December 31, 2005
As some of you may know, Sinead O’Connor released a new album this year covering some of the classic reggae songs of our generation. The album is called, “Throw Your Arms Down” and I’ve heard only a few of the tracks so far but I can say that it’s really beautifully done. Here is a link to a great article written about how she got to this point in her life, and why she chose to make this album.
(You may have to answer yes/no to a couple of questions before being let in to the site. But it’s non-invasive, so I suggest doing it to get to the article).
To hear Sinead’s cover of “Untold Stories” by Buju Banton, please click here and your song will open in a new window.
December 27, 2005
In a stunning and positive introduction to tonight’s entry, I’d like to announce that the month of December has been a big one for the movement of c. It’s December 27th, nearing the end of the 2005 year, and I’m proud to be entering 2006 on a high note. This month’s traffic has doubled from last month’s, and nearly tripled from previous months.
My search engine phrases have greatly increased, and along with my unending gratitude to Ari and 3rd Arm, I’m really happy that many of my incoming links are now pointing to Google search phrases, and internet keyword searches. Also, my country list has extended itself from 6 countries in November to 24 this month. Something has greatly changed, and I can only play along. Remember this: “If you build it, they will come.” Hell yes.
Some new and improved search phrases included:
- “Cbear and Jamal”
- “children’s christmas movement”
- “tombe pas de bouree definition of”
- “tony barrand multiple sclerosis” : Read the entry that professes my respect and admiration for this dancing man.
I’d also like to take a moment and give the definition of “tombe pas de bouree” for those who may be looking.
Tombe, the french word that means “to fall”. In ballet this is done by extending the leading foot and “falling” on to that leg by placing the foot on the floor, transferring the weight to that foot, and bending the leg while doing so. A “Tombe” can provide an equalization of weight to the center of the body, or can be used to transfer weight from one leg to the other.
Pas de bouree, a combination of three steps done on “demi-pointe”, or “releve”. Traditionally, a “pas de bouree” follows the pattern, “back, side, front”, finishing the final step in soussou. In ballet the step is done with straight legs. Many variations stem from the ballet pas de bouree, which could explained at a later time.
December 25, 2005
The windup. It’s been going for a long time, and pretty soon the alarm will sound. Something can only be wound up and set to propel itself for infinite time thereafter with the conjoining of gears. Seperate, Multiple bodies working together for one central achievement…to keep up with time itself.
The past 3 days have been of enormous proportions both in my own life and in the others close to me. I have been working somewhat like a clock lately, using time wisely and keeping strict track of the seconds passing by. This has undoubtedly been because I have been working with deadlines. I am proud of the organizational thought I practiced on Thursday, which was Eliot’s 23rd birthday. I am setting forward to mimic my own admirable behaviour in the future! Also, it is now officially Christmas Day. My family is big on Christmas, and this of course being the holiday of giving has strict deadlines in terms of “getting things done”.
While I sit in the cove of Christmas past, it will only be a few more hours until younger munchkins come strolling down the stairs to wake me for the thrill of Christmas morning. Two things are coming to mind as of now.
The first is how much of a difference I notice in my perception of Christmas from year to year. This year I was very focused on others, though I suppose in a sense that is focused on the self. Isn’t everything in some way? Basically, I didn’t ask for anything for Christmas this year, because I feel like I am on a different side of the tree now. Tonight at my cousin’s Christmas Eve party, I realized that the young munchkin cousins aren’t interested in connecting to me on a childlike level anymore. I seem like an adult to them. I could show them a thing or two though, and that I will.
The second thing is that I think the reason I have been so good with deadlines these past few days is precisely because the deadlines have been for the achievement of others. Deadlines for the self are so important, but without using the word “excuses” I tend to constantly put things off and rearrange my priorities rapidly and on a whim. When you are working to meet a deadline for someone else’s benefit, there are multiple people involved and it’s much harder to let yourself let someone else down as opposed to just your self who can take the abuse every once in a while.
It’s something to think about for me, because I know that I enjoy making other people happy, and lately I’ve been asking myself what makes me happy. Some people in my life might tell me that it’s me me me who has to come first. Is this universal? Sometimes it feels like the one thing that really makes me happy is making other people happy. Nobody’s happiness really comes first though. It’s actually a completely cyclicle process, similar to the way a wind-up clock functions.
Oscillating wheel. Receiving delivery from said gears. Can one go without the other?
December 16, 2005
200 type is now 8-bit binary. It’s Friday afternoon, and I’m home resting between performances. This morning was the first performance of Melrose Youth Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker, directed by my dear friend, Jaclyn Capozzi.
The 10am show was home to about 650 school kids, on a field trip to see the show. The Pope John High School kids were my favorite. They started the day off with a loud stomping of the feet (you know, the real enthusiastic kind?). It was great! Then off in the distance I could see these little munchkins wearing funny little hats. I think they had paper Nutcrackers sticking out of their domes! They ran about 8 inches high, which might explain why they were sitting in the back row.
Just to make things clear, I’ll give you a short synopsis of my history with Melrose Youth Ballet, and my involvement in this year’s Nutcracker production. I started dancing with MYB in 1996. I was 12 years old, and it was their first year as a non-profits arts organization. From that year on, I auditioned, performed, and worked my way up from playing the role of an Angel to being in the Corps de Ballet and performing some of the lead solo roles of the play.
