If you thought I disappeared into the Internet ethers, you’re wrong. I was tied to my keyboard by another writing project. I was asked last minute and given three days to write a cover piece for Movmnt magazine on magician Criss Angel’s newest collaboration with Cirque du Soleil and choreographer Wade Robson. It’s an amazing show called Believe in Las Vegas. (If anyone wants to donate some tickets to me, I’ll take them. After this I could use a Vegas vacation with my family, and my daughter wants to see the Vegas Cirque water show, too.) You might have seen a preview of Believe on So You Think You Can Dance last summer. If not, you still can by watching this Youtube video of the number I think is called “Homage.” It’s classic Robson…
And that’s where I’ve been until 2 a.m. two nights in a row leaving only to become a chauffeur to my son. My daughter is busy at school being the personal costume attendant to Cyrano in the school’s production of Cyrano de Bergerac – also responsible for putting his nose on and off – and also head costume designer/attendant. She only needs pick up at 11:30 p.m., and my husband has been doing that after picking up Julian at 8 p.m. or later.
If you don’t know Movmnt magazine, you might want to check it out. It’s the creation of international journalist David Benaym and Danny Tidwell (of SYTYCD fame). It’s full of interesting articles on all sorts of things related to pop culture, including the most up and coming dancers and choreographers. The next time you visit the Movmnt website, you’ll find the cover featuring the Believestory I wrote! And inside, I can tell you (Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone you heard it hear…) you’ll also find a piece on a former Billy Elliot from the musical – if you want to read about a young male dancer/singer who made it.
By the way, the current issue of Dance Spirit has an article on the boys of Billy Elliot. Julian auditioned…made it through to the last audition and was kept for two hours instead of 30 minutes. We were sure he had gotten the part. But he sure doesn’t look like those kids…he’s got peach fuzz on his lip and his voice is changing. We figure that’s why he wasn’t chosen. They did a time line on these kids and figured out when they’d begin to not look like kids. Julian doesn’t look like a kid. Well, that’s our rationalization on him not being selected anyway. (Couldn’t be that he wasn’t good enough – although his singing could have used some help!)
Be sure to click on the link for Dance Spirit; there’s a great video there of Alex Wong dancing to a piece called “Capture of the Tiger.” (I can’t say Julian looks that good yet…but he wants to look that good.)
Which brings me to my point: He’s over his “thing” about not wanting to change how he was taught to do ballet. (See my last post on October 18 and the great comment posted by Nichelle Strzepek. Check out her website and blog at http://danceadvantage.wordpress.com/. She posted one about my blog here.) I guess he just needed to moan and groan and complain and be stuck for a while.
We all do that to some extent. No one really likes to change. And, after all, he worked hard for three years to get his hands to do that thing they do when they move from one position to another and to get his head to tilt like that. Of course, he’s going to balk at first about being told to change. Boys do tend to be a bit more stubborn than some other kids…at least Julian is more stubborn an ornery than his sister, Ariel, by far.
But we’ve heard it from more than one person that we’ve asked by now that these really are just “stylistic” aspects of ballet. Many schools of ballet exists with different “styles,” and it’s good to learn all of them. In fact, we were told that the style he learned, Bournonville, is one of the hardest and could be called the “Irish dancing of ballet.” We also heard it called “ballet in a box.” That’s nice… He was told, “Now that you know how to do it, put it on a shelf and learn something else. Take it down if you ever need it again.” Lovely. Glad I spent all that money and he spent three years of his time and effort learning that method.
The fact of the matter is, Julian actually does have good ballet technique. Everyone says so. He has a some things to work on, but for a 14-year old, he looks pretty good. And, now that he’s over his fit of loyalty to his past teachers and his stubbornness over not wanting to change, he can move on.
I guess that’s a sign of maturity. It goes with that fuzz on his lips and the deepening voice if not the lousy grades and tears that come so easily still. He’s a boy in an ever-more manly body. Change…it happens to the best of us even when we aren’t looking and when we are. It happens when it’s forced upon us or when we choose it willingly. It just happens.