Category Archives: it is a silly place

Captain Shakylegs and the Mystery of the Grand Allegro

“Dear heavens, it’s 8 AM already,” he said.

Or, at any rate, he tried to. What came out, instead, sounded more like, “Mrrrghghhhh.”

*****

You’ve probably guessed that today wasn’t the best day I’ve ever had in class. I don’t think it’s so much the getting in at 1:30, which isn’t the end of the world really, or the getting up at 8 on slightly less than 6 hours of sleep.

I suspect that it was the combination of NyQuil (taken to fend off a sinus headache and extra congestion brought on by dry air and so forth: not sleeping was not a viable option) and getting up at 8 on slightly less sleep than it would’ve taken to give the NyQuil time to wear off.

Possibly adding Adderall, a further decongestant, and a cup of coffee to the mix this morning wasn’t the greatest idea.

On the other hand, I made it to class without dying, killing myself, or forgetting my shoes, so there’s that.

At any rate, I wasn’t alone. In one way or another, everyone was heroically Living The Struggle this morning, including L’Ancien, who was mysteriously detained (he apologized profusely).

pexels-photo-52608.jpeg

I searched Pexels for “struggle” and this was the only result. Close enough.

I do think, however, that I was the sole member of the class who began barre with legs that trembled like the voice of an ancient soprano on Easter morning.

Even standing in fifth was, erm, challenging. I mean, standing in fifth is inherently challenging, and some days your body does it better than other days … but I can’t remember any other specific day on which the challenge in question involved, like, vibration.

So that pretty much alerted me to the fact that it was going to be an interesting class.

By the time we got to the section of our highly-compressed barre that I’ll call “fondu de rondu,” the trembling had stopped. I was grateful for that, and because frankly it was, in fact, a little frightening: imagine balancing, for example, at passé in the midst of a rolling earthquake, for example.

However, the end of the tremors and the lovely high extensions that showed up out of nowhere (and with no conscious effort on my part) conspired to lull me into a false sense of security.

I should’ve realized it when I could tour lent in the mark, but not in the actual run. Obviously, something was rotten in Denmark.

Still, I bulled my way through the adage, through some not-great turns, and through the little jumps (in which I made L’Ancien a little happy by actually jumping, which his the one thing I can do reliably, almost (see below).

And then came the grand allegro. It was simple: pique, chassé, entrelacé, failli, tombé, pas de bourré, glissade, grand jeté, then four more grand jetés just for the hell of it, en manège.

Except when L’Ancien gave us the combination, somehow my amazing brain decided that the first phrase (pique, chassé, entrelacé) was performed left, and that it changed directions via a fouetté or something.

Evidently that wasn’t at all correct, and I can now tell you that it’s quite alarming to fund that you are unexpectedly grand-allegroing yourself towards the person on the next corner and yet, simultaneously, that you can’t seem to make yourself stop…?

That’s not where the mystery comes in, though.

The mystery is that we ran it again, and I did the same thing.

I DID THE GRAND ALLEGRO BACKWARDS TWICE, YOU GUYS.

TWICE.

So, all told, far from the best class I’ve ever had. Not quite Depths of Despair quality, just a whole lot of WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME THIS MORNING?.

Failboat

I have only two questions: Why me? Why now???

To which the answer is obvious. I’m cooked, and perhaps too many drugs. In short, the equivalent of taking class with a hangover, minus the headache.

At any rate, I’ve managed to eat some lunch and now I’m thinking about having a lie down before my audition (though, at present, only thinking, because I’m horrible at taking naps and I’d really rather just power through and get it behind me).

Here’s hoping that things will go a little better this afternoon. We’ll see, eh?

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A Few Dance Pix

I needed a new headshot, so I asked my friend Christina, who’s a photographer, to shoot some for me. She agreed and asked if I wanted some action shots as well, and I thought that sounded awesome. Anyway, we went out on a grey afternoon with temperatures in the 50s (fahrenheit) and worked for about an hour.

Even though it was hard to get sufficiently warmed up, Christina managed to snag some great shots … and a couple that I asked her to keep because, frankly, they’re kind of hilarious. So here are a few: one funny one, one that’s a great picture of something that’s not very good ballet (but might be pretty good action-movie Kung Faux!), and one that’s just plain beautiful.

So here they are:

AsherFinal-17

Hilarity Ensues. (c) Christina Noel Photography, 2018.

