Modern Dance NOW!
Though I like to attend performances, I confess a reluctance to go on my own. Dance once ruled my life, and when I am by myself, I have a tendency to allow my thoughts to drift back to past decisions and increasingly melancholy remembrances. It’s much easier to avoid this trap when I am accompanied by others. The nicer half of my family came to visit this weekend, and so I was able to indulge in a show without kicking myself for quitting all those years ago.
This is Mr. Dance, as scanned from the program cover. Since joining the company, his talent and maturity as a performer have taken him to the top tier. Since he also photographs extremely well, he was almost the identifying image of this event, appearing on posters and signs across bus stops, bulletin boards and more. This company tends to prefer bitter works that smack of urban woe, and he is one of a handful of dancers I know who can take shit like that and make it less contrived.
The first two dances were by contemporary choreographers, and I found them weak in execution. I felt sorry for the dancers who had to perform in them (well, except for one, who is not comfortable in his own skin and who always strikes me as a little off)! “There’s a lot of angst in modern dance,” says my mother. “A lot like watching a one act play in high school.” As I was an overzealous Thespian, she would know! Perhaps the artists intended to communicate pure emotion, but it came off an awful lot like “I’m suffering, so I want you to suffer too.” I was scribbling notes during the performance, and wrote things like “seizure activity,” “bipolar,” and “sex and broken relationships.” There’s probably no point in me elaborating further.
The final piece, “The Moor’s Pavane,” was created by Jose Limon and first performed in 1949. It was worlds above in terms of quality (it didn’t try so hard to be honest), and it certainly didn’t hurt that Mr. Dance held the title role! The cast was four in all. I was very impressed by the amount of skill shown by the women, who maneuvered in giant dresses with trains that would cause mayhem in most situations.
Old women who can’t dance should stay off the stage and stop putting themselves in the limelight. This means you. Please stop speaking.
A New Walk
For one reason or another, my daily travels are usually confined to the eastern portions of New City. My UFO sneakers, gleaming like the mothership, recently took my feet in a southerly direction. That area reminded me a little bit of the area of Philly I saw when visiting whowantscookies and three_marlanas, except that in New City, there are no arches over the doorways. People here much prefer(red) rectangular doors with faux columns!
Finding a number of houses which seemed to be accessible only by stair was the first thing that really grabbed my attention, but what really baffled me was when I encountered a historic landmark ... being sold? Why, yes! Yes, it was! A German church, constructed from 1855 to 1860 and dedicated in 1861, is apparently being turned into condominiums with the support of the local landmark foundation. I generally support the reinvention of space, and though this is not the first time such a secular undertaking has been done (the brewworks in the Catholic church comes to mind), this effort seems somehow off to me (perhaps the predictable angel motif rubbed the wrong way). I checked out the prominently displayed website, and it appears that while they do leave notable architectural details intact in each condo (to give it character they would otherwise lack, no doubt), there is still significant restructuring going on. I am really tempted to pretend to be rich in order to obtain a tour, just to see first-hand what’s going on to this beautiful building. It seems likely that the church to condo conversion may be an area thing, as I think I spotted another former religious institution turned housing not too far away from the one of interest.
In an attempt to be cheerier in my photography (at parental behest and the fact that this is my last roll of film for a bit), I picked a bright happy color to focus upon! The only way yellow could get any peppier is if someone dunked a kitty in a bucket of paint. These weren’t taken on Wednesday at all (Sunday, actually), but I had a sudden flashback to a moment in ceramics where the professor mentioned an artist who devoted days to working on specific colors of glazes, and I think he somehow assigned yellow to Wednesday.
There are actually tags and dinosaurs at the very peaks of the bridges here in New City. I have vague memories of someone named Mook first achieving this feat sometime around 2003, but cannot be bothered to verify this at the moment. The actual date may well be several years earlier. I am puzzled by the fact that these still remain up there ... New City does attempt to clean up much less visible graffiti, so why leave marks that must doubtless taunt them? I took several shots of these, but alas, the weather had been growing increasingly overcast, and I am not very happy with how those shots came out. I will have to go back later!
MySpace and Graffiti Artists
On my walk, I noted that some dude had written his MySpace address on a steel crosswalk. I would like to tell you that you are not anonymous on the Internet anymore. Things on the Internet will get your ass kicked.
... having said that, I of course had to go look at his profile. I was hoping to have found someone really awesome, but alas, I think he’s practically half-emo. I suppose he thinks he’s cool, but I’m not particularly impressed.
"I wouldn’t like to meet people, I’d like people to meet me. Why should I have to do all the work?"
... uh, no. I have no words.
"The Endlessness of Youth, Earth, and Sky"
... if I write something like that, please tell me to stop. Have I written stuff like that? ... well, knowing me, probably. I have a talent for it. My first major role-playing character, Abiona Apara, could out-angst anyone within a ten mile radius. She won an award for sheer angsting capacity! Next time, though, don’t reward me for aggravating behavior!
My first Final Fantasy Tactics: Advance play-through as Clan Kawagumi was somehow chock-full of pretty hot badasses. I will never forget Janeth, the ultimate sniper, or Marche, who could make opponents fall down merely by looking at them. This power trip was too good to last, however, and my second run through of FFTA was completely forgettable (I think I might have had an okay assassin named Lutia ...?). I have somehow become convinced that my third attempt, Clan Aoi-ya, is full of dorks.
But why speak of the idiots? I shall mention only the good (few). They continue to bumble all over Ivalice, winning engagements mostly through sheer luck and the hard work of one dedicated healer, Dana. Having mastered all the techniques currently available to a white mage, she is a summoner in training. Dana has no patience for the Laws when they prevent her from saving her friends, and as a result, is the only one in the Clan with a criminal card record. She’s the one who looks the Judge in the eye as she casts Life on some poor corpse and says, "Your law prohibiting Holy magic can bite me."
The Viera sisters Katie (sniper) and Colleen (assassin) are the main damage dealers, mostly because they manage to kick enough ass to cover for the ineptitude of the rest of the party. Colleen suffers from severe mood swings. These often have disastrous results for her accuracy, but when she is in a fit of rage, woe be to anyone in the path of her katana! The group recently witnessed a scene where a foolish young Archer shot at a pissy Colleen. This was most unfortunate, for Colleen grabbed that arrow in midair and hurled it back at the offender with such force, she knocked the poor girl off the platform and to her death. Katie is, fortunately, a little more stable.