Friday, April 9, 2021

A journey of a thousand miles

If all goes well, next week I get my second shot of a COVID-19 vaccine. Thus the beginning of May will mark the greatest effectiveness. To celebrate I want to do one of the things I've missed most: take a real, in-person, ballet class.

 It will have been roughly 15 months since I last stood in a ballet studio, and 10 months since I took a virtual class. As much as I'm looking forward to it, I know that I've gotten really out of shape. Rather than jumping back into even a virtual class I thought I'd start with one of the prerecorded classes my regular studio posted online. I cleared away the debris from around my home barre, set up my laptop to play the video, and tried to remember how this works.

Monday, March 15, 2021

The Plague: Anniversary Edition

Yes, it's been over a year since COVID-19 — otherwise known in my mind as The Plague — changed life as we knew it. I count from mid-day Friday the 13th, 2020, as that's when my coworkers and I were sent home for what we expected to be "a few weeks".

Does 53 weeks count as "a few"?

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Groundhog Day #280

At the end of July I posted about how it was Groundhog Day #140, a reference to the movie "Groundhog Day" with Bill Murray.

For me, today is Groundhog Day #280. So what's new? Nothing. Not a damned thing. That's why it's like Groundhog Day: the same thing, day after day. I have a little weather station on my wall that tells me what day of the week it is so I know what meetings I'm supposed to virtually attend.

I've been to my office once, to pick up a new laptop computer for use in my home office. The place looks a bit like the photos I've seen of Chernobyl. Clearly people used to go there, and there are remnants of their presence, but it looks like it was abandoned on short notice. The plants some people kept in their offices have withered and died from lack of water. A sad sight.

On the bright side, I remain healthy. None of my close friends have been infected; one or two acquaintances have tested positive but none have died. I still receive weekly notices of virtual ballet classes (and even some limited in-person classes) but thus far I'm still a drop-out. Maybe next summer.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

A year without the Nutcracker?

Pointe Magazine has an article entitled Imagining a Year Without "Nutcracker"

Not having ever danced on stage, I've always viewed this ballet as a season tradition. But I know there are folk who absolutely dread the annual performances of "The Nutcracker". It's like going to the dentist: it's something you hate even though you know you're going to do it anyway. Likely it's a big part of your company's fund-raising for the year.

How do you view this ballet? Love it? Hate it?

Welcome to Groundhog Day #216, where every day is a repeat of the one before it.

I haven't been in a real ballet class since February, or a virtual class since June. I haven't gone this long between classes since I started taking classes again over nine years ago. I really need to start back up, but I'm dreading the aches that I know will result.

Apparently my subconscious agrees. The other night I found myself standing with my left foot sur le cou-de-pied, perfectly balanced on my right en pointe. This was obviously a dream, because I've never done pointe work and lack the foot flexibility to do so. But unlike most dreams, this image has lingered.

My favored school has restarted in-person adult classes, but I'm not comfortable with taking an in-studio class. I think there are way too many people in this country who are not taking the pandemic seriously. I had to go to my office earlier this month for three hours, and a week later I was notified that someone who was in a nearby office tested positive for the virus. A few months ago someone who worked in the office with a coworker died of COVID-19. He was just one of over 216 thousand who have died in the US alone, one of over a million deaths worldwide, with more to come.

So I guess I'll have to sign up for another virtual class soon.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Dancers and Dogs

Today is Groundhog Day #167.

I thought I'd share an interesting video I happened upon today. ABT principal dancer Sarah Lane stars in a short video entitled “Dancers & Dogs” on YouTube. It's well worth the 2 minutes 34 seconds it takes to watch.

"Dancers and Dogs" is subtitled "Ballet 101". If you can take your eyes off her movements (and her cute dogs) you might note that each action or position is tagged with the ballet term. She reaches to a high kitchen shelf with a relevé. She picks up a bag from the floor while executing a beautiful penché. Later, she executes a well-controlled développé (tagged "extension").