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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: January 2012

The Final Steps

Of this particular dance, of course… We did our first full run-through of Por Vos Muero today! Butler Ballet will be performing a shortened version of the work, which I think a school in Europe also performed?? I’m not exactly sure and should probably find out the truth before spreading rumors on the internet, but anyway…

I had whiplash the day after I and two others got the choreography for the three girls dance after our large group dance. Also, a huge bruise in my armpit from trying to get a certain lift over and over. The choreography is very intricate, so I just have to continue to review the steps over and over until they are engrained in my muscles.

This process has been so much fun. It’s probably one of my favorite pieces I’ve had the opportunity to learn. I only hope that I will be able to find a place in the professional dance world where I can dance wonderful choreography like this. Dreams… Everything seems to lead back to audition season, doesn’t it?

Clowes Memorial Hall

Internet Roundup

College students are incredibly in tune with Internet trends. I believe this stems from the natural and widespread desire to procrastinate — as I am demonstrating now by writing this blog post instead of reading literary criticism. As a result, Facebook and other sites tend to become repositories of the crazes of the hour.

Because I don’t want to be the only one procrastinating, I’m going to drag you down with me. Here is my highly curated list of fun things on the internet:

Amigurumi Dragon crochet pattern (via All About Ami)

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Cute music video

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I just have to include a Butler link! The new Art + Design program will expand into the old JCAD building. (It’s still sad JCAD had to close, but the art program seems way cool.)

Brownie Batter Ice Cream that looks delicious… (via food blog Lauren’s Latest)

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The perfect Valentine’s Day scarf (via TheHatandI)

My sincere hope is that you will become as distracted as I am, so I will feel better about myself. The perfect plan.

The First Audition

It was a long drive home from Chicago through the blinding mist, odd lightening flashes, and occasional splatterings of rain. This Sunday marked the first of what I intend to be many auditions. Yes — the job search begins.

I went to the Hubbard Street Dance Chicago audition with a carful of other Butler students… and ran into about eight others, as well as two alums. I made some friends, did some ballet, learned some rep. It was fun.

The drive back, however, was slightly terrifying since the fog became so thick on the road, and sections of the highway back do not have reflectors in the lane divisions. Thank the heavens, we had a pro driver and made it back safely. After midnight.

Getting up for French was not fun this morning… I can think this semester will be awfully busy! Who else has travel stories coming from or going to auditions? Please share!

Working with Kevin Irving

Kevin Irving -- click through for source.

The big happenings in my life revolve around the dance department for the moment. We’ve been rehearsing, rehearsing for our Midwinter Dance Festival. As I’m sure you know by now — since I keep talking about it — this year’s commissioned piece is Nacho Duato’s Por Vos Muero, being set by guest artist Kevin Irving.

So far we’ve learned a group dance and various duets. The piece is actually mostly a series of duets. I had a rehearsal on Friday morning and learned my section, third “naked” pas at the beginning of the piece. (Explanation for the epithet: We’re wearing flesh-colored leotards.)

This Saturday, I worked with Mr. Irving for two hours on the duet. I ate half a sandwich while he worked with the first two duets, then we tried to string the first section together into the group dance. The group dance came next, then one of the pas from the end of the piece — and then a costume fitting! The costumes are beautiful, and mine actually fit. This might be the first time in a very long time I haven’t required a zillion alterations.

I simply must include a plug for Mr. Irving. I love working with him. He is demanding but clear, and he goes at just about the perfect pace for my learning preferences. Also, one of my best friends is the principal dancer in one of the other Midwinter pieces as well as understudying three parts in Por Vos Muero. So as much as I feel busy… She’s like a superwoman.

Ruminations on Being a Senior

The last second day! Okay, okay, I’ll stop with the count-downs. I wasn’t this nostalgic in high school as a senior. I think I feel closer to some of my friends here in college because I actually live with them, whereas high school’s senior year had me living with my family, attending half-days at my high school with my school friends, and dancing the rest of the day downtown with the Richmond Ballet. Not that I love my high-school-era friends any less. The schedule just didn’t exactly facilitate a lot of hanging out.

