When I disemboweled Knoxville Ballet School, liquidated it in the summer of 2012 just before my divorce was final, I was flush with pianos. Shortly before his death, my Uncle Stan had implored me to take the piano from my grandparents’ house in Chattanooga, the one he’d grown up playing before he launched himself into … Continue reading Piano Story: Taking Care of (Unfinished) Business
Sunday Photo Essay: Glass Pieces
Chef David came inside from an outside task yesterday and said, You should look at the ice formations where the river has grabbed the trees. It's photo-worthy. And so it is, as it was last year. But this time, I believe it's safe to say the river is roiling, and even so, yesterday when I … Continue reading Sunday Photo Essay: Glass Pieces
Swan Lake, You Rock My World.
Prologue I wish I could rewind a particular winter night about a dozen years ago at the Kennedy Center. I wish I could find all the people who were sitting in the right section of the orchestra at the opera house there, people who thought they were about to enjoy a memorable performance of Swan Lake, and tell … Continue reading Swan Lake, You Rock My World.
Traditions: Peering Through the Lens of Nostalgia
There are a couple of late November moments that fill me with so much nostalgia and sentimentality I get chills. One is hearing the strains of Tchaikovsky's Miniature Overture to The Nutcracker for the first time in the long Nut season. Don't get me wrong: I am not a fan of the ballet, nor the score, with the … Continue reading Traditions: Peering Through the Lens of Nostalgia
A Plié Is Not a Squat (and other truths of the universe)
See that up there? It's fifth position demi-plié in a class at the former Knoxville Ballet School, as executed by some of my Level 2-almost-Level 3 students. And that's my lovely friend Joan Kunsch of Nutmeg Conservatory teaching them; I had invited her for a springtime guest appearance. As you can see, the girls have (relatively) … Continue reading A Plié Is Not a Squat (and other truths of the universe)
The Nutcracker is here to stay.
I like to think Peter (Pyotr for purists) Ilyich Tchaikovsky was a rock star in his day, but I can’t say for sure. He certainly was an attractive man. One thing I can say is that his Nutcracker score (penned not long before his death) is tacky ballet music through and through. There, I’ve said … Continue reading The Nutcracker is here to stay.
And Away We Go!
Fall term began at ballet school yesterday; the school director caught me in a moment during my Level 4A barre with a very pointy index finger. I was urging the kids to "send the foot across the room," speaking metaphorically of course. And no, we are not in prison, but in a smaller interior classroom … Continue reading And Away We Go!
Once More, with Wiggly Animals
Between episodes of attempting to catch a cheeky groundhog and putting in my first-ever vegetable garden, spring arrived here in Vermont in earnest. The lawn needs mowing and the house needs dusting. My Subi needs its snow tires off and oil changed. I need to wash the windows to welcome in the warm sunshine at … Continue reading Once More, with Wiggly Animals
Greater Than The Sum Of Its Parts
Three composers, three teacher-choreographers, a single amazing piano instructor-performer, scores of students and their parents, enrichment from talented guest artists, and tireless volunteers. The culmination of an academic year that saw big transitions, much joy, a few tears, and amazing progress, played out on the stage yesterday. I am still overwhelmed and impressed by the … Continue reading Greater Than The Sum Of Its Parts
Today Clarence and I walked. Again. I have taken a break from running because the pain from a chronic Achilles injury has been too bad to push, and until today, the weather has not inspired me to run. But we reached a soaring 87 degrees in my part of Vermont today--lots of grumbling from locals … Continue reading Achilles Heel