Posts Tagged ‘Wandering ‘Nati’

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.

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Peeps, this is where I offer you my most humble apology.

Because baseball season has started, and I made it down to the Reds game last night. Which means the gratuitous posting of views from my seat have started.  Good, bad, blocked by bald spots taller than me, behind the dugout, far far into the upper decks. It doesn’t matter because I don’t care too much where we sit. Usually taken with my cell phone – which is actually & surprisingly a pretty good camera. Nevertheless, it’s begun.

Last night, bundled up into heavy-duty longjohns, huddling under a nice wool blanket, and sporting my Reds earwarmer from Redsfest pulled over my baseball cap, I took in my first game of the season at Great American Ballpark. Clutching a beer and some hot dogs too. If you’re gonna do the ballpark, you gotta do it with tradition & style*.

For what it’s worth – I clapped A LOT – also, once I realized that clapping with gloves on makes almost no worthwhile noise, I started whistling A LOT. Sorry about that. (Not really, I’m a pretty good social-event whistler.) Also, I may have accidentally “wooo’d”. But really I was trying to “Hooo!” when J.J. Hoover came up to pitch, and then realized it probably sounded like a “wooo” & I shut it down with the quickness.  If the “wooo” takes hold again, well – still don’t blame that on me because there is always that one 20-something year old guy down in the 100 level that keeps doing it over and over again who is completely louder than anyone else and too drunk/big for his friends (who are laughing at him, not with him) to attempt a successful takedown to stuff his wrongly used rally towel in his wooo-hole. (Did I really just write wooo-hole?) Not that I found it abominally obnoxious or anything. *sigh* *breathe*

I really don’t like the wooo.

Also, it will not surprise me if there is a wooo-related homicide at GABP this season. Not that I’ll have anything to do with that.

I digress…

So anyway – it was AWESOME! to back in the ballpark – anywhere in the ballpark! In a few short weeks, the temperature will change and the gloves will come off, so the clapping will get louder. The long-johns will get changed out for tank-tops. I’ll go from huddling under a blanket sandwiched between two of the best people I know to wishing there were some empty seats around us to give us space in the 90+ degree heat. The weather will change, as will the opponents. But what won’t change is the smile on my face –

and the fact that we’ve got one HECK OF AN AWESOME TEAM this year!! YEAH!!! GO REDS!!

*dark mustard & relish

Oh Cincinnati, how happy I am to be back on your firm, yet comfortable couch with a nice ale nearby. After riding shotgun through one of the worst driving experiences I’ve had – 25mph through a snowstorm that started somewhere near Columbus and ended at Kings Island – I am content to be home. I know, I know – that was Sunday, but still…a snowstorm. On the cusp of April? Color me meh with flecks of traumatized. Should I mow the lawn or snowblow it? Who knows?

Back in the world, back to the business of life, back to the keyboard.

People…for some things, the right words just haven’t been invented yet. You think you know them all, but then a thing happens, and you have to take a moment to try to string together the best syllables that you have at your disposal. Even when you know they won’t be enough. Even when a really long, snowy car ride gives you a few extra minutes to think. Then you still take another day. Not enough.

Last Saturday night, the husband & I pulled out the finery and headed out, once again, to the Cincinnati Ballet. You may recall, I put this on the calendar earlier this month and was really looking forward to the George Balanchine centerpiece Prodigal Son. As infamous as ‘Prodigal’ is in the Balanchine repertoire, I’d not seen it performed before. Pair that up with the intriguing preview of Extremely Close, my guy, and two of my best gal pals who were joining us out on the town – for me, it was an excitement cocktail.

As we took our seats, there were the feathers. Floating ever so gently down, from rafters to stage. Knowing they were there for a reason, I gave myself a moment to let them pull me in. To feel them as much as to see them. Extremely Close would be up first, and right on cue of dimming lights – my dancecrush, Patric Palkens is the first we see dashing onto the stage. Two others follow and, in a complete contrast to the gentle calm of the floating feathers, the three are moving fast! Chains of movement that come together and break apart rapidly. The music, fast-paced piano by Philip Glass and Dustin O’Halloran, leaves no room for a misstep or hesitation. All in all, 8 dancers break into pairings and trios amidst 3 mobile white panels which mirror the push-and-pull tension of the physicality going on around them.

