How to do the pony dance step

Pony Sweat prompts revolutionizes fitness classes during pandemic

A bubbly ball of energy in a crop top, ’80s-style hot pants and platinum mullet, Emilia Richeson-Valiente shakes her hips to the B-52’s’ “Private Idaho” inside a studio space at Live Arts Los Angeles in Glassell Park. Behind her, people follow her moves in joyously chaotic ways — some burst into air guitar solos, while others let out the occasional primal scream.

“Take the patterns of movement you like and f— the rest!” she instructs.

At Pony Sweat, the dance fitness company that Richeson-Valiente created, there’s a distinctly anti-perfectionist vibe. It’s not about technique or hitting every beat or what you look like doing the moves. Instead, it’s about having a safe, supportive community where people can lose themselves in the music and feel all the feels.

“We come and commune here and everything explodes and it’s beautiful,” said Alyssa Aramanda, a participant at a Wednesday class.

Pony Sweat participants, a. k.a. ponies.

(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

Follow-along dance fitness classes — group workouts in which participants need no prior dance experience and simply follow the teacher’s moves — are cropping up in studios across L.A. The accessible format gained popularity during the pandemic. In the safety of their living rooms, garages or patios, people logged on to Zoom and other portals and danced with strangers around the world to help process the loneliness, grief and anger they were feeling.

“So many of us were really having to face ourselves and be alone with ourselves,” Richeson-Valiente told me after class. “Dance fitness was an accessible medicine for people — a way to get out what we were really feeling and experience some joy.”

With Pony Sweat community members (a.k.a. ponies) telling Richeson-Valiente that the online classes were becoming a critical part of their keeping-it-together routine, she and Michella Rivera-Gravage, the company’s operations lead, scrambled to build out the website for a flock of new visitors. It was important to them that their ponies, some of whom lacked a queer-friendly community in their neighborhoods, could maintain their connections.

While the shift to online classes was no doubt a means of survival, it also changed the trajectory of the movement, propelling the total number of people who have taken a class by 58%. Pony Sweat’s Instagram following has more than doubled since early 2020.

Isaac Prado dances during a Pony Sweat session at Live Arts Los Angeles in Glassell Park.

(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

Richeson-Valiente isn’t alone. As dance instructors took their classes online, many were able to pick up new students from all over the country. “It has been really incredible,” says Clara Siegel, chief executive of Seattle-based Dance Church, which expanded the number of people who had taken its classes from 40,000 pre-pandemic to 144,000 as it shifted back to in-person. Sadie Kurzban, founder of New York-based 305 Fitness, found “two new revenue streams” during the pandemic: a virtual at-home platform and an instructor certification program.

This summer, Richeson-Valiente returned from a Pony Sweat tour to meet both new and longtime ponies from Boston, New York City and Philadelphia. She also made a stop in Littleton, N.H., close to where her family is from.

That was a homecoming of sorts. For Richeson-Valiente, being alone in her bedroom and dancing to music by the Cure and other ’80s artists was her way of dealing with difficult emotions as a goth teen. A self-taught aerobics fan who was inspired by Jazzercise, Zumba and classes at the now-closed Sweat Spot in L.A., she continued to be fueled by dance and often talked about teaching dance aerobics while working Saturday kitchen shifts at a local restaurant. In 2014, her friends surprised her by pitching in to rent her a studio space where she could hold classes. One friend, Noah, helped dream up the name Pony Sweat, for its relation to dance, the queer community and Richeson-Valiente’s propensity to really sweat.

Emilia Richeson-Valiente’s notes for a Pony Sweat class.

(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

“It was, in a way, a reclamation because I had been so ashamed of my big sweating,” she said with a laugh.

These days, Pony Sweat’s mixtape changes every month (at the class I attended, songs ranged from Judas Priest’s “Turbo Lover” to Le Tigre’s “Eau d’ Bedroom Dancing”).

