Tag Archives: The Classical Girl

My 200th post, and a giveaway!

Well, there you have it, my 200th post. The irony being, of course, I can’t think of anything profound to say. Guess I used up all my ceremonious profundity for my post earlier this year that celebrated 5 years of blogging. That, and my mind is in fiction-creation mode with — shhh, don’t jinx it — a third Ballet Theatre Chronicles book. No worries, we’ll just cut to the chase, because we all know why you showed up here…

A Giveaway!

To celebrate my 200th post, I am offering one lucky winner a $25.00 (USD) Amazon gift card and a print advance reader copy (US addresses only) of my forthcoming novel, A Dancer’s Guide to Africa, out in stores on October 2nd. If the winner lives outside the US, they will receive an electronic copy (regrettably, postage for outside the U.S. runs a whopping $18.00 for a single print book, so, forget it!). To sweeten the deal for them, I’ll offer the winner electronic copies of all three of my novels. Sound fair?

                  

And for the rest of you — fret not, I will draw two more names as runner-up winners, and you will each receive an Amazon gift card for $5.00 and an electronic advance reader copy of A Dancer’s Guide to Africa. If you’re interested in putting your name in the drawing, you can either reply in “comments” below, or send me an email via my “contact me” tab above. I will print out all names, toss ’em in a big bowl and pluck out the winning names in two week’s time. For anyone who subscribes to notifications during this time, I will put your name in twice.

I’ll contact all winners via email at that time, but I’ll post their names here, too, around July 1st. Feel free to use a nickname or pseudonym, if you’d rather keep your anonymity. Just don’t use an anonymous email address because, well, that’s not going to help me contact you, now, is it?

Here are some stats I created in February for my post, “The Classical Girl turns Five.” I’m too lethargic to revise it now. You don’t mind, do you?

  • 196 posts created and shared (which has now become 200)
  • 207,951 visitors (in the past 3 years because my Google Analytics data only covers that)
  • 552,000 page views (in the past 3 years, because, see above)
  • 819 comments (+ 80 via email)
  • 10 pages (from the original 6)

Wondering what the top 10 blogs have been since 2013? Here you go — click on the title to get to the article.

  1. What do ballet dancers eat? – 80,188 views
  2. 10 odd facts about pointe shoes – 37,500 views
  3. 10 reasons ballet dancers hate Black Swan – 17,500 views
  4. Pianist Yuja Wang’s very short dresses and very big talent – 17,500 views
  5. Ballet Q & A – 11,457 views
  6. Ballet in Paris: I dare you – 9,519 views
  7. Ulyana Lopatkina and her swans – 7424 views
  8. 10 things you didn’t know about tutus – 6937 views
  9. John Cage’s “As Slow As Possible” – 5896 views
  10. Ohad Naharin’s “Minus 16” – 5818 view

I served up some great snacks and beverages at my five-year celebration, and the good news is that there were leftovers. Here you go! 

     

Something sweet, perhaps?

           

And now something savory?

           

Above all, I want to offer a heartfelt thanks to all of my readers. In the early, early days, there were few readers and it was a crappy feeling. But with each new post came new traffic, and every 20th post seemed to grow white-hot and bring in hundreds of readers (see above Top 10 list). What a great feeling. Special thanks to the site, The Imaginative Conservative, which has been republishing many of my music essays of late, and we’ve agreed happily that it’s a win-win situation. They get new material, I get new readers, there’s been more dialogue and comments here at The Classical Girl, about art-related things, creative, beautiful things. I don’t know about you, but for me, it’s a breath of clean, fresh air for the senses after a day oversaturated with media, conflict, bad news, polarity, and such. I love that the arts can connect us all. And it’s my goal to keep forging on for another 200 posts, to do my little bit to make that happen. I hope you’ll keep reading and commenting.

                                      

The Classical Girl turns five

The Classical Girl, as you longtime readers might know, was a concept I’d created on the eve of 2013. A New Year’s resolution of sorts. My ballet novels were long completed, out being shopped, and I missed researching and living inside the dance world terribly. I knew, as a writer, that it was good to enforce some assignment-like work into my writer’s life. So I dove in, headfirst. I shared more of that story in my two other anniversary posts, The Classical Girl Turns One Year Old and The Classical Girl Turns Three. Thinking of starting a blog of your own?  Wondering how your early visitor numbers compare to someone else’s? You’ll find out there.

As a five-year recap, here are a few stats…

  • 196 posts created and shared
  • 207,951 visitors (in the past 3 years because my Google Analytics data only covers that)
  • 552,000 page views (in the past 3 years, because, see above)
  • 819 comments (+ 80 via email)
  • 10 pages (from the original 6)

New since my last anniversary update

  • A giving program
  • A second novel that was named a Kirkus Indie Books of the Month Selection for January 2017, as well as being on the Top 100 Indie Book of 2017 list, and a third novel forthcoming.
  • Four dance seasons of reviews of ballet performances and dance articles (for a total of six seasons, including 2017-18).

