June 19, 2008 at 1:13 PMMy current novel-in-progress (lovingly and somewhat baudily referred to as my NIP) is set in the world of contemporary ballet, as opposed to novel #2, which was set in the classical music world and is indeed what brought me to violinist.com in the first place. It is a different experience writing about ballet dancers instead of violinists. For starters, I have twenty years' experience in being a ballet dancer, compared to three years with the violin, which, at the time of commencing novel #2, was hovering around zero experience. Why I should have chosen to write about something I had no knowledge of is one of life's great mysteries. When the muse calls, though, you don't question, you just scramble to catch what she dispenses.
But now, this. The ballet world. I'm back inside it, in a very different way, from those days when I performed, over twenty (gulp!) years ago.
Ah, the memories. They are returning.
Photography by Mike Manley for the Kaw Valley Dance Theatre. Lawrence, Kansas 1983, 1984
The Turning Point was a great movie. It actually encompasses a lot of the same themes my novel employs. Or let's ask Anne - she's read my first draft. Anne, did it remind you of The Turning Point at all?
I have a tremendous respect for ballet dancers. It is the toughest field in the Arts.
Like Holzman, I liked "The Turning Point" a lot, but my favorite movie is "The Red Shoes"!
(Insert smiley face here).
And as for the Anne with an 'e', I'll have you know I was so taken with the implied elegance of that spelling that I changed my middle name from Ann to Anne as a kid, and legally as an adult, when I got married and changed spelling of first, middle and last names. Well, the last name, from Mertes to Rose was obvious, but I got a three-for-one deal out of the work. And now Terez sounds like a Hungarian name instead of Therese which people used to assume, somehow, should be pronounced Teresa. Sigh.
So much nicer now. Especially with my elegant middle name. : ) And a Hungarian name.
Oh, you're good, Tom! You somehow knew I couldn't fully let go of my violin characters. In fact, the same violinist from novel #2 is in this one, only now she's mellow and happy. Yes, we'll make sure Anne gets to play her.
I hope you enjoy "The Red Shoes". The end makes me cry every time...
I was taking a great local class for about five years, in a gym of all places, but the teacher was good, a former professional, and all of us (most of whom were little more than advanced beginners, actually) just had great fun. The teacher had to give it up, about three years ago, and I've never found a class to take its place - sob! If I really, really needed to, I could spend the $$ and the time and find something a 45 minute drive away, but really, you reach a point where you ask yourself what makes sense (particularly for a 45 year old body). So I do lots of yoga, an aerobics class, work out with weights and hike, and make do with that. But, really, losing that ballet class was another big reason to start up with the violin and keep up with it. It's my chosen art form now. (Writing doesn't count - it's what I "do.")
Some day down the road I hope to find one of those "perfect fit" dance classes again...
I always liked seeing the occasional athlete come into a ballet class, and the way they looked so much more respectful at the end of it. The balance aspect of it really helps everyone. It's why I encourage pretty much any adult to try out yoga - great balance work, exercising different muscles, and less challenging then a ballet class. Oh, and the men don't have to wear tights. : )
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