You know that effort face I keep talking about? Well, THIS IS IT. This is the face that I CONSTANTLY MAKE during petit allegro and also, apparently, whilst attempting to do grand allegro outside in the cold with my shoulders swallowing my neck.

Also, just noticed I have developed a terrible case of Starfish Hand in this one.

TEACHERS: TALK TO YOUR DANCERS ABOUT STARFISH HAND BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE.

One more thing: I learned in this process that even if you know you’re going to destroy your shoes by wearing them to a damp outdoor dance shoot in the middle of a drizzly Kentucky winter, you should STILL WEAR SHOES THAT FIT.

First, dancing outside in the cold is hard enough without worrying that you’re going to slide out of your shoes when you launch or when you land.

Second, if you actually do get ’round to pointing your toes, oversized shoes make your beautiful dolphin feet look like bricks anyway.

Mad props to Christina for making this shot look beautiful even though I did my best to make everything look ridiculous 🙂

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Pas de Fu! (c) Christina Noel Photography, 2018

Nobody ever posts their Pas De Don’t moments: you know, those times when only one leg is turned out, only one foot is trying to be pointed (to be fair, the bottom one hasn’t had time to get there yet in this shot), you’re making A+ For Effort Face, and the jump you’re doing is great if it’s either modern dance or Kung Faux, but not so great if it’s supposed to be Pas de Chat Italien and actually ballet.

For the good of humankind, then, here’s another of mine.

My épaulement is janky as heck in this shot—and while that makes for some heckin’ awkward ballet, it makes for some really cool Kung Faux, so I’ll take it. Besides, you never know when you might need exactly the right photo to go with your audition application for an international spy thriller ballet.

Christina spotted this one in the mix and kept it for exactly this reason—it totally looks like an action-movie still (presumably from some weird action movie about a random ballet boy just trying to get home from class after all of his street clothes were stolen by ninjas or something). I kind of love it, to be honest.

AsherFinal-26

Dem Legs, Tho. (c) Christina Noel Photography, 2018.

Y’all. Can I just say that I freaking love this?

The pose is from the piece BG is setting on us right now, only we use parallel fifth instead of parallel fourth. Between the surface and the wind, parallel fourth was hard enough to manage; parallel fifth was … umm, yeah. But we both liked the parallel fourth version better anyway.

Never mind the fact that I’m still working off my, ahem, “winter coat.” (That is, the extra coating of insulation that you get when you go visit your parents house and there is no class and your Mom keeps stuffing food down your gullet and you were already still getting back in shape from your last break … oy.)

Never mind the fact that it’s cold and I’m tired as all heck in this picture. I look like I know what I’m about. And I kinda think I look pretty good. Like, if this was a FumblR picture or whatevs, I’d swipe right.

Or … you know, whichever way you’re supposed to swipe if you think someone looks good.

There’s also a color version of this pose shot against the backdrop of the same facade[1] as the first two…

  1. …All that remains of an historical house whose name escapes me at the moment; I’ll fix that some time when I’m not trying to get to bed.

…that I like quite a lot, so I’m going to slap that down here, as well, even though I was only going to post three shots.

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Et Voila. (c) Christina Noel Photography, 2018.

There’s a version of this in which I’m not staring directly into the camera, but I like this one better, so here you go. If you know me well enough you can tell by my eyebrow that I’m basically about to dissolve into a fit of laughter. I almost pulled off the Imperious Gaze, but was borderline slap-happy by this point.

Also, I really need to learn to do this port de bras without hyperextending my fingers, because that looks kinda weird. Though it may not actually be entirely possible for me to do that: my third (ring) finger on both hands only seems to offer “bent” and “hyperextended” as options. Oh, well.

But most importantly, my feet look pretty bangin’ here, even with the oversized shoes.

I think I’m probably going to badger Christina to do a shoot of the same basic jumps and poses and so forth in about three months, when the weather is awesome and I’m in peak shape.

So, brief recap. Here’s what I learned doing this photo shoot:

  • If it’s cold, bring something warm to wrap around yourself between shots. Also probably a thermos full of something hot and possibly alcoholic, unless you have to drive or are underage in your region or whatevs, in which case skip that alcoholic thing.
  • WEAR SHOES THAT FIT
  • WEAR SHOES THAT FIT
  • FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY WEAR SHOES THAT FIT (you can thank me later)
  • You will look weird giving yourself a barre and so forth in the middle of the street in the middle of the afternoon. Do it anyway, even if it means getting there early. I didn’t because I was actually really fracking depressed the morning of the shoot and didn’t get there early enough (or at all), and I regretted it for the entire shoot, but especially when I was doing the eleventy-ninth pas de chat from a standstill 😛

Countdown

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that nothing is ever final until the curtain rises on opening night–and even then, it’s still not final.

