Inspiring ballet

I saw some of the most amazing ballet in Seattle tonight at the PNB. It was Director’s Choice, final performances of the season … and I was blown away.

The first, Dances at a Gathering, by Jerome Robbins was stunning. The Chopin played throughout – piano-only – was spell-binding, while the dance throughout was whimsical, with lots of cool lifts and unexpected moves. The piece was one hour, and I could tell people were getting restless … incl. the kids sitting in front of me. But oh well – we all survived.

After the Rain pas de deux, by Christopher Wheeldon, brought me to tears. Seriously – and it felt a little wild that it moved me so. Louise Nadeau and Jeffrey Stanton were the principals in this – and they were phenomenal. Their costumes were simple – Stanton performed shirt-less and Nadeau had a simple leotard with bare legs. She is probably my age (mid-40s) and retiring this year, but that didn’t stop her from doing a backbend, and letting Stanton pick her up and move her around while she kept her form. I love Wheeldon, and love that Peter Boal brings works like this to Seattle. Who needs New York? 😉

The final piece, a Balanchine, Symphony in C, was much more classic; music by Bizet. The women wore Swan Lake-esque white stiff skirts and sparkly crowns (at least the leads). The men’s costumes were not so great – purple with sparkly shoulders. I enjoyed this work, but not as much as the others.

And at least the ballet tonight in general outweighed the crank in me that sometimes gets annoyed by people around me … chewing gum, making noise, kicking my seat. A woman a few seats away from me grumbled at someone at one point about rattling their car keys – so I guess I am not alone in the crank category at the ballet. Always nice to feel like that.

Sad music news today

I returned from a visit to San Diego yesterday, and was telling my friend, Sean, about the band Wilco and documentary “I am trying to break your heart.” So I was shocked and saddened today to learn that Jay Bennett died over the wknd. It’s a sad day for the indie music realm, and sadder even when you read his last blog post on his MySpace page … discussing his health issues, need for a hip replacement, lack of health insurances and concerns about all that. RIP, Jay.

The week in music

I’ve been to Anacortes and back, and slacking already on my blog. Oh well. Anacortes was great. I discovered a new artist – Maron Resur – and am buying two of his inexpensive paintings. He has spendy ones, too.

My interview w/ Ms. Taylor Swift went well, and I came away from the interview completely impressed with her business sense and how she applies it to her career. Of course she has “people” guiding her, but still. She’s impressive. Show is Friday, May 15 at Key Arena.

What else? I rode my new Kona Lisa and feel silly admitting this, but I’m afraid of my new road bike. I don’t think I’ve ridden a road bike since, umm, junior high or high school … and feel very exposed, all bent over and feeling like I’m going to tumble over the handlebars. I am sure I’ll get used to it soon enough, and I need to lower the seat a bit to increase the comfort factor.

Looking forward to Ben Folds Thursday, then Taylor on Friday … and Theresa Andersson at the Tractor next Monday, May 18. Theresa is fabulous, from what I’ve heard, and I may be more excited to see her than the others … though Taylor will put on an amazing show, I’m sure. I’ll enjoy singing along to the “boys are stupid” sort of songs. 🙂

And I need to check out the SIFF line-up. So much music, film and art … and not enough time.

Countdown to Anacortes

Tomorrow is a vacation day, sort of. But I am still excited. The work tomorrow morning should be minimal and/or fun. Fun means that I am doing something music-related. That doesn’t mean I don’t like the health writing stuff, but … well, the music writing stuff is a different kind of fun.

I get to interview Taylor Swift on some sort of press conference call. She’s moved up to the big time so I won’t have a direct question. And it will be somewhat like a presidential press conference where I’ll have the chance to ask a few questions. Hopefully mine will be more interesting than the other blokes on the line. Who am I kidding? I know mine will be more interesting. Just saying.

Philogynist – Anna Collins of Chicks Play Hard fame

I didn’t go to Harvard, but I placed an article in the alumni magazine. I volunteered with Chicks Play Hard in Seattle, and was really inspired by founder Anna Collins. She is amazing in every sense of the word. And once I penned this piece, I learned what a philogynist is.

(It wasn’t my title. That’s sort of a writer’s secret. We rejoice when the editor actually uses our title.)