shanmonster: (Purple mohawk)
I dreamed I was going to visit a friend in Toronto and had to take public transit. I knew roughly which stop to get off at, but then I had to look up the route on my phone, because I couldn't remember how to walk there. For some reason, the first part of the address was "Front Line Assembly." I typed it in time after time after time, and each time, autocorrect took over and turned it into something completely different, and wrong. The frustration was building and building. What did my phone have against industrial music, anyway?

I never did get to my destination. My friend must still be waiting for me.
shanmonster: (Dance Monkey Dance!)
Today was made with walking interspersed with a whole bunch of other stuff. Here's a video précis of my day.

My morning:



Now? Now I rest.
shanmonster: (Purple mohawk)
If you're not familiar with Oscar Wilde's story of Salome, here's my quick and dirty spoiler:

Spoiled rotten princess becomes infatuated with a Christian prophet who spouts of bunch of yo momma jokes. Prophet spurns her and she has a conniption. Princess's stepfather, a powerful tetrarch, has the hots for the princess, and she takes advantage of this to get the prophet's head served to her on a silver platter. She makes out with the head.

I attended the Canadian Opera Company's performance of Strauss's opera last night. This performance was directed by Atom Egoyan. My opinions are mixed. Parts of the opera are brilliant. Parts of it are so lacking in subtlety that it was like being repetitively hammered with overt symbolism and visual puns. I get that at the climax, Salome gets Joachaan's head. But was it necessarily to neatly bookend the piece with the captain of the guard getting head at the beginning? Really? Especially considering his obsessive infatuation with Salome, why the heck was he having hanky panky with that other woman, anyhow? It just doesn't make any sense at all.

I understand that the director was trying to show the motivations of Salome, why she turned into a bloodthirsty necrophile. But I think that the depictions of her abuse were heavy-handed and out of place with the rest of the story. The dance of the seven veils scene was a weird montage of images of sylph-like innocence and ballerinas in a forest mixed with a nifty, disorienting shadow play of a gang rape. No, I get that the tetrarch wanted to bang Salome. But her consensuality is the major crux of the whole sordid tale. If the tetrarch didn't care about her consent in the first place, the story just wouldn't work. If he didn't require her consent, he'd never have made that deal with her. He just would've raped her whenever he pleased and Joachaan would've continued languishing in the dungeon.

Overall, blocking was solid, but there were a few times when it just didn't work for those of us sitting in the nosebleed section. Screen projections just weren't viewable, and when actors were at the back of the stage, I couldn't see their heads.

Inexplicably, the captain of the guard wore a suit which was way too big for him. I don't know what's up with that.

Other than these things, I think the show was brilliant. The orchestra was magnificent. I loved the simple colour symbolism of the show. White, black, and red clothing and props were used to excellent effect. I don't have the program, so I don't know who played which part, but the stand-out roles were of the Tetrarch (amazing stage presence and a wonderful voice) and Salome herself (some excellent physical theatre, and she can hit high notes and hold them even when she's doubled up or crumpled upon the stage). The climactic scene of Salome with the head of Joachaan was excellently presented, and the blood on the white dress worked well to tie in the problematic earlier scene of the sexual assault.


Jun. 12th, 2012 02:23 pm
shanmonster: (On the stairs)
I pleased myself this morning by totally rocking my workout. After doing a warmup of running 800 m and about 10 pullups (with the skinniest resistance band to help out), I managed 42 14lb 10' wall balls and 72 52lb kettlebell swings. Those swings were hard, and accompanied by much grunting the the pitter-pat of sweat raining off my face and onto the floor.

I displeased myself this afternoon by recording myself singing Star Vicino and then listening to it. My voice is so puny and reedy. I need to beef it up. Beefcake Italian singing! Beefcake!

Oh yeah, and have I mentioned that I'm a super villain in my spare time? [Photographic evidence after the cut.] )
shanmonster: (Default)
Hi. I haven't been here in a while. Time to fix that.

I've been been excruciatingly busy. I'm taking classical voice lessons, and am starting up with musical theory again. I'm doing much better with it than I thought, because I haven't forgotten nearly as much as I was afraid I had. I look forward to being able to sight read music again. Right now, I'm sounding melodies out slowly, kinda like learning to sight read words the Sesame Street way.

I've also been continuing with my china painting class. My painting style in this is surprising me. It's completely different from any other paintings/drawings I've done in the past. I'm currently working on a teapot. It's not done yet, but here's where it stands after about two months of work:

Read more... )
shanmonster: (Zombie ShanMonster)
I have been having such fun with my singing lessons. This is the song I've been working on most recently. I wish I could take voice lessons every day. I can't remember the last time a class has consistently been so enjoyable.

shanmonster: (Dance Monkey Dance!)
Over the years, I've studied a lot of different dance styles, both in classroom and workshop situations. I've also seen lots of dance performances, and I've noted a few patterns about the relationship of dance to music.
  1. Dance is the visual representation of the music, and enhances the experience by combining visual with audio.
  2. The music is mostly irrelevant to the dance, and if the movements coincide with any part of it, it's coincidental.
  3. The dance is done only to the rhythm of the music, and the music is therefor interchangeable, so long as the music has a coinciding number of counts for the choreography/combination.
  4. The dance is representative of the theme of the song, rather than the melody/rhythm.
  5. There is no music at all, and the dance is performed in silence, or the act of the dance itself creates music.
#1 is something I see very frequently in improvisational belly dance, and is how I generally treat music/dance, when I perform. I do not necessarily believe it is the superior way of doing things, but it appeals very much to my personal aesthetics. Maybe it's a synaesthesia thing, but when I hear certain parts of music, it feels/looks like certain body movements to me.

I have seen #2 in contemporary and butoh performances, where the music and dance sometimes seem at odds with one another. I think this may be intentional for the purpose of shaking up the viewers' perception a bit, and perhaps keeping them off balance.

I have also seen it with bad dancers, who have a wooden ear and/or no sense of rhythm. I've also seen it with inattentive dancers, who are more concerned with going through a series of tricks and combinations, and are completely ignoring the music.

#3 I've seen in a lot of classroom situations, and in choreographies which are based on counting, rather than anything else to do with the music, specifically. It is especially easy to replace a dance done to one 4:4 or 3:4 time signature song with another. Just adjust the speed of the dance to the tempo of the piece. I personally find this the least interesting, but in terms of teaching, it is the simplest--especially when drilling technique.

I have also seen it in square dancing, where the dancer is using the music for rhythm, but the voice of the caller for combinations.

#4 is something I've seen in contemporary dance, as well. I have also used this a few times, while using dance as a story-telling medium. I have also seen it when a dancer performs to dialogue or poetry.

#5 is something I see in percussive dances, like tap, slap dance, etc. I have long wanted to experiment with this in different ways (ie. wiring up parts of my body so that different movements would play different sounds through a computer), but I do not have the technical know-how. If someone wants to collaborate with me on this, let me know!

There may very well be other patterns, but these are the ones I've noted. What are your opinions on the topic?
shanmonster: (Default)
I've been proofreading all day, and my brains are melting. So I'm trying to heal myself by getting more costuming inspiration. I have a lot of sewing I want to do to make [ profile] knightky and I Viking wardrobes.

So here are a few pictures of Masha Scream of Arkona looking seriously bitchin':



And here she is with the band.

And then this video, which shows just how damned awesome she is, and stylin' while she's at it.

shanmonster: (Zombie ShanMonster)
A song that reminds you of somewhere....

What place this song makes me think of will be obvious to any Canadian.

shanmonster: (Default)
Music that makes you think of somebody.

This song always makes me think of [ profile] f00dave:

shanmonster: (On the stairs)
I want to learn this song and sing it in a burlesque show.

I'm the kind of woman, not hard to understand.
I'm the one who cracks the whip and holds the upper hand.
I'll beat you, mistreat you, 'til you quiver and quail.
The female of the species is more deadly than the male.

When you mess with me I'll purr and whirl around with a flame.
When you find that you've been burned you've only yourself to blame.
I'll hurt you, desert you, if you ever should fail.
The female of the species is more deadly than the male.

