Become a Fan of Ballet in 3 Easy Steps

Become a Fan of Ballet in 3 Easy Steps

People who have followed along for a while (or, especially, who follow me on Instagram) know that I’m obsessed with ballet (particularly classical ballet – the kind with the tutus and pointe shoes and stories about princesses and swans and all that good stuff). This is a new obsession for me, developed only over the last couple of years, which means I’m still on the learning curve, and I’m still in super-excited-new-learner mode. It’s magical.

I’m almost as obsessed with ballet as my husband is with baseball, and I’m noticing a lot of parallels. I’m coming to know the famous “players” and which “teams” they play for (the dancers and their companies). I know the standard “plays” (the groupings you always see and what they’re called – like the duet “pas de deux”, or the solo, known as a “variation”), and I’m getting to know the technical names of the movements and what exactly makes one dancer’s execution of a tricky move more spectacular than another’s. I’m also learning who the all-time greats are and why. Basically, I’m learning how to watch and talk about ballet, just like someone learns how to watch and talk about baseball.

So maybe you’re here because you’re like me and love all things artsy and want to expand the kinds of arts you love and understand and follow. Or maybe you have a budding ballet star in your family and you want to be knowledgeable about what they’re learning about and loving. Or perhaps you already love going to the ballet, you just want to dive deeper into why you love it (and sound smarter when you talk about it). All amazing reasons to dive into the world of ballet. So let’s get started…

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Understanding the Old to Appreciate the New

Understanding the Old to Appreciate the New

There’s a really interesting movement happening right now in university musicology classes (that’s the study of music history, music making, and music in general). In fact, I’m told, it’s happening across a lot of disciplines. Remember your “Intro to…” classes in university? Maybe you took “Introduction to French Poetry”, or “Introduction to American Politics.” So long as the topic was in the humanities, I bet dollars to donuts your class was at least largely taught in chronological order. I.e., “let’s start with the Roman Empire and work our way forward.” Well, apparently, this is falling by the wayside…

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The Three Types of Knowledge You Need to be a Fan of the Arts

The Three Types of Knowledge You Need to be a Fan of the Arts

So… I have good news and bad news. The good news is that I’m so pumped to teach you how to love the fine arts more than you ever knew you could. The bad news is that you have to put in the work to get there.

Sorry! (And sorry for the “sorry” – I’m Canadian, I can’t help it.) The fine arts take time to understand. Sure, there are lots of effortless ways to start being a fan of the arts, and I love to share those here and through social media. That stuff is gold, for sure. But to get to the real juiciness that is loving the arts, you’re going to have to put in some effort.

To my mind, at least, that’s a good thing. A lot of things that are quick and easy to understand and derive pleasure from are shallow. They’re not the interests, hobbies, and passions that sustain you and colour your whole life; instead, they’re reality TV and snack food (which have their time and place, but man cannot live on Love Island and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos alone).

So, what exactly do you need to learn before you can truly appreciate the fine arts? Three things. For each of the fine arts – to be a true fan – you need to develop three areas of knowledge…

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The Biggest Skill Non-Performers Can Learn From Performing Artists

The Biggest Skill Non-Performers Can Learn From Performing Artists

I’m currently reading an incredible book about, in essence, releasing the ego and stopping the voice in your head from messing everything up. It’s called Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, by Joe Dispenza (the bleakest title ever, I know), and it is extremely woo woo, but extremely good. And it’s got me thinking about performing artists, and the biggest skill everyone could learn from them.

Dispenza’s work is essentially about visualizing the type of person you want to be in such vivid detail that you feel it in your body. To do this, one of the essential skills you need to learn is how to be master over your thoughts and quiet down that voice in your head that talks to you all day...

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15 of the Most Famous Ballets in 2 Sentences Each

15 of the Most Famous Ballets in 2 Sentences Each

Ballet plots can be RIDICULOUSLY convoluted… but that doesn’t mean they have to be complicated. Here are fifteen of the greatest ballets of all time, boiled down into two sentences each. I mean, it’s really all you need to know!

1.     Giselle

A peasant girl falls in love with a disguised (and already betrothed) nobleman who, unsurprisingly, breaks her heart, so she goes crazy and dies. A band of supernatural revenge-seeking lady ghosts rouse her spirit, and despite her pleas to spare the bastard, they get payback.

2.     Swan Lake

A depressed prince sets off to hunt some swans, but then one of them turns into a hot babe…

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