Sleeping beauty

This can be seen as a sort of sequel of my last post, Don’t bring the light. There’s a sort of thing to sleeping that makes it not only necessary, but also a metaphor, something poetical. It makes you leave the ‘conscience’ world for a while, you may dream (and then write four books about it… Twilight anyone?), you may go for a  sleepwalk. Going to sleep is losing control, and actually that’s just like drugs.
But okay, sleeping is necessary.We all need it and all lack it too. Imagine sleeping for one hundred years… That must be great. Satisfying. Beautiful.

SB 1

Especially when being woken up by the guy you’re going to marry. Or at least not waking up alone when you don’t want to be (so not after having had a drunk night and stuff.).

Last year I went to see Sleeping Beauty danced by the National Ballet Flanders, and it was so incredibly beautiful. Not just because it was ballet, it was the entire setting and the costumes and the music and the atmosphere. Almost as satisfying as sleeping for 100 years…

SB 3

It was really like a fairytale, and sitting there at the theatre, I realised there couldn’t have been a better way to spend my Wednesday afternoon. A thing of beauty…

There are also sleeping beauties that are dangerous rather than elusive. Sleeping Beauty is a movie I haven’t seen yet, but the trailer was so enigmatic that I want to see this movie. I couldn’t really figure out what it was about, which might be promising (or disappointing).

SB2

Enigmas are quite common for anything related to sleep. Inception, anyone? And think of the enigmatic speech by Hamlet.

SB4

Ay, there’s the rub… I know dreams aren’t always the best thing to have. They can be so freaky and surreal. And sometimes they show you things you’d rather not see (anymore).

But after all, sleeping is a wonderful thing to do, and who would not want to be a sleeping beauty…

Awarded, but lazy

It’s been a long time ago since I sat in front of the computer and wrote a decent post about an interesting subject or whatever. Could I have foreseen how busy life would get? Probably I should have known better. But okay.
Let me do a Guapo trick now: what’s been going on in the blogosphere? Edita was interviewed, go read it, it’s really worth it. Mistwalker made some great pictures, very intruiging. Mabel made a kick-ass (kick-head?) friend. Go check those out while I survive without posting ;).

I need to thank some people as well. Audrey en Lily have been so kind to give me awards, and that still makes me as happy as a child who gets a biscuit. So thank you thank you thank you! As usually there are rules and everything, but I’m so badass that I will not obey. What seven things could I tell you which you don’t know yet? Well, there are plenty of things in fact. I’ll give it a go.

1. I’m exhausted. Really exhausted. There used to be time when I thought going out until 3 am was exhausting. No I consider 3 am too early to leave already.

2. But it’s not entirely my fault. That’s just what happens when your friends go out such a long time.

3. I will not say I dislike it. Every Thursday I have the greatest time, and Friday I haven’t got any lessons, so that is fun.

4. Right now I’m working on a task for which I have to use the Russian keyboard. Do you have any idea how different that keyboard is from ours? I’d say, imagine qwerty being messed up completely. That’s what I feel like right now.

5. The task isn’t really done yet, but after five sentences I was tired of typing with only one finger.

6. It isn’t a useful task either.

7. I’m running out of songs to listen while doing this kind of stuff! Any recommendations?

I’m way too lazy (and busy) to gather stars or nominate people – you’re ALL nominated because I’m so kind ;).

O, and I fell really hard. Feel free to think of a cool story I can tell to explain the bruises! I was thinking of something mafia related. Or falling of an elephant. Anything! Let your fantasy run wild.

PS: No, I wasn’t drunk.

A Different Carmen

This just made my day. Enjoy!

The Edita Edition

Sometimes, when sitting in a bus or when working, you see someone passing by with a face that reminds you of someone else. Like, really hard. You wonder if they’re family or something. Perhaps some people just share some facial characteristics. Possibly. Other times, you talk to someone and find out that they are very similar to you – but in another way. You discover that you both like the same stuff. When this happens, I’m always a bit stunned. Isn’t it weird how some people seem to have so much in common with you – though they live somewhere else?

For me, one of those people is Edita. Of course it’s a bit swanky to compare yourself to such a beautiful and nice girl :). But still, Edita and I have quite a lot in common. She’s a Lithuanian beauty who currently lives in London. (Obviously, that’s not what we’ve got in common!) Next to that, I found out she’s fluent in Russian and Polish – the languages I’m learning right now… Coincidence? I think not. She might look innocent and sweet, but don’t be fooled: she’s one of the people who understands my Kalashnikov jokes. And that is a bonus for sure. People compare her to a black widow. Don’t be fooled by her looks…

Because her looks can easily fool you. She hasn’t got one face, but much like a diamond (cornycornycorny) she’s got a lot of facets. One day she’ll be sporty, the next day she’ll be incredibly elegant. Whenever she post pictures of herself she surprises me – how many more sides of yourself can you reveal, Edita? Is there no limit to your ‘renewal’? It’s incredible.

