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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Sunday Scrapbook




Sunday Scrapbook

A popular hobby is, and has been, creating scrapbooks. A place to save treasured photographs and mementos. The things saved are usually reminders of pleasant times, and happy days. We don’t usually take pictures or save things that make us unhappy, sad or angry.

But if you think of your mind, your memory, as a type of scrapbook, it is amazing how much we save there that is not happy. Hmmm. I wonder why that is. I guess some bad things are simply hard to forget, no matter how much we try. That’s one reason. Another one is that we tend to focus on those things that bother or worry us, instead of letting things go.

At any rate, the more you can “pin” positive pictures in your mind’s scrapbook, the happier you will be.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:
Motivational Secret #48:
“What sort of photos do you save in your mind’s scrapbook?”

Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“People have an annoying habit of remembering things they shouldn't.”
Christopher Paolini

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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Saturday Statute Re-Pliés






Saturday Statute Re-Pliés

Today’s Ballet Statute is related to Ballet Statute #97:There is no stopping in a grand plié.” There is also no stopping at the bottom in a demi-plié, and that’s because when stopping occurs it forces the dancer to “re-plié”, that is, plié again. Not good. There is no such step as a “re-plié”, and for good reason.

When a dancer has to plié  again it ruins the impetus that should have been generated by the first plié. And, it simply makes more work for the dancer overall. And, it doesn’t look good…I could go on but you get the idea.

Only one plié to a customer. No more “re-pliés”, please.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:
Ballet Statute # 98:
There are no “re-pliés” in ballet.”

Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“It's hard to beat a person who never gives up.”
Babe Ruth

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Friday, January 20, 2017

Fun Friday Ballet Buffet






Fun Friday Ballet Buffet

We’ve all attended functions where a plethora of food is laid out on groaning tables and we help ourselves to the bounty, all while trying to balance our plates or platters. This is especially difficult if we have a beverage in one hand and a full plate in the other.

The secret of course, is to keep the plate level at all times. Even a slight tilt and those lovely chocolate covered strawberries will slide madly off the plate. Scary.

It’s the same idea for the alignment of the pelvis in ballet. With the exception of high, extended positions like arabesque, the pelvis must be level. I’ve blogged about this before.

Use the image of a platter of food at a ballet buffet. If this platter were balanced on top of the pelvis and covered with food, you’d want to keep it perfectly level, no matter what movements are being performed.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:
Ballet Secret #1nnn:
Imagine the pelvis as a platter for a ballet buffet.”

Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.”
Ruth Reichl

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Throwback Thursday and Tamara Geva

Throwback Thursday and Tamara Geva

Tamara Geva was born in St. Petersburg, Russian on March 17, 1907. Her parents were not officially married until she was six, because her father’s (Levko Gevergeyev) parents disapproved of his choice for a wife (she was Muslim). Her father was wealthy, so Tamara lived in a huge home that included a theater and museum. She began ballet lessons with a private instructor, but after the Russian revolution allowed children of non-Christian backgrounds to enroll, she began studying at the famous Maryinsky. Here she met George Balanchine who was teaching ballroom dance. They married in 1923.

In 1924 they left the Soviet Union and came to New York. Soon, they separated. One source (https://www.britannica.com/biography/Tamara-Geva) states that in 1927 she introduced New York to Balanchine’s choreography.

In 1936 she and Ray Bolger appeared in “On Your Toes”, partially choreographed by Balanchine. Reviewer Brooks Atkinson wrote in The New York Times that Miss Geva ''is so magnificent as the mistress of the dance that she can burlesque it with the authority of an artist on a holiday.''

After 1935 (when she appeared with America Ballet Theatre), she devoted her life to theater and movies, appearing in such movies as: “Their Big Moment'' (1934), ''Manhattan Merry-Go-Round'' (1937) and ''Orchestra Wives'' (1942). Plus, she choreographed the dances in ''Specter of the Rose'' (1946), a movie about a ballerina who falls in love with an insane dancer.

She published her autobiography “Split Second” in 1972.

She died in 1997 at age 91.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Dance History Factoid #149:
“Tamara Geva introduced Balanchine’s choreography to New York.”

Link of the Day:


Quote of the Day:
“Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wild Wednesday Dagger Dégagés

Wild Wednesday Dagger Dégagés

Dégagés are more than extended tendues. Yes, they come off the floor, but there is also a change in tempo and dynamics. Whether the musical accent is inward or outward, there is a quick, efficient attack to a dégagé. This prepares dancers for fast, clean footwork in the center.

To achieve this sharp attack, imagine dégagé daggers. The feet work sharply and cut cleanly in and out of fifth position like a freshly sharpened knife.) And studies have shown that sharp knives are actually safer than dull ones – seriously.)

So picture your dégagés moving like sharp daggers, slicing through the air as they move in and out.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Ballet Secret # 4ddd:
“Dégagés must work cleanly and sharply, like daggers.”

Link of the Day:


Quote of the Day:
“Being smart as a whip includes knowing when not to crack it.”
― Vera NazarianThe Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

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