opening little windows

Dancers being dealt months of dormancy throughout the company’s most changing time has its obvious challenges. Less overt but perhaps more productive to consider, though, are the many openings that come with prolonged pause. Small but mighty things that contribute to grand personal evolutions when collected over time. Tiny victories and lessons gathered as the results of risks taken during times of rediscovery. Or maybe it’s just reacquainting…

Complicated technique that has slipped away paves a path for correcting old habits. Deep grooves that once sculpted your thighs have smoothed over for a new artist’s carving to begin. Even simple things become fun endeavors to discover; Considering a new brand of pointe shoes? Remember this old leotard you used to love? What about this rehearsal skirt that never got worn? Everything is just a bit more precious. There’s no need to save it for later. All cards are fair game.

These realizations are helpful when you are waist-high in creating a reimagined Nutcracker. One that’s not only different from the production you have danced through 19 Decembers, but different from any show you’ve ever even seen. Because it’s outside. In a parking lot. And there are masks, and skipped scenes, and forced heat. It’s amazing how a year of perspective-change training can make all of the “shortcomings” into miracles. How lucky are we to be given this grant, this space, this time to refocus on our craft? This is the process that gives us life, what makes us tick. The mundane, the repetition, the midnight ache. All of these thorns in our sides that let blossom our art.

As we watch cases rise around the country and here in RI, we remain hopeful that this new Nutcracker will move forward and that we will be able to bring some much needed cheer to our community this season. If you are around, consider bundling up and seeing something new here in Providence.

a spektor of things

{my roommate, Tegan, and I before last night’s performance of A Spektor of Things}

Last night was the premiere of FBP’s newest Up Close On Hope series (and also our first real show of the season!).  A compilation of many short and independent pieces, UCOH gives the audience the express opportunity to observe a variety of different styles of dance, all made by different choreographers who often have very contrasting techniques.  In fact, last night’s show was made up entirely of world premiere choreography, save the two pieces I danced, A Spektor of Things, and Carnivale de Venice.  A Spektor of Things, choreographed by the always fun and energetic ex-company member Mark Harootian, uses the brilliant and slightly quirky musical talents of Regina Spektor to tell the story of a lost girl finding herself (and constantly defying gravity with the help of some large steel polls and two strong men), a music-box-dwelling nymph who longs for a life outside the “mechanism”, and a young couple deciding to plunge head first into their love.

As this exuberant, albeit slightly over zealous, musically inclined sprite, it’s my job to bring a sense of innocence, determination, confusion, and comic relief to the performance.  From the moment I wildly pop out of my music box (to my own surprise), until the moment I realize I’m finally free (with a self-affirming bear hug), my character goes on a journey of self-discovery, with a few silly little hiccups and pirouettes along the way.  This piece has been hands down one of my favorites to perform of my entire career thus far.  It’s something that can only be understood if witnessed.  If you are in the New England area, please come out and see this show, you will be so glad you did!

hope street fall festival

Tegan and I had a fabulous time at Providence’s Hope Street Fall Festival yesterday!  Thanks to our prime apartment location, the festival was a mere block’s walk away – and BAM – we were immersed in an abundance of autumn activities.  There was Seven Stars cookie decorating, free apple eating, food truck admiring, boot and sweater wearing, vanilla chai drinking, horse-drawn hay carriage riding, local band listening, and of course, flash mob workshop dancing!  That’s right, the roommie and I donned matching tank tops and leggings (you know you’re jealous of our coolness, don’t try to fight it), to teach a crowd of adorable kiddies (and kiddies-at-heart!) some of our flash mob moves- more news on that later!

After all of yesterday’s festivities, it’s safe to say I’m beyond ready for all things fall.  Which meeeeeans: apple cider, apple sauce, apple picking, pumpkin carving, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin bread, fall garland crafting, cashmere, boots, leather jackets, colorful trees, cozy nights on couches, tights under dresses, performance season (!!!), burgundy, army green, and candles that smell like cinnamon.

What gets you in the mood for the shift in seasons?