First, let me apologize for my long silence. Life is still crazy in the Lacey/Amir household. Ron and Julian went off to the airport on Saturday morning the 25th of July. Julian took off for NYC and Ron for Germany. I took off for a workshop I had to teach for 30 people. I left the next day for a week long conference. Ron and Ariel, my daughter, came back on July 2nd, Ariel in the morning and Ron at night, and I returned the next day. (Ariel has been off at school in NYC and stayed there for the summer for an internship.) I sealed a book deal before everyone went away and returned with three and a half week before I leave for NYC and just six and a half week to finish the book and turn it in to my publisher. So… Even though Julian is not home, things are still crazy. I’m just not driving anywhere, thank goodness.
As for Julian, he is loving the School of American Ballet’s summer intensive. He says that even though they have less classes per day — two on some days and three on others — they are much harder and he is very tired. We thought he would sneak out to take a class up at Steps, but he hasn’t had the energy so far.
Technique classes are all with just the boys–about 27 of them in his level (advanced), I think. Many of them are from other countries. The classes are so hard that many New York City Ballet, the company associated with SAB, company members and apprentices take class with them. The only time they take class with the girls is when they have partnering. They do weight lifting a few times a week as well, and this involves girls as well — as weights. On Saturdays, they take ballroom. He says that’s fun.
Of course, NYCB is known for doing Ballanchine’s work, and he is learning a whole new style of ballet. He says this is very hard, but he is enjoying it as well. I keep asking how it will translate into the Vagonova work he will do when he returns or whatever other classical ballet work he will do. He just says you learn it and use it for Ballanchine and that’s it. It’s part of your bag of tricks as a dancer, I suppose. Anyway, he seems quite interested in NYCB and finds the style interesting because it isn’t the same ol’ same ol’ classical ballet…interesting from the boy who suddenly was so interested in classical ballet.
He is, not surprisingly, loving living in the Juilliard dorm with the other boys. They put a slew of merit scholars (not sure if it was all of them) in a suite together. Julian lucked out and got one of only two singles. Many of the boys are Spaniards, and he befriended them; thus, his two years of Spanish have finally come in handy and he is speaking Spanish every day all day. He also has several French boys and one American boy in his suite. This is like dance camp, and he loved Jewish camp, so he has gone to heaven.
Plus….he already has a Spanish girlfriend!
He’s gone to see two ABT performances, and says he’s no longer so impressed with the dancers. Funny how things change. We’ll see what he thinks of the NYCB dancers. They are taking a bus trip up to Saratago, NY, this weekend to see them perform.
He hates the food and wasn’t getting enough to eat in the cafeteria. We had to add more money to his meal ticket. There was some question about what exactly he was buying in the cafeteria.
The people at SAB have been wonderful…accessible, nice, easy to deal with. This is NOT ABT. At least, the people handling the kids in the dorms are much more like camp personnel. I’m very happy about that.
And Julian turned 17 last week and celebrated there with his friends, including three girls from City Ballet, who are attending the Boilshoi intensive. There classes are up at Lincoln Center also, but their dorm is down near Union Square.
Last, but not least, the teachers (2) there seem to like Julian (and he likes them)and be offering him good corrections. And while none of the other kids know that there even is a choreography event that happens, Julian has been told by a NYCB apprentice who has taken a liking to him that he has been selected to be in a choreography piece. The apprentices choose intensive attendees to be in their pieces. I don’t know if they are performed or not. Maybe I’ll get to see it when I show up at the end of the month.
All in all, a good report so far. I gotta say I’m thrilled that Julian is in NYC on his own and I’m not worried. Plus, he’s happy with the program and seems well chaperoned; he’s gotten a “pink slip” for being late, been called while down in Times Square to find out why he wasn’t back at the dorm, and even gotten another “pink slip” for not signing in when he was in his room because he was in his room early because of the last “pink slip”! They are tight! He’s fed. He’s in class and happy. The program is good by his high standards. And I didn’t have to pay a fortune or find housing for him. (Well, I did have to find housing for August, but that’s another story.)
I will admit that I did not deal with the whole going away thing until he was going out the door. I’ve always cried when I dropped him off at camp, but I was really pretty upset when I realized he was going on an airplane alone and to the BIG CITY to boot. And without ME!!!!
I tell you more when I hear more. In the meantime, I’m off to work on my book. I’m sure I’ll also have a lot more to write when I get to NY, where I plan to also conduct some interviews for the blog.