This is a comforting thought, since circumstances have conspired to make tomorrow’s tech run the first time that the tandem hammock trio gets to actually be a tandem hammock trio! We’ve worked separately and in various pairings up to this point, but not all together because–honestly, I’m not sure why.

This morning, I worked out the drop sequence I’m doing–a variation from the one the girls are doing, since they didn’t get a chance to teach it to me and we didn’t have video I could work from, but if I don’t completely hose it up, the audience is unlikely to notice 😛

Tonight’s a literal walk-through rehearsal: the apparatuses are in the theater, but we won’t be because life in the arts is, shall we say, a little chaotic sometimes. I’m honestly okay with that: we got up at 4 this morning for a 3.5-hour newscast gig, and even though I managed to reclaim most of my lost sleep this afternoon (and, in my dreams, revisit pets of yore and rehearse in a really bizarre space), I’m still a little tired and totallu okay with not dangling from dangerous objects tonight 😉

The news should always be this much fun!

^^That’s my kind of news crew 😀

Last night, instead of staying home and hiding from trick-or-treaters, I went to Handstands class and Acro 2. Both went remarkably well. I got to play on hand-balancing blocks, which I’ve been wanting to do forever, and a pair of those hand-balancing frames that look a little like pommel-horse grips sans pommel-horse. I’m finally regaining a really solid handstand, so that’s awesome. I definitely want to incorporate hand-balancing into my skill-set.

Anyway, tomorrow we’re finally in the theater for real (I got a preview as a function of doing the morning show!), and Friday we open. Saturday is just about sold out, which is awesome.

Oh, andI also know how to find my way out of the theater now, which is surprisingly complicated 😛

How To Tell If Your Relationship Is Intergenerational

Let’s face it, demographics is hard.

Generational demographics is particularly hard. How can we know who’s a delicate, entitled Millennial when demographers can’t even agree on when Generation X ended? Maybe the late Gen-Xers—the teenage Slackers of the early-to-mid 90s—slept through the Generational Alarm Clock after an all-night bender, forever skewing the data.

Regardless, there’s one litmus test that might work pretty well for many of us, and it’s this: does Bae crease his jeans, or na?

Or maybe this only works in my household.

D and I are decidedly not members of the same generation. He’s old enough to potentially have rocked this nightmare:

Halp.

(Via Plaid Stallions; WP app on my tablet is borked so I’ll add a caption & link later.)

I’m young enough, thankfully, to know such horrors only as relics of the great murky time before I came into this world. …Though my generation has already ruined the fedora for everyone and, I’m sure, will be hoist high by its own fashionable petards sooner or later (my money’s on skinny jeans and ironic ugly sweaters, even though I only ever wear skinny jeans and I like ironic ugly sweaters).

The closest analog visited upon me by my parents was the timeless and traditional sailor suit[1], which is fairly inoffensive, albeit a strange sartorial affectation given both the wild impracticality of clothing toddlers in pristine whites and the minuscule number of toddlers actually employed by the Navies of the world.

  1. Predictably, perhaps, I loved the sailor suit with a kind of fetishistic devotion (I still think men in Navy whites look fantastic). Evidently I’ve been one giant queer cliché from the word “Faaaabulouuuuus!” …I mean, “Go.” I remember loving it, and I insisted on wearing the little striped tank top that went with it long after I outgrew the less-stretchy bits. I would probably still be trying to wear it if it had not mysteriously disappeared.

But, ultimately, the fault line along which our house truly divides is that of creased jeans. D wants all his jeans creased; I reel in horror at the thought. But I crease his anyway, because I want him to be happy[2]. I only own one pair of jeans, and occasionally I crease them by mistake, and have gone as far as running them through the washing machine all over again just to get the crease out.

  1. The easy way to do this is to take the jeans piping hot from the dryer, then fold them in such a way that the outside leg seam aligns worth the inseam. You can then press the resultant crease using only your hands.

So there you have it. A marital impasse, albeit one for which an amicable solution had been reached, founded upon a generational divide.

In case you’re wondering what touched this entire post off, it was this:

(Also via Plaid Stallions.)