Wondering what the top 10 blogs are? Here you go — click on the title to get to the article.

  1. What do ballet dancers eat? – 80,188 views
  2. 10 odd facts about pointe shoes – 37,500 views
  3. 10 reasons ballet dancers hate Black Swan – 17,500 views
  4. Pianist Yuja Wang’s very short dresses and very big talent – 17,500 views
  5. Ballet Q & A – 11,457 views
  6. Ballet in Paris: I dare you – 9,519 views
  7. Ulyana Lopatkina and her swans – 7424 views
  8. 10 things you didn’t know about tutus – 6937 views
  9. John Cage’s “As Slow As Possible” – 5896 views
  10. Ohad Naharin’s “Minus 16” – 5818 view

Enough business talk. I’m celebrating, and you can celebrate with me. From now till midnight on Friday (Saturday, 8am GMT, 3am Eastern, 7pm in Australia) my two ballet novels, OFF BALANCE and OUTSIDE THE LIMELIGHT, Books 1 and 2 of the Ballet Theatre Chronicles, are FREE! Just click on the titles above.

                        

 

How about some bubbly for this five-year celebration of ours?

             

And something decadent but elegant?

           

Something savory? Good idea!

           

If you’re on a diet and can’t enjoy these cyber-goodies, well, how about some food for thought:

                  

And speaking of Africa, I’m putting the finishing touches on my newest novel, A Dancer’s Guide to Africa, forthcoming in October, and can’t wait to share the cover with you. Stay tuned!

Thank you, dear readers, for helping me celebrate five years of The Classical Girl. I literally couldn’t have done it without you!

My 100th Post! (Plus a Table of Contents)

images-114

Today I bid farewell to the double digits, as 99 posts shifts over to 100. An exciting moment for me – I think I need to celebrate the occasion with cake and champagne. Care to join me? But before that, care to join me in a look back on the last 100 posts? In fact, what this site needs, I now realize, is a Table of Contents. Sure, you can click on Archives, scrolling through them a month at a time, or a category at a time. But that’s a lot of potential scroll fatigue. So how about this – here’s a list of posts/blogs/essays by category. Some are hyperlinked, some aren’t. I’ve yet to discover whether the stress of 100 linked posts will make my blog implode. If you want to read one that’s not hyperlinked, select and cut/paste it into “search.”

Okay, here we go. And BTW, if you see an asterisk in front of a title, it means it’s a post that has drawn a lot of readers. “What do ballet dancers eat?” in particular, draws readers in the triple digits on a daily basis. Cool! Love it when that happens!

First, ballet…

images-80

Then, classical music…

images-15

Next, the violin…

images-47

And now, life…

images-113

Culminating with Classical Girl’s fiction in “The Writing Life”

Thank you, thank you, readers and family and friends and all who’ve stopped by The Classical Girl to read one of my yarns. I soooo very much appreciate all of you!

And now, something about a promised glass of champagne, right?

images-18

Classical Girl meets The Modern Classic

Terez (2 of 9)

This is The Modern Classic, created by gwenyth. It’s an activewear top and tunic that’s great for ballet, yoga, summer attire, travel days, cocktail parties. All this in one garment. How cool is that? Founder and CEO Michele Cheowtirakul Braxton invited me to give one a test drive and, as I wear exercise clothes of all kinds (in addition to ballet, I do yoga, kickboxing, hiking, weight-lifting) and tend to stay in them for a good chunk of the day, my reply was a decisive, “ooh, yes!” Which, come to think of it, were my words when I first pulled the top out of its elegant little box, and later, when I tried it on. Soft. Luxurious feeling. Stretchy, but holding on firmly in the right places. And just like its name says: modern yet classic.

On gwenyth’s Kickstart campaign site for this new creation of theirs, they feature a  video showing the garment’s versatility on a gorgeous dancer, which is great fun to watch and enjoy. But some of us out there might observe it and think, “yes, excellent on this slim beauty, but how does it look on real people, with real bodies?” Well, folks, The Classical Girl is going to show you just that. Real, over-fifty, gave birth, big-chested me. Here I come; hope the images don’t frighten you.

Terez (9 of 9)

First, ballet. The drawstrings on the side of the garment allow you to shorten it into any length you like. For ballet, I kept it around hip level and tied my skirt  over it, so it looked and felt like the leotard experience. My big chest is always my greatest concern, and therefore the second image you’ll see will be what I call the BG (big girl’s) Challenge.

Terez (1 of 9)-1

Terez (3 of 9)

Yup, passed the BG Challenge. No adjustment required once I’d straightened up. Good. Very good. Next, onto yoga.

Terez (4 of 9)

Once again, the BG Challenge…

Terez (6 of 9)

Absolutely no worries. As you might be able to tell by the photo, the material stretched with me and the jugs stayed well-covered. Even after a downward facing dog. Even a handstand.

And so, here’s where it gets fun. Cocktail attire! Mom’s night out attire! (Er, maybe not. How about “Mom’s night out on the deck when no visitors are around” attire?)

