrays, if somewhat abstractly and in non-narrative form, a dancer’s struggle to attain the perfection demanded by ballet. It reflects remnants of influence from the title character’s original ballet, “Swan Lake.”

There is the sense of a yin and yang tension between the lithe, ethereal qualities of classical dance and the grounded realism of modern dance, a dialectic that is exemplified by not only the choreography but in the costume and scenery. Ms. Yu wears a long black dress with one leg bare and the other strictly suited up in white tights and a pointe shoe. The backdrop is split diagonally in half, part black, part white. However the dividing line in the choreography is less concrete.

It is the simple alterations in recognizable swan-like poses that make Mr. Feld’s movement so effective. A sleeping swan turns into shuddering unrest with flexed ankles and bent knees. An iconic swan attitude position features the head to the sky with arms floating back as wings, knee gently arced so that the foot nearly touches the dancer’s bun. Mr. Feld’s interpretation is angular and severe. Ms. Yu takes a hold of her foot behind her head and slowly tilts forward in a penche. Her shakiness may have been a balance problem, but it only served to better exhibit the trembling nerves in her angst.

Another swan-like position is on the floor, where Mr. Feld continues the concept of connection by attaching the foot to the forehead where the traditional swan would be aloof. At first, the bare foot is the one to touch, but in the ending position it is the pointe shoe, together with her hands as the beak, that create the swan image, suggesting that she indeed has conquered her pursuit.

Traditionally, Odette is a Swan Princess, a delicate beauty and a role aspired to by many a budding bunhead. Here, Odette is the sun, the eye of perfection Ms. Yu longs for. Perhaps she herself has gone through this struggle like so many other talents – the aspirations of ballet depreciating, resorting to the freedom and veracity of modern dance. Her anguish and disparity could strike a chord in any dancer whose dream may be unrealized.

The premiere of “Undergo” is extremely anticlimactic after Ms. Yu’s moving distress and passion. Wu-Kang Chen leads the quartet of dancers with great strength, but he cannot save the work. There is no apparent association between what is happening onstage. A trio undulates and wavers constantly to a discordant soundtrack from choreographer Meredith Monk. A clump of plastic resembling cellophane sits downstage, which Mr. Chen later crawls around in to no end. A lengthy roll of gold paper hangs from the top of the stage, which Mr. Chen later pulls down and envelops himself in like a small child engulfed in wrapping paper on Christmas morning. The meaning is unclear.

Luckily another premiere, “Isis in Transit,” provides a welcome relief. Based on the Egyptian tale of Isis, the goddess of fertility, and her journey for the scattered remains of her brother Osiris, the work presents the strikingly fit Fang-Yi Sheu struggling through various set pieces in conquest. The same crumpled paper that was offsetting in the previous work now hangs across the black backdrop. Low pyramids line the back, and Ms. Sheu climbs and crosses them in profile, mimicking the angled arms and 2 dimensional quality of a painted goddess circumscribing an Egyptian vase.

She then moves to a sea of pliable plexiglass poles for a game with gravity. She grasps a handful to her back and falls forward as though she were going to face plant to the ground. The poles ease her weight and bend time so that she just barely skims the stage with her breath before returning back up to standing. She battles, turning horizontal and upside down within the forest of clear stems, which glitter in the thoughtful lighting design by Aaron Copp.

Her next stage battle is with a large metal bowl on center stage. She traces the circumference of it with her cautious steps before her entire body spasms to cause the bowl to shake, again toying with the lighting from straight above to create an effect reminiscent of thunder and lightning.

She faces further struggles with scenic elements, designed by Mimi Lien and Mr. Feld. The intricate set could overpower a dancer of small stature, but Ms. Sheu is the one who shines.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Petronio Review workshopped...

Tonight in my Writing on Dance course I submitted my review of Petronio's performance last week (that I also did for ExploreDance but he hasn't posted it yet...) and it was "workshopped" and reviewed/critiqued by others in the class. I haven't had my writing reviewed like that in a LONG time, so it was really really good and helpful! I need to do more things like this. I was happy with the result.

Since ExploreDance still hasn't posted the review I figured I'd put it up here. This is the UNREVISED version from before tonight's editing/review session.

I just left the Joyce again, where i saw Eliot Feld's ManDance Project to review for both explore and the course again. Will post that when I'm done.

For now, here's Petronio:

Petronio’s Premieres Yell for Attention: Stephen Petronio at the Joyce

Stephen Petronio’s program at The Joyce Theater April 1-6 offers a subtle nod to the past and a proud jump into the contemporary.

