Monday, June 14, 2010

Just direct your feet . . .

. . . to the dancing side of the street!

On Saturday night, the USA International Ballet Competition kicked off in Jackson, Mississippi. Fair warning - I am completely biased towards this fabulous organization, partly because I used to work there, but mostly because it's just plain wonderful. Hubs and I seized the opportunity to leave little man at the grandparents' house and enjoy a date night.

Every four years, the entire city of Jackson is transformed into a ballet mecca. (No, you read that right. I am totally not kidding.) Young dancers from all over the world gather here, along with artistic directors, master teachers, professional dancers, and fans, to perform in and watch some of the very best ballet that the world has to offer. For two weeks, 100 promising young dancers perform in three rounds of ballet competition, with the best of the best walking away with medals, cash, and professional contracts.

The competition kicked off on Saturday night with the traditional opening ceremonies. Hubs and I put on our fancy clothes and settled in for the show. There was lots of speechifying from the governor, the mayor, the honorary chairman of the IBC, the chairman of the board of directors, and more. The official USA IBC flame was lit, the dancers paraded in with the flags of their countries.

Then, Rasta Thomas and his Bad Boys of Dance company performed. What fun! Very athletic, with lots of jaw-dropping turns, spins, kicks, and general sultriness. The best number was at the very end, when the guys all tangoed to the famous piece from Carmen with a group of blow-up dolls. Hilarious! Personality to spare! Hubs and I laughed and laughed.

After the performance, we had a late dinner at Styx (onion soup, steamed dumplings, edamame, all the yummy stuff) before heading home and turning in.

And we SLEPT LATE the next day! What is this life of luxury that I'm living?!

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