Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Four and Fourteen

The studio where I usually take class Wednesday nights is closed for the holidays, so I went to the studio where I usually take class Sunday. (Confused yet?)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Now I wanna perform!

Just got back from the MYB production of The Nutcracker. It was spectacular! I caught a technical error here and there, but only because I could recognize the steps and know what they are supposed to look like. The only thing that looked a little "dance school-ish" were one group of little kids who did well enough but clearly weren't of the same caliber as the older dancers. Maybe a professional company would have used more technically challenging choreography, but I was absolutely thrilled by this performance.

This afternoon's performance was sold out (500+ seats), but I think there are still tickets available for tomorrow afternoon and evening. Of course, this presumes you're somewhere in the MD/DC/VA area already...

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A one and a two and a...

I have tickets to My Fair Lady tomorrow, which means I'm going to miss my regular Wednesday evening class. Since classes are sparse for the next couple weeks due to the holidays, I decided to take one tonight at the studio where I normally go Sunday. The only problem is that instead of Beginner I, tonight's class is Beginner II. The published class description is almost the same, except the latter is for students who already have some experience with ballet. Ok, I have some previous experience, so why not?

I arrived early enough to change and stretch before class. The first half of class was barre, and I did pretty well. The sequences were more complex than I'm used to, but I feel that I fit in with the rest of the class well enough. I even got some compliments from the instructor.

Once we moved to the center, well, nicht sehr gut. I'm not sure why, but I just couldn't balance on one foot. We did a couple of steps I hadn't encountered before, which means I have to learn it twice: once right and once left. I guess some people can translate from side to side, but I have trouble with it. Combinations were longer, with less explanation, with the instructor observing rather than leading.

Towards the end of class things got better. My balance improved; not perfect, but not wobbling nearly as badly. I could get part way through the combinations, and each run-through improved over the one before, though I never got all the way through. I found it both challenging and frustrating.

At least I know the difference between Beginner I and Beginner II now!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Not quite as I planned it

Thinking I was late for class, I hurriedly wrapped up work and rushed out to my car. I made good time, despite a pedestrian clad in all matte black walking out into the intersection as I was making a turn (yeah, she had right-of-way, but dressing like a Ninja makes you damned hard to see). Walking into class the instructor said, "My! You're here early! I have a private lesson now, do you just want to hang around for the hour?" Huh? An hour?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Let's not forget the boys

You can't do the Nutcracker without boys, and this production has some good ones. I'm guessing these have been at it since they were quite young, because I'd guess the oldest might be 17 and the youngest might be 15, but they do some amazing moves. What looks like a changement with two (or is it three) beats. Cabriole with height, crispness, and extension. Triple pirouettes. And they make it look easy.

I guess you could make do without boys. You could dress up some girls in boys' costumes, but how many girls learn to do lifts and such? And how many girls want to go on stage dressed as a boy? I'm guessing it doesn't really fit the mental image of how they would want to be seen.

I met the Sugarplum Fairy!

After class yesterday I hung around to watch the kids practice for the Nutcracker. Performances start this coming weekend, and those with lead roles were getting fitted with their tutus and dancing in them for the first time this year. I was chatting with one of the girls and asked what role she had, and she said, "I'm the Sugarplum Fairy". That was fun.

I have tickets to see them perform later this month. It'll be a special thrill to see these kids dance, having met some of them beforehand.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Review of M. Stevens dance tights

I've taken a few classes wearing my new pair of M. Stevens "Milliskin" dance tights, enough to form an opinion.

There are things I like and things I don't. The Milliskins have an sort-of plastic-y feel compared to the silky texture of the Capezio 5945s, but aren't as rough as the MT-11s. The Milliskins have the seam on the inside of the leg rather than down the back; this seam runs under the heel and up the outside of the leg to about ankle height. The negative to this is the seam runs crosswise under the heel, but this avoids one running lengthwise under the entire foot and allows a nice fit around the ankle. Also avoided is the several seams under the forefoot, which makes them more comfortable when standing in demi-pointe.

Of course, the biggest positive about the Milliskins is that they're available, unlike the now-discontinued 5945s.

Many thanks to Jeff Tabaco for the recommendation. I value those who take the time to read my ramblings here and provide me with their thoughts, whether posted here or given privately.