7 Stages of a Bunhead Summer…

Pointe shoe flower orange
Photo by Rachel Hellwig.

How is your summer going? What stage are you experiencing? 😉

1. Post-Recital Blues

How is ballet season over yet?!

(Via Giphy)

2. Summer Intensive Prep

Just focus on summer intensive, focus on summer intensive…

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3. Summer Intensive

Ahh, finally…

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4. Intensive Performance


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5. Post-Intensive Slump

Can this please be over yet?

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6. Beginning of Nutcracker Season

Time to start thinking about auditions! September is just around the corner!

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7. First-Day-of-Fall-Classes Countdown

And 5,6,7,8 – can’t wait!

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Happy Tutu Tuesday!

“Aurora means “dawn.” When the princess enters, she comes like a sunburst — flooding the stage with beauty, charm and pre-adult energy.”

– Alastair Macaulay on the role of Aurora, Meet Aurora of ‘The Sleeping Beauty’: Her Native Language Is Classical Ballet, The New York Times, February 8, 2017

Video Break…

Love this performance by Sara Mearns! ❤

“In “Walpurgisnacht,” Ms. Mearns gives the single greatest ballerina performance of our era —hurling out fantastically bold, amazingly precise, rivetingly complex dance coloratura with musical blaze and rich colors. I say “hurling out” — this is exultant, space-filling dancing, with a strong element of swagger — but I don’t underestimate the twinkling wit of Ms. Mearns’s delivery, the driving impulsiveness of her self-contradictory turns to right and left, the subtleties of her unexpected pauses.”

–  Alastair Macaulay, Sara Mearns, in Her Prime at City Ballet, Inspires Debate and Awe, The New York Times, June 25, 2015


Scary Beautiful

Interesting observation about the Wilis

“Skeaping’s production is not necessarily less scary than others, but it conveys terror through beauty: the implacability of the Wilis is all the creepier when they are so soft and sylph-like.”

– Hanna Weibye, Giselle, English National Ballet, London Coliseum,

Paris Opera Ballet (another beauty-is-creepier version)

5 Stages of Post-Nutcracker Grief

All the feels. Every December. Can you relate? 😉

Created with Wikimedia Commons Public Domain Image.


(Via Tumblr: lady-arryn)

Linger as long as possible at the theater. Take one last cast picture with friends. Take one last dressing room selfie. Help anyone and everyone put away costumes and props, whether they need or want your help or not. Take one last panoramic view of the stage. Take one last artsy, Instagram photo of the stage…Repeat as desired–or until security throws you out.


(Via Pinterest: terpsichoremovementasmuse.tumblr.com)

Wonder why magic has to end so soon… Suddenly recall every real (or imagined) shortcoming in your performances–your double turns, your nervous smiles, that time you put your headpiece on backwards during a quick change–valuable moments onstage you’ll never get back….Why, why, why…


(Via Tumblr: lady-arryn)

Remember that the show can still go on…on social media! Make photo albums for Facebook. Add half a dozen filtered pictures and videos to Instagram in one evening. Tweet cryptic, bittersweet tweets hourly. If anyone unfollows you for oversharing, well, they weren’t a true friend anyway…

Anyway, at least there is next year… Yes, think about next year… There are probably three or four roles you’d be a candidate for… But, which ones are you most likely to get? So many factors worthy of obsession here… What if you grow a couple of inches? What if you somehow shrink? What if your petit allegro miraculously improves?


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Resistance is futile. Listen to sad songs. Indulge in mournful improv.

Try to distract yourself…Chocolate. Peppy music. Movie binge. Chocolate. Peppy music. Movie binge. Clean your room for the first time in forever. Peppy music. It’s going to be okay! You are sooo okay!

Go to bed. Lie awake. Get back on Facebook. Post more backstage pictures.


(Via Tumblr: lady-arryn)

Sometimes, it actually happens…eventually. 😉

Performing Quote

“In the performing arts, there is generally some contest between the performer and the thing being performed, and audiences can frequently get their pleasure from evaluating the one against the other. Yet nothing is more exciting to an audience than performing that is so far out of itself and into the subject of the performance that the two can’t be separated. When that happens, we have the illusion of absolute art, though we know it is only an illusion.”

-Arlene Croce, Afterimages p. 420

Image by KCBalletMedia. Licensed under CC Attribution 2.0 Generic.

Happy 4th of July!

Agnes de Mille Meme
Created with Wikimedia Commons Public domain image “Looking Down Yosemite Valley, California” (1865) by Albert Bierstadt. Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, Alabama.


Here’s a clip of American Ballet Theatre performing the last part of American choreographer Agnes de Mille’s American-themed Rodeo (1942). 

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing this work performed live by Alabama Ballet. (Here’s my review.) Unfortunately, I don’t think her work translates that well onto film for some reason. More so than the works of other choreographers, it loses a vitality and dramatic charge. So, if you get a chance to see Rodeo live, go!

That said, I am still glad, of course, that there is footage of her ballets available! ABT gives a spirited performance here in this pared-down excerpt on a small stage without scenery or orchestra: