Monday, January 31, 2011

Bak Dance Concert (Part 1)

Bak Middle School of the Arts dance concert on Saturday January 29, 2011 was definitely different from any dance show that I have seen. They had an array of different dance styles, from modern to boggie, from jazz to ballet, even a little bit of lyrical was thrown in.

The show started off with a piece from Hollond Schiller titled Boggie Shoes, the music was by KC and the Sunshine Band. This piece was very cute and out of the ordinary. If you aren't a huge ballet/dance fan than this is defiantly the dance for you.

The second piece was a piece by Heidi Sperounis titled Embassy Waltz, music by Julie Andrews and Rex Harrison. This piece was nicely done, I just felt personally, nothing against Mrs. Sperounis, but the girls and boys rushed this piece, they didn't listen to the beat of the music.

This piece was followed by another Schiller piece titled Shรถne with music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. I thought that this piece was interesting. Of course for some it might not have been as interesting as her first piece, but for a dance lover this is one of her better pieces.

The fourth piece was a piece that was choreographed by an outside choreographer named David Parsons of American Dance Legacy Institute, with music by Tony Powell. I found this piece very interesting and wish that we could have had something like this while I was attending MSOA, but I was still blessed to be able to see such a talented group of students put this piece on.

Valse Magique by Martha Satinoff (dean of the dance department) was next. This piece reminded me of something we did when I was in middle school. I even think it was the same music, Waltz from Magical Flute. Of course I don't remember, but it was still nice to see a Mrs. Satinoff piece again!

This next piece is a Carlos DeBarros piece. "This dance is for everyone who has ever felt like not getting up when the alarm goes off," as he stated in the program. To me this piece is a perfect example of what my class (back in 2000 to 2002) looked like every morning when we would roll into the dance studio first thing in the morning. This dance was so funny and I wish all of you had the chance to see it. This piece was set to music by Balkan Beat Box.

The first half of the show concluded with a piece from Martha Satinoff with music by Larry Carlton. In my opinion, this piece was slow but it was still good.

Overall the first half of the show was amazing, nothing like I remember Middle School of the Arts dance shows being, minus what we still call to this day, the Catchup and Mustard dance choreographed by Mr. Clarence Brooks who now teaches at FAU.

Dance schools within the area

If you are in elementary school and looking for an amazing middle school to go to you may want to check out Bak Middle School of the Arts. I'm not just saying this because I went there for three amazing years, but the teachers there are amazing. If you aren't into dance they do have other majors, such as, communications, visual arts, theater, and music, both band and vocal. Auditions are going on currently, at least from what I've been told for the 2011-2012 school year. I know for dance you have to create a minute (at least it was when I was there) piece to perform to the judges. You will also have to go through a dance class. Don't make the mistake of some kids I went to school with and show up to the audition in jeans and a shirt. Wear a leotard and tights. If you don't own a pair you can purchase them at Shape Shop. The ballet teachers are Mrs. Satinoff, Mrs. Sperounis, Ms. Schiller and Mr. DeBarros, or better known as Mr. D
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If you are a middle school student looking for an arts high school, you should look into Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, again I'm not saying this because that is where I went to school for four years. But we had some amazing teachers there as well. Dreyfoos auditions are harder than Bak M.S.O.A. is, because they are more strict. When I was there, Mr. Satinoff was an amazing teacher, but a stickler for perfection, even during the auditions. I was told, if you can't do it well on point then do it on flat. Which is harsh, but the truth. It could mean you going to an amazing dance school or just going to a public school and losing your interest in dance. Dreyfoos is located in the heart of West Palm Beach right across from City Place
View Larger Map of course this isn't the only reason you should go there! It's the same with Bak, they also have other majors, same as at Bak. So if dance isn't your scene, don't lose hope because there's other stuff you could go there for!

If you want to try out, I wish you luck because it's such an amazing school.

An amazing dance but an even more powerful message

On Saturday, January 29, 2011 I had the privilege of going back to my middle school to watch their annual dance concert. There were so many amazing pieces but only two of them I thought had an amazing and powerful message, I'll cover the second one in a separate blog.

The first dance that caught my eye was titled Gossip and was choreographed by Mr. Carlos DeBarros. The reason that I felt this message was so important was because it shows how bullying can affect children inside of a school. Growing up I was always that kid who was picked on, especially while I was at the Middle School of the Arts, now known as Bak Middle School of the Arts. I was that little quite girl in the back who minded her own business and loved to dance and that left me open to mean and cruel nicknames, which still haunts me to this day. That nickname carried on into my four years of high school and even after by kids who were younger than me. Two out of the three boys who started that horrible name for me have apologized now that we have entered college, and that nick name has seemed to shed for some, but others it will never go away.

A school bully is, "refusal (not inability) to think rationally about themsevles and others, small scale terrorist, with behavior mostly taking place during school time; justifies terrorist activites towards his/her targets or victims with self psychological excuses ('I want to appear tough and in control'); enjoys enforcing power on others and causing extreme fear; over-bearing person who tyrannizes the non-violent and physcially less strong; to rule by intimidation, terror; threatens or acts of violence on others; calls an assault a 'fight', 'disagreement' or 'justice." This definition came from

I know people don't seem to realize the effect that bullying has on a young child, but recently it has left the school yard and has started to become popular on sites, such as Facebook and Twitter.

In Suffolk County, N.Y. police are investigating a suicide of a seventeen year old girl. Her suicide was due to vicious Facebook message posted before and after her death. The horrible messages didn't just stop on her page, there was a tribute page for her and the harassment continued there.