I’m busy at college, but I can work in my socializing with things like making dinner, cleaning, doing laundry — because I live with all my friends, who of course perform the same chores in the same space. I have a feeling this might be the biggest adjustment I’ll face when I leave school. Plus a more rigorous schedule. Plus, you know, the job thing.

However, what I might miss, high school seniors can surely anticipate. College is fun. As my Grandpa says, it’s the best time of your life, and everything goes downhill afterwards. Now I hope that isn’t quite true, but college has been very good to me. Commencement is in May. Yikes. We’ll both count down to ends of our senior years — and let’s hope we can find some excitement in what comes next!

Requisite graduation photo

This was the last first day

This was the last first day of my undergraduate education. Except, as people have been quick to point out, there will be a last first day in January, a last first day in February, a last first Wednesday of the fourth month of study, etc.

Basically, I’m getting sentimental, but only a touch.

I had Teaching Analysis of the Classical Technique 2, ballet, rehearsal, and my senior essay class today. Besides catching up with friends after the winter break, the day was a whirlwind of learning choreography. Kevin Irving is currently at Butler University to set Nacho Duato’s Por Vos Muero for the Butler Ballet’s Midwinter Dance Festival, so the first day back in the dance department was full speed ahead as usual.

The Tulsa Ballet in Por Vos Muero

Then I had my Senior Essay class (soon to be renamed as “Advanced Academic Writing” which really sounds much more impressive) and dredged up the past with my BSI paper.

I should tell you more, but I’m ready to drop. Time to get ready for the last second day!

The calm before the soup battle

On the second to last day before the last semester of my undergraduate career… I made bread. Lots of bread. Seven loaves of bread.

Soda bread

Okay, okay. One of the loaves was from the day before, when my boyfriend and I decided to make Irish Soda Bread. Then we discovered Irish soda bread uses baking soda, not yeast — hence the name. What to do with the yeast we carefully procured from our local Kroger?

The answer to that question is obviously “ciabatta bread.” We made a sourdough starter, biga, and let it rise for twelve hours overnight. Then we mixed in more flour, let it rise some more (I did laundry in the interval), formed numerous small loaves (two with cheese inside), let it rise yet longer, and baked them.

Good crust, check. Fully baked, checked. Reasonably uniform for a free-form loaf, check. Fluffy inside, check.

Fluffy inside!! On the rare occasions I make bread (see past blog posts), it’s usually rather dense. The soda bread would be exhibit A. Despite tasting like a buttermilk biscuit (since the only liquid came from buttermilk), it had the same super dense texture I’ve come to expect.

Exhibit B would be the German beer bread with caraway seeds I made over winter break. Dense. Also, I had to hold this huge meat thermometer to check the yeast’s water temperature. It was too hot so I placed it on the windowsill so the winter wind could do its work. This process looked ridiculous.

I am so cool.

End flashback. This ciabatta bread — the one with the starter — is actually somewhat light and fluffy compared to the usual homemade bread texture. Success!

Biga starter

Also, I had a Soup Battle with my boyfriend today, wherein we both made soups from celery, onion, and carrots. The kitchen was a bit crowded, but both soups — which turned out surprisingly different — was delicious… especially with the bread we pulled straight from the oven.

A successful conclusion to the Grand Soup Battle

Basketball Watching Champs

It was the first really cold night of the year on Butler’s campus, and I wished I had another scarf. The snow was pretty though, falling in great soft and silent clumps. I had time to admire their patterns against the night while I waited to get into Hinkle Fieldhouse for the men’s basketball game against Cleveland State.

My friend and I are basketball watching champs.

We got popcorn and a soft pretzel, then found a spot in the nosebleeds to watch the Bulldogs in Hinkle Fieldhouse. We watched the little kids do those super random games during time-outs. We watched the cheerleaders flip their hair around. We listened to the band, which was, I must say, quite swingin’. We cheered and kept track of how many shots Butler made.