Richeson-Valiente and Rivera-Gravage hope to expand Pony Sweat’s community both online and in person through events, collaborations with other artists and organizations; a community action arm, Ponies Against Fascists; as well as new offerings of “video rentals” and the On Our Own But Never Alone (OOOBNA) monthly dance subscription. They also recently launched a Pony Sweat server on Discord, where ponies can connect with one another when class isn’t in session. Another recent class addition: aural aerobics. It’s a radio class with no visual element — just music and Richeson-Valiente’s vocal guidance.

All of it is evidence that dance aerobics is finally getting the attention it deserves after being dissed for so many years by the fitness community.

“Folks are finally approaching dance fitness like I like to think of it, which is emotive expression,” Richeson-Valiente said.

Emilia Richeson-Valiente leads a Pony Sweat class. “Take the patterns of movements you like,” she instructs, forswearing perfection.

(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

She calls her dance space “fiercely noncompetitive” and embodies that spirit with every pivot, body roll and booty shake.

“My journey with dance was that it was really difficult for me as a young person and throughout my life to give myself permission to not be good, or to not look like the teacher,” Richeson-Valiente said. “The point of Pony Sweat is for people to discover freedom of movement and expression in their own bodies.”

How Many of These 1960s Dances Do You Remember? (Including Vintage Videos!)

As women who grew up in the 1960s, dance has been a part of our lives since the very beginning. But, if I’m right, most of us haven’t had a chance to see our favorite 1960s dances performed – let alone put on our dancing shoes and try them ourselves – for many years.

So, I thought it would be fun to collect vintage videos of the most iconic 1960s dances and share them here. I’ll say a few words about my own experience with music and dance first. But, you can always skip to the videos, below, if you are itching to try Twist, Watusi, Mashed Potato and Pony yourself!

Here are my favorite 1960s dances:

  1. The Twist – The iconic 1960s dance hit.
  2. Mashed Potato – The dance made popular by Dee Dee Sharp’s song Mashed Potato Time.
  3. The Monster Mash – The Halloween classic favorite. 
  4. The Madison – The popular line dance.
  5. The Hully Gully – “Shake your shoulders and wiggle your knees.”
  6. The Pony – Another great dance created by Chubby Checker.
  7. The Hitch Hike – Marvin Gaye’s iconic dance that accompanied his hit song became an instant favorite.
  8. The Swim – The timeless dance that had you swimming on the dance floor.
  9. The Locomotion – The silly dance that had you dancing in a chain formation like a train on the dance floor.

If you enjoy these videos, please share this article with your friends. Let’s see if we can start a dance revolution!

In elementary school, they used to pipe music into the playground, where we gathered in little circles to dance. I wonder if they still do that… somehow, I doubt it!

Then, as my friends and I got a little older, dancing continued to be one of our favorite social activities.

We gathered in little groups and tried out the latest and greatest moves. Line dances were big and my group of girls was always experimenting.

I would rush home from school and watch American Bandstand, where Dick Clark would introduce one fun and funky band after another. Then, like so many little girls of my generation, I would dance in front of my television.

Then, I turned 13 and my family moved to Detroit. There, my passion for dance was intensified by the fabulous Motown music in the city air.

Fabulous rhythmic music was everywhere and the dances that we know now by fun descriptive names became a part of my life. The Twist, Watusi, Mashed Potato and Pony – I loved them all!

The Twist was, of course, the most famous. But, if I am honest, my favorite was the Mashed Potato!

Our favorite 1960s dances encouraged camaraderie and connection. Dancing was definitely a social statement! I remember going to the Grande Ballroom in Detroit and dancing until my curfew. They were such amazing times!

At times, the dance energy was intense. No wonder I was so skinny!

Looking at the videos below, I see how high energy, fun and carefree these dances were. They reflected a different attitude to music and social engagement! They were designed to make you feel good!

We knew how to have fun!

Here are 10 famous 1960s dances that you probably remember.

Most people don’t remember that the original song, The Twist, was released in 1959, one year before the hit cover by Chubby Checker. It was Checker’s version of the song that made the dance of the same name iconic.

Take a look at this video of The Twist.

Unlike The Twist, the Mashed Potato was not linked to a single song. Instead, it became the basis for the dance moves that went along with several hits. Among the most famous songs to become associated with the Mashed Potato was Dee Dee Sharp’s Mashed Potato Time.

