some things i liked this week 8/29/14

this stylish short film from gala de ballet de buenos aires. love the dramatic music! beautiful footage. incredible dancers. gorgeous! 

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half of american ballet theatre snuggling koalas and kangaroos in brisbane. 

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here is a wonderful video of the joffrey ballet rehearsing “prodigal son” with edward villella – if you live in the chicago area please go see this on my behalf. thanks 😉  (this alberto velazquez guy is intriguing, isn’t he? a bit of a sensuous quality about him and an interesting face. i like him!)

unfortunately i wasn’t home to watch the joffrey’s livestream rehearsal of swan lake with christopher wheeldon, but happily it is  still available to watch on youtube and i plan to get to it soon.

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a beautiful image of the mariinsky ballet by mark olich – love the view from above!

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and a cute and silly picture of pugs doing ballet that appeared in my FB feed the other day (thanks johanna)! the drawings are by illustrator sarah ogilvie and i believe they are from a children’s book called “dogs don’t do ballet” by anna kemp. (alas, i have not read the book since i no longer have kids in the appropriate age range. however maybe i will go sneak read it at the library just for fun 😉 )

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and finally daniel ulbricht making a surprise guest appearance during a manhattan youth ballet stage rehearsal. ♥♥♥

*****~~~~~*****

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some things i liked this week 8/22/14

these beautiful, romantic photographs of the boston ballet on swan boats!

(liza voll photography)

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they have a lovely nostalgic feel, bringing us back to simpler times, and with good reason…. they are a recreation of this historic photo from the 1970’s (which actually  has a sense of dating back even further). my only wish is that the driver on the boat of the current photo had donned a gondolier hat.  😉

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boston ballet opens their swan lake october 30th

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these striking images of san francisco ballet’s tiit helimets fighting his way through the forest to rescue his princess ♥ (okay, so how do you pronounce tiit anyway? because you know every time i see his name it reads “tit helmets”, which is something of an uncomfortable visual. sorry, i am a twelve year old boy, apparently. ugh.) well, however you pronounce his name he is looking mighty fine in these wonderful fairytale photos. beautiful forest too – i would love to do some exploring there!

(photos by roxana tocareva)

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one can’t help but enjoy the ALS ice bucket challenges – here are my favorites from the ballet world so far …

evan mckie ~ so elegant!

ashley bouder ~ daring, of course!

ALS Ice bucket challenge part 3 grand finale

A post shared by Ashley Bouder (@ashleybouder) on

and julio bocca ~ just because i’m in love with him. (and because he calls out alessandra ferri, the most gorgeous creature ever. ugh seriously- sometimes i think maybe i’m not doing so bad for 50 but then i see her & i’m like, okay …… never mind.)

http://www.alsa.org

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while the photos i posted above may suggest otherwise, to be honest i am starting to get over the whole ballerinas photographed outside thing. not that i have anything against ballerinas at the park or at the beach or in a pond or in dark alleys – they are lovely!- but there is a part of me that wants to put these dancers back in the studio where they belong (and won’t get their shoes muddy). but in all seriousness i adore rehearsal pictures – i love seeing the dancers with no make-up, messy hair, ripped leg warmers and sloppy sweatpants. i delight in the look of old studios, natural light seeping through the windows, reflections in the mirror. nothing posed, nothing pretentious, the simple, honest, beauty of hard work. 🙂

here are some wonderful images by photographer carlos villamayor of maria kochetkova, joaquin de luz and herman cornejo rehearsing for the gala de ballet de buenos aires. ( i believe the actual gala performance is going on as i type).

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and finally, steven mcrae’s and frederico bonelli’s  feet wrapped in plastic bags before performing in the rain.

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*****~~~~~*****

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some things i liked this week 8/15/14

 

for starters, i very much like these wonderful drawings by hogto louso. they showed up in my facebook feed recently and i think they are absolutely gorgeous! 

