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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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Posts Tagged “Sigma Rho Delta”

Coppélia Memories

I can’t seem to make coherent statements about Coppélia except that it was a wonderful, terrifying, and amazing experience that I already miss. I never expected this time last year to think of myself as an emotional dancer, but somehow the story and the emotion of the character became the top priority in the course of these performances. Could this be artistic maturation I’m experiencing? I can only hope…

In lieu of a complete statement or story, here are some moments from Coppélia:

  • Those times when you just nail the balances when they matter, and they take you by surprise? Yeah, I had a few of those. : ) It’s a great feeling, like you’re totally in control of yourself and the audience and the conductor is kind enough to draw out the phrase until you have finished your arabesque… Victory!
  • Those times when your headpiece, which has never come loose before, falls out during the Spanish variation during Act II. Oh well.
  • Those times when Franz tries to pluck the trick flower from your bouquet but manages to get only the head of the flower, leaving the stem still in your hands? That’s when you switch the mime from “breaking” to “plucking.” Twice.
  • Those times when your friend, when doing her variation about disliking her dress, actually rips her skirt and has a dangling piece for much of Act I.
  • Those time when  you know you have to go to bed but you can only lie there thinking of the music and of things you did and will do differently perhaps next time because you are still too excited to sleep even though the show ended two hours ago.

Now Sigma Rho Delta is choreographing a seven minute Coppélia to show at the MLK Center. I did Act II in two minutes. Impressive, huh?

Before the last show...

I’m so busy; this is why:

Things that happened:

Top 101 Students Banquet: We got a Butler Catholic Community picture with most of the BCC who were in attendance!

The Undergraduate Research Conference is coming! I have to prepare for two presentations, one on my BSI project, one on Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. Of course, all this happens on the opening night of Coppélia.

Sigma Rho Initiation… We welcomed many, many new members into the dance service fraternity. And there are only five of us seniors left — even fewer than at the beginning of the year!

Dramatic poses in front of the fountain we are restoring as our class gift.

Right now, production week is happening, and I’m most likely in the theater. (This is most definitely a scheduled post.) As always, I have the very strong opinion that you should see Coppélia!

Downtown Indy: Dance and Football

On Friday night, I went with a group of dance majors who belong to Sigma Rho Delta (honorary dance service fraternity) to see Dance Kaleidoscope‘s show at the Indianapolis Repertory Theater. The title was Super Soul: Motown and More, and each of the pieces were choreographed to music by artists like Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson. I know I’m biased, but my favorite piece was Quiet Storm, choreographed by Butler dance professor Cynthia Pratt. The piece remained witty and playful without resorting to tricks — an easy trap when you dance to such a catchy tune as “ABC” by Jackson 5…

After the show we waited to congratulate the two Butler alumni who dance with the company. They looked fabulous! After seeing them off, we decided to walk around downtown Indy, since we’d already paid $20 for parking. Circle Center was lit up for the Superbowl and it seemed like everyone was out and about — the sidewalks bristled with pedestrians. We made a hot chocolate stop. There might have been some impromptu improv in front of the Superbowl letters.

All in all, it made for a thoroughly exciting night.

Senior Sentimentality, Part 1

I’m sure I will spend much of this year falling further into sentimentality as the final months at Butler pass by. This Sunday marked the last pledge ceremony I will attend for the honorary dance fraternity, Sigma Rho Delta. After the ceremony, we all took pictures of families (as in social sororities — like Steph’s great depiction of the sweatpant family)… and we took one of the first (of many) senior photos.

However, with all the seniors posing for the photo, we needed a non-senior to take the photo. And it seemed as though none of the non-seniors were really interested. We came to the conclusion that we were horribly unloved and unappreciated. So dramatic.

Sorrow.

Well, someone or two came over and obliged us by taking photos of us goofing around in a tree. We even obtained an overhead shot courtesy of a tall dancer on a tree branch.

Joy!

I can tell this is going to be a period of ups and downs as I relish my final year of undergraduate study even as I bid it farewell. But enough sentimentality. I’m sure I will encounter enough emotion about being a senior as the year continues without encouraging the habit in October.

Gala Weekend

This weekend marked the Indianapolis City Ballet’s Gala performances. The Young Stars of Ballet was Friday night; Evening with the Stars, Saturday.

I saw the Evening With the Stars program with a large portion of Butler’s dance department. The dance service fraternity, Sigma Rho Delta, purchased a bunch of tickets, so I got mine at a slightly discounted price and got to discuss the show with my friends. The artsy photo above (as well as most of the other photos in this post) happened when I gave my camera to photographer friend, whose camera was out of battery. Thank you!

So we went to the Gala. The performers were all beautiful. I was not quite as blown away as I had been in years past — some of the newly commissioned pieces and some performances of old pieces did not quite do it for me — but all the stars still made for a great show.

I saw famous people! This was Friday night, when I participated in the Young Stars of Ballet. I made eye contact with Daniil Simkin — weird. For the only picture of the stars that night, see the bus above in front of the theater. The Murat Theatre is beautiful, more so when it’s actually visible in the daylight.

I’m not sure about the Coors sign on the marquee, though… Classy? Anyway, there were some great performances, odd choreography and opinions concerning style notwithstanding. I especially appreciated the representative from the Trockadero Ballet, the ballerino Paul Ghiselin/Ida Nevasayneva, performing a touching rendition of the Dying Swan.

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Sigma Rho Delta’s annual gift

I just imitated a helicopter. Clearly, this weekend came in the nick of time. To retrieve my sense of dignity I will tell you about Sigma Rho Delta’s annual gift.