This post is a sort of prize, in fact, but I actually wanted to this anyway. There are many bloggers who deserve a post about them, but not many of them are like Edita. Not many people combine beauty and brains and humour like that. Pret A Reporter isn’t just a fashion blog and Edita is no fashion victim. If that was true, I wouldn’t be writing a post about her.

Fashion can be fun, but just like me (time for some self-confidence, right? 😉 ) she doesn’t just follow the fashion rules. No, Edita rules fashion. In a very amusing way. With every post, she creates a new world, with its very own light, clothes and everything. Props to the photographer as well!

I’d love to go to London and have a chat with the bloggers who live there – and she’s on my list as well!

PS: sorry for me being so corny. I always become corny when talking about her – perhaps because we’re more or less friends…?

PPs: all pictures are stolen from her site, and are her ownership!!

Dance Day # 5: One Thousand and One Nights

Every two years, our dance school has a show. This show is always divided into two parts: one part for the ever beautiful modern pieces, and one part with a story. Then every group has a different role. I’ve got quite an animal-thing going on with that, so far I’ve been a butterfly, a jellyfish (whole lotta fun!) and a vulture. The only exception was the guard. (Before that, I danced somewhere else, otherwise I’d have been a mouse as well.) It’s still a guess what we’ll be this year, it could be snakes, or tigers, or something like that… Anything that fits in the theme: One Thousand and One Nights! I’m really looking forward to it, it will be beautiful… I imagine myself running over the stage as Scheherazade already, all covered in pink and orange (the only time I’ll tolerate those…).
(If you’re unfamiliar with Scheherazade and 1001 Nights, look here.)

Scheherazade, tell me a story…

We’re all blogging, so which one of us doesn’t enjoy telling a story? Who wouldn’t enjoy crossing a stage with a feather on your head, being chased by the Golden Slave. I mean, it’s not just a random slave, but a Golden Slave. He chases you because you’re beautifully sensual, desirable. (Or because of strategic reasons?) Who would dislike that?
But the whole Golden Slave story is in fact the ballet version of Scheherazade. In this piece, the sultan’s wife has a great time with the Golden Slave, but they are caught… It’s most tragic and beaufitul. The music is equally as great as the clothing. It’s nice to watch, it’d surely recommend it. I mean, the violin in the beginning is so heart breaking, the dancers are so talented, and everything is like a fairytale. O, and watch those people at the end who are killed, watch them breathing heavily. How real :). And the mustache and everything… Lovely.

You’re all invited to come. Tickets costs 5 euros (prize to get in Belgium not included).

For more Dance Days, check the categories!

When birds of a different feather flock together…

Spoiler alert!

After having posted my latest post on El Tango de Roxanne, it became clear that there are still lots of movies I have to see. There are so many classic movies, and good movies, and I haven’t seen even half of them! But sometimes, tv will help you out.
A few days ago, namely, The Birds would be on tv. We recorded it, because everyone knows this movie, and well, it’s worth watching it, right? So two days ago, we started watching this recorded movie. But we started watching quite late, so we only saw a part of it, and promised each other to watch the rest the next day. So yesterday, we sat down in front of the tv again, and watched the rest of it.

It’s quite fun to watch a movie that was made when my father was still very, very young. It’s full of dialogues, and special effects that are really fake now. When Melanie drives her car, the background is so obviously fake… Or when the birds attack the children, you can see they don’t really run there. But okay, at that time, it must have been spectacular. And sometimes, we agreed that the tension was built up very well. When Melanie sits on a bench, with a playground behind her, and the birds start collecting… It starts with two or three birds, but it ends up with a massive amount of birds just waiting to attack, and she doesn’t see them.

The same tension was built up when Melanie and the Brenners are at the Brenner’s house, hiding for the birds, and Melanie hears a sounds. Electricity is gone, so it’s all dark. Melanie takes an oil lamp and climbs the stairs…It’s a freaky moment, I was near to frightened. I like this kind of tension more than well, other kinds. I don’t like ‘physical’ horror movies, with limbs cut off and stuff. The psychological terror can be equally or even more frightening, and is less ‘cheap’.

Next to frightening, this movie was also cute. The fake backgrounds, the manners of that time, the fashion, all of that was just plain cute. Props for the actors though, because they were actually great. Somehow, I thought that acting wasn’t nearly as good as it’s supposed to be now, but I was wrong.

But then. We were desperately waiting for an explanation, a plot, while I was saying “Release the love birds! Release them!”, as I believed the birds attacked because of the love birds. All the while, we were scared that the movie would not be fully recorded, because we saw there wasn’t much movie left, and the end wasn’t even near. We believed. So the Brenners and Melanie get into Melanie’s car, they drive off, and then, all of sudden-

Publicity!

