CDT Dancer’s Blog

11/15/2012

CDT Questions of the week:

1.  What is your favorite ballet?

Chloe:  Romeo and Juliet

Gavin:  My favorite ballet is the Firebird.  I remember seeing that as a young student and watching my first ballet teachers dance the pas de deux and wanted nothing more than to be a dancer.  The score by Stravinsky is captivating and the story is totally down my ally, sci-fi/fantasy geek over here!

Cheston:   I would have to say that “Another Story,” by Kelsey Bartman is my favorite Ballet at this moment in time.

TJ:  I love Etudes Choreographed by Harald Lander Its like a Ballet explosion where technique has to be perfect!

Elena: I would have to say Swan Lake followed very closely by La Bayadere.

Mae:  There are so many beautiful ballets but I have to say Swan Lake especially act II and act IV.

Alex:  Swan Lake

Crea:  My favorite ballet is Giselle.  The Mad Scene in this ballet is so devastating to watch and so beautifully tragic.  It’s such a great ballet moment to witness.

Seth:  Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven, by Ulysses Dove.

Jaime: Four Temperaments or Who Cares?, George Balanchine.

Amelia:  That’s tough.  I love Balanchine’s ballets because of the amazing musicality and the feats of technique.  I love Petipa ballets for the nostalgia and romance.  Favorites: Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux and (predictably) Swan Lake.

2.  What is your favorite animated movie?

Chloe:  Beauty and the Beast or The Little Mermaid

Gavin:  My favorite animated movie is The Land Before Time.  Dinosaurs with cute voices and a compelling story.  Also it taught me that my favorite dino is a Parasaurolophus, do you know which character that is?  hint* “yep yep yep!”

Cheston:  “Rio” is my favorite! Lots of good memories go along with that one.

TJ:  Land Before Time I owned the entire series and still watch when i have nothing else todo :)

Elena:   Beauty and the Beast hands down. I can recite most scenes from memory.

Mae:  My favorite animated movie is Triplets of Belleville oooooh or Fantastic Mr. Fox!!

Alex:  The Little Mermaid

Crea:   My favorite animated movie is Tarzan.  The way he glides and swings through the jungle is crazy awesome.  I want to do that!

Seth: Its between Finding Nemo and Toy Story. The Lion King was pretty ill and Monsters Inc. Matter of fact, Monsters  Inc.

Jaime:  How to Train Your Dragon 

Amelia:  The Incredibles, and anything that comes out of the strange brain of Tim Burton.

11/9/2012

CDT Questions of the week:

1.  What is your favorite style of dance to watch and to do?  Why?

TJ: My favorite style of dance has to be Hip-Hop. I like to just let loose and dance freely from time to time.

Alex:  My favorite style of dance to watch is ballet because of the way it makes me feel when I see it, pure happiness and joy.  My favorite style to dance is also ballet because it is a continuous journey of learning and expressing myself.  Yay for ballet!

Elena:  I’m going to take the easy way out and say that I like classical ballet and contemporary equally, to watch and dance.  I have a more emotional attachment/reaction to classical ballet but I love being able to really push the limits with the freedom you get from contemporary ballet.

Gavin:  My favorite style of dance to watch is breakdancing because its so unexpected and seeing the dancers personal style is like getting to know them.  Favorite to do is, “Just Dance”, because its so fun to dance with my Xbox.

Chloe:  My favorite style of dance to watch is Classical Ballet.  Just because of the poise and strength of it.  My favorite to do is Contemporary Ballet because its still ballet but there is a feeling of freedom.

Cheston:  My favorite style of dance to watch and do, would have to be classical ballet.  The reason for this is classical ballet is what captured my imagination the first time I ever watched dance.  And, the next day I enrolled in as many dance classes as I could.

Crea:  I love to watch contemporary ballet.  It really pushes the classical ballet technique to a whole new level of athleticism and finesse.  Contemporary ballet goes outside of the box and I find myself saying things like, “woah!” and “that’s so cool!”, whenever I’m watching an exciting piece.

Amelia:  Nothing give me quite the same feeling as watching virtuosic classical ballet.  It’s magical.  Humans aren’t supposed to be able to do that…But I truly enjoy any form of dance expression when it’s sincere.

Mae:  Contemporary ballet to watch and to do because once you have a strong ballet base, your body can create incredible things and in some ways transcend reality!  But as long as people are finding joy in the movement of their bodies, there is beauty!

Jaime:  I love all dance, but I would have to say classical and neo-classical ballet.  I love clean line and symmetry, precise corps work; ie. Swan Lake and La Bayadere, and watching dancers find character and/or emotion within their technique.  My favorite to do, would be the above but also modern, it feels so good to feel gravity.

Seth:  Bollywood. To do and watch, depending on what I am wearing.

2.  What is your favorite book?

TJ:  Is there an app for that?…

Alex:  I don’t really have a favorite book.

Elena:  A heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers.  Or The World According to Garp by John Irving.