Jaclyn, who is my long-life dance partner and confidant extrordinaire, also performed with the company. We were asked back as guest artists while we were in college, and continued our connection to the Nutcracker through the years. This year the position for Artistic Director was open. Jaclyn’s mother who is a close friend of one of the board member’s got a tip that the position was open, and Lori, the board member called Jaclyn to tell her to send in her resume.
Sometimes I wonder if she had the job before she “got” it. Either way, Jaclyn has done a fantastic job, and I am playing the role of Clara’s mother in the opening scene of The Nutcracker. My brother Jonny plays the frisky brother, named Fritz. My two sisters are also in the show, one playing the role of “Rat” and “Flower” and the other playing the role of “Maid”, “Russian” and “Snowflake”. If you know the story of The Nutcracker, these names might have more of a context.
We have four more shows this weekend. We’re performing Friday night at 8pm, Saturday at 2pm and 8pm, and Sunday at 2pm.
Highlights of today’s show included:
- Paul McGowan, “my husband” in the play couldn’t get my necklace on while we were on stage.
- The “scary” rat scene got a few laughs from the audience.
- I barely made it off stage while striking the 30-second scene change before the curtain opened.
Good times! There are some real characters in the Nutcracker. The man who plays “Drosselmyer”, who is a drama student from Saugus High, was in my dream last night. Drosselmyer’s character is Clara’s Uncle, who is full of tricks and tribes. He brings the non-living to life several times throughout the night. In my dream he was just a normal guy behind the counter. I don’t remember much else from the dream, but I do know that when magic Uncles start appearing in my dreams, there is too much Nutcracker in my life! According to his biography, he’s written over 100 screenplays. Hmm….maybe he can work some magic, cause I don’t know about that one.
It’s been a struggle playing the role of a woman who is so primp and proper, but it’s getting to be more natural and lots of fun. Only a dancer, performer, or a stage crew rookie would understand that the stress and absurdity of performing and putting on productions is really what keeps us going. We’re insane, and we love it. And to the people in my life who have to deal with the insanity that stems from this masochistic lifestyle, I love you and it will all be over soon. For now, feast your eyes on this!
Me and Paul in the Party Scene at dress rehearsal on Thursday.
Nikki doing a crazy leap in The Russian Trepak, choreographed by moi.
One of these senoritas is my student at CSDS!
Me and Joie, (the senorita) at the last tech rehearsal before today’s show.
December 9, 2005
“You can turn the clock to zero, honey
I’ll sell the stock, we’ll spend all the money
We’re starting up a brand new day…”
He said it best, except for the turning the clock to zero part. What would zero actually feel like? The closest I’ve ever gotten is when someone refers to the time as: “0: 100 hours captain.” Actually, to be perfectly honest, yesterday was the starting of a brand new day for me. I made a pact with a loved one, that this was the fresh start, the spring chicken, the “ready set go!” of all days.
Why yesterday of all days? The question really is why not. With all of the hulabaloo of life, work, dance, family and friends reeling in the ears, a girl has got to start somewhere. If not, it’s crash and burrn time. This morning was the first morning in many mornings that I returned to one of my favorite activities in life. I was drinking coffee (in my oversized “daughter” mug that my mom gave me a long time ago) on my bed within my sunny cove that is my bedroom. With morning talk shows in the foreground, I caught up on emails, did some coding for the world wide web, and accepted the position as Choreographer for the bi-annual Spring musical at Temple Beth Avodah.
This year the troupe is producing Carousel, a Rodgers and Hammerstein classic set in the 1870s filled with creepy carnies and flamboyant dance numbers! This should be very exciting. I told my family about the position at dinner tonight, and they asked me how I keep running in to these Jewish organizations that offer really fantastic teaching jobs in the field of dance. Well, Ari said it best: “You love the Jews!”.
But honestly, most of this has fallen in to my lap. It all started when I met Eliot, a nice Jewish boy from Northern Connecticut. Little did I know that having this tidbit of Judaism in my life would lead me down a very fulfilling path. In an effort to learn more about the traditions and culture that he and his sister, my housemate and out-of-wedlock sister-in-law, Ari grew up in I interviewed for a teaching position at the Leventhal-Sidman JCC in Newton. (This was post- my first Passover). I got the job at the JCC and have since schmoozed with parents, and taught many little munchkins that love to say Shalom Miss Christina! when they walk in the door. No joke.
In fact, a couple of weeks ago I was teaching my 3 year old class at the JCC. The week before I had taught them to do a “chasse”. In ballet, this word means, “to slide”. As a ballet teacher, even with young munchkins, I invest a lot of time in teaching the terminology of ballet. It helps to interpret movements in to a language we can understand, and adds an element of excitement for children because they are learning a lot of words from another language (even if it is all action verbs in their simple form). Anyway, I asked the girls,
“Does anyone remember what our sliding step is called?”
“It starts like, ’shaaaaa’…
Close enough. Shalom, Chasse. Smart little whipper-snappers!
From my little experience in the Jewish arts community, I’ve encountered that it’s all who you know. I suppose this is true in any field or community, but within the Jewish community I’ve found more loyalty, respect, and trust when someone reccomends someone for a position, a favor, a reference, or just someone to talk to. It’s a place that I feel comfortable, and I think that people can sense my interest and open mindedness toward integrating myself more. It’s nice to see a community that really belongs to eachother and itself, and works toward progressing that community as a whole.
Here’s a shot of the movie poster for Carousel, for a sneak peak of where I’ll be venturing in the months ahead!