2 piece or not 2 piece?

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I came across a video recently in which the director of a dance competition called out to teachers across the nation, asking them, “Is that 2-piece costume really necessary?”  He pointed out the fact that the number of people whose bodies are flattered by such a revealing costume is no where near proportionate to the amount of students performing at any given competition.  With that statement fresh from his lips, the director asks his audience of dance instructors to explain why they continue to select these 2-piece costumes, with the thousands of more suitable options available to them.

The responses disgusted, but did not shock me.  Many teachers admitted, with little shame, that they select 2-piece costumes in hopes of inspiring heavier dancers to lose excess weight.  While I am completely in support of maintaining a strong healthy body and striving to create the most beautiful lines possible, I cannot get behind this exploitive intimidation technique.  It is a direct breech of trust in an environment where a dancer is supposed to feel most comfortable: on stage.

This presentation was directed mainly towards instructors at competition schools, but I believe it can be applied to the ballet world as well.  Of course, there are classical roles where a 2-piece costume is traditional, expected by the audience and therefore a necessity, like Arabian in The Nutcracker or Nikiya in La Bayadare.  But for contemporary ballets in which the costuming is entirely subjective to the preference of choreographer, how does one deem a 2-piece costume appropriate for the piece being danced?

You can probably guess by now that I have in fact been cast in a pas de deux during which I must don a 2-piece costume.  The last dancer to perform this choreography was the ever-fierce, 6-pack enigma pictured above, Ms. Jennifer Ricci.  A Rhode-Island legend and FBP-veteran for almost 25 years, Jenn pulls off the midriff-bearing costumes better than anyone I know.  But when you have to follow up that class act with, how should I put this…decidedly less muscular definition? things can get pretty stressful (re: I have been freaking out about it for the past 3 weeks).

SO, I guess what I’m trying to say here, is how do you guys feel about 2-piece costumes?  Have you ever had to wear one on stage?  Did it turn you into a nervous wreck?  Please tell me I’m not the only one who’s midriff shy!

 

 

 

photo by Thomas Nola-Rian

on the wrong side of the curtain

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Just popping in to share some photos I took backstage before last night’s Sleeping Beauty premiere. Laden with sparkly beads, embroidered golden crests, stacked satin ribbons, and glossy sequin strips, these gorgeous costumes could not go undocumented.

I didn’t realize how disconcerting it would be to sit in the audience on opening night.  Of course it’s been strange staying home while my roommate goes off to theater week rehearsals, but it wasn’t until the lights went down and the first notes of the overture sprang from the stage-framing speakers that I felt a flutter in the pit of my stomach.  Wait, no, I haven’t got my hair up yet!  My pointe shoes are miles away!  I forgot to bring pink tights!  These thoughts all raced through my mind, only to be shooed out by the startling mental image of my fractured spine that has recently taken up residence there.  So I put the battling brain bothers aside to watch my friends perform on stage, something I rarely have the pleasure of seeing.  And what a pleasure it was!

Sitting solo in the audience for today’s matinee, I realized how lucky I am to be part of a company where everyone is so gosh darn nice.  I couldn’t keep the smile from my face as I watched my little violin girls, fairies, and nymphs balancé and emboîté across the stage.  This craaaazy bunch truly is my special kind of family, and I’m so honored to call them that.

playing dress up

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I am not a model.  I repeat, I…am not a model.  But I thought I should still share a few photos from the RISD crit I did back in December.  I can’t believe I was wearing this costume so long ago (the weekend before Nutcracker to be exact!- wait is it weird that my time reference is in terms of performances?) and here we are the weekend before the opening of Little Red Riding Hood (yikes I did it again- that’s twice in one sentence…scary).  Anyway, this gorgeous “Mama Red Riding Hood” costume was designed and created by RISD student Alexa Foster, and I am so impressed by her work.  Honestly, I was begging her to make me one of these leotards so I could rock it for class all the time…I was so in love with it!  But I think my favorite part has got to be that giant pink satin bow.  I mean, it’s not every day you get to walk around with one of those on your waist…

If you are in the Providence area (or somewhere in New England, it’s all relatively close together even though we Rhode Islanders like to pretend that going anywhere out of the greater Providence area is considered a “day trip”), please grab some tickets and come out to see Little Red Riding Hood.  Whether you are 2 or 102, in diapers or depends, a child in kindergarten or just a child at heart, you will thoroughly enjoy this show.  Plus, the entire audience gets free cookies and milk after the show, compliments of Seven Stars Bakery…if that isn’t enough incentive I don’t know what is!  For tickets and more information, please click here.

happy halloween!

I always like to take full advantage of Halloween, even if that means dressing up in a costume for work!  Unfortunately, I won’t be able to pass out Halloween candy as I’d hoped (silly night time Nutcracker rehearsal), but that’s nothing a few Despicable Me minions, Super Mario, a hula girl and some kitty ears can’t fix.

Happy Halloween to all the ghosts, ghouls, and goblins out there!

The Great Gatsby

{Free people bodycon & dress, Ray-Ban shades, Aldo bag, costume pearls, Jcrew flower pin (attached to necklace), old-school Blowfish mary-jane wedges}

Played a bit of dress up with my sister in Newport ysesterday for the Great Gatsby-a-thon.  The day started at 10:30 with complimentary continental breakfast and a showing of the 1974 classic at the Jane Picken’s theater, followed by a self-guided tour of the beautiful Rosecliff mansion.  I just bought this FP dress at a boutique in Newport a few days ago, and I immediately fell in love with the back of it.  It’s slightly shorter than the front, and has this perfect little babydoll shape.  Until today, I had forgotten how fun it can be to dress up in a costume for no truly apparent reason (in spite of the recommendation to arrive to the theater in 1920’s attire, we were the only movie-goers to adhere, which we fully anticipated and did not mind one bit).  I’m officially starting Halloween costume brainstorming…now.