Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Yoga in Times Square

Over the past few months I have slowly taken up yoga...and it's not easy! I take this really challenging Ashtanga class with a really wonderful teacher (notice any time I talk about my teachers I say how great they are? They all are fabulous! And SO good to me... :) and since starting back a few months ago I've grown to really appreciate the sense of strength in the upper body that the practice gives me (though I most certainly have a ways to go!).

Last weekend there was a cool event in Times Square to celebrate the summer solstice, where free yoga classes were held in the middle of the madness of that crazy crossroads. I was too late to sign up to join in, but a friend of mine participated in the Bikram class Sunday afternoon, and I went along to take some pictures. Borrowing a friend's fancy camera, I got to play photographer for the day - and old hobby I've missed lately. Check out some of these fun shots...click them to enlarge.

Friday, June 19, 2009

3 weeks from today...

...I'll be on a plane to dance in Austria for a month!

I've kept kind of quiet about this because it hasn't felt fully real, like it wasn't actually going to happen...but now that it's getting so close, it's very real, very fast!

I'll be off to beautiful Salzburg on Friday July 10 to stay for a month, dancing all day every day and performing at the end of the program at an opera house in Munich!

I will most definitely be blogging (much more regularly!) about it as it happens, and will take tons of pictures of course :) I'm getting excited...

The only thing is, I'm still trying to find someone to to sublet my little studio apartment here in the city...so if any of you know of anyone looking for a summer sublet (or even just for a week...) shoot me an email or comment...I must get rid of it for the time I'm gone!

PS- If anyone has any advice for traveling to Europe, let me know that also! It's my first time going anywhere and I'm kind of nervous to get everything prepared...

More details to come.
Happy Friday :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ah, Giselle

How about another video post, since I'm just slowly returning to life after being sick so long...

Last week was "Giselle" week at ABT, and through my muggy illness I managed to go twice because it's quite possibly my favorite ballet ever ever ever. When I was about 10 I was in Boston Ballet's version just as one of the little village kids on the sidelines, but I got to be onstage during most of Act I, all through the incredible mad scene. Something really inspired or moved me back then about this scene, and being so close to the action. The music, the way each step fits perfectly with it, the drama, the way each ballerina interpreted the role...it stuck with me all those years and has ever since been one of my favorite ballet scenes to watch (and someday do? Ha I wish...!).

Last week, both Maria Riccetto and the incredible Natalia Osipova were stunning Giselles. I think my favorite mad scene though was Julie Kent's last year when I saw it.

But I've found a few great ones on youtube...take a look at how some of these greats tackled the scene. it's fun to see how certain elements are the same with the music (when she remembers picking up the flower, when she finds the sword, etc...) and yet it still looks unchoreographed, to me anyway.

You might start with this WONDERFUL explanation of the mad scene from Alicia Alonso. She narrates what Giselle is thinking as we see video of her performing. It's amazing to hear what her interpretation is...to me, some parts read differently through her movement, but what she says she's thinking makes total sense.

And without the narration:


Carla Fracci:

Be sure to read Tonya's much more detailed, great reviews of last week's Giselles here, here, and here. And also Philip's, here. Times reviews are here and here.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Webcast: Live From...a Bathroom?

Tonight (Sunday) at 7pm there will be a live webcast of a very intimate, engaging work by Yanira Castro that is being performed live at the very cool Gershwin Hotel all this month. And yes, it all takes place in a bathroom.

View the webcast live here. Another will happen next Sunday, 6/21 at 7pm as well in case you can't make it.

With this particular piece, a big element of the performance experience is being there in the action. When I attended the preview, there were just 7 of us in the very contained lobby rest room with the dancers sharing the space with us. If you can't go to their actual performances though, do take a peek online.

In other news, I've been positively knocked out all week with this awful cold/flu/sickness, which in turn has put me even MORE behind in blogging. (It seems like this past month or so has been a neverending string of bad luck...been sick on and off, bad achilles, broken both my tv and my computer...gee I think my bad karma is done, how about some good news this week?)

Anyway I'm hoping to return to life in the next day or two (well, I've said that the past 5 days or so...) and when I do I have much to write about...a few of ABT's Giselle's, among other things...I WILL catch up eventually. Happy Weekend ;)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Old Musical Footage

In lieu of real posts (which, I SWEAR, will be coming in droves soon...)...

Once a week I take this really amusing theater dance class with this really wonderful teacher - it's not my specialty as we know, but ever since Radio City happened I've been more driven to explore beyond the pointe shoes. I fell in love with this class back a few months ago and love learning real Broadway repertoire each week that might come up in an audition in the future. Anyway, this week we did a Fosse piece, and in a 4am youtube searching spree (that's what happens when you have chronic insomnia) I came across some really fun old, OLD videos of different musicals in rehearsal. Some parts are dull and/or hard to see, but they're worth a peek!

Check out a 1981 rehearsal of Fosse's "Dancin" (which is rumored to be in the works to be revived on Broadway soon).

How about the original 1975 production of "Chicago" with Gwen Verdon?!

Or Bebe and Ann in 1996 Hot Honey Rag...

Me and My Baby is what we learned in class the other day. Check our Charlotte D'Amboise being amazing on The Early Show.

AND speaking of Charlotte and old musical clips, if you haven't seen "Every Little Step" yet, you're missing out. Go now!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

New Blog Feature

While I'm in the midst of slowly catching up on posts, I've added a new feature on the sidebar of the blog: UPCOMING RECOMMENDED PERFORMANCES.

Check it out to the right below my Twitter Updates and Bio. It's still a work in progress but...

Since I get a lot of information from a lot of companies I'd love to see but likely won't have time to, I wanted to keep an organized place to list things I think are worth checking out. I promise to be really good about keeping it updated, with any new info I get added quickly, and old dated stuff erased quickly. I'm hoping this will be both easier for me and for you to keep up with what's going on. For now I'll probably just stick with New York-based events but that may grow depending on how this works...

In the coming weeks I want to revamp the blog a little bit with other updates, so if you have ANY suggestions at all of what you'd like to see (in terms of content, design, sidebar stuff, organization etc) or stuff you think can go, please please please let me know via the comments section here, or shoot me an email.

As always, thanks for reading! Posts about ABT, Yanira Castro, social media stuff, and more to come later this week...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

So Behind...

As usual, I'm behind on blogging and writing and life...

Until I have a spare second to get everything updated, here are a few things to check out this week:

*ABT's Giselle (quite possibly my favorite ballet everrrr)

*Jennifer Muller / The Works at the Joyce

*Yanira Castro's hauntingly intimate new work at the very chic Gershwin Hotel (I went to a preview last week and will definitely write more soon...)

*DTW's Lobby Talks: New Media of Dance, which I really really really want to attend but can't.

*Also, next Thursday 6/18 there's another FREE screening of "A Year With TAKE Dance," which I reviewed here

More to come...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

June Ballet E-News + CLASS DISCOUNT

My ballet teacher's monthly e-newsletter that I help with is now out for June.

Read it here.

Though it's technically meant for her own students (3,000+ of them!), there's a lot of fun dance info beyond her class schedule updates. So check it out. You can subscribe directly here. Or find the archives here.

A BONUS! Just got word that if you use this discount TODAY ONLY you can get 3 dance classes for $25 total at the Ailey Extension, which is good for her classes as well as anything from Samba to Theater Dance to Tap and more. Good deal!