It’s been a while since my last post. Unfortunately, life has been a bit crazy for the past few weeks. Between a crazy project at work, keeping up with dance classes, and fighting off what I can only assume was the stomach bug from hell, blogging has fallen quite low on my list of priorities. However, now that I have a half hour or so before I need to run to the company holiday party, I thought I’d take a few moments to write a bit about my adventure with friends to Toronto last Saturday.
Every year, my jazz instructor, Marina, goes to Toronto the Saturday after Thanksgiving. She had mentioned it to Rudi, who decided to go with her. At some point, they got the crazy idea to invite me. Having heard about these excursions from a couple different sources, I was all too eager to accept that invitation. So that morning, I crawled out of bed, into some clothes, and drove over to Marina’s house. I was there by about 6:15. Rudi got there a half hour or so later, and we were on the road by about 7:00 that morning.
The drive up was pleasant and uneventful. We only made one stop, and that was at the border. This allowed us to exchange our currency and grab a quick breakfast at Tim Horton’s. Then we went through the checkpoint and continued on our way to Toronto.
We were in the city by 10:30, so we parked in the garage across the street from the theater we’d be attending that evening and walked down to the facilities where DanceTeq teaches there classes. We arrive about forty five minutes before the modern class started. Class that day was taught by a substitute, Matthew Waldie. The class was too advanced for me (mainly due to the pace rather than complexity of technique), so I watched (which gave me plenty of opportunities to semi-secretly watch Matthew and pray the drool wasn’t too obvious) while Marina and Rudi actually participated. Both struggled with the class at various points and Marina was particularly out of breath by the end of class. I actually took a certain amount of pleasure in that realization. After all, I saw in Marina’s expression the same exhaustion and sense of pushing beyond her capabilities that I frequently feel when I take her class. So it’s nice to see one of my instructors in that same space, herself.
After class, we did a bit of shopping. Of course, this meant walking from the waterfront to the major shopping areas in the city. Fortunately, I had the sense to pack a pair of decent sneakers. Shopping went pretty well, and I even managed to pick up a nice shirt, though I need to lose about another twenty pounds before it looks quite right on me. Unfortunately, the manufacturers of stylish clothing still haven’t decided to let those of us in plus sizes look good. But I’ll try not to rant too much about that.
After shopping, we made the trek back to the waterfront to grab a quick dinner and head to our show. We went to see “Lost Action” by the Canadian dance company, Kidd Pivot. The show was quite good, especially in terms of strength and technique. The company has four male dancers, and it’s amazing to see the kinds of things a dance company can do with that kind of muscle. There was one scene in which all four guys worked together to lift one of the women and move her around the stage, twisting and turning her body. The fact that they did this without popping one of her joints out of socket — let alone with deceptive ease — was incredible.
The show itself was a bit confusing. “Lost Action” is an abstract performance piece, and I don’t really do well with abstract art, at least not yet. One of the things that I took away from the performance was a sense that it involved a theme of enforced conformity, an observation that Marina and Rudi both felt made a lot of sense at the time. Of course, having just reread what Kidd Pivot says about the performance themselves, I’m not sure I was on base at all. Of course, Christine would point out that this is the beauty of dance. Different people interpret the same thing differently.
After the show, we made a quick, peaceful, and enjoyable trip back home. Rudi and I talked most of the way while Marina slept. Fortunately, she did wake up at the border so we could get across okay.
Overall, it was a fantastic trip and I look forward to making more of them in the future. I certainly couldn’t have asked for better traveling companions, either. Hopefully, they feel the same way. (There was that one teasing crack I made to Rudi, though…)