Week 12: One Thousand Pieces

Hello,

I continue to take much longer to update with new posts because I have so much to do, especially as Christmas draws nearer. All my classes were phenomenal this week! The only change from this week to the regular week is that we had Monique (former River North dancer) substitute for Lizzie. Monique’s class was extremely demanding since it was an afro-contemporary jazz fusion class. Regardless, it was FUN!! I found my true port de bras, thanks to Mrs. Claire, during Pilates on Friday. It felt completely different, compared to what I have been doing the entire time, ha! We also had a potluck for the scholarship and work study students, which was very fun! A lot of desserts, and PIZZA, from giordanos!!!!! GAAAAAAHHHHHH, HEAVEN 🙂

The best part of my week was seeing Mrs. Claire’s old video of herself dancing a number to “Georgia”, choreographed by Mr. Lou Conte himself, performed on television! HOLY COW! She is STUNNING! Note: If you ever get to meet Mrs. Claire, and you’re around her at an extremely exciting time, do try to see her dances, she is beyond words 🙂 It was very sexy, sensual and beautiful. Inspirational, too!

I moved on from Star Wars and onto original Planet of the Apes (which I have the entire collection back home, with my best friend Marco, but didn’t bring them since I have no tv nor do I want one).

I shot a couple of videos for people to help me with my technique, earlier in the week, so here they are:

En dedan turn: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10152440262039908&l=931250423499404087
Saut de chat/Jete: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10152440263134908&l=2868583035186852492
A la seconde turns: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10152440265389908&l=2400487923976261380

If you have any corrections, hints or advice, please do let me know. 🙂

The most exciting part of my week was getting to watch Hubbard Street perform One Thousand Pieces, which I had been waiting for ONE YEAR to watch. I originally watched this video:

This performance was… ughh… I cannot put into words what it did to me, to be honest. It was far beyond what I had ever expected it to be, and I expected A LOT. I mean, I expected perfection. This was the best performance and show I have seen in my life, so far!!

So, basically, this work is choreographed by the fantastic Alejandro Cerrudo (company member and resident choreographer at HSDC). This work features both companies, Hubbard Street and HS2,one-thousand-pieces-5

in an evening inspired by Marc Chagall’s American Windows:
Chagall 'America Windows' to be Temporarily Removed May 2

The entire evening also featured musical works by Phillip Glass, who is amazing! I must give a HUGE shout out to the set and lighting designer.. And of course, the COMPANY!! This entire night was like NO OTHER.. Without ruining a lot, I just want to say that there were PLENTY of surprises involved in this show. Stellar dancing.

I must say that I got misty eyed and shed a few tears during both halves of the night. I was also gasping a lot, because of all the surprises. I was in awe with all the changing sets and lighting. It just has to been seen. There was a moment when I looked onto the stage, during a set change and the floor had “clouds” in it (you’ll know what I’m talking about if you saw the floor during the performance). It reminded me of the scene in Donnie Darko where the evil bunny tells him to flood the school, funny! The entire night had so much stimulation, in EVERY GOOD WAY, but my heart stopped toward the very end in the second half of the evening when there was a duet, and the music slowed waaaaay down, and the couple on stage had such a delicate way of moving. It really made me emotional. They went from very strong movement to almost being careful not to “hurt each others feeling” kind of soft, it was so touching.

If you didn’t get to see it, or if comes to your town, I URGE you to go see it. Whatever you have to pay, it will be worth SO MUCH MORE. :’)

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago 1000 Peices

Hubbard-Street-Dancers-Ana-Lopez-Jacqueline-Burnett-and-Jessica-Tong-in-ONE-THOUSAND-PIECES-by-Resident-Choreographer-Alejandro-Cerrudo.-Photo-by-Todd-Rosenberg.

Week 11: Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter.

This past week has been a very extensive and eventful week full of a lot going on. I do have much to tell.

Dance-wise, its been fantastic. For the most part. Beginning my week I took extra classes, and stretched a whole ton on Monday. This led to an aggravated amount of soreness throughout the rest of the week, so bad was this soreness that I was unable to fully dance on Wednesday and couldn’t show up to morning ballet or contemporary on Thursday. (I made it up by going to second ballet class on Thursday). Also, in the first ballet class on Monday I landed on my second toe during a grand jete.. Yea, I know, it sucks. Its still quite bruised and hurts a bit, but I’m good for the most part. I mean, I can dance.

I did feel myself improving the entire week, after the soreness. I also had the pleasure of watching Hubbard Street at the Art Institute of Chicago. This was the funniest and most entertaining performance, for Christmas, I have ever seen. They were interpreting their vision of the Creche, which is a new display at the Art Institute (which is FREE on Thursdays for all Illinois residents, I HIGHLY suggest)! I thought I’d be watching a very pretty dance (and who wouldn’t want to?!) but they were interacting with the audience, yelling, improvising, and just having a great time. They turned the entire stage and audience into a living Creche. It was the highlight of my week. There isn’t anything they can’t do! They even had a Q&A for all those who wanted to stay afterwards and know more about the process or the dancers. This upcoming weekend is ONE THOUSAND PIECES, do not miss out on this chance to watch! You will not regret it. http://www.hubbardstreetdance.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=proditem&id=213:winter-series&Itemid=58

