I Dance Therefore I Am

On the way back from Barcelona, we stopped in a great little beach town called Peniscola. Had very hungover pizza, laid on the beach and totally relaxed. Also saw a gnarly double rainbow on the way home. But I felt so anxious the entire time because my FAM had arrived in Valencia! Time for some TLC.

BARCELONA. Yesssss, finally. We get there the night before our program, so we stayed in a fabulous hostel, ate some ice cream and caught up on a bit of sleep. The next day, we checked out, got a dank brunch, received our first ever fish mani/pedi (yeah, you pay to let fish eat dead skin off of your epidermis) and met the rest of FSU at our new hotel. It was so good to see everyone again. I think this is when I truly started to fall in love with our program. I’ve always liked it, but Barcelona was when it hit me that this was theeee shit. That day we visited Park Guell which was truly incredible. There we saw the largest bench in the world, noticed a building that looked straight out of Hansel & Gretel (which was the inspiration I later found out) and had some amazing views. Then, that night, MAYHEM erupted throughout the Study Center. We started at Dow Jones Bar which is a bar based on the New York Stock Market. Prices go up as people buy the certain drink and every now and then the stock would crash back to lower prices. It was super overpriced but a cool concept and people were definitely having fun. Miguel came and met us from Madrid as well. I was really iffy on going out but somehow I got convinced and we went to Opium. Holy. Moly. It was loose. Sam got us all in for free (normally 20 euro cover), we danced our faces off, met the biggest promoter (who gave me a free drink voucher - normally 12 euro. Ca-ching) and made questionable decicions. However it was so much fun for us all to have together. The next day we all went to Figueres to the Dali museum. It was awesome. That dude is trippy. That night we all slept like babies and didn’t go out. The next day we went on a walking tour, saw the Boqueria and visited Sagrada Familia which was really incredible. We also had an amazing dinner at a restaurant called Da Greco. Messi was actually there this past week. That night we found MARIA!, a cheap shot bar and another club, Sutton, with the hook-up once again. Gratis para nosotros. Made more questionable decisions and had a really great time. Back to VALENCIA- yesssss.

So at 2a.m. the night after Fallas, we packed big bags and got on a 5-hour bus to Barcelona. It was uncomfortable, there were 2 twin newborn babies in the seat in front of me, the bus’ wifi wasn’t working and 2 sketchy foreign men staring at me from the aisle over. Needless to say my backpack was securely wrapped around my ankle for added security and trying to sleep was rough. Once we finally arrived in Barcelona at 7a.m., we then had to make the trek to the airport and board a 10:40a.m. flight to Prague. I swear to God a plane actually never looked so good. I could finally pass out for a bit. Everyone knows that’s my hidden talent. Well, we got to Prague and luckily our hotel was conveniently located 5 minutes from Sam’s friends’ apartment. They took us to Hooters that night. That’s right, Hooters. We went to a club where Rihanna filmed her S&M music video, saw the John Lennon wall, ran into Armando, Gabe, Sage and Mariah, had never seen so many Jews in my life, found CHOLULA at a burrito place circa 5a.m., froze our faces off and ate true Czech food. Their currency, the crown, is 20 to 1 with the euro. It was pretty cheap but money flew. I really loved Prague and in hindsight are glad we went. From there, we hopped on yet another plane and flew to Barcelona to meet our program. Time for WARMTH!

Sorry about the delay with my posts, but it’s been quite hectic around here. Fallas was unbelievable. I saw the most amazing firework shows of my life, watched hundred-foot statues burn to the ground, lived through a Spanish St. Patrick’s Day, drank enough alcohol to make a great whale black out, watch a kid turn from Quinn to “Steve F*ck,” and made memories with kids I didn’t even know that well before this week. It was truly a time of mayhem and what I would do to relive it. Except maybe hold the mascleta’s 2p.m. crowds, gnarly hangovers and high prices around Valencia. Oh. And never book a trip leaving to get on a bus at 2a.m. the night after a week of mayhem. Ever.

Sorry about the delay with my posts, but it’s been quite hectic around here. Fallas was an unbelievably fun week. I saw the most amazing firework shows of my life, watched hundred foot statues burn to the ground, lived through a Spanish St. Patrick’s Day, drank enough alcohol to make a great whale black out, watch a kid turn from Quinn to “Steve F*ck,” and made memories with kids I didn’t even know that well before this week.