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here is more of louso’s fantastic work

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this intense, gritty sequence featuring thiago soares from the upcoming film (“all i am”) about thiago and his amazingly gorgeous ballerina wife, marianela nunez (both of the royal ballet). this clip features choreography by liam scarlett, who is all the rage these days. liam is presently choreographing on american ballet theatre and i am ever so curious to see his new piece during ABT’s fall season. 

follow “all i am” film on facebook 🙂

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alessandra ferri is back on pointe! and will be performing with the lar lubovitch dance company in october at the joyce theater in NYC. alessandra is still so incredibly beautiful….sigh. no fair. 😉

alessandra

(here with tobin del cuore – photo via lar lubovitch fb page )

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this video

Pirouettes in #Allegro rehearsal today. Thanks @toniaroselooker for the video clip 🙂

A post shared by Gillian Murphy (@gillianemurphy) on

and maria kochetkova’s response to it 🙂

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this sexy-cool photo of herman cornejo rehearsing “tango y yo”. (which might actually be from the previous week but who cares, i like him every week). still hoping some video of this performance at vail will surface, tho since there are already two videos of this fantastic piece on youtube i suppose i’ll live if it doesn’t. 

(photo by erin baiano)

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and of course robin williams being hysterical in “the birdcage”.     r.i.p ♥

~~~*****~~~

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our sneaky little dog :) r.i.p. chee ♥

our little dog, cheeto, died a couple of weeks ago. while she was a lot of work and a cranky old lady near the end (she was 15) she was a wonderful doggie with a great personality. here is my favorite story about her.

when chee was about 8 years old we got a new puppy, koda, from a pet rescue and i’m not sure if chee ever forgave me for bringing this giant, hungry oaf into her life. while the two of them got on alright, they were never the best of friends. if nothing else, koda brought out the evil genius in cheeto.

once we went camping and while we were there we let cheeto roam free because she was a good doggie who came when she was called and never ventured off of the campsite. koda, however, we put on a chain because she is a maniac. each dog had their own little food dish, the double bowl type where you put food on one side and water on the other. while we were enjoying our own little picnic we noticed chee was very busy pushing the food bowls around with her nose. it took her a while but she didn’t stop until she had managed to push both dishes just out of koda’s reach- koda could go to the length of her chain and allllmost reach the food but not quite! we were all dying laughing because we had no idea that cheeto was such a conniving little sneak! crazy dog 😀

 
so, here’s hoping chee is now at peace in a place where she gets all the food and koda doesn’t, because goodness knows koda eats everything in sight here on earth.

cheeto as a puppy

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sometimes chee would take the big bed

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rest in peace, chee. we love you and miss you.

~~~~~

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some things i liked this week 8/08/14

 

this charming clip of tiler peck’s photo shoot for the upcoming musical “little dancer”.  tiler will play marie von goethem – the young parisian ballerina who modeled for the famous degas sculpture “little dancer, aged fourteen”. quite some years ago i remember reading a lovely little book about her life (i believe it was written for teens or young adults) but i can’t remember the title. however, a friend just informed me that there has been another novel recently released about marie and her sister and i plan to read it very soon!

“little dancer” will play at the kennedy center in washington d.c. from october 25 – november 30. 🙂

and here’s the book….

painted girls

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these stunning giselle photos by nikolay krusser. i am a big fan of krussers ballet photography (and all of his work, really). i am a bit of a romantic mush at times and find the dreamy quality permeating his images to be very appealing. 

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this gorgeous photograph of  english national ballet’s tamara rojo and alina cojocaru. those dresses!! ♥ (alas, the daily mail article does not seem to credit the photographer)

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and this goofy pic of gillian murphy from her instagram 😀

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and (you knew it was coming….) about fifty bazillion things from the vail international dance festival. but hey, it’s just about over so i will have to find something new to like next week i guess. here are some highlights from the international evenings of dance 1. my absolute favorite bit from this reel is the “suite of chopin dances” with robert fairchild and herman cornejo. seriously i would about kill to see this in it’s entirety. okay, fine. i’m lying, i’m actually not a violent, murderous type at all. but i do really want to see it! i’m also loving the manon clip with lauren cuthbertson and cory stearns – cory looks so wonderfully love-struck that i’m getting all mushy from only 30 seconds of footage! and sorry to favorite all the ballet things (honest, i love the other styles too) but wow- carla korbes and robert fairchild in la sonnambula. breathtaking! however …. about the ever spinning liplock from le parc…. (with alessandra ferri & herman cornejo) i’m a bit on the fence about this one. it’s beautiful in a way, and yet i can’t help but think it’s not possible to kiss properly while spinning around like that. surely the pull of the centrifugal force is a bit disruptive to the sensuality of the whole thing. don’t get me wrong, i’m all for kissing in ballet, but i prefer when it’s more natural. (by the way, if you happen to live in the washington d.c. area & want to see alessandra and herman do some seriously proper kissing – tickets for martha clarke’s cheri have recently gone on sale 😉 )

at any rate, everything in this clip is well worth watching – enjoy!