Gavin:  This is a hard one because there are so many amazing books that I’ve read.  My favorite novel would have to be Crime and Punishment.  It changed the way I thought about serious books.  But lets be honest, my favorite book will always be the Harry Potter series.

Chloe:  My favorite book is, The Giver by Lois Lowry.

Cheston:  My favorite book/books would have to be the Hunger Games series.  I was not planning on reading them, and they just sucked me in.

Crea:  My favorite book is The Catcher In the Rye by J.D. Salinger.  I have read it quite a few times already.  It’s one of those books that will probably never get old to me.

Amelia:  Hmmmmm….I have many, but I love the trilogy starting with The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman…now that I think about it, I love a lot of trilogies…

Mae:  I can’t think of a favorite book but I just read Blood, Bones and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton about her life as a chef is NYC and I loved it!

Jaime:  My favorite book from childhood is A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle.  My adult favorite is A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. (I love sci fi…)

 Seth:  Angels and Demons by Dan Brown.
Enjoy our video of some work in Towson, Maryland.

11/1/2012

Hi everyone! It has been a great season so far.  We kicked of 2012/13 with a trip to Towson, Maryland to get started on our new work, Cleopatra.  We had a great time learning new choreography, working with the students of Towson University and had a great dinner with Mae Chesney’s parents!  When we got back, we quickly started working on Dancers Making Dancers and were so happy we had the chance to work with each other in a whole new way.  It was a really great experience.  After a week lay off, we are back in the studio, working on beloved Matchgirl and staging more of Cleopatra.  Being in the studio with Christina Kirk, as the acting Cleopatra, has been incredibly inspiring and we are so excited to see the story unfold!

We also want to welcome Cheston Repola and Elena Keeny, and Terrence Meadows as new members of CDT! To give you a chance to get to know them, their Dancer Spotlight will be soon to come!

5/15/12-  Dancer Spotlight: Stefani Crea, Seth Wilson and Jaime Kotrba

Crea

What is your greatest fear?

The dark and graveyards.  They tend to put me on edge.

What is your favorite pastime?
My favorite pastimes are spinning class and yoga.

Which living person do you most admire?
My Grandma Crea because she is the most caring and thoughtful person I know, and she always gives me the best advice.

Who is your favorite fictional hero and who are your real-life heroes?
My favorite fictional hero is Captain America.  My real life heroes are my parents.  I really admire their endless amounts of patience.

What is your most treasured possession?
My ukulele 

When and where were you happiest?
When I was doing a zipline canopy tour in Hocking Hills with my best friend Jimmy

What is the trait you admire most in others?
I really admire honesty.  Having a sense of your true identity comes from being honest with yourself and others.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
I do not care for a manipulative personality.  I find it unattractive and extremely selfish.

On what occasion do you lie?
I don’t like to lie, but I know I’ve lied to others so they don’t get their feelings hurt.

Which words or phrases do you most over-use?
“Oh my goodness,” “I don’t care,” and “I’m done with this!”

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Getting the chance to dance in a piece choreographed by Maureen Fleming when I was in college.  That experience was so inspirational to me.

Where would you like to live?

I would like to live in either Iceland or Australia.

What is your favorite quote or motto to live by?

One of my favorite quotes comes from my favorite book Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 24, Page 189.  “Among other things, you’ll find that you’re not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You’re by no means alone on that score, you’ll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You’ll learn from them — if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It’s a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn’t education. It’s history. It’s poetry.”

Who has been the greatest influence on you?

All the people that I have worked and danced with have been the greatest influence on me.  I have been so fortunate to share this art form with so many amazing people.

Seth-

What is your greatest fear?

My greatest fear is the day I will not be able to dance anymore.

What is your favorite pastime?

I love killing zombies!

Which living person do you most admire?

I would have to say my Grandmother.  She is a strong black woman, who grew up in the south, in a time when blacks weren’t treated equally.  She moved to New York at a young age and raised six successful children.

Who is your favorite fictional hero and who are your real-life heroes?

Batman.  He had no super powers.  He just had a traumatic childhood and was scared of bats.  My mom is my real life hero.  She is a strong woman who has never stopped reaching her goals.  Plus, I don’t know anyone else strong enough to raise me.

What is your most treasured possession?

My dance belt.  Without it I can’t dance.

When and where were you happiest?

My 30th birthday!!

What is the trait you admire most in others?

I admire honesty.  I like when people are honest with themselves and others.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

I don’t like when people are deceitful.  I like to trust people.

On what occasion do you lie?

When I am joking.

Which words or phrases do you most over-use?

“Yo” and “you mad bro?” (when playing Xbox)

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Not giving up on dance.  Sometimes dance can be really hard physically and emotionally.

Where would you like to live?

Central Park West or somewhere on Riverside Drive, N.Y.,N.Y.

What is your favorite quote or motto to live by?

Live by the dance belt, die by the dance belt.

Who has been the greatest influence on you?

