I’ve decided to stop putting so much energy in being jealous of you, and instead intend on making all of you jealous of me instead.
Item: I fed a sea turtle! Proof:
Two weeks ago, I attended a performance of “Singin’ In The Rain” at the Paramount Theater in Oakland. First off, this was the perfect theater to see it in; with it’s deco stylings and comfortable seats (at least in on the floor*), I felt like I was transported to a time when movies were big and important. And included singing.
Honestly, I was on the edge of my seat, and the edge of tears through most of the film. Sure, I’m a sucker for musicals, but Gene Kelley is on a whole different plane than other dancers**. He pulls off moves that seem impossible like he was walking down the street. His turns are perfect.
So what I got most out of the movie was inspiration. I want to become a better dancer, even if it is just a hobby. I’ll never be Gene Kelley, or anywhere close, but while I can still move, I want it to be the best movement I can do.
Now I just have to figure out HOW.
*I recall seeing Bjork there years ago, in the balcony, and becoming very good friends with my knees.
** Though it really should be noted that Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor really kept up with him, and I think O’Connor was really underrated and underused in comparison.
This last Sunday, my grandmother turned 88. Also this week, she passed her driving test, meaning she’s legal to be on the road until she’s 92. Even she thought that was hilarious.
It was a great family get-together, with excellent food, laughs, and wine. (Oh, a lot of wine. My brain was not happy Monday morning, and I wasn’t the only one.) I can’t remember what possessed us, but my sister and I decided to head over to the piano and see how many musical numbers we could bang out, using our favorite old songbook.
My sister has a lovely voice. And I took piano for seven years in my youth (ending at 14). I hadn’t touched the keys at all in at least three years, so I was convinced that I wasn’t even going to remember where middle C was located. And yet! I moved my fingers, and music emanated from the piano! I was very rusty, and got confused on the very low notes, but I think I did pretty well, considering.
I forgot how much I love playing piano. I was never concert-level good, but it was good stress relief in college, merging a break AND feeling kind of constructive. I want to play again. Alas, there is nary a space in my tiny and already overfilled apartment for such a thing, to speak nothing of getting it down all those stairs! And a keyboard just won’t do.
I find it funny that NOW I’m in the right space to practice for twenty to thirty minutes a day, when as a child it bothered me to no end. What did you do as a child that you wish you had kept up?
I’m a bit amazed. Someone actually asked what happened to my blog!
As the performance approached, I was spending more and more time dancing, and less time doing… well, everything else. For example: I skipped a party I was looking forward to attending, because it was going to be my one chance that week to sit at home and do nothing. Of course, as I’m cooking dinner (another activity that was rare), I get a call from a fellow dancer, asking if we could run a particular piece she was having troubles with. So we danced from 9 – 11pm on a FRIDAY NIGHT.
The Sunday before the show, I finally got a day off and went to a wedding (congrats to Jeremy and Kristin, two of my favorite South Bay peeps!). Driving home, my throat felt a little sore, but I figured it was the dancing and drinking. Little did I know that it was a cold that would knock me out for almost two days straight, and even now, a week and a half later, still is lingering. This made rehearsals that last week a little difficult.
But it was all worth it. We sold out both the afternoon and the evening show. It was probably the best dancing I’ve done in my life. I didn’t make any major mistakes, and no one could even tell the minor ones.
I did, however, manage to rip something on almost every costume I wore (and there were plenty). The one shown above is the only one that escaped unharmed, but then again, it’s all street clothes that I wear all the time. I yanked a zipper out of it’s mooring, I pulled part of a ruffle off a skirt, I ripped a safety pin through my nice new shawl, and we won’t talk about how many times my butt got stuck in zippers. Embarrassing. There’s a fantastic difference between the chaos of backstage and the control onstage.
I’m so happy that those who came could make it, and I’m sad for those who couldn’t, be it financial, distance, weddings, or because we sold out*. There will be a DVD, and I will be inviting people to watch it with me. Hopefully it’ll capture the experience. And hopefully not capture the moment where I almost showed the crowd all my goodies by lifting my skirt too high.
Now it’s a Wednesday, and I’ve had th entire evening to myself. I cooked some, I cleaned some, I played hard with my cat. It is exactly what I wanted to do. I’ll miss rehearsal, and having that goal, but I look forward to spending quiet time alone, and fun time with my friends. I’m back!
* I am the least sad for this, because it’s pretty awesome.
I have been busting my ass. And it shows. My dancing is better than it has EVER been. Of course, this also means that I’m busy all the time and haven’t been resting enough, but I think it’s all worth it.
And look! We look like professionals! OH WAIT WE ARE.
