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A week of overdrive. - Elf M. Sternberg
A week of overdrive.
This has been the busiest week yet here at the Villa Sternberg. We started, Monday, with dress rehearsals for Storm at the local Performing Arts Center. She was in two pieces for her hip-hop class, one where she was dressed as a monkey for a choreographed piece called "Worlds Collide" (the other half of the class wore blue jumpsuits and blond wigs, a kind of Morlock/Eloi vibe). The other was a blacklight piece involving stiff robotic movements in which white-gloved hands and glowing green balls became part of a musical score depicted onstage.

We went to the performance on Tuesday with limited expectations. The teacher of the hip-hop class has been a constant source of chaos and confusion, sending out schedule and costume changes at the last minute, and never really being clear on where she's going with our kid. Despite all that continually coming out of her classroom, both pieces were actually amazing, and the kids pulled off wild and vibrant dance pieces onstage with professionalism and verve. I was gratified to see that for all the trouble we went to, getting kids to classes and guaranteeing costumes, that in the end our time and effort was not wasted.

Wednesday and Thursday, it was Kouryou-chan's time for ballet dress rehearsal. These were even more brutal-- although scheduled for 3 to 8pm, five hours, the actual rehearsals ran as late as 10:30, with the various different ballet classes and two performances scheduled, there were many classes that needed to be led through their routines. Omaha and I struggled to keep Kouryou-chan fed; she was unreliable in getting her own snack packs together, and at one point we defaulted to some fast-food chicken nuggets and a soda pop.

Every night ended with Kouryou-chan coming home and soaking unbelievably, muderously smelly feet in a vibrating water bath, followed by footrubs. I have been the most dutiful father in that regard.

Friday was her first actual performance. She was as good as always. Her timing is perfect, and her self-discpline on stage much improved. She has competition from two girls, one of whom has a private tutor and still struggles to keep up with my daughter. Because of her height-- she's the second-tallest girl in the class-- she's still being put in the back. She worries that this downplays her abilities, but I have to point out to her that the advanced students, the fours through sixes as well as senior and solo students, all know her and love her, and don't dwell so much on her aloof rival.

The ballet was three hours long, quite a bit of which was watching the toddler classes go through their motions so proud parents could have their moment of satisfaction onstage. It's a community children's ballet, and if the high-schoolers have to carry the narrative and show off their skills, they do so with pride and patience. The young lady I praised for her physical comedy last year played Alice this year, and she's definitely got a long career ahead of her. Other standouts include the woman who played the red queen, as she looked severe and strong, and the Mad Hatter, who managed to mix ballet and a jig on a tiny table.

When we got home, Kouryou-chan immediately changed her clothes and washed her feet, and then we went out to the Cheesecake Factory, one of those great American vomitoriums, where we had a quick dinner.

Saturday, Kouryou-chan did her performance without parental support. According to all reports, things went well, and thank the Gods that dance class is over for the summer.

Sunday was so much quieter. I let my brain take a vacation from all the stuff I've been throwing at it recently, trying to breathe deeply and enjoy myself. We did some grocery shopping and the like, but other than that I just read.

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Current Mood: satisfied satisfied

2 comments or Leave a comment
blaisepascal From: blaisepascal Date: July 2nd, 2012 07:15 pm (UTC) (Link)


I'm been to Cheesecake Factory restaurants, and I've been to vomitoriums. I wouldn't compare the two. For one thing, I wasn't allowed food at the vomitorium, although it did allow quick access to the snack bar.
orcaarrow From: orcaarrow Date: July 3rd, 2012 02:40 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad you are such great parents. I know you are raising your kids very well.
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