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Day 32 of 84 Days of 84 Ribbons: Ballet in the 1800s 0

Day 32 of 84 Days of 84 Ribbons: Ballet in the 1800s

Ballet began to flourish in the 1800s as dancers became trained individuals. They improved their skills, females began dancing on pointe and dancers used their entire bodies to share  their character’s emotions. Full length ballets were created giving ensembles performance pieces as well as giving dance leads specific solos. This was the era of story ballets: Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake and the Nutcracker, all ballets still performed around the world. This is also the period when costumes were designed to show off the dancer’s foot and leg work. Tutus became popular for females. The fabrics selected often helped/help an audience...

Day 31 of 84 Days of 84 Ribbons: Trivia Answers 0

Day 31 of 84 Days of 84 Ribbons: Trivia Answers

Wearing pointe shoes are most young female dancer’s goal in ballet class: to be old enough to wear pointe shoes and “stand on tippy-toe’ and whirl and twirl around. Then they learn about the pain and extra effort it takes to perform in pointe shoes. Let’s see if you experienced any pain in answering the trivia questions. 1. Pointe shoes are often made to a dancers specifications. TRUE Professional dancers often send in their footprints to have specific shoe makers in a specific company they request make their shoes. 2. Pointe shoes are made with (b) canvas, satin and glue....

Day 30 of 84 Days of 84 Ribbons: Pointe Shoes 2

Day 30 of 84 Days of 84 Ribbons: Pointe Shoes

Try your skill with these trivia questions about pointe shoes. Some questions have more than one answer that is correct. (Answers will appear tomorrow.) 1. Pointe shoes are often made to a dancers specifications.  True or False   2. Pointe shoes are made with: a. plaster, cardboard and glue b. canvas, satin and glue c. all of the above   3. How long does a pair of pointe shoes last a professional dancer? a. three weeks b.  three days c.  one performance   4. The manufacture of pointe shoes includes several machines designed especially for sewing vast numbers of shoes...

Day 29 of 84 Days of 84 Ribbons: Upcoming Events 0

Day 29 of 84 Days of 84 Ribbons: Upcoming Events

My next three book events take me to Montana, the location of Marta’s story in 84 Ribbons. If you are nearby on these dates, please stop in! A Book signing on Friday, May 16th at 2:00 – 3:30 PM Missoula, MT at the Fact or Fiction store (inside the University of Montana bookstore) A Book Talk on Sunday, May 18th at 2:00PM Bozeman, MT in the downtown Country Bookshelf book store A Book Talk and Activity with Teens on Thursday, May 22 at 4:00 PM Parmly Library in downtown Billings, MT   Then I’m back home for a book event...

Day 28 of 84 Days of 84 Ribbons: Dancers as Writers 0

Day 28 of 84 Days of 84 Ribbons: Dancers as Writers

Like many professions, those who participate in said profession also write about it, sharing their insider views. Here are a few titles to consider. The ratings listed come from Goodreads. The following ballet novel titles are about dancers who rise up through dance academies to join ballet companies. 1.  Girl in Motion by Miriam Wenger-Landis     (3.78) 2.  Breaking Pointe by Miriam Wenger-Landis  (3.40) 3.  Bunheads by Sophie Flack  (3.72) 4.  Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe  (no rating) Another set of dancer-writer books are autobiographical or life stories told to writers. A. Dancing on my Grave by Gelsey Kirkland (3.72) B. ...

Day 27 of 84 Days of 84 Ribbons: Event 0

Day 27 of 84 Days of 84 Ribbons: Event

World Book Night Wednesday, April 23rd is World Book Night, a celebration of books. It’s an evening to give away new or gently read books to strangers (in a setting of your choice: school, bus station, hospital, etc) reaching out to those least able to purchase books. Part of the goal is to express the value and wonder found in books. There is an organization (www.worldbooknight.org) with specific book giveaways but I think each of us can participate on our own if there is no organized event planned where we live. If you feel the value, perhaps you’ll become the...

Day 26 of 84 Days of 84 Ribbons: Story Secret 0

Day 26 of 84 Days of 84 Ribbons: Story Secret

Authors begin their storytelling with some familiar point of reference. In 84 Ribbons I started with a young dancer (me), in my hometown (Bremerton, WA), in the late 1950s (a few years prior to my years dancing). From there I let my imagination wander: What if I’d become a professional dancer? What would an audition feel like? What might happen to me that I could embellish? What would I not want to happen to me that would make the story interesting for others? Since I use a web to organize my thoughts, the first paper became a tangle of ideas....

Day 25 of 84 Days of 84 Ribbons: Ballet History 0

Day 25 of 84 Days of 84 Ribbons: Ballet History

Early ballet influences today and future ballet Since the early dancers were amateurs in Louis XIV’s court, the style evolved from social court dances such as the gavotte, minuet and sarabande. Once ballet academies or schools came into existence, techniques were invented to standardize movements, the five feet positions, precise warm-ups, pointe shoes, leg turnout and leg extensions. Various training methods developed over time and across different countries, but the early techniques are still used today, three hundred and fifty years later. Students learn the basic terminology for movements and begin with a series of warn-ups at the barre. Next...

Day 24 of 84 Days of 84 Ribbons : Trivia Answers 0

Day 24 of 84 Days of 84 Ribbons : Trivia Answers

Here are the ballet definitions for yesterday’s ballet trivia of French terms: 1. adagio – a slow dance movement 2.  divertissement – a short dance that is not an integral part of a long work: one of the character dances in the Nutcracker or Coppelia. 3.  jete’ – a jump in the air where the dancer (1) brushes  a foot out and changes weight to the extended leg or (2) jumps into the air, opening the legs wide before landing 4.  port de bras – the prescribed positions of the arms while executing the basic five positions of the feet...

Day 23 of 84 Days of 84 Ribbons: Ballet Trivia 0

Day 23 of 84 Days of 84 Ribbons: Ballet Trivia

The universal language of ballet dates back over 350 years. What do these French terms mean in ballet? 1. adagio 2. divertissement 3.  jete’ 4.  port de bras 5.  demi-plie 6. derriere