My greatest influences have been my family and my friends.  They have all been apart of who I am today.


Jaime-

What is your greatest fear?

Losing the people that I love.

What is your favorite pastime?

In general, I love having creative hobbies.  I might not be that great at them, but its a fun process.  I like gardening and realizing one plant survived.  I like making clothing and realizing that somehow I managed to make a ruffle shirt for Gavin.  I like making jewelry, knitting and working on CDT’s blog.  Oh, and yoga.

Which living person do you most admire?

My cat Storm. Ok, she’s not a person, but I admire her because she is really smart, doesn’t put up with any crap, gets to know someone before she trusts them, I am pretty sure she is secretly a ninja, and is completely content in her life or at least she never says differently.

Who is your favorite fictional hero and who are your real-life heroes?

Storm from X-men and in real life, everyone who has chosen to pursue their art.  Surviving in the arts is hard and I admire all who give it a go!

What is your most treasured possession?

Old photos.

When and where were you happiest?

I am pretty happy right now.  I live across the street from my bestie and I work with some really great people.

What is the trait you admire most in others? 

Strength and humility.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Narrow-mindedness.

On what occasion do you lie?

I really try not to lie because I feel really transparent and my face will often betray me. So maybe over the phone…

Which words or phrases do you most over-use?

“I don’t know where your wallet is Seth”, “That’s crazy”, and when teaching, “yeah?”.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Getting into fifth position everyday, or giving the illusion of fifth position.

Where would you like to live?

Anywhere… Although, I do like water…So near water.

What is your favorite quote or motto to live by?

Simply, “Life is short”.  It reminds me to do what I need to do to be happy.

Who has been the greatest influence on you?

My parents, in the ways they have intentionally influenced me and in ways they may not realize.

5/7/12-   Dancer Spotlight:  Gavin McNally and Mae Chesney

This week, because we only have a couple weeks left of this year’s season, we are doing two dancer spotlights.  Mae Chesney and Gavin McNally.  Enjoy!

Gavin McNally-

What is your greatest fear?

Drowning, and girl scouts

What is your favorite pastime?

Video games

Which living person do you most admire?

My neice Delaney, she just started ballet class this year and knows all the words to almost every Dave Matthews song…shes 6!

Who is your favorite fictional hero and who are your real-life heroes?

Fictitional: Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Real-life: Hillary Duff, David Boreanaz, Michelle Obama, and of course my parents

What is your most treasured possession?

There are 2, my grandfather’s bird-watching book and my grandmother’s binoculars.

When and where were you happiest?

Upside down on the Raptor at Cedar Point… So fun!!

What is the trait you admire most in others?

Empathy.  It is a quality that takes honesty, understanding, and kindness to possess.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Manipulative people, it has such a complete lack of respect for others.

On what occasion do you lie?

When i am saving the truth for a more appropriate time.

Which words or phrases do you most over-use?

“I hate this game” , “Why am I lagging?” , “Work”, “calm down Wize calm down…waa waa calm down”. :). I say that way too much!

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Still waiting for that one, but my best to date is not taking back my Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

Where would you like to live?

Across the street from my closest friends…which I do!

What is your favorite quote or motto to live by?

Go Go Power Rangers

Who has been the greatest influence on you?

My mother, i become more like her everyday… It is kind of frightening.

Mae Chesney-

What is your greatest fear?

Zombie apocalypse or robots taking over the world
What is your favorite pastime?
Yoga
Which living person do you most admire?

Sharon Chesney, my beautiful mother.  

Who is your favorite fictional hero and who are your real-life heroes?

Omar from the Wire!  Alonzo King and my parents are pretty awesome!

What is your most treasured possession?

I’m pretty happy to have my feet.

When and where were you happiest?

Right here, right now :)

What is the trait you admire most in others?

Spreading positive energy

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Apathy
On what occasion do you lie?

Probably to avoid hurting somebody but unfortunately I’m sure I’ve lied for worse reasons.

Which words or phrases do you most over-use?

Forreal though. (Dan says that it’s “Dan” :)haha)

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

I get paid to make art with my body, it doesn’t get much better than that!

Where would you like to live?

San Francisco is my dream but i’m happy anywhere near an ocean!

What is your favorite quote or motto to live by?
Be here now
Who has been the greatest influence on you?

My older brother has always been a huge influence on me.

5/3/12-  Questions for this week:

What do you do to remember choreography?  What helps you?

Crea-  What helps me the most is listening to the music as much as possible.  Once I familiarize myself with the music, the movement becomes natural to me.

Alex-  To remember choreography I do it over and over in my head and talk it through to myself when I first learn it.

Amelia-  When I was younger I had to count religiously, and repeat everything a thousand times.  Now I try to find ways to attach new choreography to musical landmarks, because my biggest problem, most of the time, is remembering sequencing within a piece.

