Dance diary: Papa got a new pair of shoes

Shoe business

If I’m going to dance again, I need new shoes, right? A few weeks ago I bought a couple of pairs of ballet shoes: black Capezio split soles, one pair in leather and another in canvas. I love how Capezio’s main men’s ballet shoe is called Romeo. It’s all very “I’ll be doing pas de deux in no time!”

My previous shoes, which are several years old from a ballet class I took in college, have full soles and are kind of beginner-y. So with my new split-sole shoes, I feel like I’ve “graduated.” In any case, they conform to your arches and show off your feet better. Here you can see the difference between my old shoes (leather full sole) and new shoes (canvas split sole):

Ballet shoes

Side note while we’re talking about shoe photos: For my Stanford application (lo, those many years ago), the main essay prompt was to take a picture of something important to you and write about it. The subject I chose was my jazz shoes. I guess quirky does indeed help.

OK, curious Tiki kind of photobombed this one:

Ballet cat

I sewed the elastics on the canvas pair–not rocket science, but I was proud, since I sew so infrequently–and wore them for class the next day. I definitely like the look and feel. Pretty feet! I mean, strong, manly feet!

Another wardrobe change: I haven’t quite made the leap to tights, though I did buy a suitable pair of thin Adidas pants apparently meant for soccer, but they work well for class.

Class notes

This was the second meeting of my beginner ballet workshop, and most of it went over the previous class’s steps, plus a few additional things:

  • toe and pointing exercises
  • rond de jambe à terre
  • more work from 3rd position
  • across the floor: turning waltz steps, basically like ballroom turns
  • more step combinations, like one that starts with plié, tendu side (still in plié), straighten/close, then repeats with the final step changing to relevé, then again changing to jump/changement

Stuff I need to work on:

  • arms: rounding arms more in 1st and 2nd position, hands closer to chest in 1st
  • turnout: though like flexibility, this is more of a long-term goal of course

And with that, the four-week workshop is already half over! I definitely want to sign up for the next phase, which is thankfully more substantial at eight weeks long.

Dance around town

Last week I went to see Smuin Ballet‘s spring program, a mixed bill of three pieces: Momentum by Choo San Goh, set to Prokofiev; Mozart Requiem, a world premiere by Amy Seiwert; and To The Beatles by Michael Smuin. I think my favorite piece has to be the Requiem. It was totally mesmerizing. (Though I have to admit a kind of soft spot for Mozart’s Requiem; Thom and I once sang it at a choral society sing-along at National Cathedral, and it kind of kicked my ass so I give it respect.) I especially liked how the choral movements with the four vocal soloists corresponded to four dancers in the choreography. Here’s a Facebook album I found with some great shots of the piece by photographer Keith Sutter.

The next performance to see on my calendar is the Royal Danish Ballet, which is going on a four-city U.S. tour and will perform in a couple of weeks at Cal Performances in Berkeley.