Sunday, April 29, 2012

Baby Bonita Ballerina

"Pose me like a real ballerina!"
Provided, of course, that this is how ballerinas pose:
I especially like how they can dislocate their shoulders
and reach behind themselves like that.
It's très élégant, non?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Hey, guess who's competent?

That's right! Me! Tonight my teacher was all "hey, Rheumatic Princess, why didn't you sign up for the recital?" And I was like "dude I am shy" and she said aww, that was too bad because I was totally competent.
In related news I have been able to go in for extra classes on a fairly regular basis lately and I am feeling a lot more confident in the "harder" class. In truth, due to the way the classes are set up to "graduate" students in to the more advanced classes as they reach a level of (dare I say it?) competence, I think that it is quite possible that they are just doing less advanced stuff now. But, anyway, I will TAKE IT. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth, girl.
Anyway, we are still learning new and interesting stuff! It's always exciting when something new comes up. Tonight we were doing combinations of bourées with a graceful turn and some fancy swooshing port de bras, and it was darn near dancing, though obviously painfully slow. We hadn't done bourée before, and it's one of those things that the internet assures you will feel like flying across the stage someday when you are wearing slippery satin shoes. What it fails to mention is that OW that is some serious calf exercise. It was stupidly fun and exciting, though, and so I will probably be bourée-ing across my kitchen floor in fuzzy socks for the next few days.
ALSO, are you a person who likes to know where our silly dance terms come from? I am. So that is what the internet is for. And a bourrée, an actual bourée, is a French folk dance. Here are some people rockin' it. I am sure I have witnessed this at a rennaisance faire or something of the sort (yes, yes, I do that, too. It's all about making up excuses to wear pretty dresses) and it has very little to do with bourrée and pas de bourrée as we do them in ballet, but I guess it all had to come from somewhere, right?:
It looks fun! I might go so far as to say "hella" fun. 
That's right, I just said "hella" like it ain't no thang!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Back In The Saddle

Getting back to ballet after approximately two whole weeks was great and also exhausting. My knees are holding out better than I thought, mostly because I make the shallowest little pliés on the planet. We have started some new stuff, including this sort of graceful swooping preparation for rond de jambe, which I am almost getting but it is taking some time. I feel a very definite sense of progressing, though, and that is lovely!

The hardest part, for me, is getting out there. I usually have a lot of fun while I am there, but the biggest problem for me, as an adult, is just overcoming my natural laziness and desire to sit around in front of the computer all night. I mean, I can find lots of ways to waste time. I am darn near an expert at procrastination and poodle-ing around. Anyway, after a break there is always a strong pull back towards home. The siren song of my couch. And I think "hmm... I sure could use to sit here and watch another episode of Start Trek TNG..." but NO. I could really use to go to class and dance.


Part one in an occasional series: ballet paintings that aren't Degas (not that I have anything against Degas. But, boy howdy is his work over-exposed. I have an umbrella and matching dance bag covered in Degas, and that is great, but let's check out some other stuff, too.)

"The Violet Butterfly" by John Garth c. 1930s
I love the colors in this one.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Humorous Rubber Chicken

While we were in the pet store this morning we walked by a display of dog toys and I saw this:
It's a flamingo ballerina novelty rubber chicken? This was the best photo I could find online (my husband thought I was crazy for wanting to take a photo of this thing, so I didn't, but I should have!) and it doesn't properly illustrate the hilarious combination of rubber flamingo boobs, caved in chest, and pointe shoes. So sad.
On the other hand, while I was googling (google-ing?) for the picture I also found this:


And this:

Someone thought this pose was flattering.

And this:


Blink. Blink. Blink.

I am speechless.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Please Take Me Dancing Tonight...

No ballet at all this week! UGH! Today I just hurt too much.
I dunno. Possibly my own fault for not taking any of my medications for three days while I had the flu (I had this idea about "cleansing" the chem-lab quality from my life, but mostly I stopped because I felt so nauseous that fistfuls of pills was not even vaguely possible) and then going out to ride a bike this morning. AND THEN smashing my knee against the leg of a wrought-iron restaurant chair (why would you even put iron chairs in a restaurant? Aren't they just awkward for everyone?), which couldn't have helped.
Anyway, I don't know why I felt compelled to play with word cloud generators today, but here is one from the blog:

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Curiouser and Curiouser

The most amazing ballet ever in the world is coming to my state the DAY AFTER MY BIRTHDAY. But it's a 6+ hour drive! So, it's not exactly feasible.
But OH.
I think I will go sit in a closet and rock mournfully for a few hours.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

For Anyone Who Needs a Little Encouragement to Get Started

For anyone who needs a little help getting started. Whether it's with something as trivial as ballet class or something as life-altering as a career change, going back to school, or any number of other ... things? Anyway.
Thanks to Ze Frank, who has started another show! I am terribly excited, as The Show was a wonderful wonderful thing, back in the day.

