Archive for the ‘Drexel Dance Ensemble’Category

This shit again?

An eventful day at Drexel, me being an alumnus. First, to the rugby. It rained, but that didn’t stop us. In the mud, it felt just like old times, playing against the undergrads with most of my teammates from yesteryear. Of course the alumni won, and I scored a try, no less.

BBQ followed, and the usually hullabaloo with red cups and dodgy chicken and mud caked-on the faces of young men. Eventually, singing breaks out and someone does something nasty, like drinking beer from a dirty, rubbery boot. Imagine that….

And by night, a dance show. The Drexel Dance Ensemble with their spring show, “Progression”. Good to see the old faces, and of course, new ones.

After that, we found ourselves at New Deck, some random ass bar that apparently makes good food. A few pics, but otherwise inconsequential.

And by now, I’m tired. Drive home while I’m still awake. At least, I think I’m still awake…

03

06 2006

21 ans

After the show, back to Brittany’s flat for birthday rites and revelry. Mingling with 19-year-olds, eating cake, laughing it up with Charlie and Dave (who turned 25 on the same night) and the spontaneous playing of Frank Sinatra.

All in all, not a bad return to my bittersweet alma mater. I forsee more days spent in that strange and unforgiving city, but in the company of friends. Smiling and dancing – not a bad way to spent twentyhood.

And to all the dancers in the show, excellent job, congrats and well done!

Return to Philly

A return to Philadelphia to bask in that golden aura that is being an alumni. Or something.

A late arrival to Drexel, and then to Mad Mex to visit with James and those girls from my past-life as a dancer. Amid the margarita-induced laughter, a few black & white photos were taken. And suddenly, I was back. Bizarre.

27

01 2006

Year in review 2004

It’s been a while, I know. I have been lazy in adding entries, photos and the like, and my I can picture the look of perplexity on the faces of my readers as to why. And so although it is a few weeks late, allow me to summarise what I have been up to, and if you’ll have patience, the year in review, 2004.

I was glad to see 2004 end. Not that I ever enjoy getting older or tumbling forward through time while memories and opportunities slip away forever, but it was just such a crap year, one of the toughest I have had to endure.

On NYE2003, I had planned to stay in and do nothing, but Jay dragged me out to watch fireworks with the girl he was courting called Debbie. While it was nice to chat with people over age 18 for a change, I probably should have stayed home. The early winter was marked by me feeling disappointed in the fact that I was no longer performing in with the Underground Shakespeare Company (because I felt shafted out of roles for too many consecutive seasons) and because my Fraternity had all but died with the news that we would officially not have a line in the Spring 04. Winter Term at Drexel wore on with little consequence, and Spring came in vainglorious Philadelphia fashion.

The only good point of Winter was being accepted to grad school in England. It gave me something to keep in mind when I was ready to break things … and people.

There were, in fact, two clear highlights to the Spring Term. One, I won Research Day for my project on Vampires and was awarded $500 and a certain amount of prestige. Of course the money took 10 weeks to clear and I never did see my name in the paper, but that’s not the point. And, Spring Term 04, my final term at Uni, was the first time I managed to get straight As. I had come close several times, earning a lone B, but this was the first and only time I hit the 4.0

Dance seemed to be the only thing in my life that hadn’t fallen apart. In fact, dance got better and by the end, it was a lifestyle I didn’t want to give up. The performances were great and the memories weren’t bad either. History will smile upon my time dancing at Drexel.

And then I graduated. This was the most inflated and overrated event of my life to date – even more-so than the Senior Prom five years earlier. The whole event was over in two hours or so and aside from the cap and gown and other ridiculous rituals, it was just like any other day. Our parents came down, but we all cleared off quickly to evade the traffic and just to get on with our lives. No one seemed to care what I had gone through, no one even said “good luck” or “I know you’ll do well” or any of the banal lip service-esque phrases you usually hear at graduations. It made me seriously wonder “Why the Hell did I put myself through it all?”.

Summer was miserable. It began on a low note, having to move out and sublet my flat to what turned out to be a complete wanker of a frantic Pocono-based Temple student, and steadily got worse. I took me nearly two weeks to fully move out of Philly so for a while there, I was practically commuting. I will spare the comments about rising fuel prices and the fact that my car had shit air conditioning, but it was not a fun series of events. I was ‘working’ at Ron Ridgeway, Inc. which wasn’t bad except for the small detail of not being paid. It actually cost me money to go in and work. Seriously.

Somewhere along the way I sold everything I could including clothing, futons, my home theatre system and lots of other randomness. In spite of it, I had no money, no friends, no job, and really no direction. Summer, for all its natural glory, was the most depressed I have ever been in my life and I only made it through by playing music by Josh Rouse, MeShell Ndegeocello, Norah Jones and The Beatles and by watching re-runs of the West Wing.

Come September, and I was on that plane and my life had taken a serious turn, whether it was for better or worse remained to be seen.

Having arrived at The Surrey Institute of Art & Design, more trouble began, mainly concerning money. In fact, I have had every monetary problem imaginable in the nearly 6 months I have been here including funds sent to the wrong address, wrong account and in the wrong currency. I have been the victim of the dollar and its ever-plummeting nature. (Thanks George) and not to mention being brushed off by many, many, would-be part-time employers. But it was definitely an experience, meeting loads of new people, starting a new school, new rugby team(s) and all that.

October was Hell weatherwise. Even for England.

