Archive for the ‘Wandering ‘Nati’ Category

It was Eric that first brought up the idea of unity being the centerpiece concept of the evening. While we were having dessert, or more aptly, not having dessert after a stop at one place seemed too rushed to be enjoyable and the server at the other forgot to put in our dessert order. It finally came and the extra wait gave us plenty of time to talk thoughts about the performance we’d just taken in – Cincinnati Ballet’s Kaplan New Works – as I mentioned yesterday. I had entertained the same thought myself here and there about unity, but something in me wanted to resist it.  I saw unity. I didn’t feel unified. It was weird. But at the same time, that’s part of what the Kaplan series is all about, shaking your tree, challenging your notions, and confusing your feelings.

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I have said this many times in conversation, and will say it again here, if you have one of those friends that got dragged to the Nutcracker once when they were eight years old and convinced themselves that they hate the ballet – it’s boring, it’s not macho enough, it puts you to sleep. Take them to Kaplan. They may revise their opinion. This ain’t your mamma’s ballet.

The performance opened with a piece by CB-staple, Heather Britt, and as it opened, I kinda sighed.  Despite the addition of vocals by the Cincinnati Vocal Arts Ensemble bringing a new aspect to the performance, the opening sequences felt like I’d seen them before in other works by Heather. I love Heather’s work and style, but I was missing the Heather of Opus 5.5 from Kaplans of years past.  However, this feeling lifted with the rise in tempo and more of the energetic Heather began to shine through the movements of the dancers.  It was also at this point I began to really take notice of the men in the ensemble.

My friends, I’ve had the privilege of watching several of the dancers in the company mature in technique and confidence over the years – and I know that the Kaplan series has taken a feminist bent over the past two seasons – but can I just say, HOLY SMOKES! The guys in our ballet company are FIERCE!!! If anyone ever tells you ballet is for girls, I wouldn’t put it past one of our male dancers to lay them out! We have some STRONG, FIERCE and TALENTED men.

*Pause to breathe.*

Okay, back to the show. Next up after Heather was a hip-hop performance by Elementz Studio Kre8tv which included spoken poetry challenging societal perception. This is the part where I could shoot myself for leaving my program, which included the spoken words, on the bar at dessert.  I LOVED this part of the performance, which had absolutely nothing to do with ballet in its technical sense, but posed the query – when we talk about ‘us’, what do we mean by that?  Us includes all the people around us, not just the ones that look like ‘us’.  Therein lies the unity. We’re in it together, but why can’t we see that? The performers were confident, and brought such high energy. Truly a BRAVE thing to throw in the line-up, Ms. Morgan.

“Fractured Glass”, by Victoria Morgan herself, I had problems connecting with. Coincidentally, this was the same piece that brought Eric to the theme of discussion unity.  To me, the women moving about the stage were ANGRY. For some reason, the He-Man Women Hater’s Club came to mind from the Little Rascals. I don’t know why. I stopped trying to explain the way my brain works long ago. But this time, instead of Spanky and Alfalfa, the women had wrestled control. The choreography seemed frustrated and angry, something about breaking a glass ceiling. The male roles in this one seemed more lyrical to me – almost like the traditional archetype choreography of aggressive men and delicate women had been gender-role reversed. And I kind of get that that was part of it, again – glass ceiling fractured, but then there was a 4th female dancer that comes out and all of a sudden everyone gets along just fine.  Like I said, and I will freely admit, I didn’t get it. Eric got it. I didn’t get it.

The second half of the series was the more enjoyable end to me.

“Yesterday, Tomorrow” by Amy Seiwert made me amused and happy. Clever from start to finishing details, it was eye candy in a most innocent way. I LOVE LOVE LOVED the music by Gillian Welch. On the iTunes list for sure! Using a simple bench prop, costumes comfortable in country church and soft slippers, our dancers looked like they were having just as much fun in the dance as the spectators were watching. I hope to see this one again in the future.

Continuing the dramatic reprieve was “Triple Play”, choreographed by William Whitener. A pas de deux in 3 parts, danced well to piano accompaniment. I liked it, but it didn’t hold my attention as much as I would’ve liked.

