21+ Dance

Pittsburgh Travel Blog

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my ballet selfie

*Since a visit to the Carnegie Science Center on its own would make a fun trip to Pittsburgh, I am going to focus on the parts of this visit related to the special event.

Sometime over the last two years I discovered that the Carnegie Science Center has evening events about once a month just for adults.  The chance to check out the museum without feeling weird about playing with the interactive exhibits while kids are also waiting (or jostling) for their turn seemed like a great idea.  However, it took me awhile to find a night that fit with my schedule and motivation (Pittsburgh's North Shore is over an hour, a bit of a drive after a long full week of work).

barre warm up
 January's event which focused on dance throught the Pittsburgh Ballet seemed like a great fit.

I met Mike just inside the museum for our casual date just after the evening for the adults started.  We spent about two hours wandering up to the top floor and checking out exhibits along the way.  We had been given cards to get stamped at the various dance related displays that had been added on each level but we didn't do many of those on this first walk-through.  I did get the chance to hold some toe shoes that had been cut or torn to show what they are made of.  Besides the pretty satin, their structure comes from cardboard that has been soaked with glue that the dancers says is the same type of industrial glue used on jetplanes!

After Mike left a little after eight to go to his bowling league, I struck out on my own.

barre warm up
 I tried the zero gravity exhibit which hoisted me high in the air.  I was able to manuveur my way up but got stuck coming down and needed some help.  From here I started exploring more of the ballet options, a little by accident since I just happened to be standing by one of the theaters when they said the next showing was in five minutes.

On the Science Stage a male and female dancer showed us several minutes of barre exercises followed by some floor exercises as the one teacher explaining what they were doing.  Despite all my years of dance as a kid, I had never thought about the progression of the warm ups from little movements to big.  They finished with a contemporary pas de deux with the male dancer and another female.  On our way out to get our stamp we had to say what a duet in dance was called and the pair ahead of me had a lot of difficulty with the pronounciation; I was good, thank you high school French!

Next up was the Ballet Selfie which would be a photo with one of the dancers in a Sugar Plum Fairy costume and pointe shoes but first you had to take a little lesson at the barre.

barre warm up
 Another dancer took two people at a time through the positions of first, second, and fifth with some plies (the little knees bends).  I know it's been over a decade but my old training came back and I did very well with these basic (thankfully not more challenging!) exercises.  I was complimented on my turnout which I guess makes up for my poor flexibility.  The selfies were taken by a museum worker with an i-Pad and then I got to send my photo to my e-mail for a fun souvenir.

I then hiked back up to the third floor to another science lab where we learned that ballerinas were physicists in order to make their bodies complete all the moves.  We learned about how equal and opposite forces affect jumps, how spotting inhibits the inner ear from causing balance issues, and how the center of gravity affects balance (I was an audience volunteer for this one).

I wrapped up my evening by turning in my stamped card for a chance at winning tickets to one of their shows although I think I will try to make one anyway this year :)

cotton_foam says:
Very interesting write up, Meredith! Btw, I bought two tickets for a ballet dance show in Mariinsky Theater -- something I am looking forward to our trip in Saint Petersburg! Where is the "best" place to watch a ballet show than in Russia, right?! Oh well, that's just me. :)
Posted on: Mar 12, 2016
vances says:
Waiting for that "ballet Selfie" to be posted!

:^)
Posted on: Jan 17, 2015
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my ballet selfie
my ballet selfie
barre warm up
barre warm up
barre warm up
barre warm up
barre warm up
barre warm up
barre warm up balance
barre warm up balance
contemporary dance
contemporary dance
contemporary dance
contemporary dance
physics and ballet
physics and ballet
physics and ballet
physics and ballet
center at night
center at night
Pittsburgh
photo by: diisha392