Stars And Stripes: Valsing For Our Veterans

Freedom at It’s Best….
Damian Woetzel and Margaret Tracy in George Balanchine’s “Starts and Stripes”
Composer: John Philip Sousa
Premiere: 1958

One of my favorite ballets, in honor of our Veteran’s. And although many of my generation have never had cause to consider the nature of their freedom, we can honor the sacrifice of those who came before by at no time taking liberty for granted and by finding freedom in the deeper expression of ourselves…

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.”
Aristotle

“How far can you go without destroying from within what you are trying to defend from without?”
Dwight D. Eisenhower

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
Nelson Mandela

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Thought From The Barre: Let’s Get Tutu It

Thought From The Barre: Let's Get Tutu It

Project Back in the Tutu Is under way:
Well folks, it’s that time. My Snow Queen Tutu has arrived. In case you pondered the absence of my posts, it has been on account of getting in shape for the Nutcracker! That’s right, I’m not just back to dancing, I’m back in the tutu. There is nothing more quintessential for a ballerina and therefore full of expectation. Every flaw is evident in the infamous short skirt. It is both thrilling and chilling. So, I approached a fitting in the illusive tulle with some hesitation. It went better than expected! (Considering I haven’t worn a tutu in over a year and a half.) Although, I still have a ways to go. 4 weeks to get these not naturally tutu hams up to snuff. It is a time consuming affair, ballet class, bikram yoga, searching for pointe shoes, sewing of pointe shoes, exercises for the ankles, turning, turning, turning, and let’s not forget the core strengthening! Needless to say, I can’t quite forgive those who were born with perfect tutu legs, but I’ll give them a run for their money in determination any day. So, here’s to Sugar Plums dancing in my head until December 8th. And probably yours too, as I spotted at least 2 holiday commercials today. It’s that time, so let’s get tutu it!!!!

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Dancing Skeletons: Modern Theater

Dancing Skeletons: Modern Theater

Arthur the Pilates skeleton is worn out from his amazing Halloween!

“If you can’t get rid of the skeleton in your closet, you’d best teach it to dance.”
George Bernard Shaw

I had the opportunity to attend a special Halloween performance of immersive theater experience “Sleep No More” last night in Chelsea. I have to admit I was originally skeptical, but this is the theater of the future! Three hours wandering through a warehouse turned into an abandoned hotel, no words, modern Macbeth told through mime, dance, body language. The audience is IN the action. Finally something that can really compete with technology for the younger generation’s attention. I highly recommend it to anyone 20s to 40s. AND much dancing afterwards…skeletons take note…

http://sleepnomorenyc.com

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Unicorn Universal

Unicorn Universal

“Heroes know that things must happen when it is time for them to happen. A quest may not simply be abandoned; unicorns may go unrescued for a long time, but not forever; a happy ending cannot come in the middle of the story.”
Prince Lir from “The Last Unicorn” 1982
(I must admit, still one of my favorite movies)

A universal image, I finally had the chance to see this mystical tapestry at The Cloisters several weeks ago. Even though the unicorn is in captivity, it is still somehow more CAPTIVATING than sad. Perhaps a testament to the need for structure to appreciate beauty? Or order to let us be free…DHARMA: Law in the universal or abstract sense, not limiting but the wind that carries us toward our purpose.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art says:
The seven individual hangings known as “The Unicorn Tapestries,” are among the most beautiful and complex works of art from the late Middle Ages that survive. Luxuriously woven in fine wool and silk with silver and gilded threads, the tapestries vividly depict scenes associated with a hunt for the elusive, magical unicorn.
In “The Unicorn In Captivity” he is tethered to a tree and constrained by a fence, but the chain is not secure and the fence is low enough to leap over: The unicorn could escape if he wished. Clearly, however, his confinement is a happy one…

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Thoughts From University: On The Nature of Knowledge

Thoughts From University: On The Nature of Knowledge

Knowledge: “This indeed is but a temporal object, and a transitory possession; but so are other things in themselves which we make much of and pursue. The moralist will tell us that man, in all his functions, is but a flower which blossoms and fades, except so far as a higher principle breathes upon him, and makes him and what he is immortal. Body and mind are carried on into an eternal state of being by the gifts of Divine Munificence; but at first they do but fail in a failing world;
We attain to heaven by using this world well, though it is to pass away; we perfect our nature, not by undoing it, but by adding to it what is more than nature, and directing it towards aims higher than its own.”

John Henry Newman’s “The Idea of a University,” published in 1852
Researching for an essay, struck by these profound words…

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Thoughts From The Barre: Joyful Nuts

Thoughts From The Barre: Joyful Nuts for Nut

How many ballet masters does it take to cast a Nutcracker? That’s right, at least six!!
Auditions for Francis Patrelle’s “Yorkville Nutcracker” this weekend, at Ballet Academy East.

View reversed
Excited dancers, a multitude
Weather worn, tarnished task
also the beginning of a journey…
polished heart.

As my husband said about a little one’s beaming smile, “You can’t put a price on that kind of joy.” Sometimes the price is just showing up. Joy is effortless, courage often required…

“God gives the nuts, but he does not crack them.”
Franz Kafka

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Thoughts From The Barre: Grace

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Grey skies, a faint smell of coffee and sound of rain: project “back into the pointe shoes” is under way this morning…

“In life as in dance: grace glides on blistered feet.”
Alice Abrams

Intention must be there, but grace is effortless. It is waiting, why not let some in…

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