About Susan

Monday, June 15, 2009

Does this not remind you of ...

... a certain lady who graces the boxes of a certain brand of butter?

That's right, Land O' Lakes!

This is a costume for an Uighur dance from Xinjiang (western China) celebrating the harvest of grapes in Autumn. I felt vaguely like a Vegas showgirl because of the ostentatious adornments and feathers. To be honest, I am not overly fond of this dance precisely because it's rather showy. I prefer dances that are more understated but have great depth, or are simply lively and fun! But this one was, to me at least, neither ... Still, as a dancer you can't bring this to rehearsal or the stage - you just keep your opinions to yourself. So, for certain time periods I just love my grapes when required! (At least I'm not holding a stick of butter.)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Good Pain ... The Bad Pain

Every athlete knows what I'm talking about. There's the good pain that comes from pushing one's body beyond the limit; it's the only way to get stronger. And then there's the bad pain, from injury. I've certainly had both, but I definitely prefer the former although it's difficult right now to think about it because I hurt all over, quite a lot!

I'm rehearsing a dance where I have to do a backbend on a tall Chinese war drum and kick off of it backwards until I land on the floor. Funny how the floor seems so far away from atop the drum. After some rough landings I was too scared to kick full out and basically ended up standing on my hands on the edge of the drum with my legs in a split in the air, upside-down. Many times. Needless to say, my triceps hurt. And so does everything else. Hopefully my muscles will learn and I'll get over my fear quickly.

I also have to learn how to flip off the drum without hands ... I swear I'll be brave enough soon.

Time to Rest ... But Not Really

There's been a bit of a lull lately besides some commercial shoots, which is nice because it's given me time to 1) recover from my mysteriously sprained right ankle from a month ago; still don't know what happened, and 2) concentrate on rehearsing the dances for upcoming shows.

Since I leave for Shanghai to dance in less than two weeks(!) I really hope I don't get sick or injured because I'd like to be able to perform at my best. I feel that the pressure's on, but at the same time I hope I can simply enjoy working with some of the best dancers and directors that China has. This is an opportunity I hadn't even imagined I would have, so I'll give it my best!