Monday, April 16, 2012

you see me rollin' up pops, you step aside

Looks like I am not going to class tonight because I have a stomach flu (dang it! I was really looking forward to going to an extra class this week, too, but now it will have to be my make up class). I still have to get up and be functional enough to drive to the post office, though. Ugh
I don't know why I am writing? Perhaps I am delirious with sickness and have begun to spout random acts of solemn prose. Like a Victorian lady in convalescence. Someone bring me my wicker wheelchair and plaid blanket and I shall recline mournfully in the sun...
Or not.
Tangentially ballet related news: a dude was just killed by a swan. I know, I know. I said it was tangential. People online are saying "What? How could a swan kill a dude?" but these are obviously people who have never met a swan. Swans are not like geese. Swans are like four geese duct-taped together. Big. Strong. And ANGRY at the WORLD. A baby swan (cygnet, which is a cute word, right?) is about the size and shape of a full-grown duck. And a grown-up swan is a massive creature all full of muscle and grim determination to KILL YOU DEAD. I mean, I like swans well enough, don't get me wrong. But they are best treated with a degree of respect. Most birds are fiercely territorial. A hummingbird will attack a human. So will a swan. But when a swan comes at you you STEP ASIDE.
So maybe it's logical that ballerinas and swans are so often connected in the collective consciousness? A ballerina could probably kick a grown man to death, too. But she's far less likely to.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

circle to the right

This is the floor next to the barre. The glare from the overhead lights makes it hard to see, but I find the row of perfectly aligned half-circles directly next to the seam to be pretty fascinating. That is a lot of pointe shoes doing a lot of rond de jambes! I always use that seam as a way to place myself the correct distance from the barre. If my working leg just touches the seam with the end of my toes then I am about right.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Ballet Before Basketball!

So I live in a city. It's... not really a major city. Okay, no, it's a major political and historical kind of city. But it has zero culture and very little by way of... you know... fun. Anyway. So the city is BROKE (which can be said of many -if not most-cities right now) and is laying off teachers, emergency personnel, grounds keepers and park rangers... you get the idea. But right now, like right now as I am typing, the city is attempting to spend MILLIONS of dollars in public funds to build a new basketball arena for our local team. I won't give it away, but suffice it to say that our team is one of the very lowest ranked teams in the NBA. Uh... let me go google it so I can see how low... okay ready? SECOND FROM THE LAST. That is how crappy these dudes are.
And today our local professional ballet company posted a facebook plea for $5 donations. I mean, seriously, people. What the EFF YOU SEE KAY is wrong with this city? Where are the millions in public funds for the ballet? The orchestra? The theater company? It's not like this struggling nonprofit ballet company is being at ALL extravagant with it's money. I think it has about 4 shows this year. And it's not pouring masses of money in to salaries for it's dancers or it's directors. Trust me, I know how they live.
So, I guess the point is that I feel a little self-righteous and grumpy about all this so I am trying to spread the word. Donate to a good cause HERE.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Tombé or Two

Did the fabric of space-time unravel? Because we didn't do glissades last night. CRAZY.
Instead! We got to learn tombé (possibly tombé pas de bourrée? We will discuss this annoying terminology later)! Which was confusing and I tripped over myself a lot, but it was SUPER FUN. And I keep trying to do them on my own and they just look silly and make my legs hurt, but that's okay!
We also learned a slightly confusing new port de bras sequence with balancé on a diagonal. I think that perhaps we are being introduced to steps that will be making an appearance in the Spring recital.
PS: I am not going to be in it. I am SHY. I took three years of drama in high school and (bless my 16-year-old self) I enjoyed it. But, these days? I'd rather not talk to strangers at the bus stop let alone dance awkwardly on a stage in front of my loved ones. My family is supportive, you know? The kind that comes to my fashion shows and cheers me on ruthlessly in all endeavors. My father has a digital camera and is not afraid to use it. Also: SUPER BORED HUSBAND falling asleep during the show. Not encouraging!