return to coma

1511422_10204086868240509_2598911097303483649_n

It’s almost the start of week 2 back in the studio and friends, I am sore. Physically aching head to toe, but bursting with warm fuzzies deep in my chest, just left of center. Every time my heart pumps I swear it’s in time with Arvö Part’s hypnotic score. That’s right, Coma returns this winter, and I am feeling every single one of the feels.

I suppose it’s strange to feel such joy in working on such a truly sad piece. But many of my most profound artistic experiences have been tied up in tears. From Moonlight to Micaela, darkness has summoned some stellar inner light. And Coma has certainly inspired me before…

So here are some past Coma ramblings, if you’re interested.

viktorisms.

strange comfort.

swinging.

the space between.

two thousand nineteen

As a lover of lists, I look forward to my once-yearly grand tally of each revolution round the sun. 2018 was a year of appreciating the struggle. And there was quite a bit. But there were also HIGH highs! Engagement! House! Book!

Just a few hours away from a brand new year, though, I can’t help but look ahead with the fear-excitement of a planner who loves clean slates and a chance to draw the most perfect picture.

Alas, the perfect picture is never really made, is it? We always regret that decision to dot our i’s with a heart in middle school, we spend hours sketching addresses for save-the-dates only to be slightly disappointed…or is that just me? Maybe this year I can not only embrace the struggle, but also welcome the harvest, whatever it may be.

Not to be mistaken for forced joy at life’s less-than-overjoying moments, welcoming the harvest means cooking with what you’ve got, even if it’s not your favorite veggies. This is not to say “make lemonade out of lemons”, because sometimes we just can’t. And that’s okay. Welcoming the harvest is about acknowledging when things don’t go exactly to plan, and then noticing that the earth has not stopped turning. Every crop is a lesson, an opportunity to learn. Welcoming the harvest is the decision to take it.

I’ve planted some major seeds in 2018. Let’s see how they bloom.

restful

a restful moment in january.

_Q7G9931

a red ruby and a soaring american on a 26th birthday in february.

unnamed.jpg

too much on my plate in march.

_Q7G1418.JPG

a mini-tour to new hampshire and a swim on stage in april.

IMG_4230

another fairytale princess in may.

FE3342F4-84ED-4044-AC9D-BC0DCBA51971.JPG

the trip of a lifetime and an engagement in june.

IMG_6287

sword-fighting pirates and reminiscing on italian adventures in july.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

dress shopping in august.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

first home purchasing in september(!!!)

8992015B-0582-48E7-8071-452EDBF2F72D.JPG

bostonian adventuring in october.

cape cod nutcrackering and book publishing (!) in november.

IMG_4562.JPG

a homemade stocking, two dancing queens, and so much good boo time in december.

 

Thank you for sharing this little corner of webspace with me. It has been a good eight (GASP!) years.

winter from the wings

Processed with VSCO with p5 presetIMG_4942IMG_4934IMG_4949Processed with VSCO with p5 presetAnd just like that, another Nutcracker in the trenches!

I’ll never tire of saying that…and it seems I’ll never outgrow that magical feeling backstage at PPAC at the end of December. Nineteen years of Nutcracker on the PPAC stage have turned it into something of a second home- a holiday home- for me. Sharing that bubbly backstage feeling with all of the sweet children in the cast takes me right back to my own childhood Nutcracker experience…stepping out onto the big stage, seeing the paper-white snowflakes close Act I, visiting the Land of Sweets from the Silberhaus steps of the Party Scene just halved and resting Stage Left.

This year I take the stage in the crowns of queens. Under the lights I hear words of affirmation in the wings. I return to my dressing room to treats and smiles from my fellow ballerinas. Then, in a flash of a weary week, it’s all over. Nutcracker works its magic into our tiny ballet family, the Company that has shifted and changed so much this year suddenly feels warm, fuzzy, related. We are for each other. We are special.

And together we move forward into a new year, a new bill, a new challenge for this steadfast little family of ours. 2019 here we come.

 

photos by Brenna DiFrancesco.

that’s a wrap

IMG_4154

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Two weeks from today marks opening night of Nutcracker and the first official day of winter. But dancers know Nutcracker season is already in full swing, and New Englanders (or other cold-weather-dwellers) know winter has indeed arrived.

Early sunsets and extended studio hours make for chilly ballerinas. Luckily, my absolute favorite dancewear brand, RubiaWear, has us covered. Literally. Hehe.

IMG_4173.JPG

I firmly believe everything Ashley Ellis touches turns to gold. The RubiaWear creator and Boston Ballet principal dancer has been growing her collection of ultra-soft and flattering warm ups (which began as a range of legwarmers), and I am all about it. I’ve waxed poetic on the perfection of Rubia legwarmers in the past, but have I introduced you to the Cora wrap?

IMG_4152

Made from the softest fabric in a rainbow of color options, the Cora is cut to the perfect long-enough-to-warm-you-up but short-enough-to-keep-things-light way that Ashley’s designs seem to nail every time. The cozy wrap multitasks as much as its maker, lending itself to a whole gamut of various functions. While I tend to wear it doubled up around my hips, I’ve also been known to circle it around my neck when my shoulders feel stiff, or blanket it over my knees backstage.

Versatility, coziness, and a ballerina-run business. Win, win, win, as they say.

Curious about Cora? Check out my chat with Ashley here and browse the full RubiaWear line here.

four decades of dance

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

You know how I’ve been complaining for the past year about how busy I’ve been? Well friends, I wrote a book.

What started as a simple chronicle of Festival Ballet’s 40 years became a thorough narrative not only encapsulating the history of the company, but showcasing photos and memorabilia that had since been lost in the depths of the archives. I spent many an afternoon elbow-deep in the chaotic filing cabinets that keep Festival’s past, riffling through playbills from the ’80s, checking facts and faces as I went. Many summer days spent sweating in the little conference room at 825 Hope, choosing fonts, resizing photos, playing graphic designer…

0FD124F8-C636-46BF-877D-5578E566C354IMG_2212

I am a perfectionist. I am rarely happy with my work. For the first time in what feels like a long time, I am truly pleased. I have so many people to thank for their assistance and mentorship along the way. But here, in this special little piece of webspace where I can open myself up, I will say: I am proud.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Stay tuned for the final version of the book, and information on how to order it, if you’re interested. For now, I’ll just remain unabashedly tickled. :)

 

photos of me by Michael Collins, cover photo by Jacob Hoover.

kinetic

594F9A72-E7C0-497D-A8F2-3DFBBB07FCDF.JPG

Second piece on the program, we hopped and jogged through half the first, building the blood up in our bellies. Listening for the change in key, we scurried through the wings behind the backdrop, waiting stage right. Silently and in darkness, we writhed. Each of us feeling out our bodies in the tight strip of blackness, checking for the twist of our spines, the flexibility of our shoulders. Measuring the bare space before us with micro-movements, careful not to brush our backs against the drop- give ourselves away. Shifting from one foot to the other, testing balance in this blankness. In my careful tangling I became aware of the odd process we practice: eyes closed, somehow separate but synced. Moving in a coil, gathering energy up from the floor through our feet and into this one mass we became.

From our swirling came lights, strings, an explosion of electrified bodies zip-zapping and bouncing from one spark to the next.

Of a work of art, depending on movement for its effect. Kinetic.

And now, the morning after, I find myself revisiting an old friend. White Electric. One of my favorite west side coffee shops, with its three bolts of electricity flashing across the front window. Just sitting like a citizen, reminiscing on 14 hours ago when I was made of some other matter.