For some reason, we thought we were leaving at half time, since neither of us had gotten dinner. There were an awful lot of people streaming down the ramps for halftime, and there were bunches in the parking lot.

“Look,” I said, nudging my companion in the ribs. “All the families with kids are going home early too.”

Back in the Apartment Village, with dinner on the stove, I tried to find the game on TV. I so rarely watch TV, I had to look up the channel online after failing to see it when flipping through. Turns out it’s on channel 13. Turns out the TV I was using did not have channel 13.

On the ESPN webpage, I found a play by play account of the game. Hmm, if I can’t find the game on TV, I can follow it online to see how it ends…

It was only after I looked at the words a few times that the full meaning sunk in. “2nd Half Play By Play.” Second half. As in, there are only two halves in a game. As in, these weren’t quarters of 20 minutes. As in, I didn’t leave at halftime. I saw the whole game. That was the whole game.

Boy, I felt like an idiot. Also, that means we lost. Although the last 30 seconds or so saw three 3-pointers from Butler, which was terribly exciting. As my friend says, “Butler is a drama queen.”

Click through for source

(Also, I keep typing “basketballet” because I’m used to writing “ballet.” Faaail.)

Cream is a deadly weapon

I know TSA makes the country safe, etc. I’ve never been unduly inconvenienced by new luggage restrictions or the screening process — until security stopped me as I tried to fly back to Butler.

After rummaging around in my carryon luggage, the TSA employee took out nail polish (didn’t realize that should have been a liquid), a bag of Christmas candy, a bunch of CD cases, and a grapefruit for re-screening. After all, we wouldn’t want anyone to suffer grapefruit juice burns, now, would we?

Joking aside, I’m glad the TSA takes its job seriously enough to re-screen items like to this to ensure they aren’t weapons. That’s fine. What I do take offense with is citing my jar of Nutella as a forbidden item. Well, my off-brand Nutella.

Does it look more dangerous because it's in a foreign language?

“It’s a cream,” the employee explained to me. Not the cream, NOT THE CREAM!

Back I trekked to my dad waiting outside security, unwilling to waste a jar of perfectly good hazelnut spread. I gave him the jar, said good-bye for a second time, and went through security. Again.

Of course, the line had doubled by the time I went through the screening process a second time. I must admit, I was hardly the most cheerful traveler when I arrived at my gate, ten minutes before the boarding time.

However, however! The nice Delta flight attendant asked me covertly if I wanted something else to eat with my sandwich during the drink service. So I had, in addition to my cranberry-apple juice and lightly salted peanuts, some pretzels and goldfish. She liked something salty with her sandwiches, she explained.

Actually, both flight attendants complimented my sandwich. Maybe they were hungry? Perhaps my dad makes the most awesome sandwiches in the world? Both are plausible explanations. Regardless. They restored my faith in air travel and helped fill the sorrowful abyss in my heart, rent asunder by the forceful separation from my apparently deadly Alpella Krem.

Back to School: Another post about the weather

Winter break is winding down, and I’m back to Butler, set to get myself organized for the audition season. Today I locked myself out of my apartment, fell off my bike, and tried to buy my textbooks only to realize I had no money with me… all before noon.

On the bright side, the sun shone strong today (haha, get it?) and I could play a quick game of badminton/toss with Boyfriend on the football field. Once we warmed up, we shed jackets and played in sweatshirts and short sleeves. It’s hard to believe it’s January.

In Richmond, my family still has holiday decorations, including this lovely wreath of my mother’s. There’s always a local race to see who can collect the fallen osage oranges before they are gone; you may see the fruits of my mother’s labors wired onto this wreath.

It’s weird for the weather to be so warm while I see holiday decorations like my mom’s wreath. I’m so happy I could play badminton outside before the freezing Indiana winter descends in full force, though I always worry a bit about climate change.

Still, Butler’s campus is so beautiful, it begs for warm weather; better temperatures bring students out onto the mall (the quad) in droves.