Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Offstage Inspiration

Let me start by saying: I'm not the stereotypical "bunhead." I own oversized headphones and a leather jacket (which I often pair with a beloved pair of leopard print shoes or perfectly dirty Converse); I am an avid fan of professional sports; I've been told I have a unique sense of humor; I do not wear makeup offstage; and I absolutely love to talk about things unrelated to ballet--other art, books, music, unicorns, whatever. That being said, when I am at work, I absolutely love what I do. Of course I get inspired by other dancers (it would be ridiculous, not to mention a total lie, if I said otherwise), but I find I also get inspired by "non-ballet" people and things. Some examples:

Yes, like millions of other girls before me (and now), I love all things Audrey Hepburn--here, in the fantastic bar scene from Funny Face.

There is a special place in my heart (and on my bookshelf) reserved for Edward Gorey. His Gashlycrumb Tinies remains one of my (morbidly) favorite books ever.

In eighth grade, I did a report on Andy Warhol for my English final. Researching him and his work in depth, I became mildly obsessed with the Factory, Warhol, and his tragic muse, Edie Sedgwick.

Gael Monfils is an up-and-coming French tennis player. I love to watch him for several reasons: he's excellent; he makes the sport entertaining; he appears to have a healthy sense of humor (and some slick dance moves); and he's cute with fun hair. So if pigs are flying and you're reading, Gael: You've got a ballerina fan in Denmark :)

Karl Lagerfeld is a source of fascination for me. I read a biography profiling Yves Saint Laurent and Lagerfeld, and while I loved both, I was more attracted to the over-the-top, carefully calculated persona that the Chanel designer created. (Plus, if I could own everything he has ever designed, I totally would.)

I love the decades preceding my birth--in particular, the 1920s-1950s. And F. Scott Fitzgerald is one of my favorite authors. (I'm currently rereading The Great Gatsby for approximately the one bajillionth time; The Beautiful and Damned is another one of his books that I have devoured several times.) There's something about the Roaring '20s that I wish I could have experienced.

The Talking Heads rock my world. They are weird, in the best sense of the word, and Psycho Killer remains in heavy rotation on my iPod. 'Nuff said.

There is something about Jean-Michel Basquiat and his artwork that I love. It's messy, and all over the place, but I like it. Organized chaos.

First of all, I must proclaim my love for Almost Famous. The time period, the music, the fashion--I love this movie. And Kate Hudson as Penny Lane is fantastically quirky.

Grace Jones--the original Lady Gaga, only better.


Anonymous said...

Hi. TheBalletBag recommended your blog, so here I am. I take adult ballet classes for fun and fulfillment. My very interesting, money making job involves engineering. Ballet blogs are inspirational and I thank dance people who take the time and care to write a blog.

I want to thank you for being multi-dimensional in your blogging. I run into so many blogs that are only about ballet as if the person has absolutely nothing to say unless it involves ballet.

I am still waiting to find a professional ballet dancer who takes university courses in engineering. Math, science, etc. Are there any ballerina / ballerano scientist types out there??

Anonymous said...

OH!! And I LOOOOVE The Gashlycrumb Tinies. I have a good laugh when I show the book to people who have children and they look at me funny.