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and just one more vail thing…. i absolutely, completely and totally adore this excerpt from “slump” – choreographed by joshua l. peugh & performed by ballet  X.  just watch it – it’s so much fun 🙂

***~~~~~***

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on the shore

yesterday i went to the beach. it was heaven.

“the cure for anything is salt water – tears, sweat, or the sea.” ~ isak dinesen

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some things i liked this week 8//01/14

~some things i liked this week~

from the roberto bolle and friends tour…

daniil simkin calling out cory stearns for being late, hahaha. (there are some other nice videos on this channel for you bolle fans out there)!

and sigh….. roberto and hee seo – the romeo and juliet kiss…. in the pouring rain! (side note- i am determined to catch hee’s juliet next ABT season no matter what. i adore her!)

http://i.instagram.com/p/rEQ9obNWxq/?modal=true << (video)

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this photo of diana vishneva in carmen by nikolay krusser. i think the set and lighting are so beautiful. only now i want a room with nothing but a guitar and some fans on the wall. i don’t actually play the guitar but that’s irrelevant. i just like how it looks. 😉

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the release of christopher hobson’s modern ballet studio melodies volume 6 on itunes ! (which actually came out last week but i didn’t get to it until this week). it is lots of fun, as are all of chris’ ballet class cd’s – aaaaand…. i suppose i could mention that i took the photograph on the cover. 🙂

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this gorgeous image from the joffrey ballet!

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and finally about fifty million things from the vail international dance festival. i will try to whittle it down to a few hundred.

robert fairchild rehearsing “ballin’ the jack” ♥ and how cute is his wife tiler peck, watching in the background?!

VIDF2014: Day 1 Rehearsals at Vail Mountain School (11 of 16)

and the video!! omg! ♥♥♥

and this great pic of robbie and leanne cope (not from vail actually, from the upcoming musical “an american in paris” ~ more info here).

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this moment from balanchine’s “rubies” with tiler peck and herman cornejo. 🙂 (times three)

VIDF2014: Day 1 Rehearsals at Vail Mountain School (15 of 16)

Rehearsals - 7.26.14

Opening Night - 7.27.14

here’s one of so many great videos from vail this week -all the dancers are so incredibly fantastic but i’ll give and extra shout out to gorgeous carla korbes in diamonds. and how wonderful are damian and heather?!

ok, one more video because honestly i couldn’t choose…..

this. chase finlay as an afterthought, haha 😦  oops.

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but here they are….

Farmers' Market Autograph Session

and lastly this insane photo of lil buck! people think dancing on pointe must be difficult?? how in the hell do you dance on the sides of your ankles?! ouch! he is amazing 🙂

Opening Night - 7.27.14

i am loving everything from the vail international dance festival this week – this barely scratches the surface. thank you, vail people! xxx

for more here’s their flickr page –  !!!!♥♥♥  and their youtube channel ! so much awesome! enjoy 🙂

vail photos by erin baiano and videos by nel shelby. many thanks to them both.

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some things i liked this week

7/25/14

i have decided to start a series to highlight some things i particularly enjoyed stumbling across thru the course of each week. they will be mostly ballet or dance related things i’ve seen via the internet, tho they may not be exclusively that. they are unlikely to be the biggest news items or the most important happenings, but rather little things that make me smile.  🙂  so here we go!

iana salenko and steven mcrae being stand out redheads in japan. so cute! i adore these two dancers and wish i could be in japan to see them (along with all the other amazing dancers involved) perform with alina cojocaru’s dream project.

reds

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daniil simkin’s airport dance. daniil often posts these and for whatever reason i totally get a kick out of them 🙂  (and omg how cute is cory stearns?)  daniil is presently touring with roberto bolle and friends and as you can see roberto has some pretty awesome friends. (skylar brandt, cory stearns, hee seo, julie kent with her son william and daniil).