So this trip was quite an adventure. Sam, Sky, Daniela, Christian, Adam and I jump on a 4 hour bus to Barcelona at 1 p.m. right after class which ended at noon. From there, we somehow manage to figure out the metro and walk to Sam’s friend’s apartment. Before we knew it, it was time to get ready for Abroadfest. Abroadfest is a concert in Barcelona mainly targeted at kids studying abroad (hence the name.) So basically it was a Bar Mitzvah/Northeastern school reunion hosted by Thomas Gold, Kaskade and Nicky Romero. Except scratch that, Nicky Romero backed out last minute. I got to see Greg and Brooke Rubenstein though, which was nice. Not 12 hours later we boarded a flight to Brussels, Belgium with Sam’s guy friends from Maryland. They were really nice kids. We spent the day around Brussels and went to Delirium- a bar which serves over 2,000 beers on tap. The next day we even got to see Cheyenne :-) We checked out the statue of the little boy peeing, had Belgian waffles and saw the 4, maybe 5, cool buildings Brussels had to offer. That night we dressed in our whites and took quite the 2 hour journey to get to Hasselt, where Sensation White was held. The concert was fun but I’m not gunna lie, I was expecting a little more. Oh, well. We all slept in a train station about 40 UMD students deep and then finally got home FREEZING and exhausted around 9 a.m. We headed back to Valencia at 1 p.m. and we’ve never felt so good to see warm climate and a sunny sky.

Til FALLAS! Xx.

Members of the Indian Heritage Club at Pine Crest School in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., perform for a school-wide performance. Mikela Warman/University of Florida.

Members of the Indian Heritage Club at Pine Crest School in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., perform for a school-wide performance. Mikela Warman/University of Florida.

New York City Ballet’s “Nutcracker” coming to movie theaters

The Nutcracker just might be one of the most famous ballets of all time. Not saying it’s best for the dance community, but it is about time that this show is transferred to cinema.

Similar to my stand on the show So You Think You Can Dance, I’m extremely glad that ballet is reaching mass audiences on television and cinema. However, it saddens me that families might buy a $10 movie ticket to see the Nutcracker instead of supporting live performances at a local theater.

Regardless, the Nutcracker will surely be a wonderful movie to catch when it’s just too cold to do much else.

Many other performances have been converted to movies in the past, so it’s almost a given that the popularity of this performance makes a wonderful choice for conversion.

The company said on Thursday that its Dec. 13 performance of “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker” will be transmitted live in high definition to more than 500 movie theaters around the country,” writer Daniel J. Wakin said.

The company’s executive director, Katherine E. Brown, has a positive attitude about this show being in movie theaters around the country.

"City Ballet hoped it would be the first of many such transmissions," Brown said.

The Rockettes go 3-D

As noted in the video posted above, Christmas time, Broadway and dancing all go hand-in-hand with the famous, timeless and beautiful Rockettes.

I know personally, since I was very little, I have always looked up to the Rockettes as being strong role models for the dance community. These dancers have a feminine grace that truly glows.

This Christmas, the Rockette performance is going to be one of a kind. These women have been working with 3-D enhancements that will surely reboot this performance for a new era. As the Rockette family is reborn into using new technology, the dancers truly must adapt. It’s not always easy working with a screen where timing and positioning is crucial to the show’s message.

As always, the Rockettes will keep their famous kick-lines, however, now the show is also full of jumps and karate kicks. With the cutting-edge, 3-D animation, the walls of Radio City Music Hall will shine like never before.

“I wanted to show the women’s strength and their athleticism because that’s a side of them that never gets seen by the general public,” Linda Haberman, the choreographer, said.

The show will allow audience members to feel like they’re inside of a video game as they watch the beautiful Rockettes dance with style and grace.

"I want this to be a magical experience," Haberman said.

The driving force of choreography

The video placed above this post is from the dance show, So You Think You Can Dance. In this particular piece, Travis Wall, the choreographer, plays on his emotions of sadness and empathy.

When executing choreography, it’s extremely important to have a motive or reasoning as to why the steps are the way they are. Sometimes, it’s as simple as watching a baseball game to be inspired. Other times, it’s like pulling teeth.

In this particular case, Travis Wall uses his mother’s illness to represent her struggle through life and the journey Travis is on.

"The choreography is personal, and being a part of it is like a gift," said Robert Roldan. 

Being let into a choreographer’s message, through choreography, can be touching and powerfully emotional when watching the finished product. To be successful as a choreographer, the movements of a dance should be fluid, transition with ease and end before you realize it had started. That’s what makes dance so magical. With each step, it is telling a story through movement. The body can express feelings that words can sometimes not accurately portray.

The dance ends with Allison walking on the feet of Robert with a hand on her heart. If that is not symbolic to the story, then I don’t know what is. Watching Robert, as Travis’ representative, carry Allison, as his mother’s representative, it is clear that the message was not lost throughout the whole piece.

This beautiful and touching piece of contemporary choreography surely projected the message that was the driving force behind the dance.