Ballet in Cleveland: Guys Dance Too

Great work is going on at Ballet in Cleveland! One of many sentiments that I appreciate from the video is that guys are “our partners.” How true on so many levels… we all work and dance together!

Guys Dance Too educates, supports, and empowers males in the art of dance. It frees the minds and potential of male dancers and all who aspire to be one. It breaks down gender barriers and stereotypes and creates opportunities for self-expression for all through dance.

Read more on the Guys Dance Too initiative at Ballet in Cleveland’s website.

Dance away your workplace stress

Karis Scarlette writes in the Guardian Women in Leadership blog that “classical ballet is coming to your workplace”:

The past couple of years has seen an influx of traditional ballet and ballet-based classes, squarely aimed at the busy office worker. It might not seem an obvious combination, but pure classical ballet technique is the ultimate antidote to a high pressured, stressful working environment.

I work from home and use a standing desk… so I get to dance all the time. And I can definitely attest to its stress-relieving properties. Even if you don’t have the space or freedom to do full-out ballet at your desk or office, definitely take the time periodically during the workday to get up and stretch. Great for body and mind!

(Though I do wish they hadn’t used a stock photo of pointe shoes for the post. Dancing en pointe is not necessarily a goal among many adult ballet dancers, and only then it comes after years of training, which seems like a distraction from the post’s pitching of ballet to the casual office-worker.)

Ballet San Jose dancer spotlight: Joshua Seibel

Alexsandra Meijer and Joshua Seibel, Ballet San Jose. Photo by Quinn Wharton.
Alexsandra Meijer and Joshua Seibel, Ballet San Jose. Photo by Quinn Wharton.

Ballet San Jose’s Joshua Seibel has some strong advice for young dancers: never let anyone tell you what you can’t do. Seibel should know. Years of ear trouble—and multiple surgeries—have left Seibel mostly deaf. ‘People probably don’t realize I should technically be wearing hearing aids,’ he says. But Seibel’s partial deafness hasn’t stopped him from dancing. This season, he was even promoted to soloist at Ballet San Jose.

Read more at Ballet San Jose’s blog.

High pointe: ballet-inspired menswear

I picked up the March 2015 issue of Details a while back for the ballet fashion spread including some of my favorite danseurs, and am remiss in sharing it only just now. Enjoy!

Calvin Royal III, American Ballet Theatre. Photo by Mark Seliger.
Calvin Royal III, American Ballet Theatre. Photo by Mark Seliger.

“This season, it wasn’t a stretch for designers to find inspiration in the dance world. The result is a fresh take on tees, tanks, and crisp white button-downs—layered or worn separately, with ultralight trousers—that truly raises the barre.”

Running time

Interesting: according to my site stats, someone came to my blog via the search string “length of sf ballet program 1.” Good question!

The running time including intermission(s) for San Francisco Ballet programs can be found on their website on each program page. For example, Program 1’s total running time is 2 hours 25 minutes with two intermissions, shown here. If you want a further time breakdown of each program, check out their press kits as they become available.

Danseur roll call

Oh, hello, neglected blog! Yes, it’s still here, gathering dust, but fabulous blogger Adult Beginner was kind enough to include it on her new blogroll of men who take ballet. This may be the kindest kick in the derrière I need to get back to updating it! Check out these fellow danseur-blogueurs in the meantime.

Happy New Year 2013!

Arabesque at City Hall in Pasadena, California.

Happy New Year! Yes, this blog and I are very much still alive. The last several weeks of 2012 were quite busy for my ballet calendar: in addition to regular classes, I was in a performance workshop, which culminated in a student showcase! It was my very first time performing ballet for an audience and marked my return to the stage after an absence of more than ten years (I say as if there has been a public clamoring in the meantime). OK, it was basically a recital for an audience of mostly family and friends, but still, it has rekindled my thirst for performing.

Continue reading “Happy New Year 2013!”

The gift was ours to borrow: Thank you, Marvin Hamlisch

Ah, sad to hear that Marvin Hamlisch died today. A Chorus Line, whose music he composed, will always have a special place in my heart as my first high-school musical. My freshman year at St. Ignatius College Prep in San Francisco I was cast in the ensemble. While I had been into musicals since I was a little kid, it was that experience that helped crystallize my love for performing on stage. And what better show than one about the life of performers, in this case, dancers. Even nowadays I’m always singing or humming those songs, and sure enough I named this blog after a Chorus Line song, Cassie’s “The Music and the Mirror.”

He had quite a multi-faceted career, to which I intend to devote more exploration, but at the very least I must say for his Chorus Line music I am indeed grateful.

In 2005 Thom and I saw Marvin Hamlisch conduct Brian Stokes Mitchell’s concert with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington. At the time I wrote:

Before Brian’s set, the National Symphony Orchestra played suites from South Pacific (Richard Rodgers) and The Light in the Piazza (Adam Guettel), and afterwards conductor Marvin Hamlisch asked the audience to name the connection between the two. One woman in the front row blurted out that the composer of Piazza is “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s grandson.” Ha! (Guettel is Rodgers’ grandson.) It became a running gag throughout the evening. “We knew Rodgers and Hammerstein were close, but…”

Hamlisch is a bit of a cutup. When one couple arrived late into the concert hall (why they weren’t escorted by an usher, especially since they had seats way up front, I don’t know), he stopped his banter, asked for their tickets, and showed them to their seats himself.