His style changes throughout the evening, keeping the eye intrigued. A common theme is his juxtaposition of movement versus stillness, where a single dancer holds a pose as if anchoring down the nearby storm of legs and arms. His dancers often cringe and repulse as if a weighted marble were traveling through their bodies, falling out of nowhere, slipping through the path of their veins, gaining momentum, and rolling out a fingernail or toe for eternity.

The full-length world premiere, “This Is the Story of a Girl in a World,” comprises of five contrasting works aiming to explore the blurred line of gender. Perhaps the most transcendent of these otherwise discrete puzzle pieces is “Snap,” where a male and a female appear in silence only bearing black underwear. Together they hand their previous garments to a stage manager, who casually parades across the proscenium, before taking their pose.

“Ahhh,” they yell simultaneously, startling the sexy silence surrounding them. Moving into images and phrases of feminine influence – limp wrists, abducted shoulders, suggestive facial expressions – their synchronization within abstract movement enhances the uniformity of gender. Interspersed with brief cries and shouts, the beat of their breath is sensuous.
“Beauty and the Brut” is less overt. Movement is trumped by the original contemporary score by Fischerspooner, an art-pop duo whose electric music mixes with vocals narrating a story of a French girl meeting a “freaky guy” at a beach.

Petronio’s 2006 work “Bloom” is more aesthetically pleasing than the two world premieres. Beginning with members of the Young People’s Chorus of New York City walking ominously up the aisles of the theater while humming a capella, the dance proceeds rather solemnly against a navy blue backdrop. The elements mesh into a more subdued, accessible experience unlike the rest of the evening.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

behind the cartoons...

Want to know part of what goes on behind the scenes at my internship at The New Yorker?

Check out this Newsweek article I came across recently about the "inside process" of the famous cartoon caption contest.

Fun fun :)
Here's this week's cartoon for the caption contest. Any takers?

(image from

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Times: "Death by Blogging"

When I first read this, I thought it was a joke:

"They work long hours, often to exhaustion. Many are paid by the piece — not garments, but blog posts. This is the digital-era sweatshop. You may know it by a different name: home...In the last few months, two among their ranks [bloggers] have died suddenly...To be sure, there is no official diagnosis of death by blogging, and the premature demise of two people obviously does not qualify as an epidemic...."

Indeed, this comes from a NEW YORK TIMES article.

Just in case we weren't clear on the fact that 'death by blogging' is not an option for an autopsy result. Hah.

The article describes the new wave of people who make careers out of blogging, some making as many as six figures (clearly not in the realm of dance blogging...)! But because of the importance of timeliness online, apparently bloggers in certain genres are working too hard to break stories rather than keeping up with natural human health. "Other bloggers complain of weight loss or gain, sleep disorders, exhaustion and other maladies born of the nonstop strain of producing for a news and information cycle that is as always-on as the Internet."

Okay then.

I still can't get over that this is in the Times. "All that competition puts a premium on staying awake. the right man for the job. He works for...a popular Gawker Media site...He says he sleeps about five hours a night and often does not have time to eat proper meals. But he does stay fueled — by regularly consuming a protein supplement mixed into coffee."

Coffee = the key to everyone's success, haha. In my book anyway. And the Times, apparently.

I have to laugh. I don't know that "death by blogging" or that kind of absurd work ethic is necessary for dance blogs. We haven't hit that height of importance, newsworthiness, or abundance of competition yet (will we ever?). BUT after considering this fact I did take pride in the fact that my post on Village Voice dance critic Deborah Jowitt getting laid off was a full 36 HOURS before Gawker (mentioned in article as one of the most timely of blogs) mentioned it, AND before the Times ran a blurb on it. Honestly I posted it hoping it weren't true, as my sources were 2 other blogs (Zimmer's and NAJP) but alas, it was true.

I think the only "death by blogging" is going to be the death of print, sadly.

interviews...i'll ask the questions

Today I did another phone interview for the same article I was working on yesterday...and I myself was interviewed for an article in my college paper, where I was Features Editor before I graduated.

I have to say, it's nice to be asked to be interviewed and to be quoted in print and all, but I really prefer ASKING questions and listening quietly rather than rambling on uncomfortably, haha. I'm no conversationalist and it's not like I was asked rocket science questions, but I get all tongue tied when put on the spot. You'd think as a writer I'd be able to swiftly come up with beautiful prose to run off when asked questions I know the answers to inside and out - how I graduated so fast, what I've been doing since finishing college, advice for future grads, etc - but somehow I couldn't find the words today. I'm sure when it's printed I'll regret my verbal stupidity, haha. Oh well, what can you do. I guess it wasn't THAT bad.

