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Funny Face

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
    Performer with dance degree; currently working on MFA
  • City**
    southern usa

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  1. Re Kulik ... and, as he first went pro, he took admirable risks at a tender age to try his hand at innovative choreograpy. Sometimes the technique suffered, but I didn't mind because I could see what he was trying to do as an artist. Gosh, yes, I do miss the Olympics in which Wylie earned his silver. I still have the yellowed news clippings from then. I remember when he barely made the U.S. team that year, after not having a great skate at Nationals. Before he knew whether he would go to the Olympics, he sat there so calmly and said that "nothing happens by accident." Afterwards, when he did make the team, many were vociferous about Wylie being washed up and wanting Mitchell to take his place. Meanwhile, the press ignored Wylie, concentrating on "Bowman the Showman." I remember every time that commercial would come on, I'd talk to the tv, saying, "Just you wait, it's going to be Wylie." Of course, we all know what happened from there. After he got the silver, Frank Carroll said that Wylie was actually robbed of the gold, and that Petrenko's performance was the weakest gold medal figure skating performance he'd seen. (It was also suggested that since Wylie's world ranking was 11th at that point, the judges couldn't wrap their minds around giving him the gold). But Wylie was ecstatic with the results.
  2. I enjoyed Savoie a great deal. Too bad about his lutz in the short, because he might have had a shot at medaling. There are a number of editorials written about Weir's demise, ultimately pointing to his failure to seize the day. We saw living proof that it's better to fall on a quad than not to attempt one at all. I think this new systems definitely has some kinks to it in that there is far less program to most of the skaters' performances. It's very calculated. But the real problem for me is the presentation of Olympic figure skating this year -- period. I remember when it was an evening, from start to finish, of excitement and drama. Now, it's like living with a crazed channel surfer with attention deficit disorder -- figure skating, skiing, curling, speed skating -- switch, switch, switch every few minutes. I think this is a large part of why they lost so much of the American audience this year. And -- it was also disappointing to be driving home last night and hear the results on National Public Radio hours ahead of time, along with commentary on same.
  3. And then there was Rasta Thomas in the tv Gap commercial a few years back. On the other hand, there's the issue of non-dancers modeling dancewear ... oh dear! I've got a few tear sheets of this kind of thing. It should be against the law. One thing I've always noticed is how good dancers in general can make even unexpensive clothing look sensational. I guess that's the tradeoff of working in a profession that generally doesn't pay much. All you need with such a great 'hanger' is one little black dress. (The real Funny Face demonstrated that!!!)
  4. I must pay tribute to the lovely Mary Munro, who, at 76, is a youngster among some others mentioned. Ms. Munro was a ballerina with Ballet Rambert in the early 1950s. She returned to New Orleans after Katrina and gives class "among the ruins" two blocks from my home. The studio has been reduced to its studs, and we sometimes even wear jackets and scarves while taking class (yes, it does get quite chilly here, esp. in a 'challenged' building). What an incredible picture I wish all of you could see -- some quite wonderful dancers, really, all gathered together under less than ideal circumstances, all dedicated to keeping on taking class and dancing. And every day, Ms. Munro still has that lovely disposition, no matter what. And, she can pull the most logical and beautiful combinations out of her ... well, I don't know quite where she pulls them out of. But she is so pleasant and elegant and still ready with a story or two when we get stumped. And, yes, she still demonstrates. She's got those lightining quick little feet. (BTW, for any of you who are familiar with my circumstances, I've taken a leave from Milwaukee Ballet, to 'help with the cause' down here and get some closure as well). We are striving to keep dance alive and well here.
  5. Right -- laboriously pulling the leg up and holding the foot just doesn't have the same merit as some beautifully stretched and held spirals. I've always wondered why the U.S. has got such a 'leg up' so to speak in that aspect of artistry. Spirals just don't seem to be valued or worked on by the Russians. Any idea as to why?
