Tag Archives: Billy the Kid

Being a little nostalgic

When the Internet was out the other night, got a little nostalgic from my performing days.

This the opening scene from our production on Billy the Kid, the only video clip I’ve ever put on here of me dancing.

Our performance of Billy the Kid

Our performance of Billy the Kid

From last spring. I’m standing to the far left in the back.

Ballet and Blue Jeans

Our wardrobe lady wanted me to wear the plaid shirt and jeans to Billy the Kid rehearsal tonight. It was interesting combination with ballet shoes and tights underneath. Have to tell you, talk about restrictive movement. I’d take my tights or warmups any day, but for the performance, that’s not allowed. It is doable. I just hope the theater will have the A/C on because it was hot in the studio tonight.

I was glad to get back to ballet. Nine days off made today a little bit tougher. I was a bit sluggish during class (but I did make it through class, can’t say that for a few younger dancers). The combinations were a bit messy, but I was able to do everything, although my turns felt a bit weighty.

Rehearsal went OK. Did fine on the hardest dance I’m in (the opening). But I butchered this “horse” step I have during the town scene. Got to do much better when we hit the theater next week.

I’m beat, and will be sore in the morning (a sleep in day with just one afternoon college class). It was a long layoff from dance, but I’m glad to be back at it. Starting Thursday, there will be nine-straight days of classes, rehearsals and performances. Can’t wait!

Huntsville Ballet performs Billy the Kid, Balanchine and more

Huntsville Ballet performs Billy the Kid, Balanchine and more

A little bit about our performance next week. It focuses more on the Balanchine tribute than Billy the Kid. And some of the company kids I’m in class with are featured. It’s going be awesome.

Anyone else have a competitive streak in ballet class?

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve blogged. Work, college, being a single parent, rehearsals have a way of consuming what little free time I have.

But I have to say that I am enjoying Billy the Kid rehearsals. This time next month, we’ll be entering production week, which is one of the coolest weeks for a dancer who loves to perform.

The choreography is finally complete. It’s really been fun watching it come together, something I’ve rarely experienced with my earlier parts, which were minor enough that my rehearsals were late in the game and everything else was pretty much complete.

But not this time. In Billy the Kid, I DANCE, I fight, I die … twice (the shortage of men in ballet means you end up with multiple parts). We worked yesterday on fine tuning, which we’ll continue to do until we perform it on April 12-13.

As for class, my pirouettes and turns in general have been up and down, but Mrs. O pretty much diagnosed my problems yesterday in class. One of my biggest problems? I try to “steer” with my upper body during turns, which may explain why I have trouble with consistency with my pirouettes (well that, and an amazing inability to SPOT). It was even more evident when we’re doing arabesque turns (which are the scourge of my existence). Mrs.O also pointed out I pull my arms in when turning.

I’ve got to break those habits.

But on the positive side, my jetes are beginning to look better. And I’m able to beat them with more consistency.

And I’ve discovered I have a competitive side. As the old, rec dude dancing in company class, I’ve always resigned myself to the fact that I’ll always be the remedial one in class. But out of nowhere comes another slightly younger old rec dude who has slightly better skills than I have … although I skill him in musicality and in combination memorization.

I normally welcome other guys in class. Usually they are so much better than I, I admire their skills and they push me. But usually they are around 20 with professional dreams. I know I’d never catch them and just learn from them.

But this guy, there is a part of me that wants to prove I’m a better dancer. Maybe I feel a little threatened that he may take the parts I’m used to in Nutcracker or other parts in ballet. I never thought I’d feel that way. It’s almost comical.


Biggest dancing part I’ve ever had

I have to say I really didn’t know what I was in for Sunday during Billy the Kid rehearsal. I’ve already mentioned the rehearsal I attended where my part really wasn’t a big part and how fascinating it was about the coming together of the choreography.

Other than Nutcracker, where I’ve been part of the Chinese dance and finale, just about all of my parts have been character roles with little dancing required.

I really didn’t know what to expect, other than learning in the first rehearsal that my character (as it turns out I’m actually playing two characters) gets killed by Billy the Kid.

Found out Sunday, my role is a lot more extensive than maybe I was expecting. I dance (ballet!) in the opening going west scene. I’ll be honest, I was really stoked. I dance in a short dance (the opening of the town scene) entirely in releve’ (mimicking riding a horse). Then, of course, there is a short square dance I’m in (Billy the Kid is seems part ballet, part barn dance at times, but really cool).

And I’m in an intense fight scene in which I accidently kill Billy the Kid’s mother and is killed (by knifing) by the Kid himself (also intense) to end the scene. I play another person (a jailer, I think) who is also killed by Billy the Kid, but that part I haven’t rehearsed yet.

I’ve enjoyed playing Friar Lawrence in Romeo and Juliet, and a priest who avoids being killed in Dracula in a very intense scene. But dancing-wise, both did not come close to this part (or parts). 

Can’t wait for my next rehearsal on Saturday (three hours, which will follow a 90-minute regular class). It’s going to be fun!

Sorry it’s been a while since I’ve posted. Two midterms are coming up. We’re trying out a hair-pulling system of doing things at work. And rehearsals are picking up.

Yes, I’ve been cast in Billy the Kid!

Perhaps the Lord of the Dance knew it was my birthday (the real Lord, not Michael Flatley). The cast list went up. My name was indeed on it. I will be “a cowboy” in Billy the Kid.

First two rehearsals are Friday and Saturday, and I am psyched. 

It will be my first non-Nutcracker performance with the company in almost two years.

And what made this an even more fun night? I did my best double pirouettes in maybe a couple of years, and on both sides. I did them with more consistency than I believe I’ve ever had.

And I had a feeling I would. I was able to balance well at the barre and kept the focus on my alignment and spotting during the combination that required them.

The last combination we did in class kind of threw me, but that’s OK. I was excited about being cast and my turns were finally there, so that was enough to keep a messy combination from ruining my night.