Ballet Met Columbus and Cincinnati Ballet inspire with “Inspired” 


Looking for something to do the rest of the weekend?  Do you want to get out of the rain, and unplug yourself from your electronic devices? Head over to the Ohio Theater and catch Ballet Met Columbus, and the Cincinnati Ballet perform three very different works. Each piece has five short movements.  If you’re antsy don’t worry, there is a short intermission after each work.

The first dance , “Age of Innocence” was choreographed by Ballet Met’s artistic director Edward Liang. According to the program notes, Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” inspired this work. The classic dancing, music, and costumes enchanted from start to finish.

My favorite piece was “Wild Sweet Love” choreographed by Time McIntyre.  Music from the last part of the 20th century is performed by these young 21st century dancers. You wouldn’t think music from “Queen, Lou Reed, Roberta Flack,  and ” The Zombies” would work with these two great dance companies, wrong, it does!  I think Freddy Mercury would approve.

The last piece was “Who Cares” featuring the music of George Gershwin.  It premiered in 1970. Caitlin Valentine-Ellis and Miguel Anaya ignited the stage dancing to “The Man I Love.”

By the time the last piece, “I Got Rhythm” got going, the end was in sight. I was sorry to see the whole thing end.

If you’re tired of rain, politics, and the blahs, head out to the Ohio Theater Saturday or Sunday. It is a breath of fresh air. You might even feel “Inspired.”

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A BalletMet Production of “The Nutcracker” Doesn’t Disappoint but today it makes me a little sad


Vzevolozhsky's costume sketch for The Nutcracker.

Vzevolozhsky’s costume sketch for The Nutcracker. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s the day after the shootings in Sandy Hook, Connecticut. Yesterday, I watched all the news shows. I can’t watch them today. It’s too disturbing.  These shootings are just beyond comprehension. What could drive a person to shoot 20 children? Who was he? Why did his mother keep guns in her home?

Why do we always end up focusing on the murderer? I’m guessing it’s because the thought of someone human doing these things is so incomprehensible.

Today, I dragged myself out of the house to watch Columbus BalletMet’s version of The Nutcracker. The last time I’d seen a production was twenty-six years ago.

I usher for the Ohio Theater in Columbus, Ohio. It’s one way to help the community and see different events for free. Columbus does have a lot to offer as far as culture goes: the symphony, Broadway on tour, guest artists, lectures  and my favorite, Columbus BalletMet. This dance company does a lot of contemporary dance as well as the classics. The dancers are young, energetic, beautiful, artistic and talented. i never walk away disappointed.

It took me by surprise
I had forgotten that little girls come with their mothers and fathers to these shows. The little girls were dressed up in frilly colorful holiday dresses.  I hardly saw anyone wearing jeans or T-shirts. It was sweet and so nostalgic.

I couldn’t help but think of the children who were murdered yesterday. They were about the ages of many of the little girls who were so thrilled to be seeing this famous ballet for the first time. I couldn’t stop thinking of the  grief -stricken parents who lost their precious children.

BalletMet didn’t disappoint

I  was enchanted with the production. It was beautifully staged, the music charmed me and the costumes were extraordinary. It was a memorable production and cheered me up a little.

But, in the back of my mind, I couldn’t stop remembering all those little girls who will never get to get dressed up and see
The Nutcracker with their parents.

It’s  really time to do something to stop the violence. Don’t you agree?

Dancing With The Stars Final offers Inspirational Story: Richard “Steelo” Vasquez


DS boxshot

DS boxshot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I waited to watch the DWTS final a day. I didn’t know the results, so it was a surprise. I expected Melissa Gilbert to go, but it was one of my favorites, Jaleel White.

Not only do I like Jaleel’s dancing, but I like his persona. First of all, he doesn’t take himself too seriously. He seems like a really good guy. And his dancing is pretty terrific. How else could he have played Urkel?

But, what really touched me was this week’s “AT & T’s Spotlight Performance” featuring Richard “Steelo” Vazques. He was a top B-boy dancers before he suffered a brain aneurysm in 2011. He lost the ability to walk and speak.

After spending six months in the hospital, he now spends his days going to physical rehabilitation. They showed him recovering, and it was almost too pathetic to watch. He was in a wheelchair, wearing a helmet and  learning to function again.  It took him a year, but he was debuting on “Dancing With The Stars”.

Somehow, he managed to get himself together to make a debut dancing with his group the Groovaloos. He came out 2/3 of the way through the performance. He was on a lit box. He looked terrific, no helmet.  He did some difficult steps. How inspirational. His wife was in the audience crying with joy.

Why is it some people have that inner strength to overcome all odds? Someone who is willing to work so hard is truly inspirational!

Do you have anyone who inspires you? If you have a story to share,  please do.

Jack Wagner Exits and dancing questions for you?


Standard dancing (prechampionship final) at th...

Standard dancing (prechampionship final) at the 2006 MIT Ballroom Dance Competition (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just as I predicted, Jack Wagner is going!

During the show, Anna and her dance partner husband did a gorgeous dance together. They were honoring their friend, a dancer, who is fighting stage 4 cancer.  Their emotions really came out in the dance. It is really a beautiful art form! It was touching to see her friend’s grateful reaction.

I wish that people would start ballroom dancing, and we would all start doing it on the dance floor.

The way baby boomers  dance is so basic. Getting up and shaking is kind of silly. We wanted to give up structure, but maybe we got carried away. It’s all a hangover from the casting away of tradition of the 60’s  and 70’s.

I remember taking dance lessons, and it had something to it, and a place to go. Remember the jitterbug, Cha Cha, and slow dancing. (That hasn’t changed that much)

I didn’t get into the disco movement? Did you? .

Have I lost touch? What are the latest dances? Where do you go to learn them? What’s your dance experience?

Do you wish dancing had more structure?