Also, last night, when I got home from a long days work I was able to watch the CSUDH dance concert’s LIVE streaming of Origins. I enjoyed myself watching all my old friends dance, so much! I really enjoyed the energy of the African, Hip Hop, Bollywood, and Belly dance. Those were a lot of fun. I thought Ken Walker and Nathan’s works were very nicely done! I completely understood what they were getting at, and thought it was lovely. I was astounded by Marco (my best friend), Jeff Hendrix and Doris Ressl’s works!! Marco did a contemporary interpretation of the traditional-folk dance of the deer, which I had seen the solo being worked on when I returned from the HSDC Summer Intensive, except he added a few more people to help develop this traditional tale. Jeff’s work was about the Holocaust, showing shocking images of the event (along with quotes) in a video, but the dance was a jazz-ballroom fusion to a beautiful traditional blues-y song. Doris’ work was a flawless trio, set on two faculty and an alumni. This is my favorite of all her works, thus far. The costumes, lighting, and choreography, it was all there! Bravo to ALL of my DH friends, I miss you all so much..Very happy I got to see you all and all of your growth. 

Lately, I have been watching all of the Star Wars epsidoes: I, II, III, IV, V, and VI. I just finished VI. I must say that it got me quite emotional. Something VERY strange happened this week. So here is the back story: I don’t quite remember my father much, from when I was younger, so I don’t really know him at all. I was raised by my loving and AMAZING mother (and wouldn’t have it any other way, for anything in the world). Ever since Thanksgiving, I have been in contact with one of his daughters, who sent me a couple of pictures of him (since I have never seen him). It was quite strange to see how he looks, I mean I’m not too familiar with the feeling of having a father or anything. The biggest thing that happened is that I spoke with my mother about this and she said I should talk to him and get to know him, since he is my father, so I gave his daughter my number to give to him. She said she would give it to him when she saw him. Later that night, while I was sleeping, someone called with a private number and left a voicemail. The voicemail said: “Hey mijo, I love you.”. I am more than certain that this was him, and it is a very WEIRD feeling, I’m not so sure how to react. He, or they, haven’t called back since.. A part of me was excited, and yet, another part of me was a bit confused. What should I do? So many emotions going through my head and heart. Do I forgive and hope he calls again, then build a relationship.. or do I build barriers because he never tried to make contact with me growing up?! Ahhh… I just finished (2 mins ago) episode VI and watching the story of Luke and Vader, I can’t help but feeling like Luke. 

This song gets to me. I suggest you close your eyes, open your heart and listen to it. See how it makes you feel:

I am a Jedi. 🙂

Week 10: Workshop and Black Friday: The good, the bad and the ugly

Okay, so I had an amazing start to the week, and then it all went downhill from there.

Monday-Wednesday:

Beruite and Claire’s classes were pretty stellar! I felt quite powerful and amazing. 🙂 Pilates with Nicole on Tuesday was also fantastic. Unfortunately, I was only able to take barre (and even then I was quite sloppy) during Laura’s class, so I can’t say much about it. 😦 I became quite ill on Wednesday morning, which lasted most of the day. I had a stomach bug, and by body was quite achy. I had to sleep, at school, after barre.

Lizzie and Victors classes were great! Lizzie taught an amazing phrase, which is my favorite yet. Victor taught a new styled class, at least it felt that way. Again, sadly, I was not able to take Kristina’s class because of the illness.

Each day after contemporary we had workshop with Robyn Mineko Williams, former HSDC, and one of their amazing choreographers. She was a scholarship student when she was younger, which is quite inspiring. Her workshops were improvisation and repertoire based. The great thing about the improv was finding the movement quality for the rep. Since it is quite challenging. We learned rep from Fluence (her Fall HSDC work)!!!!!! I indulged in it each day. I rested enough on Wednesday to still be able to take it! I learned a whole lot and feel that I grew as a dancer. Here is a video of some of her work, Grey Horses:

Thanksgiving was great! I spent it with scholarship student, Federica. She’s the best ever 🙂

After thanksgiving, the weekend seemed to go downhill from there. BLACK FRIDAY. This day was extremely stressful and the biggest challenge yet,

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People, there is no need to be mean to anyone, just because you’re shopping. I mean, I can’t count how many times I got boxes thrown at me at register… Oh oh and credit cards tossed at me too, even though I’m not supposed to swipe them. Sigh. Unfortunately, I had an interesting situation:

I went to a thrift store after work on Friday and I was in a lady’s way. The isle was quite small and she said “can you please move?!”. I got very frustrated, and wanted to say something, since I had been yelled at all day by greedy customers, but I just moved and apologized. At that moment I saw her shopping cart was very full, and she had her two children with her.. I realized she was honestly shopping for her family! My god, how awful I felt! I hope she didn’t think I was mean to her after all. She was buying her children stuff they needed and Christmas gifts.. It broke my heart. While I get yelled at by DUMB wealthy and ungrateful LEGO customers, there are people who can’t afford much. I understood she was probably stressed and just wanted to do the best for her family.. ❤ much love for them, I understand their situation.

Saturday and Sunday was just as bad as Friday at lego. A lot of undeserving people getting more than they need. I'm awful, I know, but I wasn't ever wealthy or privileged so I'm quite biased. I'm just a realist. There were a few great customers, thank you for being nice. 6 in total for the entire weekend. 2 per day, average.

Ruben