Saturday, March 18, 2006

antigone: a story of courage and morality

Yesterday I saw a beautiful new ballet by the Rebecca Davis Dance Company. The performance was named Antigone, after the drama by Sophocles. Very interesting was the use of dialogues from the play while the dancers were dancing, which made the dancing very moving, because the story was very clear so the dancing could focus on the feeling. It was amazing to see how modern dance and pointe were combined, in a very high level performance. Also, the story of this courageous woman who decides to thwart a sure death by her father's hand for the sake of upholding her duties as a human being. She faces the lust for power of her father Creon as she goes her own way to bury her brother, and pays for it with her own death. The chase for Antigone after she commits the act of burying her brother was beautifully staged, where the first white-clad people in the court now became all dressed up in leather and their dancing was very square and aggressive. For me it was also the story of staying human, upholding your own morality in a world that sometimes seems to revolve around power, money and recognition, a world that is full of speed and agression. The innocence combined with determination that overcomes that was beautifully portrayed. The picture that goes with this post is from the ballet.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

ballet news and simple living

For ballet there were quite a few interesting challenges in the past classes: at the barre, doing a full turn, ending in the extended leg position at 90 degrees on pointe, repeating this whole exercise in all directions (i.e., en croix). It is definitely not too easy! And then today we ended class not with fouettes but with a series of consecutive turns from 5th position, 16 of them. Being a bad spotter, this was a sure recipe for diziness, so I was amazed I almost made it through 16 of these turns on pointe. But again it was a fun challenge!

During the past week, the campus was almost abandoned since it was spring break. What a transformation! But now campus is in full swing again and I am grading the second exam, woohoo!

Anyhow, i have been thinking a lot lately about leading a simple life. Especially in the US, we tend to waste so much money and stuff, believing that we get happy by buying as much as we can, and doing everything fast and easy, which creates a lot of waste. Luckily, there are some people who do not agree with that. I found this cool site vegan lunchbox, which shows how you can be very creative with lunches that you bring from home, and save a lot of money and waste to boot. Of course preparing such lunches would cost a lot of time but with creativity you can also create nice things with less time. And there are lots of other things that one can reuse, such as bringing your own cup or thermos to talks where they serve tea, or even using cotton menstrual pads of reusable tampons when you're a woman (see glad rags for this creative initiative. I wish more people here would care about the environment, using their bikes instead of cars (although it's not bad in Philadelphia I must say), doing recycling and these kinds of simple things. Especially because judging from the weather here (first 80 degrees and then within 2 days a drop to snow!) we seem to be screwing up the environment quite a bit...