"It's what I've always wanted to do, to show the laughter, the fun, the joy of dance." ~Martha Graham

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The 12 Days of Recital 2014- Day 1

Okay, so I haven't exactly posted in an entire year. But I really really really wanted to come back to do the 12 days of recital again. I know that almost nobody reads these posts. But I do. I love going back every year and reflecting on all that happened it the previous years.

So here we are, 2 weeks out from our production of "Curious and Curiouser" more commonly known as "Alice in Wonderland"! It has been a busy couple of months, and we are now closing in on the end of it. But first, we have the craziness of the last 12 days. Here are the parts that I am playing in the show.

My lead character is the Duchess. She's in every version of the story except for the Disney version, thus nobody knows who she is. Basically, Alice comes to the duchess' house while she is exploring Wonderland. The Duchess is a crazy old lady who has crazy cooks who have an addiction to pepper, and she also has a baby who turns into a pig. I know. It makes no sense. That's Alice in Wonderland for you.

For my ballet class, we are the courtiers in the Queen of Heart's castle.

For my pointe class, we are swans in wonderland, and we are doing the four little swans variation from Swan Lake.

For my modern class, we are the river of tears that Alice cries when she can't fit through the door.

For my jazz class, we are all Cheshire cats.

For my tap class, we are the chess match  (I am the white queen!)

So anyway, that's the basics of what I do in the show.

Yesterday was a very busy day. It started off with normal ballet class from 9:00-10:45 am. We don't have a recital dance for this class, which is nice, because we can continue to focus on technique. Then from 10:45-11:30, we had pointe class. We spent most of the time working on our variation for the show. The four swans variation is EXHAUSTING. It is extremely anaerobic so we are always really tired when we're done. Not to mention, it is "The Four LITTLE Swans" and I am 5'8". Not really a match made in heaven. I have gotten a lot better at it though, so hopefully, it will go well in the show.

After ballet class, we had a little break until 2:00. My friend and I went out for lunch together, and then kicked around a craft store for a while. We decided to find the coolest thing in the store for a dollar or less. She ended up with a 2 inch top hat, and I got a butterfly cookie cutter.

Once 2:00 hit, we were back in the studio preparing for performance company auditions. The audition isn't usually nerve racking, because everybody gets in, and I have been in the Senior company for three years now. This time was different though, because all of the girls who are older\better than me have chosen not to be in the company next year, so I felt a lot of pressure to prove that I can be the group leader. Also, all of the teachers are watching you, so you always want to be on your best game for that.

After auditions were over, it was time for the lead cast run through. That means, just the lead cast practices the whole show from start to finish with our costumes and props. It is important to do these, so that we are sure that the show is coherent. It was not the best run through we've ever had, but I thought it was at least decent.

One funny thing that happened, was during our Cheshire cat dance. I don't think I particularly good in this dance, just because it's not really my style, and then we have these reeeeally UGLY costumes that are purple and sparkly and we have black sparkly masks to go with. So anyways, we were doing the dance at the run through, and afterwards the director came up to me and told me that I should dance with a mask more often because I made the character come to life and she couldn't take her eyes off of me. I still don't know what she's talking about. I'm terrible at that dance! I don't care though, I'll take the compliment ;)

P.S. I can't get any images to work, but they should be up soon.

Friday, May 31, 2013

The 12 Days of Recital- Day 12

Today's the day. It is show day. It is the day when all the work comes together. Nervous? A little, Excited? Definitely.
We had our dress rehearsal last night. It went surprisingly smoothly. First we had creative movement rehearsal. The preschoolers and kindergarteners are both doing a spoonful of sugar. The kindergarteners have the first verse and are robins, and the preschoolers have the second verse and are bumblebees. This year, the teacher who is normally responsible for Creative Movement is responsible for the entire show. So she decided to put the responsibility on me to be in charge of getting the girls onstage. YIKES! I'm hoping I won't mess anything up...
Then we had rehearsal for everyone else. I made all my quick changes (a very good start for the show). All my dances went relatively well. We didn't get through the end of the show, because 9:00 hit before we were done. We still have a lead cast rehearsal this afternoon before the show, so we'll finish during that.
The only concern I have is pointe. The stage is really slippery, and they didn't put the rosin box out for us on the side of the stage. I felt a little bit nervous while I danced, and when we did the pique turn manege, I lost a bit of control. We have balanc├ęs that travel forward right out of it, so it's easy to get back in control. But still. Slippery stages are scary.
So tonight we have rehearsal at 3:30, dinner break at 5:00, call time at 6:00, and Showtime at 7:00. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The 12 Days of Recital- Day 11

I can't believe how quickly time is flying! It's crazy! It is really hard to believe that tomorrow is dress rehearsal, and I don't believe that the show is the day after.
But anywho, we had our very last modern class today. Last week was supposed to be the last class, except my teacher really wanted to have another class. So we did. My teacher for modern this year is so awesome. I have had many teachers in the past 11 years, and she is by far one of my favorites. She is just an amazing person, and made this year amazing. She loves to dance so much, and you can tell. She is so passionate about dancing AND teaching. She is full of happiness and joy, and gives her all  to us every week for an hour and a half.
Learning from her made me love to dance even more than ever. I really didn't think that was possible. It has changed all my opinions and plans for dance. I realized that I just didn't get the rush in ballet that I get in modern, even though I really like the technical aspect and dancing on pointe. She made me love modern. She was the one that really made me want to go into Contemporary Ballet as my focus. On top of that, she showed me a new way to look at dance. I now understand that there is a bigger picture to dance. Dance is more than learning technique, it is more than just performing onstage every night. It is art. It is expression. It is freedom. That is only a little bit of what I learned this year.
Next year she is moving away to go to the next chapter of her life at grad school. I am really sad to see her go, I've been crying like all day. However, she has changed all of us, left a mark on me, and I will carry a piece of her with me for the rest of my life.
Thank you Joy.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The 12 Days of Recital- Day 10

No worries. Tyler didn't actually hack my blog. I just invited him to guest post for me.
So today, was back to rehearsing. We had our last run through, in full costume none the less, for the year. I think it went well. Some other people were stressed out, and I felt kind of weird about some of the parts. Overall, it was actually pretty good. Good thing to, because the show is in 3 days! EEK!
I love the ending to the show. You see, it really has meaning to it, unlike other shows where something good happens to the main character or whatever. In this show, it very nicely highlights how the Banks are a broken family, and Mary Poppins comes to mend them together. Then Mary Poppins leaves to go help another family. I wish the original movie did that better. I get slightly emotional during the run throughs when I watch the last scene. Kind of lame, I know.
Anyway, then I got to go home for a couple hours, but had to turn right around and head back to the studio for a ballet rehearsal. We did rehearsal to practice the carousel scene with all the classes together. We have Ballet 4, 4x, and 5 doing different sections of the song, and we have to make sure that it all runs smoothly. The rehearsal went very well. From my point of view, there were no concerns. Here's a picture of our costume.

So that was today, as for tomorrow, we are having an extra modern class. There will be a lot to tell about it tomorrow, so please check back tomorrow for day 11!