back at it

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We are back in the studios after a one week holiday and boy are things busy!

This past week we brought Christopher Wheeldon’s The American and Boyko Dossev’s The Little Prince back into our bodies. Rehearsing both the principal and corps roles for The American has been a *special* sort of challenge, as the former is languid and smooth while the latter requires a bit more pep and pop, if you know what I mean.

We’ve been wearing layers upon layers in this single-digit January frost, but Thursday’s bomb cyclone snow day makes all of the frozen bones worth while. A thick smear of white frosting makes the whole world shine, and what’s better than a day full of home cooking, couch homework, and pajama yoga?

This week Sandy Jennings comes to town to set Balanchine’s electrified Rubies. I’ve been doing a little studying (nerd alert!), and can honestly say I have never danced anything like this before. It’s challenging and stylized in the most satisfyingly saucy way. Like Michele Gifford said, “You have to be red hot, baby.”

Bring it on.

it’s cold in Providence

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On the last day of December, 2017, we braved the cold.

We popped by the shop for liquid warmth. I learned the history of the americano and while my cocoa chai steeped.

We stomped down Wickenden for a walk around NAVA. I fluffed my mitts in fleecy goodness.

We checked out our favorite bridge and watched birds swim and fly. I breathed a cloudy breath.

We chased the sunset down Benefit and over to Brown. I bounced around the quad and got friendly with a lamp post.

We skeebled to Westminster and peeked at pretty architecture.

We Grange‘d with kale caesar and quinoa sally and pomme frites and green tea.

We warmed up and drank wine and couched it. I rearranged furniture, you rearranged clips of film, we popped corn and started E.T.

We paused and counted backwards, cheered and kissed.

MMM caught it all here, if you’d like to see.

two thousand eighteen

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Ah, 2017 was a long year of change. I got rid of my big comfy couches, I stopped eating animal products, I turned 25. I cleaned out many things, drank much water, and traveled. A lot. I’ve lived on the East Side of Providence for nearly 7 years now, I’m in my 8th season with FBP, and I am nearing my 9th year of college (Eta Lamda woop!). Despite these apparent constants, it’s miraculous how much transformation has taken place in my life- sometimes subtle, sometimes not.

I heard a story recently about a chrysalis. A man walks by an insect’s cocoon and notices it is shaking. Assuming the inhabitant is struggling to break free, the man tears a small hole in the shell, allowing the butterfly to emerge. When it does escape though, the butterfly is unable to fly. Freed from the physical exertion necessary to break its cocoon, the butterfly’s wings are not strong enough to carry it. Without the work of overcoming its former state, the butterfly cannot flourish.

We must endure pressure to thrive.

Always one for a good butterfly metaphor, I found this little anecdote charming and useful. In the spirit of tradition, this year’s resolution:

Appreciate the struggle. 

I won’t go so far as to encourage myself to enjoy the struggle, but a reminder to embrace the necessity of difficulty is a welcome one this new year. Some things that happened in 2017…

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spongy gingerbread and fox point strolls in January.

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a 25th birthday and a weekend in the big apple with my best friends in February.

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a quick stay in york in March.

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the opportunity of a lifetime covering YAGP and connecting with stars in April.

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a fairytale ballet and a quick trip across the world in May.

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a performance at the Pillow and b&b tour of New England in June.

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folk fest and a 2 year anniversary in July.

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meeting and interviewing amazing people and reviewing dance in Vail, seeing a total eclipse in Wyoming, and bopping around Colorado for a month with my best friend in August.

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breaking through and moving mountains in September.

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becoming a widow in October.

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premiering Wheeldon in November.

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celebrating eighteen years of nutcrackering in December.

 

Thank you for hanging out with me this year, and sticking in through my quieter months. I am so grateful for the ability to share this little digital space with you. Happy 2018, friends.

snowfall

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a wintry wind whips

her wafting entrance in

sleek sleeted shoulders greet

forgien travelers like icy kin

full strings build and flow

like dancing wisps of cold

climbing rungs of frozen scales

great musical ladder to behold

a queen surrenders to the whirl

whisked by heaven and her king

crystals hover above her lover

dainty flakes float softly in

a single horn draws out their finish

waning whips with icicle toes

premiering in her snowy song

a memory forever froze.

—looking back on my first snow queen. thank you for always capturing special moments from the wings, jacob.

all the rest

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What does a busy ballerina do with a full 10 days off? Ah, let me tell you.

Celebrate ballet family Christmas, Festivus, Christmas Eve, Christmas morning, Christmas night. Plan New Year’s Eve…or don’t! Eat burrito bowls. Eat vegan donuts. Drink tea. See a strange aqua-erotic indie film at the cool art deco cinema in your ‘hood. Make banana oat pancakes with your shiny new blender, 2 days in a row. Eat them on the couch with your bean friend. Play Taboo in the guest room, get your hair did, enjoy the cozy afternoon light. Wear your shmancy headphones and comfy slippers and pace around your apartment feeling stinkin’ cool. Enjoy your decorations, then take ’em down because the excitement of rearranging vignettes for the new year is just too much to handle. Mid-tear down, decide to keep the tree up, just a few more days…

december ramblings

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An eighteenth Nutcracker weekend, a birthday boy, and one day off. Bristolian strolls under wintery white skies, beehive brunchin’, and mixed nut spicin’. Folksy Christmas carols and grinchy rhymes, kitchens that smell like rosemary and thyme. Suitcases of crafts and plant shopping after noon, speakeasy cocktails and carrot cake for two. This is all my tired brain can manage tonight, please stay tuned, more soon.

 

nutcracker magic

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It felt coincidental when the first snowfall of the season came on our last long Saturday of rehearsals at the studio, little white flurries beckoning from the high windows, guiding us giddily into theater week…

It felt serendipitous when a fresh blanket fell in the wee hours of the morning just before our first Discover Dance performance, returning the world to wonderland…

But it felt utterly and undeniably magical when sparkling white flakes greeted me at the stage door after opening night, making their dizzying way down through the dark downtown sky.

Everything about the stage door at the Providence Performing Arts Center is nostalgic for me. Eight-year-old Kirsten instinctively emerged from the theater out into snowy December, half-mittened hands in the air and boots circling one around the other below. I looked up into the swirling night and felt a peaceful joy that can only be described as Christmas bliss.

Boy, what the adrenaline of opening night Sugarplum and little snowfall will do to a girl.

 

an article about my many Nutcrackers, here.

a review of last night, below…

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first photo by Cameron Morgan.