Friday, May 26, 2017

TWB: Frontier World Premier

Last night I saw the world premiere of The Washington Ballet's newly commissioned work "Frontier" by Ethan Stiefel. It was quite good! The scenery/video and the lighting designers deserve kudos.

The second piece was "Jardin aux Lilas" by Anthony Tudor. I was not impressed, though I expect my issue is with the choreographer and not the company. I felt like I was stuck in a Madonna lyric. You know the one: "Strike a pose." A friend described it as a series of very pretty still images, with not a lot of dance.

The third piece was "The Dream", by Frederick Ashton, a delightful retelling of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream". Absolutely fantastic. Julie Kent has added more emotive expression to Maki Onuki's technical expertise this year, and Brooklyn Mack is still amazing. But the unexpected highlight was whomever danced Puck. The program lists Johnathan Jordan but an announcement was made of a substitution. I missed the name but I think it was Andile Ndlovu. I wish I knew for sure because he brought so much speed and energy to the role I felt exhausted just watching him. I think he must have gotten a Big Gulp sized espresso before the show!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Easing my way back in

With the involvement of a trigger-point therapist, a licensed massage therapist, and a chiropractor, the worst of the tension and pain in my neck has subsided to the point where I can return to class. It still hurts if I turn my head too far, but it's not debilitating.

It was gray and dreary outside here this morning, so... I went to class. Barre was fine, but by half way through center my brain didn't want to follow the combinations so I sat out the rest. Felt fine by reverence but I can hear my bed calling me to go take a nap. And now I think I'm going to do just that!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Not sure what I did, but...

Back in the mid 1980s (yes, I'm that old) I had a very high stress job. Before I quit about two years later I developed knots in the muscles between my shoulder blades. I still have those knots but they only flare-ups occasionally, usually when I'm under significant stress. I'm not sure what I did, but I seem to have reactivated those knots. Turning my head, or tilting so the weight isn't naturally balanced over my neck, causes pain that radiates from behind my shoulder blades up into the base of my skull. It makes driving quite awkward.

My intent was to go to class tonight. I made sure I had freshly-cleaned dance gear and everything. But the idea of doing much beyond sitting still, as straight as practical, somehow does not appeal to me right now. So I'm going to skip class. Maybe I'll get there this weekend instead.

Monday, April 24, 2017

She missed me!

After having attended the Tuesday night Beginner II classes for two straight weeks I missed last week. I had a good excuse: I had a regular conflicting activity that night. To try and keep up my involvement I went to class Saturday morning instead.

This instructor always uses the same first barre exercise, something I'm thankful for, as it lets me get settled without having to learn a new routine. It's also her habit to walk from one end of the studio to the other during exercises to get different perspectives of the class. This time, though, she came up to the opposite side of the portable barre I was using and said softly, "Missed you Tuesday."

Awww! She missed me! It didn't seem the right moment to hold a conversation so I answered only briefly, but at the break I explained about the periodic scheduling conflict and she replied that she was trying to encourage me to stick with class as a regular thing. Thanks, me too.

Our weather has been really crazy this year. After a few days where the temperature reached the low 80s it dropped back into the 50s. Saturday was cold and rainy outside, which meant the air conditioning didn't need to run to keep the studio temperature down. However, that also meant that it wasn't taking the moisture out of the air, and the studio felt like a bathroom after a shower. The windows had condensation on their insides, and walking on the normally-nice marley floors sounded like there was tape stuck to the bottoms of my slippers. I stayed into the first center exercise, then decided the heat, humidity, and sticky floor were a bad combination and excused myself to go have dinner and lots of water.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Oh wow, I'm sore!

I'm sore, and not just in the places I'd expect. I'm not surprised that my hip flexors are sore. Nor my calf muscles or feet. But my shoulders and neck? This almost feels like that achy feeling you get when you're sick. I hope that's not it.