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.
I think it is the most bizarre thing that Kansas City is partly in Missouri.
I’m in the airport, waiting to take off for an audition at Kansas City Ballet. This is the farthest I’ve ever traveled for an audition; so far they’ve all been in Chicago or Louisville. I’ve been anxious about the traveling more than the audition itself — last night I dreamed that I couldn’t get from the hotel to the ballet in time and I missed the registration slot by two minutes and they wouldn’t let me audition and gave me a written test instead. That was my dream.
I suppose this will be good practice for spring break, when I’ll be running around all sorts of places. Auditioning plus Coppélia will make for a busy spring!
(And it is spring now — I didn’t have to wear my huge winter ski jacket at all this winter, and I am extremely happy.)
What did NOT happen. (Photo is from my freshman winter.)
It has rained pretty much every day this April. Okay, maybe not every day. But if you look at the month calendar, you might notice that the longest stretch without any measure of precipitation is three days. That’s pretty rainy.
Steph wrote a great post last week about the six necessities of a college student. I would like to add one more item to the list. When it rains, I like to wear my rain jacket because I don’t have to juggle an umbrella. (And we all know how good my juggling skills are.) But umbrella, rain jacket… all good items, all items you know you’ll need.
This is common-sense stuff. What you, prospective student, might not know is that Butler’s sidewalks frequently morph into small creeks when it rains. You also might underestimate the increase in walking from place to place outside each day. Even in tennis shoes, my feet tend to get wet. Call this another episode of Tips for College Living: Own rain boots.
Sometimes it pours while I move all my stuff from my freshman dorm room to the ResCo basement, where I stored some items over the summer break. Then it clears up for the long drive home. Sometimes the weather is nice and holds off while I pack up everything to leave. Then, as we drive back to Virginia, enter the deluge.
Which situation is better? And should I really try to ride my bike in the rain if my brakes get slippery when wet? Will you remember to bring rain boots to college? Most importantly, should I take up juggling practice again?
This title is a phrase one of the dance professors likes to use, and this week, it has been very true. (This post is also the final section of the story of my first day back, horribly dragged out into infinite blog posts. Sorry.)
The Dance Department is honored to welcome Ms. Deborah Wingert from the Balanchine Trust. Ms. Wingert watched our ballet class (the first after break… ofgh!) and chose twenty-five women and one man for her staging of Walpurgisnacht. Meanwhile, we had a pointe class. Then those of us in the piece had rehearsal. For a very long time.
Ooof, I’m so terribly sore, and my toes might fall off, but I’m really excited to be working with Ms. Wingert. She is tall, graceful, and horribly kind, and she intersperses teaching choreography with little anecdotes about the people and events surrounding New York City Ballet. “My friend Wendy,” she says causally, of famed dancer Wendy Wheldon. Ms. Wingert worked with George Balanchine, and her insight on his choreography is invaluable. She even spoke up in favor of my hair color after one of the professors asked me if I had dyed it.
(Only a little bit…)
In all seriousness, I cannot speak highly enough of her, and I’m glad we get the opportunity to work with her as we rehearse for our Midwinter Dance Festival in February.
You might say my first day back was a bit of a whirlwind. I’m glad I read a biography of Balanchine earlier this year! I love (most of) his choreography. Serenade: Still my favorite.
The springtime? I am dancing in the new spring semester, since it’s snowing outside and the sidewalk salter/snow plow is performing complicated maneuvers outside my bedroom window. Figure eights. Loop-di-loops. Higgs boson outlines.
XKCD comic by Randall Munroe
Erm, my nerd moment is over. Back to the first day of classes.
After a forty-five minutes break for lunch, during which I located a microwave and reheated some curried tofu and chickpeas with spinach over rice, I had ballet. However, I did not get the memo that I had been switched into a different class. Not only was my registration wrong, but I was informed while I collected the million hairpins I had dropped in the middle of the hallway.
Despite the embarrassing nature of the information transfer, this was good news. Immediately afterward, I was intercepted by another professor: My pas de deux registration was not going through because I had to add the class by paperwork because I was giong over the credit limit. Whew.
When I finally made it upstairs to the ballet studio, we greeted a guest from the Balanchine Trust who has come to set a commissioned piece on the Dance Department students for our Midwinter Dance Festival concert.
Annnnd, I promise I will explain more, but I really need breakfast. I should also probably try to finish the reading that’s due in two hours. Thus far I have completed one book of poetry, a novella, thirteen poems, and one article. I have one article left. So much reading! I have never taken three English classes before, and I fear this is reflected in my rushed blog posts. Oh well.
I recently registered for my sixth semester of classes. That’s right. The sixth. I will be a senior before I know it, and that is terrifying.
Registration for spring classes... just when the leaves fall and it gets really cold.
Registration, when you are enrolled as student, goes by credit hour, so I got to enroll at 3:30 pm on the first day of registration. When I was a freshman, I had to register quite late, since enrollment periods open for about two weeks. I’m only a junior, but I had some credit from AP tests I took in high school, and since I’m in the Butler honors college, I get twenty extra “ghost” credit hours added to my registration queuing total as a sort of perk. Anyway. The point being that I am all set for spring semester… which will also be terrifying, since I’m taking three English classes.
I thought for a long time that finishing an English major (the literature track) would be impossible, but I have since met with the head of Butler’s English Department, and I have new hope. I am way behind, however, and this spring is going to be rough. I’m taking twenty-one credit hours (which means I’ll have to pay for the extra credit hour I’m taking, since the limit for students with primary majors in the JCFA is 20 credit hours a semester). Nine of those hours are English classes. One of those English classes will go on my transcript as an internship, since I’m acting as a sort of TA for the department head’s EN 185 class.
(EN 185 is Intro to the Discipline of English. It’s the first class you take towards an English major. I’ll be responsible for all the work the other students do, plus reading literary criticism on the works, offering help with essay writing and revision, writing longer/more in-depth papers, and presenting several research projects to the class.)
I am going to be so busy. Wish me luck!
The classes I’m taking in the spring:
- Ballet technique
- Modern technique
- Pointe technique
- Pas de deux
- Butler Ballet (rehearsal period)
- Dance history 2
- Choreography 2
- Literature of the American Renaissance
- Intro to the Discipline of English