Finally, it was time to “SIT” with Jennifer Archibald. OH. MY. GOD.  This is where I find unity. The sultry qualities we saw in Heather’s work amplified, with the intensity of statement made by Elementz Studio Kre8v, and the clever technical work embedded in Seiwert’s piece. The struggle of Fractured Glass. All of it came together here, UNIFIED, in a way that still makes my heart jump.  First, I’ll say it was nice to see Rodrigo Almarales toeing the same line in front as Principal Dancer Cervilio Amador.  I’ve acknowledged before that Almarales has been fearless in recent performances. He is earning it. Next, can we talk about James Gilmer? How tall is that guy? WOW! (And I apologize if I’m talking about the wrong dancer, because again, program left on the bar and the ballet doesn’t put up a dancer stat page like MLB does). I point this out because it’s not common to see someone that tall in dance, that can move like that – and he could MOVE! There were a few times he could’ve kicked the moon out of the sky with his extension. Did I mention how FIERCE our guys are looking?! Anyway, Archibald’s piece just kept my heartbeat loud and passionate in my ears, pinned to my seat – for the aptly named SIT.

Kaplan will be running at the Aronoff through Sunday, September 21st. Go get your seat. 🙂

Ooooh my friends, doesn’t September have the most divine sleeping-in weather?

Windows open, chill in the air, bury yourself a little deeper under the covers and tangle up your feet with that fella next to you to warm up the toesies – PERFECT sleeping-in weather.

There is simply no way to untangle those toesies for a 5am workout alarm. There just isn’t.

In other words, I didn’t make it out to Caesar’s Creek for triathlon training. Again.

The discipline, it is lacking. Lost somewhere in the woods. For a couple weeks, I had legit reasons, but this morning – it was all Zzzzzzzz.

Instead, I’m getting some computer work done, sipping on a coffee, and watching the two dogs snooze – across two different rooms, two different dog beds, in exactly the same position.

The motivation is hard to come by today. Errands need to be done – and frankly, that perfect sleeping-in weather is AWESOME running weather too. I should probably get that done.  Also, I’m out of coffee. So that must be fixed.

And through some magical intervention, the husband and I scored tickets to Kaplan New Works  tonight!  Baseball season is starting to wind down with the Reds last road trip of the season, and while I continue to click my heels and chant “There’s no place like Playoffs!”, the timing also means ballet season is starting to wind up. Time to get the dance on! Kaplan is one of the most amazing local dance traditions – and when I was fortunate to get a preview of the performance over the Summer – it got added to my must-see list with the quickness! However, the timing almost slipped on by me. I have been a busy girl!  Gotta do some prettying up for date night and get us to the dance on time.

But first the run. Must. Get. Run. Done!

 

While I may have failed to get the owner’s name, y’all know I’m kind of dog crazy.

Meet Lola.

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Though diminutive in size, she is big in the doggie wisdom.

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Lola’s Life Lesson #1: Get your chin scratched whenever you can.

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Hats off to my cohort in yoga crimes Erin

For most of the teacher-training intensive, the weather had been kind enough to let us have the doors wide open –

letting in light and all the sounds of Main Street. Every day, and often on our break, I’d spy this lovely woman walking a tiny white dog.

Something about the both of them catching my eye.

Finally, as I was running around barefoot on the street in the sunshine right outside the door, she happened by again and I asked

if I could take her picture. She scooped up her dog, Lola immediately and put on a big smile.

Tell me she isn’t absolutely stunning – the silver streaks in her hair, the large bits of turquoise jewelry, the tattooed sleeves on both arms, my favorite shade of lavender.

And then we spoke – and she was just as amazing!

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It was my utter fail that I didn’t get her name, but I’m sure we’ll cross paths again so I can correct that.

I hope I am this lovely when I get further down my path.

Standing guard outside the cafe.

I want this in my living room.

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The colors, the complexities, the concept = SWOON!! LOVE IT!

