Wednesday, April 1, 2015

It Begins

Recital season. It isn't really approaching all that quickly, you know? It's a couple of solid months until the performance. Regardless, I am already working on costumes. It's good, really, to get started ages in advance because the Summer brings with it an early theater season and a wedding I have to sew for/do anything else I am asked to for. Also, apparently I am supposed to make all sorts of stuff from scratch for this recital? Which was news to me, but whatever. I've been dragging home piles and wads of tutus, dresses, fabrics, and even a couple of thrift-store wedding gowns that I am going to be chopping to bits. My sewing studio is already a sight to confound and distress.
It's not supposed to look like this.
 Would you believe I have a proper cutting table? You wouldn't know it from that stupid cutting board on the floor that I perpetually use to the detriment of every joint in my body...

Anyway, that is the state of the very small sewing-related union. I'm currently mid-way (or less, there might be more girls added to the dance) through turning five really ugly little tutus in to water lily costumes for a group of teeny tiny girls (maybe 5-6 years old? So small.) Here is an awful blown-out flash-in-a-dark-room-at-10pm glimpse of the progress:
Well, you can see what I'm getting at, anyway.
They would be much cuter worn with little froggy head dresses, IMO.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Dermaroller Craziness

I basically have every single rheumatism-related inflammatory skin nonsense that it is possible to have, right? Acne, rashes, dandruff, hyper-pigmentation, all this fun and exciting stuff that they have just started to realize is part of the rheumatic package. Which makes it sound like a free gift with purchase. "Buy any rheumatic condition worth $40 or more and receive -at absolutely no cost to you- a thank you gift including sample sizes of all your favorite skin and digestive problems! OOOH AAHH!"
Anyway... Uh...
So anyway. To top it off rheumatism comes with the fun little symptom of making your skin heal REALLY effin' slowly. I get a pimple and that sucker is going to be with me for a while. Months, sometimes. It's awesome.
The newest, latest, hottest, etceteraist (new word I just made up. You're welcome.) thing in skin care is derma-rolling. Have you heard of this? It's gross. Don't google youtube videos, I did and immediately had a panic attack (though, admittedly, I have panic attacks on the regular and this is not news). It's like... acupuncture? For your face? Using this little roller wheel that looks sort of like a pattern-maker's pinwheel and sort of like the business end of a wool carding machine. Lots of little pins. That you stick in your face. But hey, it's what all the coolest beauty experts are doing these days... or something like that. I can never keep track of that stuff because I have precisely zero interest in beauty products beyond soap that makes me not break out so much and green $1.50 lipstick that turns fuchsia when you put it on. I am bad at Girl. This insane torture device would have no place in my bathroom BUT. But it's supposed to help with that hyper-pigmentation and dreadfully slow healing time. So, I researched and groaned inwardly and bought this damn thing. It's like... it's just this weird thing. I mostly decided to go for it when I realized how utterly ridiculous and hilarious the whole thing is. Throughout history women have done stupid-ass things to themselves in the pursuit of beauty. This is one of those stupid-ass things in a major way.
I figured that my chances were pretty even that it would either do nothing or cause my insanely intense immune/inflammatory response to kick me to the curb after one go. I decided to give it a shot on an inconspicuous non-face area (thighs. They are big and they are right there, after all) just to see if ten minutes after rollerizing (you are welcome AGAIN) myself my skin would turn bright red and swell up like a party balloon for the next week. A day after the trial run I can report that my legs have not fallen off, so there's that. They mostly don't even itch anymore. I sure as heck wouldn't do this the night before a big event, though, as there is a certain amount of prickly redness and stinging involved for several hours after the rollerizing.
Also? The pain involved? Was basically nothing to a seamstress. And probably a lot less painful than pointe shoes, to be honest. Like... a LOT. Women sure do some cray-cray things for that perfect complexion and that pretty shoe. Women. Such weirdos.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Le Roi Danse

I tried, okay? I really tried. I tried to watch Le Roi Danse (the king dances), the French costume drama about Louis XIV and his ballet-arific life. I tried. I gave it a real, honest, loving attempt. But I couldn't even make it half way through. I know! It's all that you could possibly want in a movie! 18th century costumes! Ballet! Royal intrigue! Homo-eroticism! Beautiful music! But I just couldn't. I could. Not.
Maybe you will have better luck. Here, give it a shot:

Friday, March 13, 2015

The Ides of March. Or Whatever.

