Empty Nest -Whimsical Journey to Survive and Self Actualize
A way to survive the empty nest and a "cracked "relationship with a fun daily challenge of new experiences, reflections, sources, and some biblical guidance. I hope this blog which offers a fun journey to survive by trying something new, either vicariously or by doing, will result in a survival tool kit to replace the past familiar doing, giving, and/or incorporating the interest of your child or your long gone love interest, with some new self interest(s).
I love the ballet so Grupo Corpo, an internationally acclaimed Brazilian dance company
that mixes ballet with other dance forms like samba, bossa nova, and modern
dance peaked my interest. Pittsburgh Dance Council recently brought this
company to the Byham Theater. The company preformed Suite
Branca, a monochrome white dance piece and Dance
Sinfonica. This contemporary melting pot of dance styles was a new visual experience that I would
describe as cool and breezy, and then hot and fiery!
Suite Branca (White Suite) choreography by Cassi Abranches, with all white costumes against a textured white back drop
reminded me of the beautiful winter snow scenes that resulted from the US Arctic Blast this past week. The motion often seemed breezy and layered like the snow with
multi leveled movement of floor rolling, jumping and lifts above the shoulders, that crossed the length of the
stage (watch here).
The dance embraced a variety of isolation movements initially to
the sound of a base, symbol, and drums. At
times the music seemed to resemble something in the pop genre and at other times it seemed
whimsical, especially when the dancers formed in a line pattern. The constant athletic motion and the continual
weave of isolation dance techniques were both
mesmerizing and beautiful just like a new snow on a windy winter day.
contrast, Danca Sinfonica choreography by Rodrigo Pederneiras, was warm as it popped with
glowing red and black dress against a backdrop
of over a 1000 snapshots of the companies 40+ years, and red velvet curtains. In Dance
Sinfonica the movement was often paired as in a ballet to the sounds of orchestra stings. There were injections of drum beats and what resembled “tribal dance” movements as coupled dancers squatted across the stage (watch here).
Grupo Corpo in the shows, Suite Branca and Dancea
Sinfonica, produced a unique mixture of dance and music which as I see it, emulated snow and fire or the feeling of being cold
and hot, yet both brought the almost sold out theater to their feet!
The Pittsburgh Symphony 2018 session opened this weekend
with Juanjo Mena conducting.
I have ventured to the POPS in the past but I was now ready to experience the
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) in the more "classical
sense". I love the ballet, The Firebird (I even saw the movie), so I was ready to enjoy the flight in Stravinsky's
composition for his first ballet in 1910. There also was a lot more to this program and I was excited
to also experience my first flute concerto with Principle Flutist Lorna McGhee in this classical musical evening.
In this empty- nest period, I have made experiencing art a staple in my
life (see Days 88 and 188) but I
never envisioned that I would be viewing
undergarments as the subject of an art exhibit! The
Frick Art and History Center always brings interesting art shows to this town
and Undressed, about the design of underwear, seemed too
unique to pass up especially when The Frick Art and History Center is the exclusive North American
venue for this exhibition organized by London’s Victoria & Albert Museum!
When you think about it, an undergarment is the closest thing to our
body and wearing "granny panties" or "a lacy something" from Victoria
Secret says something about you, so why wouldn't the evolution of underwear design say something
about our society?
The story and music from the musical, The Phantom of
the Opera, brought me to tears about 20 years ago. The new musical, Love Never Dies, is a
sequel to that show and continues the
story of the Paris Opera Phantom who now
in 1907 orchestrates the music
behind a burlesque/freak show, Phantasma, on Coney Island in New York
City. He continues to long for his love and to hear his protegee opera soprano,
Christine Daae', sing again. I was
excited to experience my first sequel to a beloved musical and hear Andrew
Lloyd Webber’s new composition telling the unique story of love between two
people bonded by the beauty of music and not physical aesthetics.
Since this blog is all about keeping a forward trajectory in midst of change and reaching your personal best, I wanted to preview some of my planned experiences in the hope that it will inspire some to join in. As Dale Carnegie once said, "Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy." Let's all get busy!
I experienced the glitz of Cirque Dreams Holidaze last year. The show is back with it's 10th Anniversary Tour on December 29 and 30th.
My blog inspiration book, Little Golden Books, reminds us that, “Christmas is a time to go all out.” That is just what Cirque Dreams Holidaze is all about-going all out and celebrating everything “Holidaze.” I thought that after Christmas day, this show would keep the energy going. It did that with jazzed up variety and circus acts plus a lot of glitz.
Merry Christmas to all and blessings into the new year! Hoping that you enjoy this day with people that you love and spread that love to others. As the Pope and other spiritual leaders (oh and Charlie Brown Day 150), remind us not to be intoxicated with consumerism and to remember the simple birth of a child who was born to save the world -the greatest gift!
I have seen
the Nutcracker before (see Day 90) and I love the Pittsburgh Symphony POPs. Many people make going to these shows a holiday tradition. I was
excited to make these two shows mine this year and experience the beauty of the
Nutcracker with the peacefulness
and brilliance of Tchaikovsky’s score, and the Holiday POPs with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Mendelssohn Choir, and vocal
soloists for an explosion of holiday cheer.
It’s a Christmas tradition for my son and I to watch the 1983 iconic movie,A Christmas Story that takes place on Cleveland Street, Indiana in the 1940’s. We laugh every year at Ralphie’s quest for a Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot BB gun for Christmas and his father’s acquisition of the “major award” leg lamp.
I try to put a little "Christmas Story" action into my holiday plans every year (see Day 148 and Day 221). When I heard that Midnight Radio: A Christmas Story was a recreation of the movie in a 1940’s radio show format, I was ready again to experience the hilarious scenes and laugh at that classic advice -"You'll shoot your eye out"!