The end of the recorded movie!

We were like ‘Noooooo! We want to see the ending! We have to see the ending! Why can’t that stupid thing record the entire movie!’ So today, I desperately searched for the movie on YouTube, on Dailymotion, on Google, because it seemed to be nowhere. We found it on some site, went straight to the end, only to discover that this version stopped at the very same moment. Suspicion was growing. We found another site which offered the movie. According to Wikipedia, it had the right duration, so we went straight to the end once more, only to find out that the end…

… was what we had seen: the Brenners and Melanie driving off. No explanation, now release of the love birds, no solution or whatsoever.

We were terribly disappointed. I mean, you call that an ending? I don’t. I’m still convinced that if they just had released those pokerfacing love birds, everything would have been alright. I’m not pleased to find out that in fact we had seen the entire movie, but I must admit that it left me with an uncomfortable feeling. So somehow, it was well done.

But the ending just sucked.

The taglines to the movie made me laugh…:

Suspense and shock beyond anything you have seen or imagined!
…and remember, the next scream you hear may be your own!
It could be the most terrifying motion picture I have ever made!
Nothing You Have Ever Witnessed Before Has Prepared You for Such Sheer Stabbing Shock!

Dance Day # 4: El Tango de Roxanne

Sometimes you watch a movie when suddenly, there is a scene that won’t let you go, a scene that gives you goosebumps and takes away your ability to talk for a short while. We’re lucky enough to have YouTube these days, so there aren’t many scenes we can’t watch over and over, but some scenes just won’t be ruined, not even when having watched them a thousand times.

For me, El Tango de Roxanne (Moulin Rouge) is such a scene. It’s a great example of a perfect combination between dance, music, light and everything. It’s this combination that struck me when I saw it for the first time. The more you watch it, the more shots you will discover. If you only watch this once, you’ll miss a lot of things. The great amount of shots is what makes this scene so dynamic and powerful. But there are other things too. For those interested, here’s a more technical approach to this scene.

A More Technical Approach

First of all, there are three storylines in this piece: there’s the Argentinian guy who tells the story of ‘a prostitute, and a man who falls in love’. He picks out one of the girls of the Moulin Rouge as the prostitute, Nini. She’s the cheeky one, but as soon as the AG (Argentinian Guy) picks her out, she changes and plays her role.

So, AG tells this story, that is really similar to Christian’s story. He’s a writer who has fallen in love  with Moulin Rouge’s greatest star, Satine.

Last but not least, the third storyline is Satine. She is having dinner with the Duke, who has fallen in love with her. He’s important because of his money, and Satine is forced to do whatever he wants to. But of course, he’s a total asshole, and she is in love with Christian as well.

Our dear AG starts to tell his story and Nini and he dance, so this story isn’t only told by words. The Music also plays a big role: Ag starts singing Roxanne by The Police, but in a slightly adapted version. At 1:20, you can see how Nini’s eyes are illuminated, a great use of light. Many moves during their dance are repeated later on by the group. The kicking leg, the arms spread, this kind of moves. At 1:43, AG has gripped Nini’s wrist (watch her face after he let her go! the cheeky prostitute is replaced by a real actress). At 3:05, the group has a more or less similar move: the men hold the girls by their wrists. Watch their eyes, it’s almost like they’ve been crying. It adds a dramatic feel to this scene, especially combined with that vulnerable move. At 5:22, the Duke has taken Satine by her wrists.

At that moment, Satine and the Duke have seen Christian passing by, and the Duke realises Satine doesn’t love him. He goes mad. Really mad. (He’s freaky guy after all…) The music was gone for a little while, but at 5:22, the violin starts playing again, an Arabic sounding voice appears, and tension’s built up. Then there’s a sort of explosion: all three storylines have come to a point of brutal action, all together. Watch the group at the end of their dance: it’s almost as if they are fighting, just like Satine and the Duke. At the end of the scene, everyone’s shouting and you feel that this can go but in one direction: the end.

During this scene, there are also small moments where the feeling of intimacy is nicely built up. 3:30, 4:12, 4:40 to name a few: moments where we see people of the group as if they don’t know we see them. Vulnerable, intimate moments.

This scene is by far one of the most dynamic, powerful and touching scenes I’ve ever seen. Here’s the best video I could find on YouTube so you can see it again, or for the first time. Enjoy!

 

Dance Day has its own category! Look on the right for more.

Dance Day # 2: I don’t always repost…

…but when I do, it’s because I think the post got less views than it deserves. It is the first post you’ll find on this blog, so barely anyone has seen it. It really fits here and thats why I thought ‘let’s give it another chance’.

