Concerts

All Tharp, All The Time

NB: I totally blogged about all of this last night, from my iPhone, at like 11pm. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to post, and so I am re-blogging, in a much less recent/scintillating fashion. Sorry about that.

I didn’t have time to write, as originally planned, during the intermissions. For one, each intermission was 20 minutes and that’s barely enough time to get up and walk the four paces to the orchestra (like, the people actually playing the music) and take pictures of them while they hustle around, then talk to Nancy, then go to the ladies’, then tweet and retweet, and then talk to Nancy some more, and take a few more pictures. I mean, come on — where are YOUR priorities?

Who’s Nancy? Nancy was the seating-guide-and-programme-handing-lady, and she is a real hoot. Nancy’s got two daughters — one in Portland is a GM for a hotel (I didn’t tell her who I work for) and the other in NYC doing stand up. Nancy recognized all of the regulars — she was able to tell them things like “this is a lot like that one program you saw that you got up and left after the intermission”. She was also full of information: an hour before each performance there is a presentation on what the show is about (kinda necessary with ballet), and afterwards you can talk to some of the dancers (I didn’t because it was too late for this turnip by then).

Wait! I’m supposed to be talking about the ballet, though, aren’t I? Ok:

First Performance: Opus 111, music by Brahms, with 12 dancers. There were three groups of four dancers, each of the four dancers (2 ladies, 2 gents) had matching dress, with slightly different colors than the other three groups. So if dance group 1 had purple tights with a brown top and an orange sash, then dance group 3 had brown tights with an orange top and a purple sash, etc. This is clumsy to write about; so here is a picture:

Pictures are awesome. At any rate, this piece was extremely… athletic. You can see from the photo that there is a lot of arm movement — more than the standard arms-up ballet moves you see — and that was consistent through the entire evening. For this one, though, there were a lot of deep squats, lunges, lifting of whole bodies with one arm, etc. As I was front row I was able to see all of the muscles functioning, and the little rivulets of sweat, and honestly? It works. It’s one thing to see a graceful dance, it’s another thing to see the technical skill that must be employed to do it and not have that sight diminish the gracefulness.

Then there was the intermission where I decided I am going to make myself a chiffon hoodie.

Then the second piece was Afternoon Ball. It features a scant 5 dancers, 3 are ruffians/urchins/smack addicts; 2 are fancy-dress ball-dancing.  This was one of those performances where it would have been good to get the information on what I was supposed to see in it; I have no idea what the intent was, but here is my take: 3 rough-and-tumble people, living on the street, begging for money and having all of the dramas that that implies (drugs, odd allegiances, etc.). Dancing around them is this extremely well-to-do couple, always missing the urchins by just so much space, completely ignoring them (and ignored by the urchins). At the end, the lady and gent dance off, the girl urchin leaves with one guy, and we have one urchin left, in the cold, alone. And he freezes to death (the last dancer to come out is dressed all in resplendent, floor-length, twinkling white; an icy angel of death. As she puts her hand on his shoulder, the stage lights go completely out). It was BRUTAL. And amazing.

Here are the urchins:

With this done I went back to the ladies, chatted with Nancy, read some work email, and texted the male person to inform him that we would be possibly dragging him to a ballet next year.

Then I decided to actually read the programme, and the last piece “Waterbaby Bagatelles” included 7 music pieces. Number 5 of 7 was by Astor Piazzolla, who is probably the most famous tango musician in the world and certainly my father’s favorite.  The seven pieces were very different — dramatic, heavy music; light, fluffy bits; crazy bits. The costuming ranged from what looked like those 1950’s water-dancing movies to what had to be nearly sprayed-on velour bodysuits (tops optional for men). Again, the costumer allowed us to see the amazing musculature of these folks.

I read somewhere that the dancers have an hour-long class on technique each day, and then another 6 to 8 hours of practice, every day. It shows in that unless you’re absolutely looking for it, you don’t see it.

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Culture!

Greetings from the dining room at McCaw Hall, where I am without a doubt the youngest person here. I have all my own teeth.

Flying solo as I am this evening it affords me the ability to play with my phone at the dinner table without offending anyone. This in turn offers camouflage whereby I can pretend I am at a loss for what to phone-type next and let my eyes wander and review my dining “companions”:
1. I am not the only Dona sola here: there are two others, but they are infinitely more secure because the are not fiddling with their phones.
2. There are a good deal of elderly couples… One and all are dressed nicely and appear to be having those comfortable conversations that long term couples do. (“Well I’m not sure I should have a martini… There are *two* intermissions.” “Say what was that martini we had the other day… Yes you do know what I’m talking about it was at that place… Of course you were there…”)
3. There is too the very rare four top.

