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Ballet Talk for Dancers

May: Your Family's Arts Life


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One night last week DD performed in a show with her Improv class from school. A remarkably sophisticated and funny evening -- and a joy to see her humor and physical comedy. It was fun to see her perform in something so different from dance!


Later this month she and her Dad will be going to see Movin' Out.


We will try to do a lot early and late this summer as a family, working around that much-anticipated SI! Some of our plans will be cultural, some purely fun. And relaxing, I hope!

Edited by studioj
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Camping trips, trips to science museums, state fairs, aquariums etc. are terrific! They're fun, and they're an important part of family life and in the education of children.


But I'd really like to keep the focus on The Arts, and your families' experiences at concerts of classical music, art museums, plays, operas, ballets, and the like.


I don't write this to criticize anyone, or to suggest that you should go to an art museum instead of going to an aquarium, but I wanted to keep the thread on track.


More stories, please! These have been great to read!!!

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Great thread, Alexandra... and very fun to read!


Let's see. We're in Los Angeles and wanted the girls to see and experience our new Disney Hall. It was difficult to get L.A. Philharmonic tickets for non-subscribers so we ended up with Beethoven's Missa Solemnis performed by the L.A. Master Chorale. Even though choral music is not my first choice, it was fascinating to sit in the hall so close to the musicians, with the Chorale members just a few rows away. We were also right above the orchestra's drummer and that was of great interest to our youngest dd, who also is a fledgling drummer (The first song she's learned, however -- is to a different drummer -- "Ticket to Ride.") We noted that the drummer had at least five different sets of sticks that he used through the course of the performance.


In July, my husband and I will take same youngest dd (oldest will be away at her first summer intensive ever, at San Francisco Ballet School) to the Hollywood Bowl for an all Beethoven night -- Emperor Concerto under the stars, can't wait!!! We'll also go to see Royal Ballet's Giselle in Orange County.


Oldest is finishing up her first year in high school, reading the Iliad and next Dante's Inferno. She's in the Humanities Program but loves attending the school's Music Academy performances -- recently very creditable productions of the play The Mouse That Roared and the musical City of Angels.


Finally, with the little one, we have a mother/daughter book club that's been going for four years now -- since they were in second grade. Remarkably, their second grade teacher still participates. We've read everything from Matilda to Caddie Woodlawn to Holes to the Lemony Snicket series...including many classic kid books the moms may have missed when they were kids. So that has been a lot of fun and I hope it continues through high school.


That's about all I can think of.

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Guest Chedva

Just as a point of information, the "drummer" in an orchestra is called a percussionist, since he or she usually plays much more than just a drum (timpani, xylophone, glockenspiel, bells, triangle, etc.). Frequently, they're also pianists, since the piano is, believe it or not, considered a percussion instrument - sound is made by the hammer striking the strings. (My husband's one - that's my source of info!)

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We plan to hit Manhattan with a vengance! We will attend some of ABT's ballets, a few Broadway shows and maybe an occasional visit to some of the musuems.

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We are so fortunate, because there is a program in our city that allows any student (K through college), for a $25 annual fee, to be able to get 2 $10 tickets to many of the arts activities in town -- this includes the ballet companies, symphony, our local playhouse, etc. Add to that a grant that allows our local art museum to be free to the public every day (not just Saturdays, as it was for years.) Dd (and dh) and I have enjoyed so many arts activities this year. In May, however, we have been mostly busy w/dd's spring shows. Those are over, and we are heading out of town for the long weekend, planning to hit an art museum north of here w/an exhibit that dh has been longing to see. We'll have to look ahead to summer, to see what's ahead.

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Our family's arts life has been "thriving" this month ...


A Mother's Day treat with my 2 dds and mother to see Washington Ballet's 7X7


Two weekends of rehearsals for my dds with Davis Robertson in preparation for their first Kennedy Center performance as part of the VSA Festival Opening Ceremonies (June 9)


One weekend of home ballet studio spring performances in new Black Box theater


One orientation for summer dance and drama program for my younger dd


One day of "ballet shopping" to get SI stuff for both dds


One high school art show for older dd


One middle school choral concert for younger dd


One Confirmation for younger dd


One Bat Mitvah for cousin


One Yankees-Orioles game so that my husband can attend something other than a ballet


... not to mention 6 days a week every week at the ballet studio for regular classes ...

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Youngest daughter (9 on June 5) is taking some acting classes at our local theater for young people. Oldest daughter (turned 13 yesterday) will be at her school's summer course, which will end with a performance July 10 or so. She is also part of the "junior company" and I think they will be performing around town a few times this summer. (Old folks homes, boys and girls clubs, etc.)


We also have a series of "Shakespeare on the Green" performances throughout the summer in one of the parks in town. Last year, we went and took both girls and they loved it. So, we will go to some of those performances.


By the way, there are a series of radio spots running about arts education. (I imagine they are national ads.) It was a nice reminder. Our oldest girl has always gotten fabulous grades and has participated in the Duke University Talent Identification program. We did all the things you are supposed to do with your kids--the reading and classical music (because her mother and I like those things) but I am convinced that the ballet and piano have absolutely helped her school work too.



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Just got back from NYC a couple hours ago. We saw "42nd Street" and our local ballet company's performance at the Joyce Theatre. They were both awesome! Next month we see "Lion King" here in town, and have tickets for the Rockettes Spectacular in December and "Movin' Out" on tour here next March.

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In early May we saw Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's mixed rep program: Springsteen and Seeger - three works by contemporary choreographers to the music of the men in the title which were enjoyed by all in our family. The Ballet brought in a local rock band that has ties to Bruce Springsteen to play at the intermissions - it gave a very different feel to the evening and was a lot of fun. The next weekend we attend the performance given by the high-school and graduate students in our ballet school. They also had a student choreographers' performance on the same day. This was a new venture for the school and well-received. This past weekend we attended our local Folk Festival - lots of dancing and eating from all around the world. My older son attended his prom on Friday and discovered the pleasure of social dancing :) He and his date (also a ballet dancer) watched for a while from the side-lines but once they started dancing they did not stop until the bitter-end.


This coming Saturday is the end of the year performance for the ballet school and shortly after that we start our Summer Intensive taxi service so not much time for entertainment until Fall.

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