sketchy looking

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Sketches of me during company class, by Jan Gendron.

I have fallen in love with Providence for a long list of reasons.  The world renowned restaurants, historic buildings, and gloriously suburban east side all make that list of course, but my absolute favorite thing about this lively little city is its incredibly expansive artistic culture.  I mean, I can’t be the only one who finds it impressive that such a teeny capital city can breed enough artistic freedom to become one of the most exciting creative hubs in the country.  With small cinemas like the Avon and Cable Car showcasing the latest indie movies, the students of RISD continuing to amaze the community with their impossible talent, and Etsy and DIY-inspired stores like Queen of Hearts and Modern Love thriving on Westminster, it’s undeniable that Providence’s fondu pot of artistic imagination and skill is constantly thickening.  This is made even more obvious at FBP by the presence of such local artists as photographer Cemal Ekin and Jan Gendron, who has been sketching dancers during company class, perched with his easel like a quiet, pastel-wielding little bird at the edge of the studio, since I can remember.  He recently posted the above photos of his sketches of me onto Facebook, so I thought I’d share them with you all today, along with a little love for Providence.  To see more of Jan’s work, grab some tickets to the final performance of Up Close On Hope this weekend, where you can enjoy a gallery of both Jan and Cemal’s art while you sip wine and munch on hors d’oeuvres during intermission.  How’s that for a culture-packed evening?!

 

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.

models need not apply

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Remember when I told you about FBP’s exciting new collaboration with the Rhode Island School of Design?  Well, yesterday was the fashion design department’s annual midyear fashion show/critique, and a lucky few of us dancers had the privilege of modeling in it.  After seeing all of the sketches and moodboards hanging on FBP’s company bulletin for several months, it was amazing to not only see the finished costumes, but to be backstage while each look was being assembled and perfected.  And of course, after getting over the initial shock of not being a 6’4 amazon woman high fashion model like some of the other girls in the show, wearing the “Mama Red Riding Hood” look (as I like to call it), was a blast!  I mean, these pieces are beautiful in their own right; Then you remember how each of them was conceptualized, designed, sketched, created, fitted and tailored by a college student, and your jaw drops to the floor so quickly you don’t even have time to keep it from hitting your awesome, giant satin bow on the way down.

And theeeeennn, as if your now-bruised, floor-dragging jaw didn’t hurt enough, you find out that this year’s judges were brainstorming designs for major brands in NYC and brushing elbows with Diane Von Furstenberg the day before and you are truly blown away by where the events of your day have taken you.

So that’s the story of the time the FBP dancers invaded the RISD fashion critique.  Invaded, and rocked.  Now move over haute couture models, there’s a new breed coming your way- and we’re armed with pointe shoes and expert bun-twisting skills!530378_10151116101196012_2016388178_n{standing for the critique}

mama red riding hood

Disclaimer:  If you’re already sick of all the fashion/ballet fusion I’ve been rambling about on here lately, you should probably just stop reading now.  ‘Cause I’m about to go all ballet-fashionista-rina on ya…

This March, FBP will put on a world premiere production of Little Red Riding Hood as part of our children’s Chatterbox Theater series.  What’s the twist, you ask?  Well, this classic fairytale has (dub)stepped out of the woods and into the streets of Manhattan!  That’s right.  Little Red stars as your average Waldorf-Vanderwoodson befriending, Henri Bendel-perusing, upper east side-dwelling trust fund baby with a knack for style and chocolate chip cookies!  While the concept may sound a bit rough around the edges right now, I assure you this show will be packed with energy, excitement, pizazz, and of course, fabulous dancing.  And if that’s not enough, I can promise you right now that the costumes alone will be worth the $25 ticket.

Why’s that?  The students of Rhode Island School of Design’s Fashion Design Department are designing them exclusively for FBP!  HOW COOL IS THAT.  It’s okay to be jealous.  I’m not judging you.

Above are some photos from the first day of fittings at RISD, as well as the preliminary sketches of the costume I will don as Little Red’s mom (not to be confused with “Big Red Riding Hood”….trying to avoid that nickname early…for obvious reasons…)  What do you think?!  Tres chic, no?

a good day.

When you wake up in crisp, brand new white sheets and new fluffy pillows to the sound of rain outside your open windows after sleeping in until 10, you know it’s going to be a good day.

I decided to make the most of this positive omen by heading to the RISD art museum downtown with Tegan.  We parked right outside the front entrance.  This simply does not happen in downtown providence.  Ever.  Guess what happened then?  The roomie and I flashed our snazzy unlaminated Providence College id’s, and we got in FO. FREE.  I know, I know, it was awesome.  We checked out some cool contemporary installations and hung out with the giant Buddah before leaving to check out the new Teas & Javas cafe in Wayland Square.  The ultra-hip lounge is a coffee shop/bar hybrid, as well as a hotspot for 95% of Providence’s hipster population (cute bike-riding boys with cuffed jeans and nice hair? bonus!).  It was opened in conjunction with Wayland Square’s Alex and Ani store and is owned by the husband of the jewelry line’s designer.  On our way back to the car, we noticed our favorite home goods store, Butterfield was having a sale!  So we picked up this adorable little white heart bowl (for $8!) and I scored this pretty floral makeup bag (for $11!), which I can’t wait to pack up with toiletries and take to Nantucket Island next weekend!  Yep, I said it, Nantucket Island next weekend!!! (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)  On that excited note, I better get back to my informative speech-writing…ugh this public speaking class is wearing on me.  Happy Sunday, chickens!