Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Be the Shoelace

This morning started off with dance class again… and I think we’re getting the impression that he doesn’t like us very much.  None of us is particularly strong or flexible (and he rolled up his pants today to demonstrate something… revealing calves that could possibly destroy everyone in the classroom without a second thought), and for most people in the group it’s all we can do to turn our head the right direction, let alone do the bar exercises correctly.  He definitely took those bar exercises up a couple notches today… and boy howdy did we feel it.  I may have to check the Geneva conventions to see if what he was doing to us is actually legal.  Then, rolling his eyes only slightly, he took us through some Russian folk dance… and we were slightly better at that this time around, so hopefully we are on the way to redeeming ourselves.  After dance two of the other vegetarians and I decided to try out a restaurant a few doors down from the studio (Прайм Стар – Prime Star) that we heard had vegetarian fare.  Well, not only did it have vegetarian fare, it had a variety of vegetarian fare… and everything was labeled in Russian AND English!  We were very happy.  Hello, caprese sandwich and cheesecake mousse.  Welcome to my tummy. After lunch we began our acting class with another set of etudes.  One group set up a wedding party in which the bride ran from the altar, and my group set up a big drunk party to which the cops showed up.  We continued to work on a lot of the same group-think exercises we have been working on for the last few days – always making them harder when it seems that we might be getting the hang of them, and then we finished our inanimate object etudes.  I did my second one today – a shoelace – and I was told by Sergei that it was an “elegant” etude.  Now, this is a word that all of our professors are using a lot, and it’s something that it’s pretty clear that we Americans don’t really have readily accessible in our bodies. But today, I achieved elegance!  BOOYAH!  (Or… I suppose in Russian that would be БУЯ!)  He was all kinds of encouraging about my little etude, which made me feel all kinds of spiffy. For dinner, the grad students made another visit to Prime Star and then sauntered up to the theatre for this evening where we saw Дама С Собачкой (The Lady with the Lapdog), adapted from Chekhov’s short story by Кама Гинкас (Kama Ginkas).  I have to admit, this was the first show so far that I thought to myself: “I could have not seen that and not been sad.”  For a 15 page short story, 2 hours and 15 minutes with no intermission in a VERY hot room seemed a little long.  That said, the space was very cool.  It was a huge theatre like the Peace Center or the Buell or the Schnitz or something like that… but the stage and audience were on the top balcony.  So the whole gaping maw of the space was behind the stage.  That gaping maw wasn’t really used hardly at all except as background, but apparently two other grad students saw another show in the same space the night before, and said that they did actually use the real stage to great effect from time to time.  We’ll be back there tomorrow night for a third piece by the same director, and this one is supposed to be mind-blowing, so hopefully I’ll be a little more enthusiastic about tomorrow’s offering. Doppelganger update – Tonight I saw Russian Steve Schultz… complete with the white on red flowered shirt!

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