Seth-  I like to get to know the music.  The different accents or counts in the music help me remember choreography.
Chloe-  For remembering choreography I go over it before I go to sleep. Then it feels like it really stays with me.
Malik-   For me to remember choreography I have to continuously go over it. I’m always nervous learning new choreography, especially pieces that are choreographed to instrumental music. So in order for me to get the dance down packed I just go over it multiple times.
Jaime-  I like to create a rhythm  or certain sounds to go with steps.
Gavin-  I make the steps into a song in my head, and use word association, like bouncey time into Hadouken!
What is your favorite movie?  Why?
Seth-  The Usual Suspects.  Because it’s genius!
Chloe-  West Side Story is my favorite movie I think. Its always been my favorite musical:) I also really like, Center Stage. 
Malik-  My favorite movie hmmm I don’t know because new movies are constantly coming out and I love all genres of films. But to answer the question I would have to say; Think Like A Man, right now.
Alex-  My favorite movie is, Dirty Dancing, because of the music, dance routines, and famous line, “no one puts Baby in the corner”. :-)
Amelia-  No way could I pick one favorite overall.  Since it’s the CDT blog, I’d say my favorite ballet movie is a tie between The Turning Pointe and The Company.
Crea-  My favorite movie is Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain.  I love french films, and it’s one of those films that mixes both humor and drama quite well.  I absolutely love the music too!  I’ll never get tired of it.
Jaime-  My favorite, more recent movie is How to Train Your Dragon, because I really wish I had my own pet dragon.
Gavin-  Jurassic Park!  I watch it at bedtime to help me fall asleep.
4/29/12- Dancer Spotlight Chloe Mellblom

What is your greatest fear?

Drowning

What is your favorite pastime?

I love movies. I’ll watch almost any kind. i really like how in most of them everyone ends up happy:)

Which living person do you most admire?

My mom. she’s just such an amazing person.

Who is your favorite fictional hero and who are your real-life heroes?

Batman! he has no super powers but he’s still super:) and real life heroes.. my parents for sure and also Marina Nunez from the Royal Ballet. I just think she’s a beautiful dancer:)

What is your most treasured possesion?

Either my Blackberry or my GPS! I’d be lost without it.

When and where were you happiest?

I think here and now. I’m really happy with what I’m doing and where i am:)

What is the trait you admire most in others? 

honesty and forthrightness

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

dishonesty and failure to read social cues

On what occasion do you lie?

I try not to lie but I will if I don’t want to really hurt someones feelings.

Which words or phrases do you most over-use?

“right?!” and I probably say “like” way to much.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Its important to me to be a good friend and I feel like I’ve achieved that but I hope my Greatest achievement is yet to come:)

Where would you like to live?

Greece! or anywhere warm:)

What is your favorite quote or motto to live by?

Believe in yourself!

Who has been the greatest influence on you?

My parents and the dance teachers I’ve had:)

4/26/12-  New Dance Project Preparations

The season is coming to a close! We can’t believe we have a little over two weeks left of this year’s season! Making the most of it, we have been working on our last show, New Dance Project. Stella Kane set a piece last week and this week we are working with Susan Mann.  Its amazing to get to work with such wonderful women!

Questions for the week:

As the season is coming to a close, what was your favorite show of the season?

Gavin-  My favorite show was A-Z.  It was a unique and exciting experience to share the making of a dance with the audience.  And we had the chance to be ourselves on stage and share the CDT process with audience participation to boot!

Mae-  Tim Veach dance because while it was almost an overwhelming amount of rep, it was great to experience such a variety of dancing in one show! And the live music was awesome!

Amelia-  Fav show of the year was probably 10 Cents a Dance.  I loved performing in the beautiful Lincoln Theater.

Chloe-  Ten Cents a Dance :).  I love Kathryn Payne’s music!

Malik-  I really like Matchgirl’s 2nd act.

Alex-  Tim Veach Dance.  It was interesting to do so many different dances in one show.

Seth-  Tim Veach dance was my favorite show this year.  There was a wide range of choreography and beautiful music by the string quartet.

Jaime-  Tim Veach Dance was exciting.  I don’t think I have ever experienced that amount of adrenaline in a weekend before.

Crea-  My favorite performance of the season was Matchgirl.  This part of the season always makes me feel fortunate to be surrounded by so many great dancers and people.  It’s extremely uplifting to be a part of a production with vast amounts of positive energy.

What is your favorite fruit and why?

Mae-  Grapefruits because they’re sweet and tangy and beautiful :) but I also like eating what’s fresh, juicy and in season.

Gavin-  My favorite fruit Kiwano, the horned melon.  Its like kiwi flavored jello and sunflower seeds combined inside a super cool orange spiky bowl…Google it!!

Amelia-  Fav fruit is the banana at the moment.  They are cheap, filling and pack a potassium punch!  Good for all my sore muscles.   :-)

Alex-  Asian pears, it’s the perfect crisp and sweet combo of a pear and apple :-).

Chloe-  I love peaches!  They make me think of summer :).