Terez (8 of 9)

I was traveling last week, and wore The Modern Classic as a tunic over a black cotton skirt, with a gauzy jacket to finish the outfit off. I was in and out of airports and planes all long day, and the ensemble worked well. Nothing bit into my skin and/or constrained me (bye-bye underwire minimizer bra). I’ll therefore add excellent travel-wear onto its utility list, especially when one is living out of a carry-on bag’s worth of clothing for a week and needs items to serve dual purposes.

The Modern Classic was created  when founder Michele, herself an adult beginning dancer, couldn’t find anything she liked for herself for dance class. “I drew my first pattern on some Crate & Barrel Tissue paper,” she shared via email, “and hand-stitched the first (ugly) prototype.” She describes herself as “a recovering Wharton MBA/management consultant, ‘transformed’ by the power of movement after starting dance lessons in my early 30’s.” Her business partner, with a Georgia Tech Masters in architecture, is behind a lot of the design innovation and implementation. Working together, I think they’re on to something good.

Check out their Facebook page here (https://www.facebook.com/gwenythbrand?filter=1) and their Kickstarter campaign here: (http://kck.st/1acuujM) Their online shop is open for business now, and it doesn’t hurt to mention that Christmas is just around the corner, for you AND the [other] dancer in your life. (The various colors they offer the top in, by the way, are delicious.)

And for the record, no, they didn’t pay me to say any of this. I liked the Modern Classic enough to give it a shout-out based on its own merits. Give one a try and let me know what you think.

© 2014 Terez Rose
Photography © 2013 Peter Rose

Popping into Palais Garnier

So, I was in the neighborhood of Paris’s Palais Garnier the other day—you know how that goes, just a weekday drop-by on a free afternoon—and I decided to invest in the 10 euro price to tour the opera house and its museum, since odds are low I’ll be attending a performance of the Paris Opera Ballet there any time in the future. Mind you, I’d love to. And for the next best thing, the chance to see the venue where the POB performs, wander the fabled halls, the glittering, mirror-and-chandelier-filled salon, run my fingers lovingly over one of the red velvet seats in the auditorium, gaze upward at the Marc Chagall ceiling, it would be well worth ten euros.

images-1 images

Any of my ballet readers will be nodding their heads wisely at the mention of the Paris Opera Ballet, knowing its stellar international reputation, its legendary hold within the dance world since way back. Although ballet in some form had commenced centuries earlier in Italy, it was France’s Louis XIV, himself a dancer, who developed it. He founded the Royal Academy of Dance in 1661, and in 1669, the Academy of Opera. By 1672 it was The Royal Academy of Music, to be later known as simply The Opera. Louis XIV gave the ballet all his support, both personal and financial, and as such, ballet thrived in France. This is why all the ballet terms are in French and not Italian.

Back in those times, ballet companies were merely offshoots of the far more important opera companies and their performances. (And for many years, only men were allowed to dance.) This is why now, particularly in Europe, the term “opera” is tied in with the country’s premier dance companies. It’s not the Paris Ballet, it’s the Paris Opera Ballet, and both the opera and the ballet have performed at the Palais Garnier until 1989, when a second opera house was built (the Opéra Bastille, with more elaborate facilities for the sort of set and production changes required for opera). Today the Palais Garnier is used mostly for ballet productions.

opera-national-de-paris-stairs

The Palais Garnier is gorgeous, ornate, sublime, truly palatial. Inside, I took page after page of notes, snapped pics, gathered impressions, immersed myself in the utterly delicious experience of wandering around without any time constraints (the boys in my family had gone to a war museum).

Palais 4

Fortunate for me, the museum was having an exposition on the Paris Opera Ballet, complete with hundreds of photos, costumes on display, and a viewing room to watch video footage of Paris Opera Ballet performances. What a lovely, lengthy, detailed blog I could write, with all this.

Or not. Because the travels continue. And when you’re a tourist in Europe, you really need to focus on what’s there right in front of you. So, off I go. I’ll let my lame little cell-phone photos tell the rest.

Palais 3

Palais 1

Palais 2

 

Palais 6

Palais 5

There are changes forthcoming at the Paris Opera Ballet: recently it has been announced that Benjamin Millepied (former New York City Ballet principal, choreographer for Black Swan) will be taking over as director of dance in October 2014, replacing esteemed director Brigitte Lefèvre. This is a bit of a shock to me, and to a lot of people in the ballet world, I imagine. The Paris Opera Ballet is such an iconic institution and Millepied is… well, he’s based on Los Angeles, he married actress Natalie Portman, he was in on Black Swan and indeed, that’s how I knew his name. Peak success, Hollywood-style. Taking over the Paris Opera Ballet, well… WOW! That’s big. Anyway. Wishing him the best.

And if you’re interested in how to take a ballet class in Paris, check out this blog of mine: http://www.theclassicalgirl.com/ballet-class-in-paris-i-dare-you/

© 2013 Terez Rose