Necessary Important Info:
ODC THEATER AND ANDANZA SPANISH ARTS PRESENT:
AIRE Y GRACIA – A Celebration of Classical and Popular Music and Dance from Spain and Latin America
MATINEE PERFORMANCE BENEFIT FOR ODC’S “SPONSOR A TEEN” PROGRAM SAT. NOV. 1, 2008 3pm
EVENING PERFORMANCE FOLLOWED BY FULL RECEPTION SAT. NOV. 1, 2008 8pm
ODC THEATRE IN RESIDENCE AT PROJECT ARTAUD THEATER — 450 Florida Street (between 17th and Mariposa) San Francisco 94110
Box Office: 415-863-9834 2-5pm Wed.-Sat.
Ticket Price: Matinee $15/20 Evening Performance w/Reception $20/25
In conjunction with the International Hispanic Festivities and Day of the Dead Andanza Spanish Arts presents yet another excitingly original Premiere of Spanish and Latin American Dance and Music featuring internationally acclaimed choreographer Danica Sena, world-reknown Tenor Claudio Santomé with Special guest artists Rosa de Huelva from Sevilla (singer), Alfredo Caceres (guitar/percussion), Antonio Lopes (guitar) Grupo Folclorico Atlatonin with Norberto Martinez and Allison Lovejoy (piano) along with a cast of 10 dancers. Proceeds from the matinee performance will be donated to ODC’s “Sponsor a Teen” Youth program.
TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/46064
I’ve already told almost everyone I know about this, but the students of my dance teacher are putting on a show! November 1st, at Theater Artaud, in San Francisco. There are shows at 3pm (geared towards families and children, all proceeds going to a children’s charity) and an 8pm show (with a reception afterwards with foodstuffs!). Hoepfully sometime this week there will be a nice graphic to go along with this, as well as directions and everything, but I just feel the need to hype this thing as much as possible*.
I hope everyone can make it! Put it on your calendar NOW.
* Also, we need to sell out the evening show to break even, more or less. This is what happens when you’re not a non-profit and you decide to put on a show.
This is our performance for the Spring Performance Workshop at Rhythm and Motion. We put this together in about eight weeks, working out butts off. This is one of the hardest choreographies I’ve ever participated in, and I’m pretty proud. In case you can’t tell, I’m the only one with short hair. I’m the first one to walk in from the left, and once the footwork starts, I’m front and center.
It’s not traditional Flamenco by any means. The song style is called Martinete, which is a structure that’s not used a lot in shows. It’s not an intuitive beat, though it makes interesting combinations. I feel like I should add that we’re on boards because the marley floor in that studio makes all footwork sound completely dead.
Watch it while you can, as there are rumor it may be taken down, for fear of choreography theft. A subject that had never even crossed my mind until someone mentioned it yesterday.
It’s official: poached pears are the best use of leftover cheap wine. I didn’t even measure anything. I threw the rest of a semi-old bottle of wine on the stove with a handful of sugar, a few cloves, and some orange zest. Simmer away until the dishes are half done, and then eat. Then try to do the rest of the dishes and probably fail.
With National Novel Writing Month almost upon us, it reminds of something:
I am not a writer.
I’ve always liked the idea of being a writer. It’s a pretty romantic career, theoretically. I like the thought of having so many brilliant things stuffed into my head that I just had to commit them to paper. Sadly, this has never been the case. My characters are flat. I don’t know what to do with them. I can’t take them anywhere for more than a page or two. It seems like I’ve only been able to write essays for classes.
But even school writing was always a challenge for me. Were I to start at a reasonable time, properly researching and producing a thesis first and all those things we’re taught is how you write a paper, I’d read it before I turned it in and absolutely hate it. However, if I waited until the night before, huddled over our electric typewriter, squinting at the desk lamp until past one*, I could crank out something amazing. I could always use the excuse that I waited until the last minute for the poor quality, but the fact was I got a good grade on just about every paper in high school.
But what quality is school writing, anyway? How much of it is actual quality, and how much of it is producing what the teacher wants to read? I struggled with that any time I sat down to write, and usually tried to do a mix of the two. There’s comfort and ease in writing the status quo for papers. Venturing out into my own turf inevitably left me unsatisfied and short for words.
I prefer to think of myself as an editor instead of a writer. I love to take something that already exists and improve on it, highlighting the good parts and disguising or changing the bad. I always volunteer to proof people’s papers, even emails. I’d love to get a side gig as an editor, but don’t even know where to start. I won’t even start on whether or not I’d have time to do such a thing, either.
So if anyone needs something proofread, let me know! I only charge in foodstuffs.
* I was a boring kid – I was usually in bed by ten thirty until I turned 18.