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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 2012

Flecktone Friday

I went to see Bela Fleck and the Flecktones right here on campus last night at Clowes Memorial Hall. I didn’t know what to expect, since I didn’t know much about the group — and since I haven’t been to a bigger concert like this before. It. was. so. cool.

I went with my boyfriend, who plays the bass, and I think he about passed out when the bassist Victor Wooten did his crazy solo — playing up and down the neck of the bass like a piano, crisscross his hands, coaxing out sounds I’ve never heard a bass make before.

I really liked that the whole band was on an equal plane. Sometimes it bugs when when the melodic instruments (including vocals) take the musical lead all the time. Why does the guitarist/lead singer/etc get to be the star? Why not the percussionist or bassist? Or pianist/harmonic player or banjo player, in the Flecktones’ case. Each band member had a chance to solo, and even within the tunes they definitely took turns. For someone not great at differentiating sounds, this was wonderful because it helped me really listen to each individual part.

Overall, great show, great experience, great night. I highly recommend seeing them if you have a chance. Butler students often get discounted tickets for shows at Clowes, too, so while you are a student here, you should seize the chance to see top-tier artists without killing your budget!

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The Travails of my Senior English Essay

Remember the Senior Essay requirement for English majors? Remember how I opted to write a long paper the fall of my junior year, so if I wound up finishing the English major, I would already have completed that requirement? Remember how I also did a Butler Summer Institute project last summer and finished a draft of another long paper?

Remember how I had to decide which one was to be my senior English essay? Well, I went with BSI, since I’ve learned a thing or two since the Irish lit paper (and it was not very good, only I didn’t realize it at the time). And I’m taking EN 450, which will soon be renamed Advanced Academic Writing, which helps prep this essay.

Remember how it turns out my BSI is a complete mess, only I didn’t know this during the summer, and I had to rewrite it completely — not even revise, but full-blown rewrite with a new thesis and all? Oh, yeah, I didn’t tell you because I was too frustrated.

Ce qui sera, sera, as we learned in my French class.

Remember how I rewrote the whole paper during the second semester of my senior year as I traveled all over the country for auditions and had mega rehearsal for Por Vos Muero and Coppélia? Oh, yeah, I didn’t tell you… because I was too busy.

Remember how I was kind of sassy during a blog post when I did eventually divulge all this info? Yeah, that’s because I FINALLY FINISHED!

Well, I finished the draft. Which will be workshopped. So I’ll have to write it again before the year’s up, I’m sure. Oh well. Let me gloat in an unseemly way for just a little while.

Celebrating with a huge mocha and homework for a class that isn’t EN 450…

Coppélia Act III

Saturday was a rehearsal whirlwind, with the day beginning at nine with the wedding pas from Act III of Coppélia. We used a new recording, which was about five times faster than the old one. I did one attitude promenade about fifty times. Start the day off with a bang!

Got my tote bag of shoes/leg warmers, my water bottle, and my tutu. Ready for rehearsal!

I like the Act III classical work. Swanhilda is so sassy in Act II and so emotional (angry/frustrated/happy) in Act I. Doing the wedding pas feels like drifting in a dream world. She is so gently happy to be with her rather flighty beau. She finally demonstrates and maintains a sensitivity and delicacy that comes and goes in the other acts.

She still gets her say, though — the variation is extremely playful, and that famous music provides the power that makes her so down-to-earth. Above all, she is just happy like one in a dream — happy to be with Franz, happy to be with her friends, and happy to be dancing. As one of the choreographers put it, “Franz is addicted to the bottle. You’re addicted to dancing.” More on Swanhilda’s obsession with dance later!

Week in Photos

I got a fancy new phone over break and have been having a blast with the camera and filters included in the camera app. Thus I give you my first week after spring break in photos:

First, the food. These were Chinese buns my boyfriend shared with me. They would have been perfect… except they had cilantro, which I don’t really like.

Speaking of the food, here is a rather blurry shot of the new cafeteria set up. Over winter break, Butler began and completed renovations to the Marketplace @ Atherton, which is the cafeteria open for most meals.

To change the subject completely, I give you a photo of the tiny house that’s been parked beside Norris Plaza. Jay Shafer came to Butler recently to speak. Very cool! I would have gone if I didn’t have rehearsal; I love environmental movements.

And the final picture I took Friday morning during the rainstorm that made my hair frizz completely and utterly beyond redemption. I am rather proud of this photo. Triple brownie points if you can guess from where I took it. Leave me a comment if you think you know where this is on campus!

The Hunger Games, Butler Style

College kids have the most fun. Last night I know people went to see the midnight premiere of The Hunger Games. Loads of dance majors were reading the book before spring break, and I saw several older men on airplanes with a copy as well. I read them myself in about four days, from the hours leading up to midnight on New Year’s Eve to Jan 4. I didn’t get much sleep, since I couldn’t put them down.

Anyway, I have to share the best tribute to the premiere of The Hunger Games movie (if you’ll excuse the pun):


Living in a sorority didn’t seem like the thing for me (see my social apathy), but at times like these, when Delta Gamma hosts its own in-house Hunger Games, I can see the appeal.

Coppélia Rehearsals

I lost my contact today during rehearsal. We were learning part of the Act II scene when Swanhilda pretends to be the Coppélia doll and generally wrecks havoc with Dr. Coppélius. Blink, blink, blinkblinkblinkblinkblink, goes the choreography, so blinkblinkblink I go. Then I try not to move my eyes at all afterwards, at least until Dr. Coppélius turns to consult his book of spells.

