a very nutty friday

With two shows in Winchester and another week of rehearsals under my belt, it’s safe to say I am officially in full on Nutcracking mode.  It only seemed appropriate to have this week’s links reflect my current nutty state of mind…

Secrets behind the magic of The Nutcracker from the Royal Opera House.  (spoiler alert)

“The greatest mysteries, however, remain in the music we already know. What does the Sugar Plum’s adagio express? We can say it’s about the sublimity of a perfect being; we can say its huge, cascading scales are liturgical, Tchaikovsky’s requiem for his beloved sister (who died while he was preparing the ballet); it contains both glory and tragedy.” -New York Times dance critic, Alastair Macauly, on the mystery and reward of his annual Nutcracker marathons.  (reminds me of the Nutcracker mini-marathons my mom and I used to do)

Meet the Sugarplums of Boston (Hi Ashley!)

Festival Ballet’s Adaptive Dance program comes to the Nutcracker stage. (heartwarming)

Dew Drop is my favorite part of Balanchine’s Nutcracker. (so dynamic)

A while back my mom and I went on a little date to see the Bolshoi Ballet’s Romeo & Juliet– in a movie theater a few miles away from Providence.  Though an entirely different experience from that of attending a live performance, seeing ballet on the big screen was stunning in its own way, and the behind-the-scenes footage and commentary were so cool.  Now is your chance to see what I mean- this weekend The Royal Ballet’s Nutcracker will be screening at a view different theaters around the country. (check out the RI schedule here!)

And while you’re at it, check out some of The Royal Ballet’s rehearsal shots from their time in the studio preparing The Nutcracker. (lovely)

For tickets to FBP’s Nutcracker at PPAC next weekend. (shop local)

fauns and roses

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We are headed to The Vets this week, and already I feel the familiar excitement of performance time.  Choreographer Dominic Walsh returns to Providence tonight, so it seems an appropriate time to look back on this interview from a few weeks ago, when he was in town setting his works.  In the clip, Dominic sheds some light on the inspiration behind his reinventions of Le Spectre de la Rose and Afternoon of a Faun.  Being able to learn about the birthplace of his creativity and take special note of those influences now, while preparing his pieces for the stage, has been so rewarding.  I especially love seeing the Rodin sculpture of Nijinsky that inspired the iconic first pose in his Faun.  Dominic makes such a poignant statement about creation:

“That time of The Ballets Russes was so exciting; They were breaking barriers.  There was this dedication to exploration and excellence.  So I think to reinvent these works is one way to contribute to the roles and responsibilities of the cultural institutions, and therefore our community.”

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Very well said.  If you have a minute, check out his interview below.  The extended version is even juicier, if you’re interested.

For tickets.

Photo of FBP ladies in rehearsal for Dominic Walsh’s Afternoon of a Faun by Alex Lantz; Second photo featuring Ty and Marissa Parmenter in Dominic Walsh’s Afternoon of a Faun.

the fading of light and love

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We enter the back of a sublimely bare church, the void of prayers sated only by a rich wash of morning light.  Soothing acoustic plucks guide a white dress through satisfyingly simple, narrative movement.  Intimate perspectives drift over pews, peeking their way down into a dreamy scene.  The videographic rendering of indie rocker Rob Drabkin‘s Stay (The Morning Light Fades) is refreshingly elegant.

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Featuring clean choreography by Amanda Copple of Denver’s Michelle Latimer Dance Company, the music video is indulgently fluid in all of its facets.  Copple, partnered by charming fellow MLDC dancer Luke Kamppila, weaves the melody into each step, chords rolling over shoulders like a third dancer, visible only through the expression of its creator.  As our trio of dancers spill out from the pews of Colorado Springs’ Shove Chapel, we follow their “catch and release” love story, desperate movements shadowing the beauty and pain of an endangered relationship.  Copple and Kamppila float in and out of each others arms, the discord in their energies demonstrated by opposing directional focuses and out of sync turns.  They swim through the open air into feathery lifts and gentle connections, then combust into an irreparable dissonance.  Director Dillon Novak reflects on the result of a “once in a lifetime” videoshoot, offering,

 “Partitions of stained glass and countless rows of outstretching pews and columns become the physical bounds of a relationship. Beginning in the back of the sanctuary, a history of love unfolds into a dance. Their story travels through radiant light and crushing darkness, fighting their way towards the front of the church.”

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The composer and musician Rob Drabkin himself, who chose the video’s venue not for any religious or nuptial semblance but for the pure enchantment of its natural light and stained-glass windows, sheds perhaps the most insightful light on the collaboration.  Drabkin’s soulful singing reflects his own experience with the ache and relief which shadow the ultimate expiring of a faded relationship.  Stay‘s delicate chord progressions materialized as movement in Drabkin’s mind from the moment he conceived them, and when the song was complete, a need for choreographic accompaniment became impossible to ignore.  “It was time to take a risk and put the idea into motion.”  And we’re so glad you did, Mr. Drabkin.

Catch the full music video on vevo.

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press play

What an incredible, transformative experience it was to dance Viktor Plotnikov’s Coma.  I ranted so much about the ballet when we were rehearsing, staging and performing it, I thought some of you may be interested in seeing the small compilation of excerpts released by FBP shortly after the show.  It truly does not do the ballet justice the way seeing it in person would, but it does offer a nice peek at the strange beauty of Viktor’s style as well as the intense darkness of this particular work.  I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed dancing it!

a day in the life

Presented by the New York City Ballet, this little clip compares the daily routine of a NYCB dancer to that of a young professional.  Though the two might not cross paths all that often, this video’s witty split screen reminds us how similar they can be.  I think my favorite part is the shot of the man’s fingers padding along his keyboard mirrored by the bourrées of the dancer en pointe.  Both are so gentle, but so skilled.  I think it’s a pretty cute project, bringing professionals of all kinds together to promote NYCB’s young patrons circle.  If only more young people could learn to appreciate dance- we need all the support we can get!

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Hello!  Just popping in to share my “Meet The Dancers” video, part of a series created by FBP principle dancer, Vilia Putrius.  Vilia has put her movie making skills to the test, filming and editing each dancer’s interview one by one.  She incorporates childhood photos and performance as well as rehearsal footage into these short but sweet fact-packed segments to produce fun and interesting little blurbs about the FBP dancers.  Take a peek at my video, and enjoy a little laugh at my 7th-grade-self marzipan-ing it up.  Oh, and I’d love to know…what’s on your bucket list?