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").

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Groundhog Day #140

Does anyone remember the 1993 movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murray and Andie McDowell?

"A weatherman finds himself inexplicably living the same day over and over again."

That about sums up my life for the last 140 days, aside from the weatherman part. I work, I cook, I eat, and I sleep. I know what day it is by which work teleconferences I attend. Every few days I check the mailbox to empty the junk mail, and every few weeks I make a brief trip to the grocery store to stock up on essentials. When the weather is decent I walk around the neighborhood, though it's been above 90°F (32°C) for 28 of the last 30 days. Thus far I've managed to avoid getting anything worse than an upset stomach one night from binging on ice cream.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Cheap home ballet studio stuff

With so many people stuck at home because of the pandemic, many dancers are looking for ways to create home ballet studios. Here are some suggestions for ways to do this.

Here's my setup. The space is a bit larger than 8' x 10' (2.5m x 3.0m)


Sunday, April 12, 2020

Well THAT happened quickly!

In November I bought new So Danca slippers because I just couldn't deal with the Capezio Hanamis anymore.

Today, as I put my shoes on for my third virtual class, I noticed one of them had developed a tiny hole in the toe. I thought that was kinda fast, as I missed some classes in December and January, and didn't take any classes in March.

During class it felt like the hole had gotten bigger. I was right:


I think I still have the original box these came in, so I'll try to order some online. Until then I think I've found a suitable use for my Hanamis.

The room where I'm doing the virtual classes has a Pergo (a synthetic laminate) floor. My best guess is that there's a slight, sharp ridge between two of the boards, and I'm scraping my toes across it when I do rond de jambes.

I've heard that PVC shower pan liner makes an acceptable floor covering for dancing. I might venture out tomorrow and grab some. I'll post an update next week on how well this works.