There's no doubt about it: I'll take my hat and go
When our affair dissolves.
So long. I can do without it.
I'll find myself another man. I'll find myself a clown.
I'm just like a gambler. You'll have to take a chance.
With me you play a long shot when you gamble on romance.
The payoff is way off. Here's the point of the tale:
The female of the species is more deadly than the male.
shanmonster: (Default)
Music that makes me sad.


And inexplicably, this:

shanmonster: (Default)
Music that makes me happy.

And this. Heh.
shanmonster: (Tiger claw)
My least favourite song.

There are many to choose from, but this one has bothered me for years, and I was subjected to it time and time again when I simply could not escape it: while figure modeling for artists.

Ugh. Can't stand it. UGH!
shanmonster: (Zombie ShanMonster)
Day 1: My favourite song.

There are several songs that qualify, but I think I'll go with Skinny Puppy's "Worlock," because it's moved me ever since it first came out. The video, however, does not. In case you're unfamiliar with it, the video is gory and NSFW:

And in case you want to see it in better quality, a fan recompiled the whole thing. Now that's dedication. Oh yes, it's still gory, and still NSFW.

Meme parameters behind the cut )
shanmonster: (Default)
My dance performance on Saturday night went over very well. I'm looking forward to seeing video footage so I can critique myself mercilessly. Now I'm working on familiarizing myself with the music for my next performance in November, and figuring out what the heck to do with it. It's extremely different from anything I've ever performed to before, and rhythm and melody don't really enter into the equation. Also, I only have 60 seconds. Tricky, tricky, tricky....

[In the green room]

Tickets are available now. 60x60 will be a really unique show. Please come check it out.

I spent yesterday with [ profile] knightky, and walked his damned legs right off him. Poor guy. But we did get to see the Terra Cotta warriors exhibit at the ROM, which was interesting, but, I have to admit, a little disappointing. The pieces they showed were remarkable, but I didn't get the sense of scope I was hoping for. There were only a half dozen or so of the soldiers, and a couple of the horses. I felt far more overwhelmed by the huge lineups to see the things than I did by the artifacts themselves. I will, however, admit to being taken aback by the collection of ancient Chinese dildos. These were ostensibly only used by women, because apparently, Chinese men had no use for such things back then. Pfft.

Later, we found a playground sized for adults on a back street behind the Toronto public library, and had lots of fun playing on the springy seesaw. I love those things! There should be more playgrounds like that everywhere. I know we're not the only grown-ups who like playing on such things.

In the evening, I went to see Gary Numan. Nash the Slash opened for him. I was under the impression I was the only one in the audience who didn't like him. He had his face wrapped all in bandages, just like thirty years ago. And he wore a white tuxedo with a white top hat. It is definitely a unique schtick, but I just cannot get into his music. I didn't really like him when I was a kid, either. Ah well. At least I could sing along with his closing song, "Teenage Wasteland." I overheard someone in the audience positing that he could very well be a member of The Residents. Yes, I suppose so.

It was a much older audience than I'm used to seeing at shows. I'd say 2/3 of the audience was my age and older. There was no mosh pit. Hehehehe....

Gary was awesome. His band was really good, too. The first half of his show was all early stuff. Although I'm fonder of his later music, I gained a fresh appreciation for his older compositions when I got to see/hear them live. The audience nearly lost their minds when he started playing "Cars" and "Down in the Park."

He did a three-song encore, ending with A Prayer for the Unborn, which is about the saddest song ever, and not the sort of thing I want to cheer all frenzied-like for.

I feel a pretty strong connection with a lot of his lyrics. I think he perhaps shares the darker part of my brains.

Link time.

Equus: This is playing in Toronto next month. It's one of my favourite plays, so I'd really like to see it. Wanna come with me?

Shopping for Zombies: This is not the store I would have figured would do this....

Bacon Lube Taste Test: It's bacony.

adieu canaille: NSFW because of roto-boobies. Surreal fembot-type stuff, with burlesque spinning action (thanks, [ profile] balthcat).

Student Hides Rick Astley's Song In College Paper: I used to write secret messages like this all the time, but I have never attempted rickrolling like that.

