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About Me:

My name is Olivia and I am a senior at Butler University. I spend most of my time in Lilly Hall as a BFA Dance Performance major. When not in rehearsal or ballet class, I write papers for my English Literature second major. In my super-abundant, never-lacking, this-is-highly-sarcastic spare time, I attempt to cook in my apartment kitchen, watch Youtube videos of ballet, knit sweaters that never seem to come to an end, and read books both silly and serious. If I could take any class at Butler just for kicks, I'd go for DiffyQ.

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Archive: March 2011

Sleeping Beauty season

After a brief hiatus, ballet world is back! We started rehearsals for The Sleeping Beauty yesterday. Performances will run Friday, April 29 through Sunday, May 1. You can buy tickets now, hint hint.

Last year, we performed Swan Lake: I loved the end, where all of us swans got to celebrate Rothbart’s death. Next year will be Coppelia: I have to say I’m not quite a fan of that ballet. However, this year’s production has me bouncing off the walls. I adore Sleeping Beauty. The music, especially for the Rose Adagio, is gorgeous.

I had only an hour of rehearsal yesterday: It was nice to sort of ease back into things. I am terribly excited to learn the choreography because I get to dance Miettes-qui-tombent (Falling Breadcrumbs)! MQT is one of the fairies who attends the baby Aurora’s christening. The whole breadcrumb deal makes slightly more sense in the context of the variation and the gift MQT bestows on the princess–generosity. Breadcrumb flicking occurs just after 40 seconds:

YouTube Preview Image

Being a real college student

How do these other majors do it? With assessment week, I’ve been catching up on all my homework. Typing and typing. Reading until my brains ooze out my ears. I guess I’m not used to this sort of mental concentration without the mitigating athleticism of several dance classes.

As it is, tea and chocolate are getting me through.

Tea and chocolate on my purple computer, on Moby Dick

I’ve written/am in the process of writing (mostly the later) dance history papers (2), English papers (2), short discussion questions (1), and various other pieces of text (2.5). I did not realize my InterLibrary Loan book was due on the last day of February. (Well, I didn’t realize that was the last day of February either.) I had to return that, too.

Returning books to the library a few weeks ago. In the freezing cold.

I even cooked fish with bok choy, vacuumed my room, cleaned my apartment (including wiping a mysterious black substance off all four of our burners), and did my laundry. Whew!

Assessment Week #3

Every year, dance department students complete a self evaluation in the fall semester. This provides us with a chance to reflect on our progress, to put into words what we are trying to do with our movement, to identify areas we would like to improve. It is more important, perhaps, in that we are supposed to write how we are trying to improve specific things.

Topics we are asked to write on (in a few sentences for each section) include: technique, musicality, strength, flexibility, professionalism, and long-/short-term goals. (There are more… it’s fairly comprehensive.) I would not say that anyone particularly enjoys writing her self-assessment, but as a tool to focus our training, it is superb. I like to write mine early in the year: That way it is more of a plan of attack than a reflection on what areas I have concentrated my efforts. We turn our self-assessments in during our ballet technique final exam in the fall.

The faculty members, bless their hearts, read every single self-assessment. I think there are over one hundred students in the dance department this year. That’s a heck of a lot of assessing. This week, every student gets a fifteen minute appointment to meet with all the faculty at once. Faculty members provide feedback on our self-assessments, our classwork, and our performances. Even though the experience is slightly terrifying — have you ever been the focus of an entire department’s faculty all at once? — it’s good to get feedback.

I thought this year’s meeting was the most helpful one I’ve received: They talked about my classwork, performance, and what I wrote on my assessment, but they also introduced  a topic in a way I had not thought of before.

The other plus side of assessment week? The first four days see almost all our dance classes canceled. (Since the faculty meets with students all day, every day. It’s a grueling schedule.) I have much more free time than usual this week.

Of course, I just came from production/performance week for Midwinter Dance Festival, which means I have not done any meaningful amount of homework or housework or general life-organizing in a while. This week is shaping up to be busier than I thought it would be. (Though I should have know better.)

On the plus side again, I’m almost done with Moby Dick!

The White Whale...

I like listing out my days.

[An aside: I had the hardest time entering the release date for this post, since I wrote it a bit ahead of when it was published. The system kept bouncing me around, doing really odd things. I finally realized that was because there is no February 29th.]

I think I like listing out my days. It makes me feel productive. The Midwinter schedule continues, with a bit into this Assessment Week.

My friend in last year's Midwinter program: Click for photo credit

Saturday:

  • Sleep.
  • Don’t do nearly as much homework as I intended.
  • Have lunch at Taste with my boyfriend.
  • Get groceries.
  • Get completely caught in the traffic from the end Butler’s last home game. (Which I missed. Sorry, guys. I heard you were spectacular.) Go to ResCo to hang out instead, since getting into the Apartment Village would be impossible due to traffic, pedestrians, and police officers forbidding any left turns.
  • Finally make it back to the apartment. Pack my dinner. Pack my bag. Go to Clowes for warm up.
  • Performance at 8 pm!! I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
  • Strike. Take down the floor and drops and lights in Clowes until 11 pm.
  • Celebrate with other dancers. (There might have been a milkshake involved.)

Sunday:

  • Sleep.
  • Gather things for an audition.
  • Have my roommate take a headshot, since apparently I do not have one. Thank you, roommate.
  • Jam my printer. Go to audition without headshot.
  • Take class.
  • Return to campus and go straight to Lilly Hall. Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200.
  • Make decorations for faculty appreciation week instead!
  • Return to apartment. Have odd dinner of pasta with butternut squash.
  • Go to church.
  • Return to apartment. Finish ice cream with friend.
  • Homework.
  • Sleep.

Assessment Week and Faculty Appreciation Week follow! I will try to keep you up to date–last week I got a little behind in the whole blogging process.