"You are so good at this"
That's a nice thing to hear your teacher say, while standing directly behind you at the barre. We were, for the record, doing some crazy développé variation that included strange fondu-esque synchronized leg straightening. I was hitting it out of the park, I guess. Because I am just a badass like that. In all honesty it's probably the only thing I did well all night, but you have to take what you can get.
I've also been getting a lot of praise on my posture, lately. I have two lovely curves in my spine which freaked out my pediatrician and make standing up straight a matter of opinion more than anything else. I get SO much crap for my posture. Like, constant crap. For some reason I recently tried straightening my back by pulling my pelvis all out of whack and pushing back as hard as I possibly can with the lower third of my spine. Apparently that did the trick. It does make balances easier, I'll give it that.

Blargh. March. I really hate March. Nothing good happens in March. I am having a hard time not feeling like punching everyone I meet right now, so please excuse the terrible lag in blog posts! I am winding up for a VERY long and stressful Spring and Summer, in which I will be working like a dog and trying to be a good maid of honor at the same time. Recital season is approaching fast and I've already been tasked with figuring out how to turn a bunch of kids in to geese and a bunch more in to water lilies (water lilies are... they are round, flat, green things. Here ya go, kid, I made you a swathe of green spandex stretched over a hula hoop. Now look graceful! Haaa... no. I promise not to make any small children suffer. Much.) Mostly I am looking forward to September, simply because I will be done with all these obligations. That should tell you something.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

the felicities of rapid motion

"It may be possible to do without dancing entirely. Instances have been known of young people passing many, many months successively, without being at any ball of any description, and no material injury accrue either to body or mind;--but when a beginning is made--when the felicities of rapid motion have once been, though slightly, felt--it must be a very heavy set that does not ask for more."

-from "Emma" by Jane Austen

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Calling All Nerds

Who here is a nerd? Anyone? Anyone? Just me? No. I know you are. Admit it. Relish in it. Look at Uhura rockin' out with her Spock(in'?) out in these lovely behind-the-scenes photos (clicky clicky!):

Has Uhura got a better penchée than you? Yes. Yes she does.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

cabriole is the new assemblé

If orange (or gray, or puce, or what-the-hell-ever) is the new black, then cabrioles are the new assemblé. If you obsessively memorize every thing I post here (and let's face it, even I don't do that. Well. Not always.) then you know that assemblé has traditionally been my least favorite ballet step. Because when you are first learning them they not only look stupid (like a cartoon frog, and I won't change my mind about that) but feel like the end times. I have very little bounce in my proverbial bungee, and petite allegro is basically my Achilles heel. Achilles ballet step? Something like that. As time has gone on I have thankfully progressed to a level where I am not asked to perform solid assemblés for ten minutes at a time, and a crappy assemblé is pretty easy to hide when it is only one of a string of disastrously crappy steps all crammed together in a petite allegro combination.
My new least favorite step to hate (my frenemy, you might say) is cabriole. Cabrioles, contrary to what their name seems to imply, are not small boxy sports cars, but a big and impressive grand allegro step wherein you throw yourself up in to a graceful leap and smack your feet together in the air before coming back down again. Cabrioles sure look exciting when they are well executed. But when I attempt them? Ridiculous. Aside from feeling like you are going to plunge to your death at any moment they also look like hell. I am sure I would improve at them if I spent some time practicing... which is really too bad, since I have mostly given up practicing every single thing. Ah, yes... that dedication business is all well and good, but apparently I can only keep it up for a year or two before burnout sets in. Hmm. Well, I am sure I will improve dramatically at SOMEthing. Drinking an entire bottle of water at one go, perhaps. Or walking past my neighbors in my ballet togs without feeling self-conscious.

I'm finally back to a full ballet schedule after the disaster that was my past month or so. Pointe class was sort of a wreck, but I will survive. No one says I have to be good at what I'm doing, after all!