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Once we get finished painting the house, Eric is probably going to have to talk me down (more than a few times) to keep me from getting some murally-type thing painted on the side of it. I will need a voice of reason. One of the things I love about Downtown Cincy are the little bits of mural art that pop out of buildings all over the place.

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More from Iris Book Café .

Loved the light in this place – and frankly, my nerd side just gets all drooly over shelves & shelves of books.

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Close-up of the stained glass. Or as close up as my short self could get.

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Spent the entirety of last week at a 6-day “Advanced Functional Anatomy Intensive” as part of my continued yoga teacher training.  I’ll write about some of that later. But a significant part of that training involved figuring out where – in a 1 block radius – could get me together a sandwich with the quickness since I had some logistical failures in packing my lunch and only small pockets of time to get food in mah belly.

A second part of training involved seeing how many worthwhile shots I could get off while same said sandwich was being made. Brought the camera with for 1 day’s search.

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Iris Book Café on Main.

The Salmon & Avocado sandwich = YUM!

Took this at a run after-party last night.

Because after the cornhole picture, things moved onto the dance floor.

You can probably move ahead 30-45 seconds in the video – except for that his (her?) dance partner is just fabulous.

Never seen anything like it.

So, tonight is the first #Redstweetup of the baseball season. An event organized by the Reds social media team to get all of the fans who tweet about the team a chance to mingle – in person. Pretty cool, huh?

FACT: No team treats their fans better than the Reds.

Since I just joined twitter at the end of last season, this will also be my first #Redstweetup. I have to admit, that even though I’m pretty darn excited to meet some of the people I tweet with daily, I have a little bit of social anxiety kicking in. Okay, alotabit.

“Dear god, what if everyone hates me and ends up chasing me with torches? It’s raining, they won’t have anything better to do.” 

Ya know, that kind of thing.  Accompanied by suddenly hating everything I chose to wear today and desperately wishing I hadn’t tried to cut my own bangs on Tuesday. Yikes!

When Eric & I talked about it, we decided he probably wouldn’t have a very good time since I would be distracted and he isn’t on twitter – so I’m going it alone.  In other words – just look for the girl that is hyperventilating, hiding under her seat, or tap dancing her nervousness away. Not that I can tap dance.

And then there’s this other thing…

Ya know – when I chose my twitter handle – @swlikeablegirl – and the name of this blog – it never occurred to me that I might actually be out in public – saying it out loud – to real people.  Introducing myself with it.

“Hi, I’m a somewhat likeable girl.”

My god I am going to sound like such a douche.

…was watch spark in action. The flare of something new passing over young faces.

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The thing that once seen can’t be unseen, makes your eyes light up and your toes twitch.

The last weekend of Macy’s Artswave Sampler took place this weekend, and if you can’t already guess from the things I’ve written before, this is a bit of what they’re looking at:

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CBII Trainee, Irene Przywara

Rayleigh Vent & Daniel Powers accompanied by their lovely smiles.

Rayleigh Vent & Daniel Powers accompanied by their lovely smiles.

Dancers from the CBII company of the Cincinnati Ballet hosted the strong imagination of a flock of children. The “day in a dance student’s life” was followed by…

whirling bright colors from Anaya Gypsy Dance

whirling bright colors from Anaya Gypsy Dance

the discipline of Kung Fu from Blue Ash Shaolin Do

the discipline of Kung Fu from Blue Ash Shaolin Do

Visions that go like lightening into the dreams of small children.

My own spark to the arts was conjured at the age of 5 by the wizardry of The Nutcracker. Legend has it that I stood up during the performance at Music Hall, pointed to the stage and yelled “I’m going to be a balleter!” at the top of my lungs. It was my first exposure to ballet. One look was all it took. Vision in a child is a powerful gift.

Wanting to be prima ballerinas and ninjas is where we start believing that when we grow up we can do and be anything. Events like Artswave shows us that some of us really can. That dreaming and believing and reality don’t have to be that far apart.

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The Cincinnati Ballet will be hosting the fundraiser Club B event on April 20th (that’s this upcoming weekend!) and Frampton & the Cincinnati Ballet Live on April 26th & 27th.