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About spice4life

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    Ballet Alert!

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
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  1. Well as of yesterday evening OBT exceeded their goal by $100,000. Yay! I'm off to go bid on some OBT ebay items now.
  2. Be warned: It's long. Friday, the twelfth of June, 2009 was quite possibly, the best night of my short life. First off, I have to tell you that when I first tried to buy tickets, I gave up because the fifty dollar seats were sold out and I'm in college; 100+ just wasn't going to happen. The day before the performance, the OBT Facebook page announced twenty tickets were available for twenty dollars each, and I managed to get two spectacular box seats for myself and a friend. The view couldn't have gotten much better from where I sat. World class ballet and free wine tasting for twenty dollars, can life get any better? On to the performances: OBT started off the night with The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude, danced by Candace Bouchard, Daniela Deloe, Adrian Fry, Kathi Martuza, and Christian Squires. I had never seen this piece, and while I'm fairly sure I won't go out of my way to see it again, it was danced well and a good way to start the show. Does anyone else find the costumes distracting? Trey McIntyre Project sent John Michael Schert who performed Leatherwing Bat. I don't know what else to say other than I loved it. It was unique, it was graceful, it was fantastic. Other than Podcats, I had never seen any of TMP before, and next time they are in Portland, or I may just visit family in Boise using them as an excuse, I will see them many more times in the future. Bodyvox, a local company performed Falling For Grace with Jamey Hampton, Matt Hope, Lane Hunter, Heather Jackson, Daniel Kirk, and Eric Skinner. It wasn't what I was expecting from them, not quite so acrobatic and not at all comedic, but it was a great performance. Now that I think I know what Falling For Grace is about (dead man coming back for one last dance? I think I read that in a paper review yesterday morning), it makes more sense. Not only did I enjoy seeing two people I have taken class from perform, I liked the piece itself, I've been starved for modern with technique lately. Ballet West's Christiana Bennet and Christopher Ruud performed the White Swan pas, It was done well, far better than the last White Swan pas I saw, gorgeous. Aaron Rogers from Joffrey performed Aria. It was weird and it rocked. For those who have never seen it, look for reviews elsewhere, I can't do it justice. The way the mask was integrated with the choreography, I love props that are fully utilized, the dancing was so strong and fluid, it was fantastic. The highlight of my night wasn't NYCB, Boston, or SFB, no, it was Linda Austin Dance. Absolutely hilarious. None of the dancers were trained dancers, all locals, it included a sculptor, the executive Director of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, the Metro Council President, a journalist from The Oregonian, and the Vice President of Columbia Sportswear. Titled The Borus and Natasha Dancers (On Catnip), they were dressed in black pants and white button up shoes, with varying styles of sneakers or athletic shoes, wearing beanies with cat toys dangling off wires in front of their faces. They were so enthusiastic, and the choreography comedic and set to their talents and abilities, with falling, tripping, and basically acting like they were on catnip the audience was roaring at the end. They may have received a standing ovation. OBT performed the pas from Almost Mozart. I'm a big fan of Alison Roper and Ronnie Underwood. It was my favorite performance the company did that night partly due to my favoritism of the dancers, but I also really enjoy the piece itself, and they danced it well. NYCB sent Megan Fairchild and Daniel Ulbricht with Tarantella. I was ecstatic to see the two dancers, kind of excited for the piece chosen to perform, and by the end of it, ecstatic over the choice as well. It's been a while since I've seen this and I'm glad I got to see it again. Megan Fairchild's footwork, and Daniel Ulbricht just flew. Now I can say I've seen New York City Ballet dancers perform live! It was the serious highlight of my night, because seriously, look who performed! PNB performed the Diamonds pas de deux, Mara Vinson and Jeffrey Stanton did a great job of it, it's made me look forward to OBT doing Emeralds. I would love to see PNB do the Diamonds pas again, I've only seen short clips before, it was so pretty. I couldn't take my eyes off Mara. Another local company performance was Minh Tran & Company, they did excerpts from Kiss. It was interesting how Tran fuses traditional Asian dancing with modern and contemporary styles. The company is only twelve years old, and I'll be interested in seeing how they evolve in the future. It was good, not like anything I have seen before and my attention was held throughout, but more polished and I would have enjoyed it even more. Houston Ballet performed Falling pas, Melody Herrera and Ian Casady were wonderful. She looked so light and airy throughout the partnering, another dance I fell in love with. Chauncey Parsons from OBT initially had me confused, I hadn't heard of him before, nor had my friend. As it turns out, he recently joined the company. He did a variation from Don Q, I've seen it several times before and I still enjoyed it. it was nice to have my first time seeing him perform be a solo. The final local company to perform was Oslund + Co / Dance. Contemporary, unique. They did a duet from Anatomica. Kind of trance like music, with dancing to match. Um, not really something I would go out and find myself. It was definitely like nothing I had seen before. My favorite piece was Boston Ballet. Melissa Hough and James Whiteside performed Zero Hour, something they choreographed themselves, and I adored it. Their technique is astounding, with contemporary movements perfectly fitted in. I want to see this again so very much. Excellent. The National Ballet of Canada's Zdenek Konvalina did Seven Greek Dances. My friend and I didn't know what to expect. We were both expecting something out of a Full House episode where Michelle dances with her great-grandfather and Uncle Jesse. It was definitely not what we were expecting, but I promise you in a good way. SFB did After the Rain pas de deux with Sarah Van Patten and Damian Smith. The lifts really highlighted how strong those two must be, and the flexibility required is impressive. OBT ended the night with the third movement from Rush. I'm kicking myself for not seeing it the weekend before, but I had finals, and grades are sadly the priority here. It was so energetic and well done, it was a great way to end the night. Jamey Hampton, the AD of Bodyvox was the "Master of Ceremonies" funny guy, and he did it well. During intermission he announced that to that moment $690,000 had been raised, and I know by the end of the night much more had been donated in the envelopes in our programs. Monday the OBT Fundraising Thermometer will be updated with current donations. I just can't get over how extremely lucky I got with those tickets, how amazing the performance was, and how enthusiastic the audience was. It was nearly a full house, Mr Hampton said 3,000 people attended, but that must have been a rough estimate, the auditorium holds just under 3,000 (2,992) and I saw probably twenty open seats (that's all I saw). Not only did the dancers donate their time, but so did the venue, the food, the wine, the servers, everything. It was amazing and fantastic and everything else. A total once in a lifetime opportunity.
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