DAE News: April 12, 2004
This will be a quiet year for the company. Because of our accrued debt we're not doing a full production this year. I wish we could afford to, but the math's pretty simple: it costs about $10,000 more to do any performance than we're able to raise and earn at this point. A year without major expenses gives us a chance to work down the debt. I don't think I can go that long without choreographing, though and I will work to put together an informal studio performance later on in the year.
I apologize; it's been ready for months and I just haven't been able to put in an order for dubbing copies. If you're interested in one now is the time to order it; I'll only make as many dubs as are ordered now. (2002 cast and prior orders, you don't need to re-order) All the information you need is at www.danceasever.org/DAEreper.htm#video
I'm taking an enforced sabbatical, but it's been an interesting one: I'm doing a lot of writing. I've done several reviews. On the web, you can read my stuff at www.danceviewtimes.com; the most recent articles are on David Dorfman and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. A long article on Paris Opera Ballet just came out in Dance Now (you can get it in the UK, it may not be available here yet). There's also stuff in the last issue of Dance View and forthcoming issues of Ballet Review.
There's also a big ongoing project; I'm assisting in the writing of a book on ballet. That will take the better part of the next few months and I'll talk more about it when it's closer to completion. It certainly could not have come at a more opportune time.
Learn to knit for spring, or treat someone to a new skill. We've got a beginner knitting workshop on Mondays beginning May 10. We've also made one improvement to the beginner workshop; we've done all the shopping for you. All you need to bring is a pad and pen, and have a tape measure handy at home. All the information you need is at http://www.danceasever.org/DAEclasses.htm
I've been traveling a lot, most of it in order to write. I've been to San Diego, San Francisco and a briefer trip to Pennsylvania; I'll be heading to Europe again at the end of the month to write on performances in Paris, Rotterdam and The Hague. Nice work if you can get it. Both trips to California were marvelous and filled with unconventional activities for me. In San Diego, I went with my friend Grace to Borrego Springs and hiked in the desert. Yes, me. I had on lots and lots of sunblock and had a wonderful time. Heather took me to La Jolla to see the seals and pelicans (and to shop at knitting in La Jolla where I bought my souvenir skein of yarn -- hand dyed silk and wool from Twisted Sisters.) And Steve and I went to the del Coronado and had lunch among the pilfering birds on the terrace. I didn't know that they had filmed Some Like It Hot there!
San Francisco followed a similar theme; there's no better city to visit than one where your friends are eager to show you the city. I saw it from all angles: Mark took me to Twin Peaks on a clear, balmy night and showed me the crazy quilt butting grids of the city laid out below. Then a few days later we went north to Marin county and Point Reyes. Paul showed me the city from the East Bay and the Berkeley Hills and I saw Mount Tamalpais, the recumbent princess. Peter took me on cable cars and MUNI to the Mission District, the Coit Tower and finally the Castro, so those cute leather pants were not overpacked in vain. And I got to see the ballet three times.
My best advice for Easterners visiting California? Besides going to see San Francisco Ballet, eat Mexican food. It's a cuisine there, not an excuse for frozen margaritas. In San Diego, Rebecca introduced me to the joys of fish burritos and rolled tacos. Even the stuff in the takeout taqueria shops or stands is tons better than what I can get in NYC. Peter and I had massive amazing burritos (mine was "al pastor") in some nondescript storefront in the Mission District.
The upcoming trip to Europe will involve a lot of movement; I won't be anywhere more than two days. I'm reminding myself not to be a princess traveling with sixteen hatboxes and trying to be as Spartan as possible in packing. One wheeled garment bag, a duffle that slips over the handle (and don't cram it full!) and that's it. Since I won't be in any theater more than twice I can get away with two jackets. More sensible people would just bring one, but some of us can't deal with the crippling embarrassment of being seen in a theater in the same outfit twice. Some of us are not very practical at all.
As ever and all the best!
Leigh Witchel [firstname.lastname@example.org]
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