I spent the rest of the day at The New Yorker. That's all going really well...they're putting together a book with all the cartoon caption contests from the past 3 years and I'm helping a lot with that, so that's exciting. Fun stuff.

I'm so behind on my own work, though. Being sick last week put me in slow motion and now I'm fighting to catch up with articles and papers for school and the like. So much to do and so little time.

Monday, April 7, 2008

cool interview!!!


I'm such a loser, haha.

I just did a VERY COOL phone interview for an article I'm doing...

with a member of OUTKAST!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Petronio & private lesson

This afternoon I went to see Stephen Petronio's Company to review for ExploreDance. It was pretty good...I haven't been to a performance in a few weeks so it was nice to get out and see something. Plus I am reinspired to think in a writer's mindset about dance thanks to the writing on dance course I started last week. So I just finished writing my review and I had to abide by the rules for that class as well since I'll be turning it in for that on top of ExploreDance. It's a challenge only writing 300 words rather than my usual endless amount for online!

Anyway, after Petronio I had my monthly private with my teacher. Despite my being sick, she pushed me hard as always. What's good is that we can take the time to break down simple steps and clean things up piece by piece instead of always rushing through things and cheating as I admittedly often do in normal class. It's still frustrating, though, because moving slowly I see my body's limitations even clearer, haha. Ballet is tough. Ugh. I'll be sore tomorrow, haha.

Busy week coming up. Back to rehearsals, a few interviews to do and articles to finish, stuff for school to be never ends!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

BAE Newsletter Posted

My former studio's newsletter that I was hard at work at the past few months is now complete and up online to download here. Of course I'd argue the print version is better, but since you can't necessarily have that without stopping by for a class, go to their website and take a peek.

Another project complete!

BAE Spring Show 2007 (i'm in the middle)

a fictional me

And for tonight's insomnia session...

One of my best friends has started writing a quasi-fictional account of our years spent together at a certain institution (haha no...a school...) and has been sharing the chapters with me as she writes. I have to say, the experiences we had in real life were often dramatic enough to fill volumes and volumes of NON-FICTION books, but her more literary take on the scenes makes for much more pleasant reading, haha. Someday I promised her I'd help her publish it somehow (along with certain writings about my experiences I'd like to publish...not necessarily in the same laughable tone...hah) but for now I thought I'd share a brief excerpt where she introduces the fictional version of me. The character's name is Samantha, and the description just cracks me up. Only PARTS of it are based on reality and keep in mind it is FICTION so things have been exaggerated (ah the benefits of the excuse of fiction) but have a laugh:

The scene, moving into our dorm room. The narrator, my friend, a nervous newcomer to the school.

The first thing Sam does, after introducing herself, is pin up a large black and white poster of Times Square. Even sporting the harsh steel and neon lights of New York City, the wall now looks less blank, less like a place we have never before seen and more like a place we could live. I hastily procure a single photograph from a shoebox and secure it on the wall next to my bed with a thumbtack. The round brown eyes of my German Sheppard look back at me. There, I am no longer living in a hospital room.

As I tack photograph after photograph to my wall, frantically turning the white into a hopelessly New Mexican collage, Sam spreads a multitude of homemade blankets across her previously empty bed. There are all kinds: crocheted and knitted, purple and green and red, striped and solid and lacey. She’s a whirlwind of unpacking, clearly experienced at the task.

“This isn’t your first year here?” I ask. She laughs.
“Not at all. I graduate in the spring.”
I stare at her. She can’t be more than a year older than myself.
“But, you look too young to graduate– I mean¬¬¬¬–”
“That’s ‘cause I am too young to graduate. I turned sixteen last month.”
“Then how…”
“Skipped a few grades, that’s all. I’m a fast worker…not really cut out for this high school crap.”

She goes back to unpacking. Watching, I fully believe that she is a fast worker. I find I am now the one hugging my knees to my chest, watching in awe. Sweaters fly neatly into drawers, books onto shelves, and at least two hundred hairpins into a heart shaped metal box on her dresser.

Finally, she produces three things from her handbag: a diet coke, a jar of peanut butter, and a plastic spoon.

“I’m a health freak.” Sam says, plopping down on her bed.

I like her immediately.

Maybe it's not as funny if you don't know me, or us, or the situation...but someday hopefully you'll get to read the full version and understand everything. Too funny.
Thanks Victoria!