Pardon the pause… You may not have noticed it but I had to load the WordPress app for the iPhone. Much better.

At any rate I am halfway through dinner and the dining room is quite full now, lively and loud. I am fighting the urge to join a conversation to my right. The couple next to me is wonderful: not cloying, at ease, happy and laid back. They are now apparently celebrating being debt free and she knows the origins of pasta puttanesca.

I am also now, in this new crowd, much more cheerfully anonymous.

More at the first intermission.

Score One for the New Girl

OMG OMG OMG O YOU GUYS!

I was totally right.

The Group Power instructor (Group Power being the hold these large barbells and do things like lunges and squats and lifts and all that in time with the Bee Gees and Twisted Sister, I so kid you not) WAS A CHEERLEADER! I totally called it. No one can have that much fun with a large group of people doing something that most would find only circumstantially appropriate.

Oh, fine, thus endeth the cheerleader hate. (I wasn’t one in high school, could you tell?)

Also, this was my second Group Power class. And I doubled my weight (no, not what I weigh, but what I lifted and hoisted and “singled” and “doubled” and all that). I am feeling very very good. I know I will be feeling very very sore tomorrow, but we aren’t there yet.

In other news, my latest big unwieldy project at work hopes to deliver on Wednesday, the boy is wrapping up soccer this week, and I am going to the ballet (alone! and I’m glad!) on Thursday.

I think I’ll get strangers to take a picture of me there with my iPhone.

Squeak

Ah, Billy. We hardly knew ye’.

Last night I had the dubious pleasure of seeing Mr. Corrigan musically masturbate at the SODO Showbox. Before that, let’s talk food.

Il Terazzo Carmine in Pioneer Square is tucked away behind first (you won’t find it if you’re looking for it on first, okay?) and, walking in, you have the feeling of someone being admitted into a very rarified world. A world of old looking dishes, tucked-away tables, and hand-penciled reservations. The waitstaff is there in a very ubiquitous and yet unobtrusive manner, and the menu is full of “oh but I LOVE that” items. You will have finally (after agonizing minutes) decide on what you want… until the waiter/tress comes with the specials of the day. Que indecision.

Everything was wonderful. Everything. The wine, the food, the dessert! But the height of awesomeness was not only delivered by the food and ambience, but the people watching.

Watching people is a very very fun past time of mine. In this case, several people arrived at several tables with several potential backstories. There were the aged trophy wives (doing quite well, thank you), and the buzzing socialites. It should not surprise me in the least to learn that million dollar business deals, or marriages, were contrived there. I, in my simple Gap Jeans and shirt, did not feel out of place. Nor would I in say, a DKNY suit or a BCBG dress. Food and ambience — both five star.

Hooterville was the next destination: aside from a stellar vodka tonic (which you could have lit on fire) and the ability to use leftover glassware to build some engineering feats (which made some people around me nervous, but hey if you can’t stand it move on bub) no comment. Peoplewatching: yes. Good booze: yes.

We got to the Showbox perfectly in time to watch Billy (aka “the Smashing Pumpkins”, with him as the only Pumpkin) on the stage. I will give him this: he didn’t have a hissy fit (or not much) and did finish an entire set. His bassist is crazy cute and talented, the drummer wasn’t half bad either. But after a relatively strong start, and after some declarations that he was in fact my own personal Jesus Christ, I got a little tired. After he kept stressing which music was “new” vs “not new” (something most of us could figure out, thanks, Bill) I got a little more tired. Entertaining vignettes included a dig at Courtney Love (a small riff of a Hole song and a statement about “classics” — it was cold, yo!) , the Asian Snooki-wannabe who needed physical help standing, the two guidos outside the club who were hitting on my friend (appropriately, as Ms.Krieant is hot) and failing horribly (appropriately, because their combined IQ was less than a bag of Chee-tos), and the towncar ride home with a very understanding driver (as in, OMG thank you for rescuing us from said Guidos who all but wanted our social security numbers).

Note to Guidos: when you tell me not to “judge” and I ask why using “judgement” is a bad thing, be prepared for an anthropological discussion on “judgement” vs. “rationalization” vs. “instinct”. Or prepare to shut up. We just exited a Smashing Pumpkins show, don’t bait me intellectually unless you are armed.