Jaime- Pink lady apples, or any kind of apple!

Malik-  I love bananas because they’re healthy and they help relieve a lot of things.

Seth-  My favorite fruit is an orange.  They are so sweet and juicy.

Crea- My favorite fruit is bananas.  I have one everyday, and they never fail to get me through those long rehearsal days.

4/14/12-  Dancer Spotlight:  Malik Berry

This week we are featuring Malik Berry in our dancer spotlight.  One of the youngest members in the company, this is his first year as a company member.

What is your greatest fear?

 My greatest fear is to fail at what I love and dying younger than 200…lol.

What is your favorite pastime?

    My favorite pastime is, when I was younger I would act out all the action cartoon shows that I watched: Thunder Cats, Pokemon, Dragon Ball Z, He-Man and the list goes on.

Which living person do you most admire?

    I don’t have one person in particular that I admire.  I see things in a lot of people that I love and take to.  I try to stay humble and adapt the traits that will make me a better person overall.

Who is your favorite fictional hero and who are your real-life heroes?

    My favorite fictional hero…hmmm…I love cartoons, my gosh.  Ummm…I don’t know.  I love DC comic heroes, Marvel and the old Cartoonnetwork ^____^.

What is your most treasured possesion?

    My most treasured possession are my memories.  I know it shounds cliche, but I remember good times I’ve had with people.  Even when things have changed.

When and where were you happiest?

    I am most happiest when I am doing what I love.  I love dancing, which I do everywhere:).  Uuummm…I love music, Japanese and cartoons.  So you give me those things, plus food and I’m good.

What is the trait you admire most in others? 

    I love when people are great at what they do and are humble. I also love to see people who’s lives aren’t the easiest but still can maintain a smile and humility.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

    I don’t like greed.  I also don’t like people who can’t or aren’t comfortable being themselves.  You have to give someone the chance to fall in love with who you truly are.

On what occasion do you lie?

    I try not to lie even if the truth hurts.  Uuummm…but if someone’s life is in danger or something drastic like that I just hope my nose doesn’t start to grow, haha, or we’re both done for. :P

Which words or phrases do you most over-use?

    I over-use, “Ugh”, “I don’t even care”, “I don’t even like you”, “Boom”, and “Mmmm…”

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

    My greatest achievement is sticking with what my heart wants.  There are many influences that I’ve had that could have led to me quitting dance, ect.  So, I’m very thankful to have whatever it was that made dance stick with me.

Where would you like to live?

    I would really like to live in Japan, New York and Europe.

What is your favorite quote or motto to live by?

    My favorite quote is, “Life is tough that’s a given.  When you stand up you’re going to be shoved back down.  When you’re down, you’re gonna be stepped on.  Life is hard, real hard, incredibly hard.  It’s up to you to puff up your chest, stretch your neck and overcome all the difficult, the nasty, the mean, the unfair.  You want more that you have now, prove it.  You want to be the very best there is, get out there and earn it.  Run faster, dream bigger.  Prove it to yourself.  Do it for yourself.”

Who has been the greatest influence on you?

    I learn from everyone that I am surrounded by.  I see traits in others that I like and try to apply them to myself.  Example being someone’s great work ethic and/or positive attitude towards something.  The biggest influence that people have had on me is developing patience.  I’m very hot-headed and irritated easily, so being surrounded by a lot of different personalities all the time helps.

4/11/12- Tim Veach Dance

We are getting ready for a big weekend, this week.  Tim Veach Dance happens this Friday at 8:00, and Saturday at 3:00 and 8:00.  Thirteen pieces are currently being rehearsed with the amazing Carpe Diem String Quartet.  Today was our first rehearsal with them and we all were instantly inspired by their music.

Also, despite the amount of stuff to be done this week, Tim got a chance to answer some questions for our blog.

What has this experience been like for you, seeing a huge amount of your work being reset that seems to span  through your choreographic career?

I feel profoundly blessed to have this opportunity to see such a broad range of my work danced by such incredible artists.  It has taken so much to bring this all together.  But, every now and then I am suddenly struck by the amazing opportunity.

Do you have a favorite?
Whatever one I am watching at the time.
What influences your work? 
In truth, my dancers and the music are a deep influence in my work.  I really choreograph for the people in front of me and the sounds I am hearing.  I want my work to be immediate to the given situation.  I will say that I am most interested in how we live together as people.  I would say that I am a “humanist” choreographer.
Who is your favorite choreographer and how has he/she influenced your work? 
That is pretty impossible to answer.  I love so many things about the work of so many people.  I love Tudor, Forsyth, Tharp, Balanchine, but really, I am just interested in movement and how movements on stage drive us toward personal revelations.
The video this week is just a tiny preview of a few of the pieces on this weekend’s program.

Questions this week:

Do you have any pre-show rituals?

Chloe-  Okay pre-show rituals…  I try to wear either my red or pink leotard in class for luck.  I also try to do a couple piourettes on stage and then go over anything I feel shaky about.