I can’t imagine being so devoted to the idea of creasing one’s casual slacks that one imagines even the legtubes of Disco Onesies need creases o_o

That’s it for now. Class with BW tonight, and then probably immediately an entire sleeping pill because my head is full of troubled thoughts that have been keeping me awake at night, which may explain this entire post.

PS: based on the relative positions of creases and feet, I’m inclined to say dude at audience left (in the purple, yet somehow less frightening, Disco Onesie) has better turnout than his clothing does. So uncomfortable o.o

Nine More Days

Yes, I’ve resorted to counting down the days until I’m cleared for all the things.

The problem is that I really want to do handstands for some reason. Like, right now.

Normally, when I want to do handstands, like, right now, I just do them. (Often, when this happens, it’s because I’m trying to think my way through a sticking point in my technique and my nonverbal mind thinks it’s on to something. Sometimes, though, it’s just for fun.)

I dream in grand allegro.

I may have done a few wee petit allegro jumps in my kitchen (which is far too small even for medium allegro) last night. It might have felt good.

I decided I was ready to get back to barre when I found myself doing turns in my kitchen. I don’t think I can justify doing allegro of any kind (excepting the occasional step in my kitchen) until I’m 100% cleared.

So, needless to say, I’m antsy.

But it’s only mine more days.

What I’m really antsy about, though, is being able to take a proper, fully-submerged bath. I haven’t taken any baths at all because I’m afraid I’ll just submerge everything without even thinking about it—but on the other hand I do find baths really helpful on cold mornings (and, as you may recall, we have already established that my standard for labeling a morning “cold” is fairly pathetic).

Maybe I’ll try taking a bath and mindfully not submerging myself. And, of course, if I get really antsy, I can always use one of those medical-grade wound-protector things that they make for exactly that purpose.

In other news, I’m really tempted to wear this thing:

Bondage onesie?

…to class tomorrow, just to make BW and TS giggle. I think if I do, I’ll be forced to shoot some video for posterity.

Winter is Coming* (NSFW? IDK)

*Honestly, I have neither read the books on which the TV series A Game Of Thrones is based, nor watched the TV series itself, so for all I know I’m completely abusing this catchphrase.

But, anyway, it’s 60F today, which once upon a time would definitely not have qualified as “chilly” in my world, but then I started spending all my time in well-heated dance spaces and completely lost my cold-tolerance.

Like, I am literally wearing a fleece blanket onesie[1] over my fleece leopard warm-up pants, and my hands are still ice cold[2].

  1. Kind of like a Snuggie? Only with a zipper and leg cuffs at the bottom as well as the arm cuffs.
  2. And still I will refuse to turn the heat on until the daytime temperature is reliably in the forties farenheit.

Either way, it’s that time of year again when we begin to ponder exactly how many layers to wear to class, even though we know that in the end it’s just going to be exactly like this:

  1. By Jared Karim, via Wikimedia Commons
  2. By SureFire, via Wikimedia Commons

I feel like I’ve been waiting since roughly April for summer to end, and now that it’s over I’m like, “HECK! It’s hecking cold!”

…Like, did I expect something else, really?

On the other hand, it’s an excuse to wear ridiculous layers of junk to class in as many obnoxious color combinations as possible, drink extra coffee (to stay warm!), and eat soup.

Anyway, I’m taking a rest day today. Tomorrow I might throw myself back into Modern. We’ll see.

Also, it’s probably time to put up the rig so I can start working on stuff for Kaleidoscope at home.

This is Humid-o-We’en

So I dutifully kept my heart rate pretty moderate during tonight’s performance, but it was still so humid I finished up looking like I’d gone for a swim o.o

Dripping in the Green Room

Also, I just realized that my scars add a dimension of realism to the Sparkle Zombie get-up XD

The Greatest/Lamest Rap Non-Battle Evar

So Dorky and I discovered that our rap names (based on the formula “Young” + the most recent thing you spent money on) were A) kinda lame and B) ballet-related. Evidently, I’m Young Ballet Class and she’s Young Ballet Book.

I suggested that we could have the lamest rap battle ever. Here’s what went down:

 

You Guys I Am So Itchy

wash me throughly

You guys, I took actual shower this morning, and it was amaaaaaaaaazing.

I say this as someone who is normally not a huge fan—someone who generally regards showers as perfunctory and boring—but after ten days of sponge baths? That. Felt. Good.  

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