Friday, May 12, 2006

Revisiting the Academy

Location: Interlochen
Date: May 10th

What a wonderful visit to IAA!

7:30 AM: Shower and breakfast at the Kamischkes'

9:00 AM: Drove to the Interlochen campus, by way of the gas station. That gas station is awesome. Not only do they serve amazing ice cream in the summer. Real ice cream. In bins that they scoop and mound on to waffle cones. They also have an unbelievable coffee bar. Flavor shots, creamers, cappuccinos, coffee, you name it. But I'm getting off topic. Clearly, I stopped on the way to campus for a hot cup of coffee.

9:15 AM: Stopped by human resources to fill out some housing forms for the summer that I have neglected. Catch up with the administrative staff. They're all so nice! I had a great conversation with Doug Long about how life is treating me, and James Perez wanted to know about how the SOM was doing since that terrible tragedy. It's amazing how quickly news travels in the arts world!

10:00 AM: Took barre with the general dance class. Rachel gave the class. She is two weeks until her due date. I asked her why she is still teaching. She said she felt obligated. It was a great warm-up.

10:30-11:30 AM: Worked on the Don Quixote and modern variations for NSAL. Mark, Wendy, and Rachel all watched the ballet and gave me some tips. Mark also had a recording at a better tempo. Yay! No more spastic hops en pointe! No more lumbering developpé écarté! At the end of the hour I was very sweaty and happy to have gotten so much done.

11:30AM-12:30 PM: Lunch in Stone Cafeteria. Interlochen may build new buildings and design new libraries. But some things never change. Stone Cafeteria is exactly the same as it has always been. I brought my own food (it's safer that way,) and sat with the dance faculty. Then I walked around to other faculty tables. I would sit down and smile at them until they figured out who I was. I startled quite a few. Very fun.

1:00PM-3:30PM: Modern and ballet classes with the dance majors. These kids can MOVE! They are so focused in class, and they work so hard! It was really fun dancing with them. The modern guest taught an awesome class. Unfortunately, everyone else already knew most of the combinations. Good practice for me, trying to pick up steps through osmosis and still maintain some quality of movement.

3:30-5:00 PM: Watched rehearsals for the students' spring show. They are doing Concerto Borocco. That is one difficult ballet. They are doing well with it, though. An understudy jumped in for an injured classmate. She did very well. The other pieces are great: Wendy's involves skateboards, Mark's is a modern pas de deux with dynamite focus and strength, and Diego's is just fun. During all of this, Wendy was recording a copy of Sleeping Beauty for the incoming ballet faculty. I watched myself dancing--it is so rewarding to feel and see the improvement that I have managed in the last 3 years!

5:00PM-11:00PM: Drove Mrs. K home, helped make quiche (with Muenster cheese. Delicious,) then packed up and showered. We worked on a tricky Sudoku for awhile before I headed to bed.

It was an amazing day. I feel refreshed and focused for the NSAL variations competition next week. Class by the lake will do that to you.


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