Amelia-  Favorite pre show ritual:  Right after warm up, the hour of make up, hair and costume is always the sme process for me.

Elena-  For my pre-show ritual, I have to do Willie Burman’s pre plie warm up.

Crea-  I like to jog in place really fast before I go onstage.  It helps to release all the nervous energy.

Jaime-  If I am wearing pointe shoes, I tie and retie the ribbons at least three times.  I also shake my legs out and do some serious deep breathing, because I always get a nervous stomach.

Gavin-  Before a show I like to do handstands, spin on my head, and/or climb on my aerial equipment.

Malik-  I listen to music to get in the zone.

Seth-  I like to make sure i am warm and get rid of any nervous energy.

Alex-  I like to walk through all the choreography in my head before a show.

Mae-  While I’m getting ready for a show I like to shadow in my abs with makeup even if they’re not visible on stage because I’m crazy :) and it makes me feel stronger!  I also work on freeing my neck and chilling out!

What is your favorite color?

Elena-  My favorite color is gray.  Honestly with all the shades it includes black and white and it matches everything.

Amelia-  Purple.  I think it’s the richest and most artistic color.  Plus it includes blue which is a second fav color of mine.

Chloe-  My favorite color has always been pink, mostly hot pink.  Its just such a happy color.

Crea-  My favorite color is orange because it reminds me of both warmth and calmness.  It’s a very balanced color.

Jaime- I love blue and purple.  Blue, because it reminds me of water and I like water.  Purple, because I just realized that I wear and use a lot of things that are purple.

Seth- My favorite color is red.  Why do i like red?  Because it’s bright and full of energy.

Malik-  I love red because it reminds me of my zodiac sign: fire. :)

Alex-  My favorite color is green because it is the color of turtles, reminds me of spring and summer, and means GO at a stoplight! :)

Mae-  My favorite color is probably green because there is so much of it in nature but I like rainbows too!

Gavin-  My favorite color is fuchsia, because it is hideously gorgeous.

4/8/12- Dancer Spotlight:  Alex Napoli

This week we are featuring Alex Napoli in our Dancer Spotlight post.  This is Alex’s second year with CDT.  Below are her answers to the Dancer Spotlight questionnaire.

What is your greatest fear?

My greatest fear is the unknown.

What is your favorite pastime?

My favorite pastime is making jewelry!

Which living person do you most admire?

I most admire my mom, she is the kindest, bravest, strongest, most selfless person I know.

Who is your favorite fictional hero and who are your real-life heroes?

My favorite fictional hero is superman, he flies and sports a red cape!  My real life heroes are my parents, I hope to be like them someday.

What is your most treasured possesion?

My most treasured possession is my iPhone.

When and where were you happiest?

I am the happiest in my life right now. :-)

What is the trait you admire most in others? 

I admire confidence, kindness and positivity in others.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

I deplore disrespect, and negativity.

On what occasion do you lie?

I lie when I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings.

Which words or phrases do you most over-use?

“that’s crazy.”  “I know, right.”

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

I don’t think I have had my greatest achievement yet, I hope to think it is still to come!

Where would you like to live?

I would like to live anywhere the weather is always sunny and warm!

What is your favorite quote or motto to live by?

Everything happens for a reason.

Who has been the greatest influence on you?

I can’t pick one person because I believe it is important to take the good and bad from people in your life that care about you and learn from them, so I guess I’d have to say all the awesome peeps I know whether it be family or friends are my greatest influence. :-)

4/4/12- This Week At CDT

    Whew! Today, we just finished, “Remembering”,  a forty minute Tim Veach ballet that premiered in 2009.   The ballet features CDT’s, Amelia Larkin and can be seen on the Saturday night program on April 14th.  It has been a very rewarding week so far and between rehearsal the dancers all had time to answer a couple of questions for you!

What is your favorite restaurant in the world?

Crea-  My favorite restaurant is The Giant Eagle Marketplace.  I love their grilled cheese breakfast sandwiches.  Their just so creative and tasty at the same time!

Alex-  Panera.

Mae-  I could not possibly pick one favorite restaurant because I love so many types of food!  Right now in Columbus my favorite restaurant is probably Basil!  But I love finding new places!!!

Seth-  I know its predictable but I would have to say Thurman’s.

Chloe- My favorite restaurant is Olive Garden.  I have gone there for every birthday for the past 12 years!

Malik-  My favorite restaurant is anywhere there is breakfast 24/7.

Jaime- My favorite restaurant is anything with asian food.  I love the restaurant around the corner from my house, Hunan Garden.

Amelia- The restaurant at the end of the universe.

Gavin-  My favorite restaurant in the world is a tie between Dinosaur BBQ on 130th and Riverside dr.  Most amazing flavors and they have fried green tomatoes, yummy.  Also the Casa restaurants in Fort Wayne, IN, the best italian and the salad is to die for!