I am a member of Sigma Rho, the honorary dance fraternity. It is open to all dance majors and minors who hold a certain GPA and perform service hours to the department. Since the organization is a service fraternity, it was only natural that talk of a yearly endowment or donation would have been in the works for some time.

Last year, as the pledge trainer, I attended officer meetings and was part of the discussion of the annual gift. We discussed who should receive it, on what terms they should receive it, how much they should receive… The list of concerns seemed to stretch into infinity, and I was joining the conversation late, as this idea had been bandied about for a while. Then, at the end of my sophomore spring, Sigma Rho did it: It donated a portion of its proceeds at the Nutcracker and Swan Lake boutiques to help fund the dance department’s first-ever summer trip to China.

This year, however, we have gone outside the university. Our philanthropy chair visited various dance schools and institutions, and at the last chapter the organization voted to donate $6,000 to the Jordan Academy of Dance. While JCAD is officially affiliated with Butler, Butler does not provide the dance school with any money, and JCAD has to pay rent for its space at the edge of Butler property.

As our Sigma Rho president wrote to the associate director of JCAD, “We were blessed this year to have the most successful Nutcracker boutique in our history, and because of this, we are able to donate $6,000 to the Jordan Academy of Dance. The mission of Sigma Rho Delta is to sustain the purpose of dance within our department, the University and within our community. We hope that with this gift your organization will be able to further the dance education of your students and contribute to the richness of arts in Indianapolis.”

Donating such a large sum is a huge success for Sigma Rho and owes thanks to officers and members both past and present. Strengthening the community beyond the Butler Bubble is an important aspect of college life that we sometimes forget, being so busy and wrapped up in our own issues. I’m proud to say I’m part of an organization like Sigma Rho Delta.

This is a montage

The last few weeks of my life at Butler University, in picture form:

Photo Booth proof of my first independently completed Rubik’s cube. Useless talent? I don’t know. It was pretty entertaining, and I think I’ve upped my nerd score a solid A2 points.*

Here we see the promising beginning of cinnamon-raisin bread.

Now you see what happened when I decided it would be a good idea to put raisins on the outside of the loaf as well. Alien bread. A quick swipe of the hand knocked the raisins off–thank goodness since they looked ridiculous and tasted disgusting. (They had burnt in the oven. Burned raisins are not good.)

The end result turned out okay, though.

To the left is a very sparkly piece of green tulle, pictured here in its natural habitat in the Butler Dance Department’s costume shop. Members of Sigma Rho Delta are required to volunteer in the costume shop, and I actually enjoy it. Once you get into the groove of sewing or ripping or ironing (or whatever), it’s sort of peaceful. I gathered a million billion yards of this green tulle, which left sparkles everywhere. Everywhere. I accidently scraped the fabric against the back of a cloth-backed chair and left a smear of sparkles: It looked like the scene of a crime. Sparkle-guts.

We also recently received the news that Butler University president Bobby Fong is leaving at the end of this year to take over the presidency of Ursinus College. We’ll be sad to see him go!

So there are a few random things I’ve done/seen/heard in the last week or two. There are more, I’m sure, but my mind has gone blank and it’s about time to take my laundry out of the washer.

———

*Still confused about A2?

Prime Real Estate

Butler’s Dance Department performs The Nutcracker annually at Clowes Memorial Hall, which is right next to the fine arts college in Lilly Hall on Butler’s campus.

Last Friday was Nutcracker poster hanging day. Members of Sigma Rho Delta (the dance service fraternity) disperse all around the town to hang Nutcracker posters. I’ve actually only ever been assigned to the campus crew, which means we just hang posters in Butler’s bookstore, Irwin Library, Jordan Hall, and so on.

However, before we compete for best spots on the bulletin boards (the prime real estate), we eat pizza together. This has sort of evolved into a tradition of the older members of Sigma Rho telling stories about the department to the new students. I remember laughing and laughing as a freshman, and now I got to share memorable departmental moments with the pledges who helped out with poster hanging. It’s a fun tradition.

My friend Anna helped during poster hanging as well. And when I say “helped,” I actually mean “took pictures of everything.” With photography skills like hers, the urge seems perfectly natural. She was kind enough to let me use her pictures, so I shall let the rest of post speak for itself.

Assimilation

The freshman class this year is enormous. Huge–958, in fact. This also extends to the incoming dance majors–there are approximately one gazillion of them this year, and I am having a devil of a time trying to keep all the names and faces straight.

This is why Sigma Rho Delta’s Freshman Progressive Dinner was so helpful. Three of the apartment blocks in the Apartment Village house Sigma Rho officers, so they hosted the dinner. One apartment had appetizers, one had pizza, and my apartment had dessert.

The head chef. She makes a mean pot of vegetarian chili

My roommate (who is president of Sigma Rho*) baked for about twelve hours straight. I’m only slightly joking. She was baking when I went to sleep on Friday night, and she was in front of the stove again when I returned from snow rehearsal the next morning. The spread was impressive:

Adjusting to a new school can be difficult at times. Being in so many of the same classes day after day means the dancers generally band together pretty quickly, but it can still be awkward. I know I didn’t really get to know many of the dance majors in my own class until second semester of my freshman year. But I made other friends, and we’re all one big, happy family, etcetera and so on.

Still, this gave the freshman an opportunity to get to together in a non-dance setting and to meet some more of the upperclassmen. I say the evening was a grand success. Look at those smiling faces.

*Sigma Rho Delta is the dance service fraternity. We provide service to the department (help in the costume shop, publicity, newsletters, working the boutique during shows…) and go see performances and things like that together. Last year, I was the pledge trainer.