It is about a third of the way into this performance that I cock my head to the right, and the clarity of it all comes crashing down on me. When I saw the preview of the piece, I thought I understood it – though I was a little confused by the “relaxed aggression” description used in the Q&A session. I thought I had it. But oh…now…at least for me, something has become so unexpectedly clear. Something I have not seen in any of the descriptions I’ve read.

What I am feeling, this complex inhale of energy, is Balanchine – but not Balanchine. It is a study of contrasts – stage lights at the back light up subtly enough to create shadow. The stark white panels provide contrast to the dark costuming so the dancers stand out. There are transitions done in slow silence which play against the rapid piano syncopation. What seems so simple to the eye in set design & costuming is contrasted heavily against the alluring and complex choreography.  These conceptual contrasts are the hallmarks of Balanchine! Whether it is the intent or not, this is what I see – and the unadulterated genius of it sets me spinning. Alejandro Cerrudo hasn’t missed a single opportunity in this incredible piece to mesmerize and conflict his audience. To compliment Balanchine (seriously, go google clips of The Four Temperaments) and at the same time be unique. SO ELEGANT. Every little detail is JUST SO ELEGANT. This moment of clarity was where I lost all my right words. I think I actually heard them hit the floor and roll away. I am spun.

Also notable in ‘Extremely Close’ are Janessa Touchet, James Cunningham, Sirui Liu, and Maizyalet Velazquez. Though, to be honest, I call them out more because their sections were my favorite parts as much as any other reason – because everyone was amazing. Honestly, there is not a single spot on this visual masterpiece which did not entrance me. It is a contender for being my favorite ballet. Ever.

Following EC was the World Premiere of Concerto #4, choreographed by Cincinnati Ballet’s own Devon Carney. Following the themes of contrast and Balanchine, as intensely carnal as EC was, ‘Concerto’ is light, airy and innocent. Virgin. It is happiness via Bach and pointe shoes. Perhaps an homage to Divertimento No. 15 or Jewels. Again, Balanchine, but not Balanchine, though the influence here is more direct than Cerrudo’s.

Finally, we get to the actual Balanchine choreography in Prodigal Son – or do we? Here is the crux of the thing. The flirtation that is driving me mad. One of the most unique features of Prodigal is that it tells a story – a feature for which George Balanchine wasn’t known. At least the GB works with which I am most familiar do not bog down in details of fables. There are some others out there, but they are not the most common. Balanchine is about music and movement entwined. That’s it. So, Prodigal Son, in the very nature of its story telling continues the thread – THIS IS BALANCHINE. But Balanchine, in this work, is not yet the Balanchine we know so well. All of the revolutionary methods are there, but wrapped up in story. Similarly, in this work, we see a Cervilio Miguel Amador that we thought we knew. When you think he can’t get any more amazing, it’s as if he channels some inner daredevil that flings him up to the topmost height – just a little further than where we thought he could go. I would be remiss if I did not mention how the entire audience around me gasped when he ran up the table, sure he would fall – or held their breath at the crucifixion imagery he presents stripped down of all his possessions. Likewise, Ms. Sarah Hairston – girrrrrl, you made some people blush. I might have been one of them. For all the subtle visceral pleas of Extremely Close, Prodigal Son is unflinchingly open about the sexuality between the son and the seductress.  Yet, somehow, in all of this unabashed passion, there is the comic relief of the “drinking companions”.  More contrasts – subtle v. open, passionate v. comical. It leaves you so torn. How were you just laughing with Amador a moment in the pub when now your heart bleeds at the sound of yet another knee-strike on the stage as he drags himself home, where – with a nod to Devon Carney in the role of the father, he is unexpectedly welcome? How?

In the final moments of Prodigal Son, a single white feather comes drifting down from the sky. Whether that was intentional or not, the timing is perfect. Poetically, we are where we began with the contrast of floating calm against this intense scene in one small motion. As it strikes the ground, son & father dim. The performance is done.

Oh. my. God. Yes, loves, that was me and my crew on our feet in front of the tech box upstairs applauding like mad.

Every single time I venture out to the ballet, it is better than the last. The ballet’s next events include the Club B benefit on April 20th and Peter Frampton and the Cincinnati Ballet Live on April 26th & 27th. Go! You have got to go!