As I tried to stare as innocently as possible straight ahead, my eyes grew drier, drier. Then my contact fell out, and I had to stop the doll imitations to pop it back in. Besides losing my contacts, Coppélia rehearsals are going smoothly. I am having the time of my life with all the acting. My feet, however, have told me I am not to wear anything but Danskos or tennis shoes. The weather is beautiful outside, so you end up with an odd outfit like this:

Oh well. Whatever keeps my feet happy! They aren’t too bad right now.

The Last Part of the Last Semester

Yikes, this title is like the first second day post at the beginning of the semester.

It’s Monday, and I’m back at Butler after the busiest spring break I have known. I had a wonderful time, but I also didn’t sleep in past 8 o’clock at any point during my break.

  • Sunday: Up early for church before the BalletMet audition
  • Monday: Up waaaay early to catch a plane to Tulsa
  • Tuesday: Up early to prepare for a company class with Tulsa Ballet
  • Wednesday: Up waaaaaaaaaaay early to go to the airport. I was supposed to fly in to Richmond at midnight, but my flight was cancelled, so I had to stay overnight in a hotel near O’Hare. But I bought $10 worth of soft pretzels with the meal voucher the airline gave me… and got to visit my boyfriend for an hour or so, since he’s near Chicago.
  • Thursday: Up early for a breakfast date.
  • Friday: Up early for a coffee date.
  • Saturday: Up early to get a plane back to Butler.
  • Sunday: SLEEP IN TO 8:15!!! (before an audition in Cincinnati)

Now school has started, I can sleep in. Maybe…

So the last part of the last semester. Off with a boom and a bang, we are. Rehearsals, papers, HUGE papers, mini papers, ice cream dates, warm weather, picking up caps and gowns… Everything’s rushing in toward the close.

Also, I have a new phone and can do fancy things like send myself pictures of my sister's guinea pig.

Spring Break Photo Montage

My spring break in photos:

My friend’s grandmother’s cat in Columbus, OH. This cat was the softest, friendliest animal you could hope to meet.

Huuuuuge plane from Dallas to Tulsa. Forty minutes in the air, and I’m in an airplane larger than the one I rode when I went from Dulles to Ireland. It was rather fun.

Courtyard Marriot hotel in downtown Tulsa — I love the vaguely Asian wallpaper. (I’m linking to them because they were extremely nice, not because they put me up to it.)

Touring Tulsa on foot the night before an audition.

Touring Tulsa on foot the afternoon after an audition. The weather was gorgeous, both in Tulsa, at home, and now back at Butler.

Fancy Crowne Plaza in which United Airlines stuck me after my flight was cancelled and I was stranded in O’Hare airport on my way home.

What I did when I finally arrived home: Hung out with my family and Marcel the Shell.

Senior Productions

Senior Productions

I saw the Senior Production showcase the Thursday before spring break began. Those senior dance majors who go on to take a third semester of choreography (I took only Choreography I and II) can opt into the Senior Production showcase in the spring.

The show is run much like Student Choreography Showcase in the fall — there are two nights of shows in the studio-theater in Lilly Hall, all run by, choreographed by, and performed by students of Butler’s Department of Dance (except Master Electrician Cathy Sipe, who is stage manager). This year, five senior dance majors participated, each choreographing, rehearsing, and producing one large-group and one small-group piece.

Lilly Hall

I thoroughly enjoyed the show: One of my friend’s pieces was titled R.E.M. and showcased wispy port de bras motifs that I adored. The following piece, by the same choreographer, sent the dream scuttling for cover as two girls tormented a third in what seemed more like a nightmare. Both were very, very well done.

(Also, a girl in another piece took sick at the last minute, and the male choreographer stepped into her place. Instead of two men partnering a girl en pointe, there were two men partnering a third. I think it turned out really well — it made for a more dynamic commentary on gender roles, for sure. Kudos to everyone in that piece for pulling off a great performance.)

While this show doesn’t present as wide a variety of choreographers as the Student Showcase, the pieces are generally more polished, since the choreographers are coming from the rather rigorous Choreography III class. With this plus the Student Choreography showing in the fall, there are plenty of opportunities for budding choreographers to display their creations — and lots of demand for dancers who want to work on projects outside Butler Ballet or Butler Chamber Dance.

Fun Fact: I learned on Thursday that 2012 is the 62nd Senior Production — that’s every year since 1950, even longer than the oldest Butler Ballet tradition of Midwinter Dance Festival!

Foodie Indy Review

Foodie Indy: eat well. eat local.

There is an orange pack of what looks like playing cards titled “Foodie Indy.” Twenty dollars each, the packs contain 52 gift certificates of $10 to 52 different Indianapolis-area, locally-owned restaurants. There’s a minimum purchase required for each certificate (usually $30, which cannot include alcoholic drinks, taxes, or some specials/other certificates).

If you are going out with a group, this is perfect. Even if you want a romantic dinner for two, this lets you splurge a little AND try a new, locally-owned restaurant. So far, I’ve gone to Monon Food Company and Asian Grill. Both were tasty. At the Asian Grill, I tried crab cakes and a curry dish; I had some rather tasty tea. At the MoFoCo (as they like to call themselves), I tried Hawaiian tacos, tomato parm soup, and mushroom pizza. And carrot cake. And really good coffee. (I was sharing all this food, mind you.)

The downside to the Foodie Indy cards? Many of the restaurants are in Noblesville, which is decidedly north of Indianapolis and requires a longer car drive.

It really should be called “Foodie Indy/Noblesville.”