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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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Snow for Midwinter

The snow was falling in the extra large, soft flakes Tuesday morning, just in time to set the scene for Butler Ballet’s Midwinter Dance Festival. The Dance Department planned this on purpose, of course.

This marks production week for the Butler Ballet. Monday was a full run through in the dance studios, and Tuesday afternoon/Wednesday morning was spacing in costume onstage. Wednesday afternoon: Tech rehearsal. Thursday: Dress. Then opening night comes Friday, February 17 at 8 pm in Clowes Memorial Hall.

With each show I perform here, I feel more confident — not so much in the technical sense (though the hope is to improve there as well!), but because I feel more relaxed, more able to project an emotion, whether that be horror at the curse cast on baby Aurora or the regal poof! of the snow queen sweeping away the snowflakes, or simply the happiness of a peasant-type character. (There are aproximately five million peasants in Coppélia. I’m getting ready!)

Por Vos Muero‘s beginning section is rather emo in a way, and I love to watch the duets the most. To dance, though, my favorite is the middle group dance and three girls’ dance. The group dance is supposed to be a sort of social dance, and the three girls’ dance is quick and (when I jump in the air, shaking my head as wildly as I dare during my little solo) saturated with such gleeful abandon.

The moment before the music starts, I breath out and think about something silly my boyfriend told me about analytic chemistry, and I can’t stop the beginnings of a smile. Then the music starts and I’m swept away in the movement.

And… Just like an elementary school book report, I won’t tell you how the story ends. There’s also:

  • Bournonville’s Flower Festival staged by Marek Cholewa — a demonstration of technically brilliant footwork. Bournonville offers one of the most playful permutations of classical ballet; I had to smile while watching it.
  • A piece by visiting assistant professor Michael Johnson — with live music. Every time I see this piece, my brain starts firing away different memories or emotions. You’ll want to watch it more than once.
  • A brand new, large-scale piece by professor Cynthia Pratt, with music by The Black Keys, detailing an argument between two lovers. The piece is narrative, funny, visually engaging, and a bit mischievous. My friend is the principle dancer, and I think she’s just the bee’s knees.
  • Stephan Laurent’s Enigma Variations offers an object lesson in theme and variation choreography. With supremely inventive partnering and lifts, along with creative use of gesture, the piece leaves one still wondering at the end… *cue dramatic music* …perfectly fulfilling the implied promise of the title.

You’ll have to come see it for yourself!

4 Responses to Snow for Midwinter

  1. Olivia says:

    Thanks for driving all that way! I’m so glad to hear you had a good day. I have fun too. :) Say “hi” to your daughter for me, and I guess I’ll see you (or you’ll see me) during Coppélia!

  2. Rob says:

    We had a blast, Olivia. The entire day was just perfect. The dancers were AMAZING (!!!), and my daughter really enjoyed breathing the air in Lilly Hall. Butler is a three hour drive for us, and we’ll *definitely* be at Coppelia.

  3. Olivia says:

    Hi Rob,

    I’m so glad to hear you’re taking advantage of all the activities Butler has this Saturday! I know the basketball game is happening right now, so I’m not sure you’ll get this message before the show… but I don’t think there will be anything in Lilly before the performance. Butler Ballet will have its warm-up in Clowes Hall, and there aren’t any regularly scheduled dance classes on Saturdays besides rehearsals (which we won’t have today since we’re performing.)

    You should have time for the tour though, and it’s a beautiful day. If you haven’t seen Butler’s Holcomb Gardens, you might take a walk through them, or you can get into the Indianapolis Museum of Art for free (and it’s only a few minute’s drive from campus).

    I hope you and your daughter have a wonderful day!


  4. Rob says:

    I’m from Illinois, and I’m taking my 13 y.o. daughter to the Saturday evening performance. But first we’re going to the Butler vs. Indiana State basketball game. We want to tour the university after the game ends. Will anything dance-related be going on at Lilly Hall prior to the performance? Thanks!

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