Inside the Paris Opera Ballet: The Oldest National Ballet

 

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The Paris Opera Ballet was breathtaking and if you watched the video I posted on YouTube which is below the tips section, you could see the different Marbles and the structure of the place was really just amazing. Every room feels like a dream and every stairway was so picturesque. If I ever got to Paris again I hope that I am able to watch a ballet show with the Paris Opera, even if I have heard not so okay reviews about their companys politics. It would be a really wonderful experience for sure to be with the crowd of snobby French people appreciating their art. Now that is something I really would love to experience firsthand, unfortunately there are no shows during the summertime when we went to Paris.

Its Amazing how this place built in the 18th-19th century is still so beatuiful. The place was built if I remember correctly during the time of Louis XIV. When ballet or social dancing during that time got too demanding that they had to build a place where dancers could train for performances. During that time the dancing was usually done like a court dance, but with all of the complicated steps being added by the kings personal ballet teacher, they eventually had to make a system of ballet and thats when the steps were noted and eventually put into system and thus the birth of the ballet school and the Opera Garnier to watch performances.

Some tips if you intend to visit the beautiful Opera House.

TIPS: 

  1. The entrance is not at the front but on the west side of the building. So if you want to go inside, just make sure to go from the side of the building where the famous statue is located. That statue is the one believed to be protecting the Opera House from any fire. 
  2. No need to come early, we were there around 11am but the line isn’t so long usually since Im sure most people who come are dancers or people who love art and the threatre. 
  3. If you are under 26 you always apply for the student discount! Don’t forget because it will make a big difference 

I wish I was just able to visit the flooded ground floor, Im sure there is a way to visit that place but I will probably have to pay a lot more and hire someone to bring me there.

 

My sister and I really enjoyed the Paris Opera Ballet theatre or the Palais Garnier. I think anyone who isn’t a person of ballet, would instantly be turned into someone who will be interested in the art after coming here. What is beautiful about Europe and or Paris is that ballet is still treated as being a part of their culture. Whats even more interesting is that so much of that culture was also brought to the Philippines in the past! Do you know that a lot of famous ballet dancers visited the Philippines long ago.

I hope that there would also be more infused culture of supporting the arts and ballet in the country. A challenge to all the ballet companies and schools to keep their shows up to standard and to keeping the art alive.  I hope and pray that times change for the better. For now enjoy my ballet loving blogs and vlogs.

Much Love,
dancebylina.com
thebackpackingballerina.com

 

The Broadway of Russia: Watching Ballet shows in St. Petersburg (Mariinsky Theatre)

      Im going to start writing a little bit more again on this Blog, as I’ve been Vlogging quite more than the usual but theres really something about writing that makes a memory and a place more beautiful. I went to St. Petersburg, Russia last June for my ballet teacher conference and now I cannot think of a place more fitting to watch ballets.

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My Favourite Vladimir Shklyarov and his wife, danced my favourite Romeo and Juliet

From my years of watching ballets in Tokyo, New York, Hong Kong and in Manila. I feel as though going to Russia just to watch ballets is one of best ways to experience a beautiful ballet, Watching ballet shows in Japan coming next to it. The crowd was so unlike Japan, they were so rowdy when clapping and screaming “Bravo” but they were so appreciative of the art, and at first it surprised me. Having watched most of my ballets in Japan, where everyone claps together and no one dare makes a sound or a cough. In Russia is the complete opposite, they are quiet maybe while the show is going but in between everyone is quite rowdy clapping.

I soon learned to appreciate their ways too and the way their audiences would clap for their favourite dancers. They would also leave flowers to their favourite dancers backstage, and I really loved that they would give plenty of flowers to their favourite dancers. Every show was full and every crowd had a different air. I loved the architecture of the place and the ambiance. When I first entered the Mariinsky, I almost wanted to cry because the place I had been dreaming about for so long was finally here right in front of me. I had tears in my eyes and my heart I knew by then felt a sense of relief and happiness.

Now after my trip even, I feel a sense of nostalgia each time I go into a ballet theatre. I always get flashbacks of my moments and the shows I watched at Mariinsky. I watched a total of 6 different ballets, and initially I had only bought 3 ballet tickets. At the end of my stay, I decided that it was so much more worth it than watching ballets that cost the same back home but with poorer quality.

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With my new and beautiful friends Marianne and Liezl. 

TIPS WHEN WATCHING SHOWS:
1. Buy the tickets online, purchasing them online is much cheaper than purchasing them at the theatre. I was able to get each ticket for about 60-100usd. If you are a student such as myself you can get the ticket on the special rate.

2. There is no need to dress up but it would be nice to look nice as there are some people who are really into dressing up for the ballet.

3. Enjoy and take in everything slowly. It hit me all at once and too quickly, and I cannot wait to return again for my next years of conferences. This time ill be ready to watch more ballet shows.

All the best and Much love.
From Russia with Love,

Lina

Stuck in a dance plateau?

Do you feel like you’re not improving at all? Don’t worry we’ve all been there. Its normal, even in life sometimes to feel like, something is missing or something is not right. There will be days when you feel different and days when you feel like everything is in perfect place. But life is always about a good balance of everything and about overcoming these times when we feel like we’re stuck somewhere in our dance lives.

So here are my personal tips, and I also made a video to explain something about being in your dance plateau. Hope that these help you improve and help you gain more understanding to your dancing and your thinking too. Most of your dancing actually comes from your willpower to keep on going.