Do you know Swan Lake? Probably. Have you seen Black Swan (the movie)? Possibly. The movie tells us that the black swan should be sensual and edgy, a bit dangerous. But let me tell you the story: a prince, Siegfried, falls in love with Odette. She is cursed by an evil magician, Von Rothbart, and now she’s a swan during the day and a girl at night. But the curse can be broken if Siegfried keeps his promise and will be loyal to her forever. But Siegfried’s parents are having a ball and Von Rothbart and his daughter Odile come too. Odile resembles Odette so hard that Siegfried thinks she’s his love and they dance together.  Then Siegfrieds announces that they will marry. At that point Odette arrives at the ball and discovers that Siegfries has broken his promise, and they both know she will be a swan forever now.
There are different endings: sometimes it’s a happy ending, sometimes the two lovers commit suicide, sometimes it’s something else.
But now you see that Odile can’t be that different from Odette, because the prince thinks she is Odette. Someone on Youtube said that Odile should be sensual, seductive and even more perfect than Odette. But that means that they can’t be real opposites.
Altough, I have liked the movie and of course the dual personalities are way better for the movie.

My favourite short black swan variation is the one of Elena Nikolaeva. Watch how she flows just like the music… Ahhh, a thing of beauty is a joy forever.


The version I like less, is this one. I don’t really like the beginning. And it seems less fluent and powerful than the other version.

But they are both great dancers.

Dance Day # 1

Okay, it’s the worst title I could have come up with for this post, but let’s say that it says exactly what it has to say.

I’m starting a new series of posts here. And it will be about… dance! How strange. Guess you’d never have guessed it. So, I’m starting with this series because Internet is full of awesome videos and I want to spread them. It won’t just be about ballet only, if that takes your fear away. To start with, I’ve got a nice little video of Cyd Charisse and Gene Kelly, two great dancers of another time, in Singing in the Rain. Enjoy!

Creativity misunderstood

You might know that I’m a great magazine fan and that I can’t throw them away, so I’m stuck with loads of magazines, all piled up, but not useless! Whenever school demanded a creative approach for something, I dived into the world of fashion photography and publicity, to come out again with a very creative thing I could be proud of. So when we had to make a cover for the topicality task (I call it that, because I don’t think there is any good translation. this is a google translate product. we had to find items about a certain subject, very serious subjects like ‘challenges for Europe’, that is what I try to say. I’ll keep using this word, but please tell me which one woul fit better.) and we were allowed to be creative, I took a handful of magazines and started to search. Normally, I only use fashion magazines, because they have such beautiful pictures and nice publicity. But now I also used a sensation-seeking magazine, you know, the kind that has headings like ‘PRINCESS KATE MAD AT PARTY ANIMAL PIPPA’.  They are keen on drama and sad stories and relations going wrong. My grandmother buys such magazines for the TV-guide within, and then gives them to us. They can be fun to read sometimes, because they have the ability to push you into a certain direction. It’s so subjective, and they succeed in making you think certain things.

So my idea was to fill the cover of the task with headings like ‘CATWALK PREVIEW’ and stuff, so that there would be a big contrast between irrelevant topics and the very serious topics. We had to give this task to her when entering the classroom for the oral exam. First, there was some preparation time, but when I had to do the oral part, more specifically the topicality task part, the first thing she said was: “I don’t understand your cover.”

For a woman who expects us to explain everything about the Vietnam war, I find that rather strange.

So I started to explain about the piles of magazines, but she interrupted: “No no, I mean, everybody has such a serious cover, and you’ve got this.” She looked at the cover. I looked at it too, and I saw that she had put an ugly, quickly drawn question mark on a bit of white space that was left. I wasn’t even getting it back, she was keeping it herself and yet she had decided to put a question mark there, just to destroy it. I was getting pissed. I said: “I wanted to show the variety of topicality.”

To which she answered: “I don’t see any variety.”

Now I was really pissed. Overall there is a great difference between a sensation seeking magazine and a fashion magazine. You might consider fashion magazines to be rather superficial, but I consider fashion photography to be a sort of art. It is a bit superficial, but next to the ‘what to wear’ parts they also talk about society stuff, about politics and art. Not in a way a serious newspaper would do perhaps, but still. Do not – ever – tell me they are the same.
And how come you don’t know? I thought. How can you be so cut off of the world? How can you know so much about the Cold War and yet get uncomfortable when being confronted with a heading saying ”Jeanstrends – Four times in denim’ ? Because she was looking quite uncomfortable. Then I realised that it was a world she just doesn’t know anything about. The magazine world is unknown to her, and that is why she had put the annoying question mark there – to feel comfortable again. Question marks are her world.

I did my last attempt: “It’s to show the contrast with the very serious items within.”
But she had opened the folder and started talking about the items. Seriously, I thought, this is how Galileo must have felt. Sort of. People, sometimes, just don’t understand you. And often you cannot make them understand.