Emeralds and Rubies and Diamonds! Oh, my!

21 Jun

Prepare yourself for a scattered entry with miscellaneous thoughts:

I forgot to mention that in Le Corsaire, Volchkov did these INSANE assemblé to grand plié, and effortlessly exploded upwards into a huge sissone.  That was crazy impossible, although someday if I’m bored and there are no people around as witnesses, I might try it for funsies.  If no one’s watching, what’s the worst that could happen?

Also, I didn’t mention anything about my last day at the Columbus Summer dance festival, since I was in a hurried and flurried rush to pack and get to the airport to fly to DC, but as for class that morning, nothing really out of the ordinary happened.  I’m sure you get the picture…attitude turns and “venga!” as usual.  Although Marden did finally tell us that “venga” means “come on” in Spanish.  Did I ever mention that he calls the accompanist “maestra” and asks for things in increments of “teeny-weeny-bombini?” Like, “Maestra! A teeny-weeny-bombini bit slower?” or “Maestra! How about a teeny-weeny-bombini reverence?”  And this coming from the same man who will tell you every other minute to “Move your body! Bam-bam-bam-bam!” (The “bams” referring to every time you spot while turning.  Although I’ve never done a quad.  Intentionally.).

Next, as it was Hilary’s birthday the day after we went to see Le Corsaire, I decided to give her a ballet DVD since her love for the art only became known to me somewhat recently.  I ended up picking Balanchine’s Jewels, and I even found the last copy in all of Columbus, Ohio.  I quickly called the specific Barnes and Noble that had it, in order to stake my claim and ensure that it would be mine to buy but they told me they didn’t have it.  Their website said they had it in stock so undaunted and determined, I called again the following day and lo and behold the bookseller found it after some searching and voila!  After this epic retail journey I thought to myself I deserve to say that I had found the perfect gift.  And then at dinner before the ballet she told me she was not a fan of Balanchine and felt his style is overrated. OH. BILLY. ELLIOT.

Panicked, I realized my options were to give the DVD as is and claim that because I had no knowledge of her lack on enthusiasm for Balanchine, it was an honest mistake.  Although, after looking at one of the gift shops at the Kennedy Center, I found that they had a lot of DVD’s for sale and was very close to purchasing a the Kirov production of Don Quixote (no ghosts, if I recall correctly although there is a dryad scene).  But this was just a few minutes before the show so I thought I’d give myself a minute to think about it.  I even thought of coming back the Kennedy Center in secret the next day if the gift shops were closed by the time Le Corsaire was over, but they were indeed open anyway.  However, the gift shop on the lower level had a more varied selection whereas the gift shop on the main floor did not.  They had Swan Lake (ghosts, enchanted forests, a definite no-go) and one copy of Baryshnikov’s Don Q, which for whatever reason I wasn’t as enthusiastic about buying.  Running out of ideas, I ended up telling Hilary I bought her Jewels, which spoiled the surprise but perhaps dampened the blow of the thought of having to own Balanchine choreography.  So I just told her if she didn’t like Balanchine’s style to just ignore Rubies, and only watch Emeralds and Diamonds.  So 2 out of 3 isn’t bad, and hey, no ghosts or enchanted forests right?  (What are they officially? Wilis?)  In the end, I’m glad to say she was happy with the gift because she doesn’t own any dance DVDs, and something, even Balanchine is better than nothing!

And last, but not least, in the interim of being here in DC I of course investigated some adult drop in classes, this time at the Washington Ballet.  Now, I have NEVER danced anywhere besides Ohio State, so I was prepared for a traumatic and terrifying experience.  Not because of anything Washington Ballet would do, just because I can’t ignore my natural tendency to freak out in new situations.  And of course there were a bunch of girls who were amazing, with gorgeous lines (although one had some severely winged scapulae…yikes!) but there were adults at various levels too so I really had nothing to worry about.  It’s a good experience to dance at different studios and learn different exercises and combinations, and I suppose meet new people.  Although, this morning there was a guy I had a brief conversation with who actually went to school at Oberlin in Ohio (and it really isn’t everyday you meet someone who knows Ohio outside of Ohio) and seemed to be a perfectly nice person, but again, I freak in new situations and rather than see that as an opportunity to meet a new person I ended up leaving without even introducing myself.  I have some serious issues and a curious, but skittish mentality like a baby bunny.

What I’m trying to say is, in dance, allow yourself to meet new people.  You obviously have something in common and it’s a great opportunity to just connect with kindred wilis.  Trust me when I say you don’t want to end up fickle like me, and then 5 minutes later when you’re walking down the sidewalk realize you should have at least said “My name is Steve(n).”  It’s almost embarrassing to think that I need one of those name tag stickers, as a fully grown (in age, but not in stature) adult.

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