  6. Lots of surprises going on in Moscow as we speak. Michelle Kwan is struggling a great deal with the new scoring system. After qualifying rounds, she placed 5th behind Slutskaya, Suguri, Arakawa (defending champ) and Carolyn Kostner. The result is that for the first time in over 10 years, Kwan will not be included in the last to skate group of six. Kwan said the new scoring system had her off her game. Slutskaya did quite well, but was breathing heavily after her performance. With the men, Lysacek is the highest scorer of U.S. men, currently in 5th. Weir, who has an ongoing foot injury, is 7th, and fell once. So did Goebel. I sure miss Matt Savoie in this group. I think he would have fit this threesome better than Goebel does. We're seeing a return to artistic skating with our U.S. men -- in my opinion, it's great to see the almighty quad not be such a big deal.
  7. A file cabinet's not such a bad idea if you think "antique." Mine is a 4-drawer, turn of the century, American oak. You can save your programs and justify your addiction to antiquing.
  8. I have saved all of my programs, not only from ballets, but from plays, symphonies, etc. My first one is from attending my first play, "The Sound of Music" at the elegant Pabst Theater in Milwaukee, at the age of 10. In high school, I used to usher at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater so as to see the plays for free. It's fascinating to see how far most of those actors have gone. I keep them in those decorative rectangular boxes that come in various sizes. Mel mentioned some sources. I've bought mine at Steinmart, of all places, but "Hold Everything" and the Archival Company are good sources. I like to reflect on where I was --literally and figuratively-- at the time I attended the various performances. They've also proven to be good sources of research material. When stored in these boxes, they take up a surprisingly small amount of space. Ditto for the ticket stubs. I've been saving them forever in a pretty glass bowl. Everything from a 1988 Brewers vs. Yankees game at Yankee Stadium to one general admission to Mount Vernon to American Ballet Theatre presents Ballet in America at the Kennedy Center to various European train ticket stubs -- it all goes in the bowl. Some are pretty faded, but it's a fun bowl to go through now and then, and again, very little space taken up for such a fun collective souvenir.
  9. All of which makes me think that the greatest threat to the wellbeing of dancers has little to do with dance ...
  10. While reading this, I was wondering if any of you can recall some of your worst weather conditions for performing? As a teenager, I performed on a float for Nixon's Inaugural and the weather was anything but accommodating. It was in the 20s plus wind chill and snow, and we weren't clad in much. That was probably my toughest one. I can take almost anything except extreme cold. Do you all remember not too long ago when those poor Rockettes tried to perform on the Today Show and they all went down for the count on live tv due to a rain-slicked stage?
  11. As I write this, I am watching an infomercial about something called "Yoga Booty Ballet," with my jaw hanging open slightly. It has exercises such as "Anti-ballet leg lift." I thought I had seen/heard everything with a starlet's recent promotion of an exercise tape that focused on getting into shape via lap dancing. I'm wondering if anyone can come up with some PG-13 ideas for the next exercise trend for 2005. It just strikes me as so incongruous to see a grandmother tearing up about how yoga booty ballet changed her life. Any ideas in this regard?
  12. Yes, there is word about Sarah Hughes returning to compete in the Olympics, but that may be coincidental in Cohen's decision. My impression of Cohen is that she has always been very close to her family, and this may be a simple matter of homesickness. Sometimes we forget how young these ladies really are.
  13. Thought I'd better qualify that statement, since it was a rumor for awhile. You can go to usfigureskating.org to read the actual press release. Cohen will be training with John Nicks, who also coached Randy Gardner and Tai Babilonia, as well as Jenni Meno and Todd Sand, for the upcoming Nationals in Portland (in January). Also of news, Amber Corvin became an official college grad as of 12/16 at California State.
  14. Just passing this along: Sasha Cohen announced today she's leaving Robin Wagner and moving back to California to train with her former coach in preparation for U.S. Nationals.
  15. Very interesting -- how long has there been such a festival in D.C.? We've got one here earlier in the spring along with the infamous "Stella" contest, which is a hoot. (Fellas line up to take a shot at bellowing their version of the doomed damsel's name.)
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