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.

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Step 28: Week 1: New Scholarship Student

Oh my gosh, so I just started the scholarship program –> completed my first week of required dance classes from the training program. Unfortunately, can’t update daily YET because the place I’m living in has now wifi 😦

So, at the moment, I’m living with English, a wonderful ballerina who is also in the program. She’s a great dancer and person, I’m quite lucky! I just had my interview with the LEGO store! Hoping I get the job, crossing my fingers. So now onto the juicy deets about the scholarship program:

We take a required advanced/professional ballet course each morning, followed by a advanced/professional contemporary class and on Fridays we also take a scholarship Pilates class. Following these required courses, we are allotted unlimited class access, free PT, a free pass to each of the Hubbard Street Dance Chicago shows, free workshops, free lockers, etc all for $30 a week and a required chore (sweeping or cleaning one studio). It’s pretty sweet! 🙂

Monday:

We had ballet with Beruite, who is one of the toughest ballet instructors ever had! She’s amazing, but after no dance training in the previous two months, this was a failed attempt. It’s not easy to go from zero to professional in ballet. My body had forgotten the simple things such as balance and waltz. I hardly had the strength to raise my leg beyond a tendu! Her class was fast moving and physically/mentally challenging. Quickly taught combinations, difficult phrasing.. God it hurt all over!

Next I had contemporary with Lizzie. She gave an amazing class, where I felt more comfortable. She gave amazing insight, like not letting your insecurity show and dancing from within. Her style is very juicy and grounded. I really enjoyed her class! But it was very challenging!

Later that day, English and I took intermediate ballet… Also very difficult. My muscles started to give out, and trying to remember what ballet terms where was a bit hard! When I got home I was in more pain than I had ever felt! I could not believe it! It hurt more than the intensive! Don’t go from zero to hero, trust me!

Tuesday:

Advanced Pilates kicked my butt! Took it before ballet to get me warm… And it did just that.

Being extremely tired and unbelievably sore, we had Claire for ballet. She is the director of the school and program. Her class, also challenging. I felt a bit more in my body, until I saw Meredith in the window and rolled over my foot across the floor trying to impress. :-/ ha!

Next we had Victor, who taught a Cuban contemporary class. It was very challenging, but he was amazing and so was the class. He had fun music. His class was Horton-esque, in the sense that it was challenging and a pure technique class. Loved it.

Later I took yoga, which helped me release a lot of tension. It wasn’t an easy class..

Wednesday:

Ballet with Laura. She was very sweet but her class, also hard. I felt a bit more into my body… Kind of. She was sweet and gave great combinations. I really loved her. I learned that going into attitude by rond de jambing the leg through arabesque would give a true attitude, without the raising of the hip! She’s a genius!

Modern with Kristina was different. It was very similar to NRD, very modern. She was so sweet and a bit out there, but I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much if she wasn’t. She has a warm heart and has Laban training. I loved it. Very dizzy from all the rolling!

I took basic Pilates, it was just as hard as advanced Pilates, if not harder! But it was great to get the basics and mechanics!

Thursday:

Thursdays are guest ballet day. Today we had Ben. He was AMAZING! It wasn’t classically classical ballet, but it was still amazing. It seemed like ballet for contemporary dancers. It was a hard, and he was AMAZING! I hope eh subs again. I felt more good in this class.

We had Frankie, very famous by scholarship, and hew as great. His class was a faced paced contemporary. Quick combinations followed by a duet creation amongst the students. It was very fun!

Friday:

Ballet with Claire was no joke today. She helped me with my turns/developpe. I was so nervous when she was helping me out… She’s a great ballet instructor! She gives amazing corrections and is so full of warmth. I love her!

Next was modern with Erin! She is HILARIOUS! Horton with Erin, which is always difficult, no matter what level Horton you take. I loved it though, very much! She had us laughing the entire time!

Lastly, Pilates with Claire. Very challenging, and grueling, but doable! 🙂

That’s been my week! Tomorrow I plan to take basic ballet, and yoga on Sunday! That’s my ‘rest’. I’ll get back in shape in no time,

Thanks everyone for making this possible!

Ruben

Step 19: Scholarship Program Acceptance!

Hello,

Last week had its ups and downs, which has rolled onto this week. For starters, I was able to take ballet with my remaining class cards last week at LB Ballet (twice) and Alva’s (once). It was nice to come back and take ballet in classes that I used to take, and see the improvement in certain areas.

I decided to give it another shot with my ex.. I know many people have mixed feelings about this, but I did feel as though we needed to try again. This is why I moved back in, and we are working on making it work. It is difficult because I feel as though we have ‘reset’ and started back at square one, even though we had a deep, and involved relationship before I left. Its strange. I wish things would go back to the way they were, but I accept the fact that they might never be that again. All I can do is try my best to be better and hope for the best.

It has been hard without a job. I apply to work everyday and today I got a phone interview, which has led to an in person interview! I’m very excited since I NEED work and money right now. Unfortunately, I have had to give up some of my dance opportunities, and modify others because of all the chaos in my life right now. Even more unfortunate is that there are no companies that are auditioning at the moment, they are all full! 😦 Except one, Diavolo Dance Theater. I plan on going to their audition.

Lastly, and most excitedly, I just heard back and I was accepted into the Scholarship Training Program at the Lou Conte Dance Studio (HSDC)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This has been the best news I have had since returning! Because of this new incident, I must ask that people out there be generous enough to donate to my moving back to Chicago and starting the program. The donated money would help me return, find a place to live before I get a job out there, and help with the tuition for the program (there is still a fee).

http://www.gofundme.com/2wwe1w

That is the link to my donation website. I hope that by now everyone out there reading this knows that I am serious about dance and that I have investment a lot of myself into becoming the dancer that I hope to become someday. Any amount donated would be a blessing in my life.

I was so happy that I decided to go out and do yoga outside at a park. It was very nice to just release all the negativity that I had been starting to develop since my return. I know it is hard to overcome obstacles, but now I know that I can do this and will do this. I’ve realized that yoga has become a vital part of my life and that it is much more than just the physical/poses, but more of an internal-spiritual art form that helps to better one.

I told you Chicago, I will be back and better than ever!

Ruben

Ps. If you have any questions about donating, do not hesitate to contact me at RG.MEDINAP@GMAIL.COM