For the past week, I have slept with a pillow under my left knee, I’ve had completely un-sing-able compositions stuck in my head, and the sweet start of a callus forming on my right big toe. FBP’s 38th season is underway at last.
These days the studios are vibrating with a mix of Stravinsky (both Firebird and Apollo), Debussy, and Weber. Our halls host Dominic Walsh (and his squeezable 6-month-old daughter, Vivi) for the setting of his Afternoon of a Faun and Le Spectre de la Rose for our October Ballets Russes Reinvented show. You guys, this stuff is beautiful. Dominic practices the challenging yet grounding method of “spiraling” through movement, in which the body continuously twists in opposition of itself, growing taller while sending energy out through the floor. His choreography depends on a releasing of the muscles in the legs and neck, while engaging the back, ankles, and core from the center outward. It’s such an anti-visceral way of working for me, but I am enjoying the freedom of expression this technique allows. Practice, practice, practice. Good thing I have sweet penny candy from a far sweeter guy to fuel me! Anyone else have a strange love for this stuff?
As I don the many hats of nymph, princess, monster, and muse, I can’t help but feel transported back in time. I’m reminded of the days of Russian monarchy, defection, and reinvention in a country to which ballet had yet to arrive. This time of dramatic discourse between companies battling for fame. A period of creative cultivation and collaboration between artists the likes of which has not yet been repeated throughout history. This ancient world where Balanchine, Stravinsky, Nijinsky, Dalli, and Matisse spawned new work with a seemingly endless fervor. And speaking of ancient worlds, I’m spending every off duty hour immersed in the Foundations of Theology, because, you know, the fall semester wouldn’t be complete without a course at Providence College.