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First performance of "Peter", Pilobolus, new pointe shoes, and Legally Blonde the Musical

Posted Jan 25 2009 3:43pm
Peter and The Wolf
We performed PATW for the first time on Thursday after only a few months of rehearsing once a week. Yikes. Luckily it was for little kids, the majority of whom wouldn't know the difference anyway. It went well in the long run, there were just some annoying little things that happened that definitely could have been worked out in rehearsals that were longer, more intense, and more often.

I had fun, and I think the audiences did too, so that's the important part. We perform again this week before premiering it at a local theatre as our "real" performance later this season. I'm sort of nervous that I'll mess up the solo I learned less than a week ago, even though it's pretty simple and easy to fake even if I do. This is, however, not something I particularly look forward to. Four months till Nutcracker auditions!

Last night I attended Pilobolus Dance Theater's Dance St. Lou is performance. They performed 5 pieces: LanternaMagica, Pseudopodia, Darkness and Light, Ocellus, and Megawatt.

After the first two pieces, I was really impressed. The company manages to use partnering in groups and duos without looking like cheerleaders or an orgy. The can use props without them getting in the way and they actually help move the dance forward, both artistically and literally. It was gymnastic and acrobatic without losing its choreographic and "dance-y" quality.

And then came Darkness And Light. Now, I'm not exactly sure what this was. Not only did I not understand it, I didn't understand how the images came to appear on the screen at the front of the stage that hid all action taking place behind it. They either projected things on to the screen on shown lights behind then screen while using their bodies to make shapes. The symbolism and images were also hard to understand. I've compiled a list of things this piece might have shown/been about:
  • Jellyfish
  • Genitalia
  • Wasps
  • Aurora Borealis
  • Electric currents
  • Creatures devouring their young
  • Evolution
  • Birth
  • Mutants
  • Butterflies
  • Stoplights
  • A vortex of some sort
  • Black holes
  • Puppetry
  • Shadow monsters
I'm honestly not sure what it was meant to mean or symbolize, all I know is that it was much longer than I would have liked.

Ocellus was really good at showing off the strength and control of the male dancers in the company. But, however immature this is, I was still distracted by the whole "They're dancing in thongs and nothing else and that guy has his face on the other guys crotch" aspect of the dance. It was a really cool historic piece, but also sort of awkward.

My favorite of the night was Megawatt. It was the type of spazzy and weird that I like. Not too overly spazzy and weird in a pretentious artistic way, more in a fun eclectic way. They threw themselves on the floor, crawled around on their backs, had convulsions, and did some crazy crazy partnering and lifts. My one complaint was that there were so many really awesome things going on at the same time that I wasn't sure where to look. The standouts (and the people that I finally settled on watching) were Jenny Mendez and Christopher Whitney, who did some amazing partnering. This piece was almost reminiscent on Cedar Lake's DECADANCE, only on speed. It was sort of psycho and really strange, and I loved it.

All in all, it was a great show, and it got me really excited for Dance St. Louis's '09-'10 season, which includes Complexions (WOO HOO!), Joffrey, River North Chicago, Aszure Barton, Ballet Folklorico, and Moscow Festival ballet.

New Pointe Shoes
Today I got new shoes. Again. This time my fitting only lasted a little less than an hour and a half, so that's more than an hour shorter than my last one.

After trying on 3 or 4 size/width/shank combinations of CapezioGlisses, Grishko Elites, Grishko 2007s, Gaynors and Fuzis, along with Celia Kerches, Sanshas, Freeds, other Grishkos, various Blochs, and probably 3 or 4 other shoes, I finally decided on CapezioGlisses in a 10 M.

They're really soft (which I like) but the boxes are sort of more... resilient(?)... than other softer (and fast dying) shoes that I've tried on. The shanks are really nicely molding to my feet without me doing anything to them whatsoever, and even though the vamp is just a tiny little bit longer than I would normally like, but because they're so soft, I don't think I'll have and trouble getting over the box or rolling through demi - pointe. This is all good, but I'm sort of chronically pessimistic about new pointe shoes just because so, so many pairs have not worked for me in the past. Eventually I will find something. I hope.

So, will these be the magical pointe shoes of wonder that finally work on Selly's feet? Will she ultimately regret buying a completely new pair of shoes a day before she has to perform on pointe? Stay tuned for these answers, and more!

I walked in to Legally Blonde with Omigod You Guys already stuck in my head. I walked out not being able to stop thinking about the "Today for you, tomorrow for me" song from RENT. How does that work again?

I really loved this show. I was sort of hoping I would get to see Laura Bell Bundy perform today, just for the star factor, since the actress normally playing Elle broke her toe and is still recovering. Instead, we got MTV's Search For The New Elle Woods contestant Lauren Ashley Zakrin. I actually liked her performance a lot.

The music and dancing were great, even while slightly off at times. I'm a huge fan of the story and the witty/ snarky dialogue and lyrics, which the cast successfully pulled off. I was also hugely impressed that both dogs in the show were rescued from shelters and trained to "act" (can dogs act?) in the musical instead of being "hired".

Overall the show was very cutesy and entertaining. The dancing was awesome, especially from some of the guys. You can definitely who's taken ballet before, though. It was fun and I'd recommend it to pretty much anyone.

Stay on your toes,

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