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this picture of wendy whelan and edward watson. 

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ABT ballerina isabella boylston’s wedding dress! (by carly cushnie) stunning! what a beautiful bride. congrats to isabella and daniel shin.  🙂 

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this video and the fact that alessandra ferri and herman cornejo are dancing together again. (and can we just throw in all the vail dance rehearsal videos from the previous week)? i’m kind of abnormally obsessed with the VDF, partly due to it’s taking place in the mountains of my beloved home state (♥colorado♥) and partly due to the fact that artistic director damian woetzel seems to feature dancers that consistently rank very high on my favorites list. ( i mean, i don’t actually have a list but you get what i mean….)

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this wonderful jacob’s pillow post performance talk with the oh-so-lovable daniel ulbricht! the clip includes a very interesting Q&A as well as some fantastic dance footage!

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these breathtaking pictures of luciana paris and marcelo gomes dancing the romeo & juliet balcony pas de deux at the fire island dance festival! swoon ♥! so gorgeous dancing on the water and…. they brought a balcony! that’s so cool. and of course the fact that the event raised $533,860 for dancers responding to aids.

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and last but not least, this picture of herman 🙂

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*****~~~*****

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to heck with ballet, let’s go hiking! (pine swamp mine)

since seeing seeing the bolshoi ballet alongside the rest of new york balletomania is not exactly in my budget (never mind that it has been sold out for ages) i have once again immersed myself in the beauty of nature as a means to feed my soul. (also, i am somehow not as desperately drawn to the bolshoi as maybe i should be? obviously they must be fantastic and i would have certainly loved to see olga smirnova dance swan lake, but i’m not horribly torn to pieces over missing them. go figure. i mean, i would like to see them and all but i’m not devastated or anything like how i am over having to miss the vail dance festival, you know).

so anyway, the other day i woke up and it was a beautiful day, low on humidity and heavy on sunshine, so i headed up to harriman state park for a little hike to pine swamp mine. it was, for the most part, not a difficult hike but a beautiful one, with a variety of interesting features. there were dark woodsy stretches, a stunning overlook, the occasional stream or brook, a lovely swamp (i realize swamps do not generally sound like something lovely but just trust me here- it was quite pretty)! but the most intriguing feature was the mine itself. to get to the mine one has to leave the main trail and hike up something of a steep incline. my knees were not so happy about this and my knee with the torn meniscus complained quite a bit actually, but i chose to ignore it as there was no way i was not going up to the mine. (i regretted this a tiny bit the next morning in ballet class as my knee didn’t just whine, but bitched loudly and demanded i leave class before jumps 😦 ).  so once i managed the harrowing, life threatening ascent (totally kidding, it was just a steep hill) to the mine i found myself facing a rocky cliff with a small pond at it’s base and the cave-like entrance to the mine on my left. 

now, i am not usually one to freak out over being alone in the woods or anything but something about entering the mine had me just a bit on edge. chirping birds aside, it was eerily silent, save for the echo of my footsteps. as i ever so slowly approached the mouth of the cave i had to tiptoe through a swampy bit that lined the pond and in doing so startled a frog who plopped loudly into the water, scaring the bloody hell out of me! i nearly jumped out of my skin! dumb, stupid frog. once i settled down i continued into the mine and honestly – while it was indeed very cool it was not even scary or creepy at all. it was not very big, (i guess i was hoping to venture into some deep, dark cavernous tunnel or something) and there were no menacing bats or snakes or anything. well, i didn’t see any at least. i didn’t unearth any big lumps of previously overlooked silver either. damn it. but oh well, it was still awesome so i hung out for a bit and tried to take pictures and then i continued on my merry way- chasse’-ing over hill and dale, nimbly jete’-ing across brooks and streams. 😉

okay….well, maybe i wasn’t all that graceful hiking back to my car but whatever. here are a few photos i took, although i fear they don’t do justice to the breathtaking beauty of it all.