  1. Step out of your comfort zone
    There are different reasons of being in your dance plateau. You have to do the assessment yourself, are you putting enough hours? Are you getting enough time to practice? If you are, then maybe you just need to try something new. Sometimes, its okay to take a short break to destress and to do something different from what you usually do. Learn to get out of your comfort zone, in and out of class.

    You can try taking a new style of dance maybe? Or maybe try going to a new teacher just to bring out some new ideas and give your mind some more.

  2. Talk to your teacher 
    Sometimes your teacher doesn’t tell you up front in class, because she doesn’t want you to get hurt in front of your classmates. But the more you ask, the more you will find out. Maybe your teacher has somethings she wants to say, or maybe you also have things you want to clarify. Learn to communicate with your teacher, create a good relationship with him/her. If she gives you some constructive criticism, learn to accept it and learn from the new information.
  3. Go back to your basics 
    Maybe you’re missing something? Maybe you are not. But it is always good to go back to your basics. Try a slower class maybe to help you break down all the steps again. Slow classes are always good for all of us.
  4. Find your own identity and focus on your own body
    Maybe you feel like you are stuck because you are comparing yourself to the girls around or beside you. Not everything in life is a competition, most especially ballet. This is why I love ballet, you can be good at something that someone is not. Someone can be better but you can be better at other things. Find your niche, find you own identity and focus on your own body.
  5. Set GOALS
    Go to class with a goal in mind, I encourage every dancer to keep a notebook of their goals and dreams. It is always better to write things down than to type them on your computer. When you write things, they process better in your head. Set a goal every week, and talk with your teacher, and ask her to help you note your concerns and the thing you would still like to improve.
  6. Enjoy the process

    I will always finish my blogs with, Enjoying the process. Because that after all is what will keep you sane. The only thing you can control is how you can react to things, so enjoy each and every step and problem you encounter with you dancing.

    Its not everyday that you feel this way. Your dancing may be feeling like it is plateauing, but remember there is always a spike up in improvement every now and then. Just keep on going and keep your mind set farsighted on your goals. Hope these tips help! and you can catch my VLOG on the same topic too, on YouTube.

 

Mission Rome

It took a long time for me to write this, I actually travelled to Rome last October and I still remember all of my favourite sights. What surprised me though was the rich history and culture that it had. Also the secret tours and tunnels that we were able to experience, thanks to my mom. Rome has a lot to offer for those who are really interested in its rich history, its aqueducts and the cool excavation tours.

I was finally able to summarise the first half of my experience through my Vlog, I will probably just write down in my next blog, about the ballet classes I was able to take and experience in Rome. It was a really good vacation for me, and I hope to do something like this again, if my budget permits.

Its been so long since I’ve actually written on my blog, because of my crazy schedule. Compared to last year, I have a lot more pressure riding on me. Such as my soon to come board exam on October, which has been putting a lot of stress on me. I hope I find the strength and the will to keep on going and studying. While trying to keep my spirit alive by dancing.

Hoping to find time to write more again,
CIAO!

Dance by Lina Update: Spring and Summer collection

Update on my dance wear line, we’re currently trying to develop 4 new things. The portable ballet barre, a mens sizing chart, a tweens sizing chart and a plus size line. I recently gave up on making leotards as it is too difficult to deal with the spandex fabric. I decided to stick to warmers, knit and cotton. Also some skirts, and our favourite tutu bag.

Here are some of the new colours we might be introducing by the end of this month! You can follow my Instagram account for other updates on colours. These colours are for our knit warmers.

For our long skirts, which did so well last year we decided to add a new  for spring: PLUM, we are also hoping to add at least one more rose colour, then for our portable ballet barre update we just finished our first sample! So we are much excited to showcase this by the end of the month.

We always appreciate our customers comments. So any suggestions are welcome! A lot of these ideas always come from you guys and what you guys want to see me develop next, Thank you for always supporting my line, its really almost like a dream come true that started as my own little hobby into becoming something quite big and special to me.

❤ Lina

FOLLOW OUR JOURNEY! (my shop and I) dancebylina.com

PERSONAL INSTAGRAM: @dancebylina_

INSTAGRAM shop: @dancebylina_dancewear

Knowing your worth as a dancer

Knowing your worth as a dancer is always important. I always believe that you should see yourself in your own way and not in how others see you. I think being a dancer this is one of the hardest things. We are taught in class to be obedient, listen and to absorb, and we are told not to hold back during during rehearsals and shows.

There will always be someone better that is true, and for the past 22 or so years I’ve had to learn this the hard way. That there is enough sunshine for everyone, but you should believe that if you work hard enough (like really work, eat breathe live dance) you deserve your piece of sunshine too and don’t be afraid to show that you do. ❤️

Picture taken during my performance last summer as Paquita by Miguel Antonio Gonzales

Backstage, CCP main theatre

Everything is beautiful at the ballet (from an audiences perspective) but everything is chaotic backstage. I’m just not used to the normal dancers life anymore.

I forgot how it was to stay long hours in the theater. Not seeing much daylight. The feeling of always being in a studio or in the theater. The feeling that I once loved and maybe still do love.

Click on the image for the full size.

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Before class

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During class

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After Class

It’s really something special when you’re backstage, because you get to see everything. The sequins all over the floor. Sweat EVERYWHERE. Dancers screaming once they step out of the stage as soon as they exit the wings. The chaos of putting make up, the communal hairspray being passed around to everyone. The death of my pointe shoes by the coffee that was beside my bag last night. (sad but, it’s about time I guess) I am so thankful that I still get to experience this.

Whenever I’m backstage, I forget the time. I forget that there is a world outside of this, it is one of the reasons why I fell in love with dancing. As I get to feel this again, I wish to enjoy every moment of what is left of it.