Barre VS Center…Which one do you like better?

Mae-  Center, because i feel freer and more able to work on moving but I love and need barre to get me grounded for the day. :)

Alex-  Center- Yay for Ballet!!!!

Seth-  I feel like you need a strong and solid barre, but I love moving across the floor.  So, I would have to go with center!

Jaime-  I love barre.  Its like moving meditation.  Whenever my body or mind feels kinda icky, the structure of plies, into tendus, into degagees, and so on, gets me together. Class is usually in the morning so, to me, its like, “hello ballet, yay!, hello body, wake up toes, wake up triceps, lets get to work!! Amen.”

Crea-  My favorite part of class is the center work.  I especially like allegro.  When we get to this point in class, I really feel like I’m dancing with the most ease and expression.

Malik-  Barre I feel is for technically working and center is where you put that to use. :)

Chloe-  I like center, cause I love to turn. :)

Amelia-  Emotionally, barre is my favorite.  The process is like a mantra some days.  Realistically, center is more important to me because I haven’t figured out yet how to always have a barre propping me up while I perform….;)

Gavin-   I love me some barre.  Centre is nice because I get to turn and move.  But, barre is like church to me.  I get to go through all of the structure that makes ballet what it is before I venture into my long day of being a dancer and teacher.  Barre is where I can reconnect myself with my calling in life. Barre is my zen.  Barre is my home.

4/1/12- Amelia Larkin

Each week we are featuring a dancer of Columbus Dance Theatre to give you a chance to get to know us a little better.  To kick off our Dancer Spotlight, we are featuring Amelia Larkin.  This is Amelia’s sixth season with CDT.

Amelia Larkin…

What is your greatest fear?

Cancer affecting me or my family, or a career-ending injury. (knock on wood)

What is your favorite pastime?

In the winter, I watch a lot of TV.  In the summer, anything that keeps me outside in the sun is a favorite; hiking, camping, cookouts, kayaking, swimming, ect.

Which living person do you most admire?

My mother is a pretty amazing lady.  She will go out of her way to help a person, even if they are only a distant acquaintance.

Who is your favorite fictional hero and who are your real-life heroes?

My favorite fictional hero has always been Superman.  He’s just got it all.  Real life heroes include both my parents for raising me to maintain a healthy perspective and be respectful to everyone, even mean people.

When and where were you happiest?

On my wedding day to Jordan and on Coco Plum Island in Belize during our honeymoon.

What is the trait you admire most in others?

Selflessness

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Willful ignorance

On what occasion do you lie?

When telling the truth could put someone’s life in danger (luckily, I have never been in that scenario) or if telling the truth would needlessly hurt someone’s feelings.

Which words or phrases do you most over-use?

“I know, right?!”

Where would you like to live?

If money was not a factor, because I’ll have that money tree from my wishes, I would either live in a log cabin in the mountains somewhere, or on a tropical island in a house on stilts that sits on the beach and has a trap door in the floor so that when the tide is in you can take a dip!

What is your favorite quote or motto to live by?

At work: “Everyone relax, it’s only ballet.”  -John Clifford, speaking to a room of stressed out ballet Majors at Indiana University.

In general:  “Life is for living.” -from the bonus track on Coldplay’s album, Parachutes.

Who has been the greatest influence on you?

I have to cite my mom and dad again, as I get older I realize I have become a hybrid of their personalities.  As a dancer, my first teacher, Mona Williams had the greatest influence on me deciding to pursue a career in ballet.

3/28/12- Back from Spring Break

…And just like that we are back!

After our week off for spring break, we are back in the studio doing some serious preparation for the Tim Veach Dance performance.  We have a little over two weeks to get 13 different ballets ready for the show on April 13th and 14th.  Although we all enjoyed our week of rest, relaxation and fun, we are definitely glad to be back working with each other and doing what we all love most!

Questions for this week…

What did you do on your spring break?

Alex:  On my spring break I taught some dancing, got my cashiering on at the fresh market, enjoyed some much needed hot yoga, and spent a few days in Pittsburgh visiting my family, yay!

Gavin:  Saw my hostas pop out of the ground, played with my dog Porkchop and ranked up on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 double xp weekend son!!

Crea:  Over spring break, I had the chance to go to a Claude Monet Waterlilies exhibit.  Monet spent the remainder of his life in Giverny, France and studied this small pond next to his property.  Seeing these paintings reminded me to continue to appreciate the simplicity and tranquility of nature.

Amelia:   I spent as much time in the sun as possible!  Weeded my flower beds, pruned a wall of rose bushes on my neighbor’s side of the house, planted pink dianthus around the rose bushes, dumped a lot of mulch and mowed the lawn.  The highlight was a weekend backpacking in Red River Gorge with Jordan, his brother Darren and wife Katie, and our friend Geoff.

Chloe:  I did a lot of babysitting, saw the Hunger Games (twice)… I mostly just relaxed.

