Phoenix Rising


By Shel Silverstein

I’ve discovered a way to stay friends forever-

there’s really nothing to it.

I simply tell you what to do

And you do it!

2006- Fearsome Threesome

I think that’s called a butler, Shel. And speaking of Butlers….

Does anyone else have those friends that you feel extremely close to while engaging in some kind of similar activity or class? It seems as if you can spend hours discussing the other people in the group, the teacher, the tasks at hand. Then when the reason for meeting ends-  be it graduating, or someone loses interest in that activity- and it feels like you have NOTHING to talk about?

design by Charlotte Taylor- I love this print

That’s what I call a circumstantial friend.

I am going this weekend to see my two best girl friends from Butler University who were also dance majors- neither of which dance anymore. Will we still have things to talk about besides tutus and casting?

I think so. They are THAT KIND OF FRIENDSHIP- the ones that can still live outside the studio, beyond the years of doing plies together. Those few relationships can go untouched for weeks, even phone calls aren’t too common for us, and pick up like no time has passed.  it’s been two years since I’ve seen Kimberly and a year-and-a-half since I’ve seen Emily. And that seems like time enough.

So, like the phoenix rising, I am getting on a plane today to see my friends in the hot state of Arizona. We will lay out by the pool and catch up on stories and talk about things- maybe dance-related stuff, maybe not- it doesn’t matter. It might be more interesting now that we’re living such different lives, but then I like unlikely pairings. Not every friend has to wear pointe shoes and leotards to be a kindred spirit.And if it just so happens that we run out of things to talk about, I suppose we could always try to do this famous Pas De Trois- the 3 Odalisques from ‘Le Corsaire’ – performed by the Bolshoi Ballet in 2007. Music by Adolph Adam and original choreography by Marius Petipa. I would probably take the first solo myself because I like quick petite allegro like the opening brise dessus and the lightening speed cabrioles(devant and derriere). And I think I would be the one to start the coda with those delicious gargouillade– which actually means paddling step but should mean gargoyle step. (Look for a rather interesting one at 7:09, I don’t know WHAT that position is that she’s landing in!)   Kimberly can do the sencond because she always had an amazing arabesque and emboites are or at least were, more her thing than mine. And Emily can do the last one- mostly because I remember when we learned that one in variations class in Russia she sat out (so did I, after doing it once). Also because it has the best music and you have to want the best for your friends.

-See you when I get back from the Red State. Have a great weekend!- xo- Jess

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