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Weekend Round-Up, I Guess?

Totally failed to write about my own show, as you do. 😆

It went well—not perfect, but well enough that the audience thought it was. I got a nice word from our director, BG: “Your musicality was perfect.” As a dancer, that’s not a word you hear often.

Also quite a few nice words from folks in the audience—friends and perfect strangers both. E’s husband told me: “You stole the show—I mean that as a compliment!” That was a lovely thing to hear, but I think the best thing was K’s friends, who described my dancing to her as “powerful,” among other lovely words I wish I remembered right now.

K, meanwhile—my friend-turned-ballet partner who made me take myself seriously as a dancer some while back by telling me that I reminded her of Nureyev— described my attitude turn as beautiful, floating, and apparently effortless, with the free leg raised to 90 degrees.

I was glad to hear that, because in both the tech run and the full dress run I didn’t account for how remarkably grippy this particular batch of Marley was and wound up with 3/4s of an attitude turn and the world’s tiniest promenade 😅 During the actual show, it felt great, but that’s not always the most accurate barometer!

In the end, I think everyone was pretty happy with things.

There’s an immense peace that comes over me when I’m on stage. It’s like being immersed entirely in the stream of the present. Time is at once infinite and fleeting. Choreography appears like a divine gift. I don’t have to think about it: it’s just there.

“Did someone order a choreography?!”

There was a weird moment right at the beginning when I realized, with surprise, not only could I actually see part of the audience quite clearly[1], but was sharing a moment of eye contact with a woman out in the seats. That was really, really cool—also a crystal-clear visual memory that I’ll carry forever.

  1. In many theaters, the lighting renders the audience effectively invisible. You might catch the glare off an eyeglass lens, but that’s about it.

There’s something special about realizing that, hey, there are actual people out there, and they’re connected with what you’re doing, and it means something to them. For some performers, that’s kind of a nightmare, but I loved it—especially for this piece, which was full of emotion and human connections (both literal and metaphorical).

Anyway, we followed our terpsichorean triumph with one heck of a party, then hauled our heineys outta bed for class (my calf was iffy, so I opted not to jump—Memorial is a beautiful house, but the floor is pretty hard, and we did a bunch of jumps in our warm-up class before the show). Followed that with an hour of contact improv and 3 hour rehearsal: #dancerlife never stops 😛

This morning I opted to stay home and rest the legs a little, even though I’m adding Monday AM to the rotation. Back to class as usual tonight.

Possibly the best news: BG asked us at our party how we’d feel about performing more often. He has plans in the works. Obviously, I’m so there.

In the meanwhile, though, the next blip on my radar is another gala thing, this time with an excerpt from the Culture of Poverty, on April 30th.

Four years ago, when I stepped back into the studio, I never would have imagined living this life.

Nor would I have imagined becoming Sir Twinkshirt of the Footroller.

Honestly, if you’d described it to me, with all its chaos and exceedingly complicated scheduling, I would have, like, fainted (though it was wouldn’t have changed much, if anything).

In the end, though, this is what happens when we stumble into a driving passion: it, like, you know, drives.

And now, back to our regularly-scheduled laundry day.

Poco à Poco

Bit by bit, I’m regaining range-of-motion and resuming my “Activities of Daily Living,” as they’re known to PhysioBots® from the future and their human counterparts.

This includes collecting small objects at a street festival whilst everyone else takes down the aerial rig and going to parties, not to mention catching up on the six million loads of laundry that are waiting for me because I was wary of schlepping large loads at first.

Anyway, it’s been surprising to observe my own healing process. Each day, I’m able to move my arms a little farther without yoinking anything, even though I’ve specifically been avoiding moving them beyond a pretty restricted zone. I can now get them into a languid “Romantic 4th,” basically, without irritating anything.

Practically speaking, that means I still can’t reach anything higher than the surface of the second shelf in the cabinet where the dishes live unless I stand on something, but at this time last week I was barely making it to the first shelf, so that’s good progress.

Also, it means I can at least put the plates away, though the soup mugs and pasta bowls will just have to wait a bit longer.

~

This weekend, I also realized how very strictly I avoided actually standing up straight outside of the ballet studio prior to my surgery.

Like most guys with moobs, I used to wander around with my shoulders sort-of rounded in on themselves. It makes you look like defensive and also makes you shorter.

It’s really still very weird for me to realize that when I actually stand up straight, I’m pretty much average in terms of height. Heretofore I guess I’ve known that rationally, but in a practical sense I still thought of myself as a little of the small side.

For what it’s worth, both D and I have found the results of my surgery a little unexpected. He mentioned last night that I look less different to him than he thought I would in some ways; more so in others—mostly that for whatever reason my whole body looks leaner and narrower. He’s not alone, either—other people also keep asking me,”Did you lose weight?”

I can only assume it’s something about the way I’m carrying myself…? Because, in fact, I’ve gained a little weight, as inevitably I do when I have to sit on my butt for a while.

For me, it’s more nuanced. I can’t say that I really expected to perceive my build as kind of rangy and muscular, nor to actually like that about myself.

Anyway, it’s weird. You would think that having this sort of thing done would just result in feeling like, “Okay, cool—that’s just me without moobs.” Maybe that’s been how it does work for some people. For me, though, it’s made me realize that I only ever looked at parts of my body before: I thought I looked at the whole, but now I think I really didn’t. I can’t really otherwise explain how surprising my body is to me when I look at myself in the mirror now.

~

Anyway, I’m back to slowly catching up on the laundry and the cleaning. I’m also counting calories and opting for a low-carb approach to food until I’m clear to Resume All The Things. That seems to be helping to keep my blood sugar levels a bit more steady, as it generally does.

I might stick with it once I’m back in action, but I might not. I’ve made a pact with myself: I’m not going to get hung up on any specific approach to eating, period. My normal schedule burns a lot of calories and makes it quite difficult to eat enough, let alone to eat enough whilst also largely eschewing an entire nutrient category.

On the other hand, the inability to lazily wrap everything in a a tortilla does mean I’m eating even more veggies than usual, since cabbage rolls (and shredded cabbage in place of noodles) are basically the order of the day right now.

Speaking of which, I should go assemble some kind of … brunch, I guess, since it’s 11:30 and I still haven’t eaten anything.

You Might Be A Dancer If, Continued 

Please ignore the shoes making their break for freedom. Nothing to see here. Move along.

  • You have a tumble dryer or a clothesline, but laundry day at your place looks like this anyway
  • And by “laundry day,” you mean “any day that ends in -y”
  • Your bedroom resembles a fire sale at a Sansha outlet 
  • You have so many tights (Footed! Convertible! Capri! Short! Really effing short! Strappy!) and joggers you don’t know where to put them all, but only two pair of regular trousers
  • Which you never wear because ugh
  • You are more than typically grateful to the inventors of the Utilikilt
  • You miss pockets, but not enough to make you wear regular clothes(1)  
  1. Besides, they make hoodies with zippered pockets now. 

In case you’re wondering, when a dancer and an aerialist love each-other very much, the result is:

  • A closet like the one above
  • A ridiculous collection of matching tights that the dancer almost never wears because deep in his black-feathered heart of hearts Serious Ballet Boy Is Serious (…but only about ballet). 
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