Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Spring Performance

Yes, it's that time again.  The trees are budding, the birds are returning from their winter homes and Georgia, Josie and the rest of their ballet studio are ready to perform once again.

This time the ballet director chose "Variations from Paquita."

Josie was a member of the "Little Serenade."

It's all a bunch of nonsense, though.  We love our ballet studio, don't get me wrong, but the Spring Performance is not the director's crowning moment.  The older girls have fabulously choreographed numbers, but the elementary school-aged set basically does the same dance over and over again - albeit it to different music.  Our family has lived through many spring performances over the years and I can tell you, with complete honesty, that any one of us could get up and do any one of the various "dances" without any rehearsals.  And that includes Henry, who usually falls into a boredom coma after the first ten minutes of the recital.

What makes the Spring Performance so different from the Nutcracker is an utter lack of energy or rehearsals.  In fact, the only extra practicing the girls are required to do at all is a fast dress rehearsal the night before the show.  This year, we did not luck out with the timing of the dress rehearsal.  Josie's group was scheduled for one time and Georgia's group was scheduled for a time just far enough after that we had a lot of time to kill in between dances and not ENOUGH time to get home or do anything else. 

I brought along our trusted DVD player and the girls watched a little Pollyanna:

And what about Henry, do you ask?  He was there, too.  But only very briefly as he had lacrosse practice.

I should take a moment to explain why my photos are so very, very terrible.  I am taking a photography class and although I've only gone to two sessions, the one thing I have learned is that when I start fiddling with the camera settings and try to adjust light settings and things like aperture and fstops and shutter speeds, I get horrendous photos.  Literally.

I was pleased with the amount of light I was able to bring in with the above photo as compared with the photo below:

But I'd be more impressed if the first photo was actually in focus and if I had any idea exactly what it was that I did to get all that light in the first place.  I'm starting to think that I should just stick to complete auto mode on my camera. 

Josie's group was very cute, although all they really did was a series of arm-openings and skipping.

Georgia's dance was a little more complex.  She was in a number entitled "A Knight and the Duchesses." 

Georgia is at an interesting age where she is eager to disassociate herself with the little girls and is more interested in what the teenagers are doing.  This process is helped greatly by the fact that Georgia has a little sister with friends who will ooh and aah over her as she stretches, ever-so-teenage-ballerina-y before her dress rehearsal begins.  I also noticed that she chose to do this stretching next to two teenagers who were stretching themselves. 

The Knight and Duchesses had a slightly more complicated version of Josie's dance.  There were still the arm moving and the skipping but their dance included a few additional jumps and a great deal of what I will call "artistic walking."

They walked.

They walked.

And they walked some more.

The next day was the actual performance.  It was a typical Saturday with plenty of lacrosse and soccer and a friend's birthday party thrown into the mix.  The dance recital added a little additional color:

I decided not to volunteer backstage this year.  My girls are finally old enough that with a few books and some art supplies, they can be counted on to behave themselves and keep relatively entertained. 

Josie's dance was over in the first act, so I went and got her during intermission and she got to enjoy watching the other groups do their dances.

We sat next to the mother of one of the middle school-aged girls who took one look at Josie and said that it felt like just yesterday that her daughter was sitting with her, watching the older girls perform.  She said that it all goes by so quickly.

This thought pleased Henry, who finds these concerts excruciating.

After the entire thing was over, we took a few pictures of the girls in the rain:

But I did think a little bit about what our seat neighbor had said.  Once I got home, I looked up some of the other past spring performance photos.  Most were taken before I got my digital camera and we don't have a scanner, but here are the past two. 

Spring Performance 2010

Spring Performance 2009

Cute, huh?

I'm sure the time will go quickly but I'll be happy if the girls continue dancing.  They love it and therefore, so do I.


Elizabeth said...

In that first picture of Henry, he looks like a Fisher Price kid.

And ha to the stretching and to the artistic walking. I must admit it all sounds rather dreadful!

Martha said...

A fisher price kid! ha! that is hilarious. It's too bad that the director doesn't put a lot of energy into the performance because it does get really dull. The older girls are always amazing and interesting to watch.

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