Sunday, September 7, 2008

Suburbia and Dance Links

I went on a walk this afternoon. It was nice to get out into the daytime sunshine, and to get a chance to see what is actually around me. Several things occurred to me in the midst of this walk. For starters, it donned on me that, despite the numerous times I have said that I would not live in suburbia, I am doing so right now. I cannot really by-pass this as a living situation - I will be here for longer than I was in both of the places where I lived in the last year. We shall see how this unfolds.

However, I felt, in my walk-around, that there was not much to unfold. I had a feeling of mixed perceptions - part of me saw connection - vibrant people who live in close proximity to one another and thrive off the nearness to one another. This was a perspective I had never really come to terms with before. On the other hand, I also saw solitary within bounds so close - places of inhabitance so close, yet not related at all. Granted, I have only been here for a week, but I have not met any of my neighbors. It certainly looks like a place where people would know one another and talk to one another, have grown together and share stories with one another. That may be due to the fact that the neighborhood was built in the late sixties (as a gathered from a sidewalk imprint), so it already has a nostalgic feel to it. As I have said about way too many times now, I guess time will have to tell about what kind of suburban neighborhood this is. I have not yet seen people sitting out on their stoops (I guess it is getting cold now), but I would see that as an opportunity to go talk to them. I certainly hope other opportunities present themselves.

I attended an audition today. It was for a program put on by the University of Calgary, entitled "Dance Montage." It has 12 choreographers from around Calgary, and anyone and everyone is invited to audition. There were professionals, U students, recreational dancers, you name it. The audition lasted 9 to 9, and was broken into 12 slots - 1 hour for each choreographer. I attended four of the choreographer's auditions. The day had been structured mostly by type of dance, so I attended the jazz/ contemporary auditions (apparently, the here over-used word contemporary, can refer to anything with modern or lyrical stylings). I was surprised by the lack of standout dancers, until I realized that most of the people there were university students. That is not to say that university students are not skilled dancers, but it is to say that I have already completed my university degree and than some, so I SHOULD be better, yes? At least I know I am where I should be :)

The first piece was very dance/ theatery. I thought it could be interesting, pretty gestural. The second was a 'contemporary jazz' audition, which actually meant really lyrically and poppy. It was alright, and I liked the movement well enough, but it was to some R&B song about how badly the singer needs her man, and I just cannot connect with that kind of shit. The third piece was a jazz/ hip hop fusion, nothing I hadn't seen before, and the last was a kind of kitschy 'contemporary' (modern) piece to funny house dance music, which shifted between gestural, large, and just plain awkward. I tended toward liking this piece, and funny enough, it was the only piece I auditioned for that I did not get called back to dance again.

I hope to be cast in something, as I like the idea of getting to know the shape of the dance community and other people in it, an I do not want to wait until April to perform. If I get cast in several, I will opt to only be in one (as I need this to be a minimal time commitment). The show performs at the University the weekend before American Thanksgiving (yes, the Canadians have Thanksgiving. This year, it is October 11-13).

Tomorrow I am stopping in to two places that were targets on my Saturday job search. On Saturday, I ended up going back to one of the rude bars I stopped in on Friday, only to find they were rude Saturday as well. I opted to not stop back to the other one. Up near those bars (north on MacLeod, a bring thorough-fare in Calgary that runs near us), I applied at a bar called LoloLou's. Before that, I had headed South on MacLeod and applied at an Earl's (a somewhat Ritzy chain). I also stopped in at a place similar in feel called Moxies, but they, like other large places, said they could not hire anyone without a work permit. I did have luck with a few places, however. I stopped in at a little breakfast cafe in a local motel, and a supper club called the Black Swan. Both places were quite friendly, were optmistic, and told me to stop back in at 11 on Monday, when the hiring manager would be there. I am pulling for the breakfast place - it was two 15 year olds and an older lady working, and the older lady said she had been working there for eleven years and loved the feel. It just seemed warm, friendly, and like a place that I would want to be and to take care of people. I mentioned that I had stopped in at an Earl's and applied, and that it just was not the right feeling (the hosts and servers were wearing skimpy little black dresses and too much makeup - not so much for me), but that this place felt right for me. The lady responded that she thought I would fit in just right, and that I should definately come in to talk with Sherry (hiring manager) on Monday. So, that is my plan for one of the early hours for tomorrow. Beyond that, I have nothing planned other than attending jazz 4 class at 6pm. What am I going to do with myself??

It occurred to me that many people (in fact, anyone who did not see University Dance Theater in 2004) in my life have not ever seen any work by Decidedly Jazz Danceworks (the company with which I am training). To remedy this, I have provided some You-Tube links. Check it out, and I am sure you will be able to understand why I moved up!;

1 comment:

Kim said...

Forewarning: I will bother you for every detail of the Canadian Thanksgivng menu.