Crocodile on plane kills 19 passengers: I feel bad for laughing. Really, I do. But motherfuckin' crocs on a plane!

Republicans Oppose Franken on Rape Legislation: When the reputation of big business is considered legally more valuable than egregious human rights violations. Disgusting.

Transcending the Material: Knitted skeleton (thanks, [ profile] longpig and [ profile] elanya)!

Meat Beat

Sep. 29th, 2010 10:34 am
shanmonster: (Default)
So people have been talking about how original Lady Gaga has been with her meat dress. I watched an interview with her, and although I think she's darned good at being a spectacle, I really don't see any depth in the artistic statement she claimed for the dress.
"Well, it is certainly no disrespect to anyone that is vegan or vegetarian. As you know, I am the most judgment-free human being on the earth. However, it has many interpretations but for me this evening. If we don't stand up for what we believe in and if we don't fight for our rights pretty soon we're going to have as much rights as the meat on our own bones. And, I am not a piece of meat."
The rights of the meat on our bones? Really?

I just don't see any depth in any of her work, really. She is a product of the superficiality of pop culture. I think that as long as people realize that, it's ok. I enjoy watching her videos. I think they're hilarious.

Now, let's take a tour through meat as fashion, shall we? )
shanmonster: (Dance Monkey Dance!)
I am full of hope, which is vastly preferable to being full of shit. I found a job listing for a new dance studio looking for instructors. Please let me be paid to do what I love. It's one of the reasons I moved to Ontario in the first place.

Now that I'm full of nervous energy for having found a job listing that actually looks great, I am going to go to the gym and burn it all off at a cycling class.

I went to the gym yesterday and did my usual workout. It took me twice as long as it should have. I had to take long breaks between sets. I'm guessing this was caused by a combination of asthma and Smirnoff Ice-induced rot gut. I must remember to never drink that shit again. It does bad things to me, and doesn't even taste good. And I didn't even have a whole bottle of the stuff. Eugh!


I'm slow on the uptake sometimes, but today I finally discovered If you'd like to hear my selections, please check out my channel.


Link time? Ok.

Experiments in the Revival of Organisms (1940): It lives (thanks, Doyce).

The 5 Least Sexy Products Money Can Buy=One Terrifying Date: I am obviously not a romantic. I want the perfume and the reactive ink.

Emergency Bra: Unsnap, separate cups, inhale...: "The bra is, of course, meant to be taken off, something most adults presumably have experience with. Once removed, it separates into two masks which, when placed over the nose and mouth, filter out particles that were found to be as harmful as radiation in Chernobyl."

Smallest Man-Made Orange: I'm not a miniaturist, but this is pretty cool (thanks, Kitty).

The Man With a Tail: "Chandre Oram, from Alipurduar of West Bengal, India, has a 13 inch (32.5 cm) long and one inch (2.5 cm) thick tail." Surely, I am not the only person who thinks this man could have a future in porn.

Mont. woman fends off bear attack with zucchini: She didn't get so much as a scratch. I'm presuming the bear wasn't hurt, aside from his pride (thanks, Kathryn).

Octopus Listings on Etsy: Oh no! I can't stop looking!

I love this pillow.

[A pretty sweet pillow]
shanmonster: (Sacrilicious)
I found it, and think it's awesome. The best vampire song/video, ever. Whee!

shanmonster: (Tiger claw)
I just ordered this for an upcoming dance performance: Noah's Ark by CocoRosie.

If you haven't checked them out yet, and you like off-kilter music, take a listen. I'm starting to really get into this "freak folk" genre.

In other news, I put in queries about a program called Second Career. I hope I qualify. If I do, I may be able to get funding to finally get that certification for personal training and yoga instruction. If you're in Ontario and want to enter a different career, check it out. It just might help you.

I spent this morning doing even more job search stuff, including applying for some pretty shitty jobs, but hopefully with more scrupulous employers. I'd rather clean toilets for an ethical company than have a cushy FarmVille job with a place that rips off its customers and employees.

Now it's time to do housework, work on some crafts for sale, and get to the gym. Oh, and I really should make some time to eat, too. I haven't done that yet.

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