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(entrance to the mine)

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(the ceiling)

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🙂

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and so my ABT season ends with a dream :)

unfortunately, sometimes all your “crazy balletomane” funding ends up going to stupid unplanned (but necessary) home repairs or some nonsense, thus ending your american ballet theatre Met season somewhat abruptly. but happily there are people who are thoughtful and kind and generous so you get to see ABTs shakespeare celebration after all, and truly you are grateful beyond words.

and so it was that i found myself heading into manhattan yet again, but unfortunately running a little late due to morning errands that took longer than expected. traffic was moving a bit slow on the bridge but nothing to be concerned about until….. i took the exit ramp to the west side highway and ended up directly behind two work trucks who were using both exit lanes to pick up traffic cones. this was an excruciatingly slow process. they would drive a few feet, and pick up a cone. and drive a few more feet, and pick up another cone. there were a lot of cones. there were an appalling number of cones actually, and i was continuously looking at the clock and beginning to fear missing the 2:00 curtain. 

but the cone picker uppers obviously could care less if i made to the theater on time, or that i was to meet my friend who was probably wondering where the hell i was, and they just kept crawling along, blocking both lanes, picking up cone after cone after cone. after approximately forever, the final stupid orange cone was retrieved and i was set free to aggressively speed down the west side highway. (and by “aggressively” i mean aggressively by my standards- which is to say…. not very. i’m a notoriously cautious driver but felt i should throw that in for dramatic effect). i parked my car a few minutes before the show was supposed to start, ran several blocks in 80 something degree heat to the theatre (or some bastardization of running- more of a limpy jog) and picked up my ticket with just enough time to find my seat, give my friend a (slightly sweaty) hug (ugh, sorry!) and chat briefly before the performance began.

frederic ashton’s “the dream” (based on shakespeare’s “a midsummer nights dream”) is a ballet ABT is known for doing well and the performance i saw was no exception. there have already been quite a few rave reviews of the cast i saw ( gillian murphy as titania, cory stearns as oberon and omg herman cornejo as puck) so i’m just going to be lazy and agree with them. hey, it’s either that or end up sounding like a copycat.

not to be boring but i simply loved everyone and everything about this performance. gorgeous gillian and gorgeous cory, all of the lovers (adrienne schulte, grant delong, jared matthews and especially stella abrera – i adore her in this!), bottom (blaine hoven), the fairies… they were all great. and herman cornejo was pretty good as puck i guess. pshht. he was f***ing fantastic. the ultimate puck. brilliant beyond belief. although i’ve seen him dance it before, and watched the 2004 video at least 187 billion times, i still can’t get over how incredible he is in this. i love him. whatever. (ok, i admit i was tempted to say he was pucking fantastic- but i resisted the pun. you’re welcome).

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my only slight disappointment with this presentation is that i much prefer the costumes and sets used in ABTs former production of  “the dream”. previously the lovers wore beautiful red and blue outfits instead of yellow and…. i’ve already forgotten… biege? and bottom had a much more solid tree to scratch his…well… bottom upon. titania’s current dress is quite lovely at least, but poor cory got nearly strangled by oberon’s cape during his turns (cory is wonderful as oberon, btw) and i’m not sure why puck now has leopard spots. but this is a minor complaint and can be more or less overlooked when you consider the wonderful choreography, beautiful music and incredible dancing. 🙂 

the second half of the shakespeare celebration was alexei ratmansky’s “the tempest”. my previous opinion of the tempest still pretty much stands, although the choreography didn’t seem quite as busy as i remember. there are some truly beautiful moments – many of them involving marcelo gomes, who is so fluid and musical and….gorgeous. i saw the same principal cast as i had seen in the fall with the exception of james whiteside now danced the role of caliban. i loved james as caliban, actually – it’s a bit of a weird role and “weird” kind of works for james. sarah lane and joseph gorak were possibly even more devine than when i saw them in the fall and as much as i dislike both of his costumes, daniil simkin was wonderful as the nimble and sprightly ariel. in short, i loved the dancers and a good amount of the choreography, but not so much the production as a whole.

i can’t figure why ABT put “the dream” first and “the tempest” second, i would have preferred the opposite (saving the best for last) but i can hardly complain. all in all, it was a terrific end to a fun and beautiful ballet season and i am ever so thankful i was able to attend. 

~♥ 🙂 ♥~

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