November began badly, what with the election and all. Plus I dislocated my finger and will likely bear a lifetime reminder in the form of reduced mobility and possible altered shape of my right little finger. I gotta say, the election depressed me quite a bit. I think at one point I actually said “I want my country back”. And so the future assumed a sense of urgency, I must remain in England, can’t get sent home for fear of living in Bush’s America.

I missed Thanksgiving, and soon it was time for Christmas. Mischa and Johanna showed up for some European escapades on what turned out to be the coldest week of the Winter. And so we three took a brief tour of the capitals of Europe, and their mass transit systems. An adventure, that’s certain.

2004 marked a lot of understated changes in my life. My friends, the ever-constants in my turbulent life, all seemed to be getting on with life and moving on at the same time, so when I turned up fresh from Uni, they weren’t there. Needless to say, this was no fun. Additionally, I took new looks at my career and where it seemed to be going, if anywhere. There is no shortage of depressing articles about how the job market sucks and how designers, of all varieties, are unemployed. Jolly. And while material possessions are only one portion of overall well-being, in my case they helped make me feel like shit quite a bit. Next time you sit in a comfortable chair and drink some Tropicana OJ, think about it. Or, when you want to print out directions to where you are about to drive by car, think about not having a printer at your disposal, let alone a car! And let me tell you, it is plain sick not to have steady internet access.

Adieu 2004. Get thee gone.

Lauren’s Grad. Party

Photos from Lauren Ciccarelli’s graduation party. Wow, what a large family.

Pete applied the fake tattoo with beer.

26

06 2004

A Haiku for the Dancers

watching dancers move
on a stage with colored lights
I applaud for them

Went to go see Jeanne Ruddy and company dance last night at Drexel. It was a good show, especially Ann Reinking’s piece. Very sexy, very dark, very cool. I like cool.

Jason showed me his scrapbook from the last two years at Drexel and I was amazed at how organized and complete it was – Triangle clippings, ticket stubs, photos, anything else. It seriously made me sad that I haven’t made such an effort to document the last 5 years of my life, but then I remembered that I have a record of my life which is comparable – my website, this website. And so, I announce that I will be making an effort to back-log this site, adding old entries which span all the way back to 1999, which will then be searchable, and accessible from this site directly. It’s going to be a project, I tell you.

A photo Jason took at the last dance show. Jason, James and me.

18

06 2004

End of Dance.

The following is an excerpt from the paper I wrote for Darla’s class.

“I managed to pry myself off the floor and later that week, late July 2001, I made it to Miriam’s class, as nervous as I was sore, and there began the experiment to see whether or not a rugby player could be taught to dance. I suppose Miriam became Dr. Frankenstein, or maybe Obi-Wan, or Beatrice Gardner (the first woman who taught a chimps to speak sign language) either way I was hooked.

Dance became a part of my life almost overnight. And much like the music of John Coltrane and the words William Shakespeare, were the movements of Martha Graham and José Limón and others. It was so shockingly intricate and fascinating, like the first time you see a snowfall or New York City. It was a brave new world, but it was fun. Strange and fun. And for the first time in post-puberty memory, I was surrounded by girls. More strange.

Pas-de-what – is that English?…wow, I’m lost – Ok, I get it, it’s a jump with a foot-change-thing – I can jump – my back feels better – why won’t my toes point – wow, these girls are flexible…and I am not – I like to jump – ballent, its called – how do you spell that?…note to self: learn French

My back healed and I continued to play rugby, but I also kept coming to dance class. It was a different kind of therapy now, more cathartic then orthopedic. September arrived shortly and I moved from the back of the room to the front where I found my abilities to see and hear the instructor were greatly improved which, in turn, increased my capacity to learn.

I get it now – 2nd, 1st, 4th, 5th – 2nd, 1st, 4th, 5th – keep turned out – distribute the weight to both feet – look up – relax the arms – relax the shoulders – just relax – don’t fall over – breathe.

Weeks turned into seasons, and summer came again. Then Fall. After about a year of dancing, I decided to audition for the ensemble. At the time, my nerves were in control and I was wreck, now it just seems natural – get up on stage and dance. My first performance was a duet.

Wow, its dark – don’t vomit – tucked in?…shoes tied?…nervous? yes. Extremely – dancers, take your places – merde.

The first show passed with little consequence, then the second, then the third and now the fourth and final show of my random dance career at Drexel. Choreographing is a whole new challenge, new rules, making it up as you go along, but having it to explain to everyone else. We’ll get my final thoughts after the show closes…”

Thanks to all the kids who helped me along the way.

05

06 2004

Support Gay Cats

The Harry Potter Premiere, Mall Antics with AJ and night two of Momentum.

I don’t have many comments about the dance show or the mall except to note that the Apple store people don’t know shit about their own products and are quite rude to anyone who is not a cash-dishing-out sucker like those who shop in the King of Prussia Mall. That posh shit makes me sick.

Continue reading for my review of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
Read the rest of this entry →

Opening Night, Bitch

Tonight we opened out final dance concert, Momentum. I will have more to say about the show when we close on Saturday night. For now, just a few photos from afterwards when several of my rugby teammates came to cheer me on…and look at girls in tights.

03

06 2004

Fire Drills, Rehearsals & Formula 1 Cars

Here’s a few pics from rehearsals this week plus some walking-by-late-to-class shots of the formula 1 car that Drexel builds each year.

check our Mark Manion in that really really bad suit.

02

06 2004