Friday, April 4, 2008


I've noticed lately that this blog has become largely about me and less about dance as an art form itself...but I suppose that is the nature of this outlet for my writing, and there are other times and places where I focus on other things (exploredance for real performance reviews, magazines for quality writing, winger for more thought out kind of things...etc) so I do apologize for adding this post to my list of self reflection...but what can ya do, a blog is a blog...most of what I write on here does not take me hours to ponder and write, so it is what it is...

Today an interesting potential opportunity came up that could be quite exciting. I won't reveal details because there's a good possibility it won't happen, as these kinds of things often come up and then bail out as too good to be true. Particularly with the person who presented it to me, who I admire greatly. For the first time in my life, I have someone important who has far more faith in me than I've ever had in myself. I realize that I'm quite lucky to have that and to have her as a mentor, but sometimes I can't even fathom what she's thinking...I don't know how to go on without giving more info so I'll leave it at that for the moment as a to be continued...

I cannot express my gratitude and appreciation to this person for everything, and yet I get nervous when she believes more in me than I do because I fear I cannot attain her expectations nor my own.

More to come at some point. Still sick, and taking it easy a bit this weekend...

Thursday, April 3, 2008

critical course

I was a good little sick child today and stayed home to rest my cold, skipping both rehearsal AND the New Yorker today. I was not thrilled about that, especially because if I'm going to take a day off on a nice sunny day I'd rather be out in the park or something rather than being sick with no voice. Anyway.

I DID get out to go to the first session of a course I'm taking at DTW called Writing on Dance with one of the critics from the Times. Trying to introduce myself as you do on the first day of these kinds of things without a voice was perhaps more of a challenge than trying to teach yesterday sans voice. Haha. It was great's nice to have a forum to discuss dance criticism on that level, especially in these times of cutbacks (Jowitt, Segal...) and conversation. I'm excited about taking the course over the next few weeks and getting feedback on my writing. More on my ever-growing to-do list, but it's good...

Speaking of dance critics, anyone planning on attending the Dance Critics Association conference in June? Even if you're not a critic it sounds like it's going to be a fascinating weekend...I'm trying to plan on attending :)

interesting quote on writing

Tonight's insomnia (perhaps thanks to "daytime" cold medicine taken at 11pm...) has led me on an interesting internet surfing path to find this quote about writing...

"We write to expose the unexposed. If there is one door in the castle you have been told not to go through, you must. Otherwise, you’ll just be rearranging furniture in rooms you’re already been in. Most human beings are dedicated to keeping that one door shut. But the writer’s job is to see what’s behind it, to see the bleak unspeakable stuff, and to turn the unspeakable into words—not just into any words but if we can, into rhythm and blues."

–Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life (1994), 198.

Just thought I'd share.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

teaching without a voice hard!

Being sick is no fun.

I slept in instead of drudging through rehearsal this morning, but I still had to get in gear and go teach this afternoon. It was nice out so I took my medicine and cheered myself up by walking in the sun up to the school (and getting ice cream for lunch to make my throat feel better, haha).

It's hard to teach when you can't talk louder than a whisper, haha. I did my best and we got through it...we're in the process now of cleaning up the choreography since we finished learning/teaching everything last week. I've been tweaking some phrases here and there that just weren't working for them, and now it's coming along. We still have lots of work to do but they all seem to be looking stronger, so that's good. We have an official performance date of May 16, so not too far away!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Dance Brazil

Tonight I got to see a performance I normally would not have thought or requested to go to: Dance Brazil at Symphony Space. A company with a mix of dancing and capoeira, the art of dance fighting, the troupe presented an interesting evening...more details tomorrow but...

Maybe it was the fact that I'm getting a bad cold (ugh ugh ugh), that it was really hot and crowded, or that I'm just too accustomed to watching ballet and not venturing out, but the full program wasn't all that wonderful. I think of Brazilian dancing and I picture lots of upbeat, quick movements with drums and music that makes me want to move. The first half of the program was the exact opposite of that. Luckily after intermission there was much excitement, but only thanks to (it's sad to say...) many many many tricks. Flips, flying off each other, funny fact the best parts were when the men tried to show each other up almost breakdance-style by topping off a better trick than the previous guy. It sure was impressive, but not necessarily for the "dance" aspect...

I'll try to write more tomorrow as I lie in bed sick and not in rehearsal where I should be. I didn't stop for a second today and the cold that was developing slowly has now hit me full force, even though I'm trying desperately to ignore it. What can I do...I'm taking the morning off to rest, but I still have to teach as usual on Wednesdays since I can't cancel that....