Mr. DeBarros wrote in the program, "With all the recent media attention on bullying I wanted to do a dance about it." To me this was just an amazing idea because for the popular kids, who have never been picked on, it gives them an insight into what bullying does to a person.

This dance starts off with some "popular" girls walking and pretending to text each other, and then one other girl runs in and shows them a text then they start laughing. Then another group of girls come in with a note, start reading it then throw it on the floor, she picks it up reads it and starts crying. Then all the girls, including the unpopular one start dancing. Towards the end of this piece girls start passing a note, it gets to the "unpopular" girl, then a burn book comes out. In the end she's on the floor crying, and a popular girl comes up and pushes the other girls away and comforts her.

If you or a friend is a victim of either school bullying or cyber bullying please don't let it go unnoticed. Reach out and get help. Talk to your parents, school counselor or friend, or you can call your local police department and report it. Do something about it before it's to late.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A show you might want to check out!

This weekend at Bak Middle School of the Arts in West Palm Beach Florida will be hosting their Dance Concert. It will be help Friday night at 7 and Saturday night at 2 and another one at 7. Tickets are $10 and will be sold at the door.

You can get more information on the facebook event page!

Hope to see everyone there!!!!

Show is located at:
1725 Echo Lake Dr.
WPB, FL 33407

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lev Ivanov and George Balanchine

The ballet Swan Lake was choreographed by two different choreographers. It was originally choreographed by Lev Ivanov and later on for the New York City Ballet by George Balanchine.

Lev Ivanovich Ivanov born in 1834 and died in 1901 was a Russian ballet dancer and choreographer, later on in life he became the Second Balletmaster of the Imperial Ballet. Balletmaster is the term used for an employee of a ballet company who is responsible for the level of competence of the dancers in their company. For those of my readers who have seen The Nutcracker Ivanov is credited for choreographing this ballet in 1892. Some accounts give Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky as choreographing this ballet but he wrote the music.

With help from Marius Petipa, another famous dance choreographer, we will possibly read about him at a later date. Tchaikovsky, who wrote the music for many of the famous ballets that we know today, came before most of the cheorgraphy and Swan Lake is one of these, according to a dance history website.

In 1895, the Swan Lake that we know today came to be, this was two years after Tchaikovsky's death. The first production was put on in St. Petersburg, Russia and Pepita was given full credit for this work.

Then in 1951 George Balanchine came along and re-staged this piece for the New York City Ballet. George Balanchine was the co-founder and balletmaster of the NYC Ballet. His premiere took place Thursday, November 20th, 1951, at the City Center of Music and Drama in New York.

George Balanchine was born on January 22, 1904 to April 30, 1983 as Giorgi Balanchinvadze in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Balanchine was one of the 20th century's foremost choreographers, a pioneer of ballet in the United States. He created modern ballet, based on his deep knowledge of classical forms and techniques. He was a choreographer known for his musicality; he did not illustrate music but expressed it in dance and worked extensively with Igor Stravinsky. Thirty-nine of his 400 ballets were choreographed to music by Stravinsky.

This video is the pas de duex (is a duet in which ballet dancers perform the dance together) featuring the White Swan.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Black Swan

The ballet that I mentioned in my last post Swan Lake has now been turned into an amazing modern thriller known as Black Swan starring Natalie Portman as the lead dancer, Vincent Cassel and Mila Kunis, who plays Meg in Family Guy are also stars. This thriller has two different descriptions. A psychological thriller or a psychological horror. The ballet is put on by the New York City Ballet company and the production requires a ballerina to play both the innocent White Swan and the sensual Black Swan. Natalie Portman's character Nina is a perfect fit for the White Swan and Mila Kunis' character Lily is perfect for the Black Swan. Nina is determined to become the perfect dancer and obtain both the roles, her only downfall is she needs to find her dark side.

Throughout the movie you witness the transformation of Nina imagining herself becoming the black swan and believing that everyone is against her and trying to steal her role. She befriends Lily, whom she believes is totally out to get her. Of course you'll have to watch the movie in order to get the rest of the details.

This ballet was choreographed for The New York City Ballet in 1951. He wasn't the original choreographer. This ballet was originally choreographed by Lev Ivanov.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The end of an era

Darci Kistler, who was the dance dancer hand picked by choreographer and amazing ballerino himself George Balanchine to join the New York City Ballet retired last year. She joined the New York City Ballet in 1980 after performing Balanchine's one-act Swan Lake at the School of American Ballet's Workshop. She rose to principal ballerina, which is one of the hardest goals to obtain, within just two years.

In an article written June of 2010, in the New York Times she said about Balanchine, "The real reality is there is nothing in the world like being talked to and being graced by his presence, by his words, by his thoughts."

For those of you who have never seen Darci Kistler dance she has a movie that came out several years ago of her as the Sugar Plum fairy in The Nutcracker. The movie stars Macaulay Culkin as The Nutcracker Prince. The movie was released in 1993.

Darci also started in another movie titled Bringing Balanchine Back. When watching this movie you can see footage of George Balanchine dancing.

Being an avid dance and lover of the arts hearing that such an amazing dancer retired brought tears to my eyes and sadness in my heart knowing that I can never see a dancer that was picked by the amazing Balanchine perform ever again. Hopefully one day I'll be lucky enough to be able to attend a master class of hers, that is if she decides to teach.