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402 days. 402 (plus or minus… mostly minus) posts.

Tag: video

Day 117: As the World Turns

Sometimes, when you’re running from one thing to the next and checking off to-do items only to make room for more, it’s nice to sit back, relax and watch the world turn.

From outer space.

Thank goodness for the International Space Station. Yesterday, I touted Chris Hadfield’s photos from the ISS; today, a couple of my co-workers clued me into some amazing (incredible!) ISS videography.

It looks like the stuff of Hollywood special effects, but it’s real footage of the ISS gliding smoothly around the Earth.

This first one is even in real time. It’s a night flight from January 30, 2012, running from northern Mexico to northwest New Brunswick. I can spot my city. Can you spot yours?

And this one is a soothing five-minute time-lapse of multiple different passes. The Northern Lights, bright electric flashes of thunderstorms, deserts, cityscapes, shooting stars (if you can peel your eyes away from Earth for long enough), sweeping masses of clouds, islands, fires, mountains, airports… it’s gorgeous, soothing and might choke you up a little bit.

Day 62: Recorded Bodies

After a three-hour rehearsal yesterday evening, some of my dance friends and I had a little self-image discussion. It stemmed out of the fact that none of us wanted to watch the rehearsal video of ourselves, just in case we didn’t look as good as we felt. We didn’t want to see what we don’t like about our bodies laid bare in a recording.

One of the things I love about dance (modern dance, in particular) is the wide variety of incredible bodies on any given stage. Wiry men and muscular women, short legs, long arms, wide hips, narrow torsos… It’s striking to think that the people who can fling their limbs around with control and pick each other up without batting an eye experience such discomfort and self-consciousness.

But I understand it. For years, I wished my shoulder blades were set farther back so my shoulders didn’t curve slightly forward. Or, that I was just a little shorter so my center of gravity could be closer to the ground. But if I had a different body, I would have someone else’s quirks, someone else’s unique differences and someone else’s wishes. I might as well just have mine.

Dancers train their bodies to be beautiful and strange, ugly and emotional. It takes sweat to power through the uncomfortable movements until they feel natural and good. It takes commitment to show up every day and learn something new. It takes drive to put on those short-shorts, stand in front of a mirror and see the potential for interesting movement, not pale legs and drooping arms.

But sometimes it’s hard. And sometimes nobody wants to watch the video.

Since we all struggle from time to time, I think we all get a pass. We all get to watch the proverbial video and see the structure and intention of the choreography, not our funny bodies. And if we don’t see the choreography, we’ll work harder and try again. We’ll try harder and harder because we love what we do, not because we don’t like ourselves.

Day 49: Strings and Sneakers

I cannot believe I forgot about this video. Thank you very much to my Philadelphia dance friend, Molly, who recently re-posted it on Facebook.

As an addendum to the addendum about why we should all dance, I highly recommend you take three and a half minutes to watch this video of Yo-Yo Ma and Lil Buck. It will goose-bump your arms and make your eyes the size of saucers. Yo-Yo Ma plays his cello like a sad and lovely heart, and Lil Buck’s softness and body control is unmatched. Once you’ve watched it, download The Cello Suites by Yo-Yo Ma and glide around your living room. You’ll have fun, I promise.

Did you not click on the link yet? Here it is again. The duet really gets started around 30 seconds in.

And just in case you were wondering (I knew it!), I leave for Australia today! Since I’ll be traveling non-stop for somewhere between the next 24 to 36 hours (I’m very confused by the time changes), I’m posting a guest blog by my mother tomorrow. It’s not cheating because I made the rules.