All posts filed under: Thoughts

Featuring reviews of dance related topics.

{Strictly Ballet} Review

Most recent in the world-wide-web is Teen Vogue’s {Strictly Ballet}, featuring the students of School of American Ballet “SAB”. (For those of your who don’t know me personally, I trained at SAB for a decade from the age of 8 to 18.) Below is the series blurb: In this exclusive new Teen Vogue series, follow six students as they strive for stardom at the School of American Ballet. With unprecedented access, you’ll go behind the scenes and inside the studio to see what it’s really like trying to land a spot on the Lincoln Center stage. Here are a few episodes I enjoyed- Season 1, Episode 3: Dance is for Athletes Season 1, Episode 4: Facing the Competitions Season 1, Episode 6: Preparing for Audition Season Season 1, Episode 12: Taking Class with NYCB Peter Martins Season 1, Episode 17: Finding out what the Future Holds    Episodes 4 hit close to home for me. As a teen, my life training as a dancer attending SAB and PCS was very similar to Mimi’s. (I actually know Mimi …

{Dancing Through It} Review

I continue my Ballet book reviews with Jenifer Ringer’s recent memoir {Dancing Through It}, published in February 2014. Past reviews: {Winter Season} & {Bunheads} Ringer stopped at a local Raleigh bookstore (Quail Ridge) on her book tour this past Spring. Unfortunately, I was teaching that evening, but a wonderful patron of Carolina Ballet gave me a signed copy. Thank you Jori! Below is its summary:   In her charming and self-effacing voice, Jenifer Ringer covers the highs and lows of what it’s like to make it to the top in the exclusive, competitive ballet world. From the heart-pounding moments waiting in the wings before a performance to appearing on Oprah to discuss weight and body image among dancers, Dancing Through It is moving and revelatory. Ringer takes us inside the dancer’s world, detailing a typical day, performance preparation, and the extraordinary pressures that these athletes face. She unflinchingly describes her personal struggles with eating disorders and body image, and shares how her faith helped her to heal and triumph over these challenges.   Jenifer Ringer’s recent memoir brings to light many points in which …

{Winter Season} Review

Since the season has finished two weeks ago, I have been far from a vacation as I have been teaching almost everyday. Last week alone, I taught 23 classes within the Raleigh area! Luckily, in addition, I have been able to catch up on some reading (as I mentioned in my last post). Here is my first post and book review. The documentary novel {Winter Season: A Dancer’s Journal} (1982), written by Toni Bentley,  is “story of a season, not a career; of a phase, not an entirety” (P. 138). Below is its summary : Bentley’s association with the New York City Ballet began when she was accepted by the affiliated School of American Ballet at the age of eleven. Seven years later, she became a member of the company. In the fall of 1980, as the winter season opened, she found herself facing an emotional crisis: her dancing was not going well. At 22 she felt that her life had lost direction. To try to make something of her experience, on paper if not on stage, she began to keep a journal, describing her day-to-day activities …

{Bunheads} Review

During the flurry and choas of {Nutcracker} last month, I spent my precious hours away from the theater catching up on my reading. {Bunheads} (2011) was written by former-New York City Ballet dancer Sophie Flack. She tells the tale of a 19-year old ballerina in the mist of a company life with Manhattan Ballet. Sophie used the sagas of her daily NYCB life to create a narrative  that is semi-biographical. This novel is no way related to the silly TV series {Bunheads.} What did I think of the novel? {Bunheads} hits close to home for me because it addresses many elements I deal with as a dancer. The necessity to completely focusing on your art and yourself alone to succeed is true. The difficulties of having a social life outside the ballet bubble is true. The pressures on yourself to be your absolute best at every moment at any cost is true. The strains of maintaining an ideal body in perfectly fine-tuned condition is true. Although I myself was not a member NYCB, Sophie walks me through the …

{city.ballet.} Review

As my layoff before holiday madness {Messiah} and {Nutcracker} is quickly coming to a close, I wanted to share my opinion on the latest video series on dance. The 12-episode web series {city.ballet} about New York City Ballet is produced and conceived by actress Sarah Jessica Parker. As a professional dancer, all the material discussed in the series is old news. I live in “the world,” though it is refreshing to hear other dancers going through the same struggles. My most pertinent struggles include the dedicated commitment to artistic development, the growth of a life outside the ballet bubble, and the endeavor to move up the hierarchal ranks. In the New York Times, Gia Kourlas wrote a review on the city.ballet series. Gia confesses that it takes a dancer saying he/she drinks a half a bottle of wine after a show  to “transform a ballerina into a human being.” That’s amusing. Below I have chosen three videos that I particularly enjoyed and wanted to share with you. It has been a treat to see some of my SAB classmates in the …

{Breaking Pointe} Review

Carolina Ballet is two weeks into our 16th Season and the dancers are already rehearsing six separate ballets for the next two programs! Busy start to the year. My blogger friend Rebecca King, of Tendu Under a Palm Tree, from Miami City Ballet, wrote a post in August reviewing the start of CW’s {Breaking Pointe} Season Two. The show finished its final episode of the season last week. If you have not heard of this TV series, I’ll give you a quick summary. The CW producers tried to feed off the ballet trend (with “Black Swan”) by showing the life of Ballet West‘s professional company dancers in a reality TV show setting. I agree with what Rebecca said in her post on Season One, the previous season was disappointing because there was little focus on dance scenes and more on the relationship drama between the dancers. In the Second Two, there was just as much drama, but fortunately much more dance footage in the studio and on stage. Rebecca puts it nicely in her recent post on …