dance

Thanks for the Boogie Ride

September 3, 2008 - 9:28am -- swingbug

This week my ballet teacher busted out some Cherry Poppin’ Daddies for a petite allegro combination in class. I probably would have hit the beats better to Vivaldi, but boy was I having fun.

Back when I was in Beginning Ballet I, I was also taking an intermediate swing class at the college. I had one teacher nagging me to pull up and tuck down my tail bone in my plié while another instructor was shouting, “Shannon, sit into your swing outs. Shame on you. You haven’t done that in long time.”

The joys of cross training.

24 Bobby Pins

June 2, 2008 - 10:45am -- swingbug

I pulled 24 bobby pins out of my bun last night and let my hair loose after a long weekend at the theatre.

“Why is it,” Shawn asks, “that we work towards something for so long and so hard and when it finally arrives we’re terrified of it and the completely relieved when it’s over?” Good question. I think it’s a little like running a marathon. Not that I’ve ever run a marathon, but bear with me. You work and you train and you finally catch your goal when you cross that finish line. It feels good to be done.

Curtain Call

May 30, 2008 - 10:17pm -- swingbug

The sound of the curtain pulling open to the audience sounds like the tick-tick-tick of that anticipatory pull up slope at the beginning of a roller coaster. I may have mentioned this before. It strikes me as new every time.

Honk Honk

March 9, 2008 - 6:54pm -- swingbug

My friend Ania recently created an online quiz that identifies the ballet heroine that you are most like. Apparently I’m most like Odette. That puts me somewhere between

Modern

February 11, 2008 - 9:14pm -- swingbug

I’m not a huge fan of modern dance. A friend of mine once referred to it as “twitching to Tori Amos” and I confess that I can’t help but always think of it in those terms. I’m the same with contemporary ballet, by and large. I spend the whole time watching it thinking, “Turn out your feet!”

The following clip is a modern ballet piece called “Amelia” by a dance troupe called La La La Human Steps. It’s still not really my style, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t appreciate precision when I see it.

Blocking

February 7, 2008 - 9:52am -- swingbug

I push my way through the heavy backstage door and into the hallway. A friend of mine is discussing costumes while putting the finishing touches on props. “Hey, didn’t you read the sign?” I say. “No talking. There are dancers on stage.” She gives me a warm smile and a rude hand gesture. I laugh and haul my gear back to the green room. Tomorrow night this hallway will be dark, lined with quiet dancers warming up their feet and calming down their nerves before they go through the door down to the stage. But not tonight. This is tech and blocking.

Stage Presence

May 7, 2007 - 9:29am -- swingbug

Saturday night was not your average night at the ballet.

I’ve always enjoyed going to the ballet, but since I began studying it myself five years ago, I’ve been making a concerted effort to get out to San Francisco at least once a season. I’ve been chipping away at the classics that I haven’t seen and this past Saturday found me at the War Memorial Opera House waiting for the curtain to come up on Don Quixote.

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