An American Girl in Washington

Dreaming of Maria Tallchief

Posted in Local Arts and Artists by AGinDC on 24 September 2010

When I was in the third grade I sprained my ankle three times in one week.  How?  By dancing Giselle in my sneakers on the sidewalk.  I was a little girl who had just moved from Germany to Oklahoma and while my parents were looking for a new ballet class for me, I decided to take matters into my own hands.  Someone introduced me to Maria Tallchief and I wanted to be a Cherokee dancing prima donna just like her.  It turns out, pirouettes aren’t meant for tennis shoes and 7 year olds shouldn’t be leaping around in public parks.  My dreams of ballet greatness died with my ankle.

However, like most of my dreams that ended too soon, I decided to become a cheerleader for the sports I can’t play, the dances I can’t dance and the concert halls I won’t be performing in.  As soon as I got to DC I discovered that many of the arts organizations have groups for young professionals and since that’s me (minus the “professional” part) I decided to leap right in like Baryshnikov competing with Gregory Hines.  On a sidenote, I had dinner with Baryshnikov once.  He is a tiny, quiet, divine little man.  Sigh.

Anyways, the Washington Ballet’s young professional group is called the Jete Society (there should be an accent aigu after that last “e” but I don’t know how to do it in WordPress) and they’re marvelous.  They have happy hours, events like beerandballet (yes, that’s how it’s written), backstage talks with the Artistic Director, and offer discounts on tickets.  Loooove.  I also love that the first happy hour was for members and non-members alike, so I convinced a friend we call Reverend Dave (though there’s nothing religious about him) to come with me to the J&G Steakhouse at the W for some free snacks (DELICIOUS mini burgers) and happy hour drinks.  To get him there, I had to promise that I would go with him to the Nutcracker, which was absolutely no sacrifice at all.  I was going anyways.

The happy hour was a lot of fun and the program for the 2010-2011 season looks amazing.  The theme is UNTAMED and not only is this group of dancers almost criminally good-looking, but the series features four absolutely incredible works:  Romeo and Juliet, which needs no introduction, Rock & Roll which looks like a fantastic fusion of modern rock and innovative dance, Le Corsaire, which is just fun, and Carmen.  Hellooo… Carmen.  As Rachel Zoe would say, I die.  They’ll also show the Nutcracker, of course, and two adorable kids shows that may require a few kidnappings on my part so I don’t look absurd going to see them myself.

I’m constantly surprised by the amazing arts scene here, although I guess I shouldn’t be, I mean, someone has to entertain FLOTUS.  I also love how keen everyone is to get people my age involved and how interesting and unique their special events and offerings are compared to most places I’ve lived.  I love the arts, and I have been in love with the ballet all of my life.  I absolutely cannot wait to join the Jete Society and see everything that The Washington Ballet has to offer.  Every season.

Get involved!  See the ballet!




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