Jaime:  The highlight of my week was watching my Peony tree, the only plant I own that I haven’t killed, go from budding to blooming!

Malik:  For my spring break I worked more at my other job to try to earn more money towards me going to NYC and slept in a lot.

Mae:  Over the break I spent a lot of time working at the Brown Bag Deli, doing yoga, drinking juice and spending time with my family in Mansfield!

Seth:  I listened to music, played Call of Duty, bar-b-q’ed and did a lot of random research.

If a magical genie granted you three wishes what would they be?

Gavin:  I would only want to wish for world peace and everyone to be healthy.  I don’t need anything, I am already living the dream…but a new Xbox with Kinect wouldn’t hurt!

Crea:  Well for starters I would ask the genie if I could meet Albert Einstein.  I would be thrilled to meet one of the greatest problem solvers of all time.  My second wish would be to dance on the moon because I think it could be cool to create movement based on a much lower acceleration of gravity.  Lastly, I would wish to be a character in an X-Men comic.  I just wonder what it’s like to be a mutant superhero.

Chloe:  My 3 wishes… 1. Better turnout, 2. My room to be clean and 3. Lower gas prices.

Amelia:  If I had three wishes (assuming i couldn’t ask for infinite wishes…) I’d wish to be able to fly, to be impervious to extreme heat or cold, and to have an actual money tree.

Alex:  If I had three wishes they would be to bring happiness, health, and good fortune to all my friends and family:-)

Jaime:  Hmmm…My three wishes would be 1. For the “trina” in me, new hips with 180 degree turn-out.  2.  Be able to fly.  3.  To have a life time supply of kid robot toys.

Mae:  If I had three wishes I would wish for world peace :), more time to do yoga in my life and sunny, beautiful 60-80 degree weather for everyone to enjoy often.

Malik:  If i had three wishes I’d wish to go live in Japan, I’d end world poverty and my last wish, I would be able to fly! :)

Seth:  I would wish for a spaceship, a Lamborghini and world peace.

 3/19/12-Welcome to Columbus Dance Theatre’s Dancer’s Blog!

This is a new feature added to our website, that we are really excited about. We will be posting different videos and giving you a little insight into what goes on during our work weeks!

    We have had a really busy, but fun couple of weeks.  Last week Taryn Kaschock Russel, director of Hubbard Street II, came and set a work on us for our New Dance Project performance in May.  It was an amazing experience for us all!  Along with setting a beautiful piece on us for our show, she led us through different improv work, which really inspired us.

    This past weekend, Columbus Dance Theatre hosted the Columbus Dance Fellowship performance and we got a chance to see different members of the dance community and their amazing work.

    We also have been getting ready for our show in April, celebrating our director Tim Veach and his choreography through the years.  There are three shows, April 13th and 14th, all with different works shown on each program.  It has definitely been a busy, busy time here at CDT!

To let you get a chance to know some of our dancers a little more personally, we will feature a few questions every week.  If you have anything you would like to ask us, just shoot us an email!

Question 1:  Influenced by the Tim Veach Dance program in April, what is your favorite Tim Veach dance and why? (Note: Everyone had to pick just one!)

Mae:  “Courage, because I felt like we were making a strong statement through dance to beautiful music, which is what I want to be doing with my art!  And it was the first time i experienced Tim choreographing something fresh, so the process leading to the show was also gratifying.”

Gavin:  “My favorite piece is Entangled Banks.  The music is beautiful and almost bizarre, which I love.  Dancing with Crea is wonderful.  I feel that we continually explore the movement and where it can or cannot go.  I feel internally grounded and externally aware, as if my skin were my eyes.”

Seth:  “My favorite Tim Veach dance is “…and the rest is silence.”  I think its a strong piece and has many underlying metaphors.  I like the choreography and it goes well with the beautiful music of Philip Glass.”

Jaime:  “I think… Trois Muses.  Its really beautiful and dancing on the board presents a whole new challenge.”

Malik:  “My favorite dance in Heartbeat section of courage, because it shows how powerful connections between two people can be.  And the movement is nice.  And the dancers.”

Chloe:  “I think “…and the rest is silence” is my favorite piece we’re doing in Tim Veach Dance because its meaningful.  There’s so much emotion involved in it.  Its just such a strong piece.”

Alex:  “My favorite Tim Veach dance is a tie between Courage, because it was fun to dance and it involved the whole company, and Entangled Banks, because of the movement and beauty of it.

Question 2:  If you were an animal, what would it be?

Chloe:  “I would want to be a Dinosaur!”

Mae:  “Tiger!!”

Malik:  “My favorite animal is a Miger.  A Miger is a mix between a monkey and tiger.  It has the monkey’s body but tiger striped fur.”

Alex:  “If I was an animal it would be a bird.”

Jaime:  “Hands down…Dragon…That flies…RARRR!”

Gavin:  “Komodo Dragon!”

Seth:  “If I was an animal I would want to be a Lion.  I am king, hear me roar baby!”

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