Friday, October 5, 2012
I started taking ballet classes pretty much before I could walk. I was pretty good at it too, but as a 12 year old I couldn't have cared less about dance and quit - right before I went en pointe. Stopping dance is probably one of the only things I really regret. I've been talking about taking a dance class for years, but I always had excuses: I didn't have time, the studio was too far away, I had been away from dance too long.
But a few weeks ago I finally bit the bullet and started taking an adult beginners ballet class! It was terrifying to walk into that door, but it's amazing! It's actually more of an advanced beginners class because most of the students are like me, we took classes way back in the day but have been out for a while. So while we don't remember the words for everything, once the teacher demonstrates how to do a movement it comes back pretty easily. It's incredible - I can have a super stressful work week, but just the thought of going to my next class is enough to make me happy. I know I'll probably never go en pointe, but for now I can't get enough of these classes and how happy dancing makes me feel!
Monday, May 14, 2012
On Friday my roommate and I went to see the Milwaukee Ballet's production of Peter Pan. We tried to go last year but it was sold out, so I've literally been waiting a year to see this show. It was phenomenal. I might be a tiny bit biased since I danced ballet for about 10 years when I was younger and a good chunk of that was through the Milwaukee Ballet School, but this was honestly my favorite ballet performance that I've ever seen.
I don't even know what to start raving about. The costumes and sets were incredible - there was this gigantic pirate ship that broke into three pieces and was moved around the stage to create different sets. The dancing was superb and wonderfully stylized. But my favorite thing had to be the flying. It was wonderful - you could see the cable holding the dancers up, but the way they moved made it look like they were controlling the cable, not the other way around. They would jump and land and roll and dance, and then just fly back up into the air, and the whole thing looked completely effortless. I can only imagine the hours and hours of practice it took to get everything to look flawless. I thought it was the perfect balance of dance and wire work to really make it believable.
One of my favorite scenes was when Tinkerbell almost dies and they rely on the audience to bring her back to life. The great thing about ballet - and dance in general - is that there are no words so all emotions and story lines have to be shown through the movement of the dancers. When Tink almost dies the whole scene centers around saying the words "I do believe in fairies," so what do you do when you can't speak?
Well, upon entering the theater we were given one of those fiber optic lights with mysterious instructions to only turn them on near the end of Act 2. As Tinkerbell started to fade, the lights all went out and Peter walked right up to the front of the stage and rang a little bell. People started turning their lights on, and as more people caught on the music swelled and you could just feel the emotion and excitement radiating from both the dancers and all the kids in the audience. I would have loved to see what it looked like from the stage. It was just really cool to see an emotional scene play out without a single word being spoken.
Then after the show we played on the little pirate set they had built on the mezzanine level. But the real thing I took away from the show (besides a desire to read Peter Pan again) was an ache in my heart to start dancing again. I always forget how much I miss it until I see a show or watch my little cousin's dance recital. I think it's time I do some serious research into taking some lessons for fun.
Also, I found this fun behind the scenes article and photos about how they did the flying in the show. Doesn't this just look like so much fun?!