dance

Dancing Lessons By Mark St. Germain,  Directed by Sarah Rodgers for Naked Goddess Productions 

Vancouver, BC.  With my long time professional interest in developmental neurodiversity and my later discovered passion for dance, the premise underlying Dancing Lessons grabbed my attention. Two people want to dance, yet for very different reasons, they cannot. They have vastly different motivations, each has a major obstacle to overcome, both must embrace change if they are to succeed. 

It's official - six months after spine fusion and I am back to normal. Well maybe even better than what passed for normal  for me before recurrent lower back pain morphed into incapacitating sciatica  - cured hopefully forever by the application of cutting edge (ooh  bad pun) spinal surgery.

Today I achieved yet another small step on my way to recovery from my recent back surgery. I managed to get my sock onto my  right foot.  It may not sound like much  but it was the absolutely last thing I needed to be able to do, in order to say that I could completely take care of myself, at last as far as getting dressed is concerned.

For those of you who been asking whether I have stopped "Sipping and Supping" or enthusiastically checking out the Vancouver "Theatre Seen", and those others who have asked why my saga of the Autumn East Coast Dance Cruise  seemed to drop anchor temporarily in Bar Harbor, Maine - here is the explanation and a cautionary tale.

Vancouver, BC: I was having a blast at the Dance Marathon until I got eliminated in The Derby - how lame, so to speak! That was when I  realized that my competitive streak is as strong as it ever was - because I was not ready to  go and I was MAD.

Our South Pacific Cruise is rapidly coming to an end  and this is the part that most of us had been waiting for; visiting the beautiful islands of French Polynesia that sit like exquisite jewels in the warm blue and green waters of the Pacific Ocean.

We departed from Hilo shortly after 4:30 pm on Thursday afternoon  and set course in a southerly direction across the Pacific Ocean towards Christmas Island. The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of all the oceans and covers two-thirds of the earth's surface. Compared to the distance between our various ports in Hawaii, an average of 100 nautical miles apart, the distance to Christmas Island from Hilo is 1088  nautical miles so it was no wonder that when we awoke early as usual and went up on deck, there was only the ocean to see all around us.

The opportunity to join Wendy and the Dancers at Sea on a South Pacific Cruise from Honolulu to Tahiti came up unexpectedly while I was on the Labor Weekend Getaway Dance Cruise. A test of my developing capacity for spontaneity - something I have really been working hard to achieve - I needed to decide on the spot whether to take up an unexpected vacancy that had arisen - the only problem  was that the cruise was scheduled to start a mere two weeks after I returned to Vancouver from New York (New York, New York 2009).

I am writing to you from what the Captain of this ship joking calls "the middle of nowhere." Out somewhere in the South Pacific Ocean.

This is dance theatre that you can take your husband to….and your teens…and anyone else you can think of.   The opening offering of the Cultch Family Series is a knock-out.  The re-furbished Cultch main stage was bathed in the light of a thousand candles being arranged and moved about by the seven members of the company, the men in jeans and the women in point shoes, as the audience entered the theatre. 

New York, NY:  As a reviewer, I think it important that my readers know the biases and foibles that influence my writing.  So before I write another word about the show itself,  I have two confessions to make.

This is the index of postings to my Travelblogue that documents my ballroom dancing-focused West Coast cruise in the Sapphire Princess from Los Angeles, California to Vancouver, British Columbia. I traveled with a group of ballroom dance enthusiasts led by Wendy from Dancers at Sea. With three hours of dancing every night,a dance workshop, excellent food on board and excursions to wine country en route, it was the perfect trip for a gourmet food and wine-loving , ballroom dance addicted, travel writer.

Since dance is what this cruise is about,  at least for most of the members of the Dancers at Sea Group, the idea is to dance non-stop from after dinner till midnight. On various evenings some folks may choose to attend the song and dance shows which are at 8:30 or 10 pm in the huge Princess Theatre or hit the casino or whatever but dancing is on for anyone in the group who prefers to dance.

My son is driving me to the Cruise Terminal. We turn it into a family outing so my grand-daughter can see what a really big ship looks like. It's a short 1 hour drive along the highway to the cruise ship terminal at San Pedro from which the Sapphire Princess is to sail. We made excellent time until we got to the last turnoff to Harbor Boulevard where somehow we missed the turnoff. As, far too late,  I yelled "go right, go right" we found ourselves driving onto a very very - yes very - long bridge to the opposite side of the harbor. I looked back with dismay as the Sapphire Princess rapidly receded into the distance.

Well here I am back in Vancouver after a fantastic 7 nights of dance, food, wine and meeting new friends on board the Sapphire Princess. The cruise was a great success - I had a blast! My feet may need a week to recover from dancing till midnight most nights. But on the other hand, despite eating great food and not stinting on the wine, i did not put on any weight! Ballroom dancing is the key!
 

It is hard for me to believe that it is three and a half  years since I wrote my first Rants, Raves and Reviews post for Immediate Theatre. Somewhat ironically, it was titled Our Town, as it was partly about seeing the Thornton Wilder play but in Toronto, not Vancouver - my town! My first posted travelblogue (I really should copyright that word!) London and Languedoc about studying travel writing with Angela Murrills in France, was written in the fall of 2006.  And the first theatre review officially posted to ReviewFromTheHouse.com  was The View from Above in April 2008, just over a year ago.

It is six am on a bright California morning. Tomorrow my family will drive me up to the cruise ship terminal at San Pedro where I will embark on the Sapphire Princess for a seven night cruise from Los Angeles to Vancouver. With shore excursions for winery tasting and a gourmet food and wine tour in San Francisco, this cruise promises to provide most of my favorite activities - fine supping, great sipping and a different travel experience. But here is the number one reason I decided to try it - Ballroom dancing.

Being away for nearly a month, I was concerned about keeping up my level of fitness and not putting on weight – what with no gym, no dance classes, and having to try all the new and exciting restaurants in Cape Town . I was also concerned about withdrawal symptoms from my growing dance addiction. So being a trained researcher and all that, I used the Internet back in Vancouver , to find a dance instructor in Cape Town who taught international dancing. I found someone that sounded promising and gave Brin his cell phone number.

Vancouver, BC. One of the only pleasant aspects of air travel is the fact that for a few precious hours you are stuck in your seat with nowhere to move to, no household chores to take care of and no phone calls to interrupt your train of thought. A perfect time to meditate about heartbeats, music, growing up and growing older - or Upintheair Theatre's site-specific production about the West Coast Rave scene.

VANCOUVER, BC - The fine Vancouver drizzle that began as we followed the "shepherds" along the trail to the grassy meadow in Stanley Park could not dampen the enthusiasm of the preview night crowd. And from the opening moments of Boca del Lupo's The Shoes That Were Danced to Pieces this show enchanted adults and children alike.