Los Angeles

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Royal Ballet and Darcey Bussell

The first copy of point magazine I ever bought had Darcey Bussell on the cover.  She was, at the time, the Royal Ballet's newest principle dancer and an international sensation.  She quickly became my favorite dancer and my mom even took me to see her perform Swan Lake when the Royal Ballet came to Los Angeles (something that doesn't happen often.)  I was smitten with her.  Her lines, those FEET and her artistry have always been an inspiration to me.  

I even got the chance to meet her a few years ago at a book signing at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.  I was over visiting the boy and while he was at work I went to see Darcey.  I don't think I have ever been so star struck in my life (and living in Beverly Hills, I see a lot of stars so that's saying something!)  And of course she was so sweet and so beautiful in person, just as I knew she'd be.  

Darcey Bussell was an idol to me as a dancer and I was thrilled to read last week that she is going to be the new president of the Royal Academy of Dance.  I just think she is the perfect person to take over the role after Dame Antoinette Sibley, another beautiful dancer I adore!  I know it seems like a sort of strange thing to get excited about, but I am!  I am excited for a new generation of young dancers who will be inspired by Darcey  as I was so many years ago!   

Here's a little clip of Darcey performing one of my favorite pieces (the variation and the coda are my favorite parts.)  Here she is dancing Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux.  Enjoy! 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bridal Ballet

Ballet seems to be so popular right now.  On TV, in films and in fashion - Ballerinas seem to be taking center stage in a plethora of new mediums and I personally think that's terrific.  I mean, why not go with it?  If ballet is cool at the moment, then let it be cool.  I'm all for it.  Well, I'm cool with it for the most part.  

I'm cool with ballet being sort of an inspiration trend in fashion, but I'm not so cool with seeing models who maybe danced once, back in the day, but clearly aren't ballet dancers, prancing around in pointe shoes.  As if it's like slipping on a pair of wedges or something.  I can't help but be annoyed when I see advertisements of people "pretending" to be ballerinas and standing in pointe shoes that they can't even get fully up on.  As if it's so easy.  And did no one mention to the art director just how crappy that looks?  I find it insulting in a weird way.  

I'm also annoyed by ads with people just doing sort of half-ass attempts at ballet por de bras.  I feel like I can always tell if the model actually studied ballet or not, just by the curve of her arm and the placement of her fingers.  And there is a good reason for that.  Ballet is not just about pretty tutus and satin shoes.  Ballet dancers have worked their whole lives to craft the lines you see on the stage.  So I guess, I'm just sensitive to any display that cheapens that sacrifice.  This is about the time the boy would tell me I am taking this too seriously, so I'll stop now.  

But I will share some displays and adverts that have used the ballet-inspired trend mostly in a good way....I have a few complaints, but I'll let you make up your own mind on these!  They are all tied into to bridal wear, which I think is fitting.  Wedding gowns and tutus actually do have a lot of similarities.  (In fact, as much as I loved my wedding dress, I wasn't really all that blown away by the gowns I tried...I've worn quite a lot of stunning tutus in my day and it did seem remarkably similar, and therefore, not that out of the ordinary...I know, I'm very lucky!)

Monique Lhuillier corset dress worn by real Boston Ballet dancer Keenan Kampa {source}

All three images above are from the Monique Lhuillier West Hollywood window display {source}
Have yourself a Corps de Ballet Bridal Party! {source}

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dance Decisions

I didn't know quite what to post today, so I figured I'd share a little something that's been on my mind lately...

So many of my old friends, the dancers I joined the bottom ranks of ballet companies with back in my glory days, are starting to dance principle and soloist roles for wonderful and renown companies.  I am incredibly proud of all of them and I am so glad that they stuck with it and are dancing some of the roles we all used to dream of performing.  But it's also made me think about my own roles.  

I made the decision to leave the ballet world early on and it was such a tough decision to make, but for me, it was the right one.  Company life didn't suit me.  Though it's hard not to wonder how my life may have turned out had I stuck with it - What roles would I be dancing now if I had the strength and tenacity to stick it out back when I was just a young adult? 

But then I think about all the roles I've taken on since then - student, girlfriend, archery instructor, teacher, marketer, production manager, editor, WIFE, writer - I know that I made the right choice.  I love all the roles I've played off-stage and I look forward to all the many more to come.  While I may sometimes miss the stage, I feel so fortunate for all the experiences I've gotten to have over the last decade that I probably wouldn't have been able to experience if I had stayed in a full time company. 

Now that's not to say I don't keep a hand in it (or foot in it.)  I have plans to do more dancing in the future and I like being a freelance dancer at the moment.  Just dancing when I want to, and I guess that's a pretty good role to have as well!

*if anyone knows the original source of the above picture please let me know! 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

First Position

I love how saturated film and television seem to be with ballet these days!  Here's yet another ballet doc that is playing in Los Angeles this week.  The boy and I are going to see it on Wednesday in Santa Monica, and I seriously can't wait!  

I never auditioned for the Youth Grand Prix, but I did compete in the Los Angeles Spotlight Awards.  It was a much smaller competition, but it certainly gave me a taste of what that pressure is like...It can be intense.  Can't wait to see how they've put it all together.  

For listings go here...

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

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