Take a look at this video of the Mashed Potato.

Another famous 1960s dance that was related to the Mashed Potato was The Monster Mash. The song, made popular by Bobby “Boris” Pickett, has since gone on to become synonymous with Halloween for millions of kids around the world. In fact, it is one of the few 1960s songs that most of our grandkids have probably heard.

Here’s a video of The Monster Mash.

The Madison was a line-dance hit that was popular in the 1960s and well into the 1970s. In this instructional video, dance instructors Jennifer Comar and Paolo Pasta Lanna share the basic moves for The Madison.

“Shake your shoulders and wiggle your knees.” Another favorite from the 1960s was The Hully Gully. Here’s a clip of the Olympics performing the song that ultimately inspired the dance.

In 1961, Puerto Rico jazz musician, Ray Barretto, released his hit song “El Watusi.” Future artists picked up the beat and The Watusi developed into a dance that thrived for years to come.

In the following clip, The Lennon Sisters, Norma Zimmer, Larry Hooper and Russ Klein perform Wah Watusi on The Lawrence Welk Show.

Chubby Checker is perhaps best known for his association with the hit song, The Twist. However, this was one of several dances that he inspired. For example, his hit song Pony Time inspired the iconic dance The Pony.

Here’s a video of Chubby Checker performing Pony Time.

Iconic dance hit, The Hitch Hike, was inspired by Marvin Gaye’s hit with the same name. In the following short video, Marvin Gaye performs Hitch Hike.

In retrospect, the moves from The Swim were rather obvious. You pretty much just need to pretend that you are swimming! Well, simple or not, it was a lot of fun!

Here’s a video of Bobby Freeman performing the hit.

Little Eva was fantastic and this dance was so easy and fun to do! Yes, the words were silly, but, the music was great! I just love the backup dancers in this video! Move over Beyonce!

Did you enjoy this stroll down memory lane? If so, please share this article with your friends. Let’s see if we can lead a revival of some of the best dances ever created!

Which 1960s dances do you remember? Did you dance The Twist, Mashed Potato, Monster Mash, Madison or any of the other songs in this article? Let’s have a chat and take a stroll down memory lane!

Pony runs in circles :-): llliu — LiveJournal

I mean, I've already seen all this… heard… and came again.

Butterfly in Stasik (January 24)
Simone Kermes in the Tchaikovsky Hall (January 25)
Myasin in the Bolshoi (January 26)
That's it, three days in a row, but before that two weeks in the theater ... well, almost ... not a foot :-) Doubtful Baya with VovoAnyaVanya does not count))))))

Butterfly by Olga Guryakova
Butterfly was the last premiere of Stasik before closing it for reconstruction (the composition was exactly the same as at the premiere - Guryakova-Urusov, but about Sharpless, I thought). Then I really liked Guryakova. I didn't like Urusov very much. The production seemed sane and conceptually unpretentious, but not without thought. nine0003 Guryakova's position has changed a lot over the years - she is now the prima donna of the world opera scene, and not the second music scene in Moscow, although out of feeling (gratitude?) she continues to be Stasik's soloist in approximately the same format as the world's prima donnas Netrebko and Borodin remain the soloists of Marinka. Guryakova's visit to her native land is a rarity these days (she seems to happen more often in St. Petersburg, I heard her there just in July). To miss it would be a big sin. Remembering the premiere, I was looking forward to a repeat of the pleasure. nine0003 The first act of anticipation did not justify. First of all (well, it seemed to me), because of the stalls - I undertake not to do this again - it is heard worse than in the mezzanine. And apparently, too. Pinkerton's conversation with Chaples before the "wedding" with Butterfly consisted of fragments of sounds and voices of the first lover of the Stanislav scene - Urusov - and barely audible exhortations of the American consul - Polikanin. But these were flowers - Urusov, it turns out, simply did not "sing", the peak of his hot sound, as happens with the first lovers, fell on a love duet. And when he sang, I just wanted to close my ears so as not to hear his cries, but it was categorically impossible to do this, because the cries of the first lover were interspersed with the exemplary and heartfelt vocals of the prima donna, just like day follows night, and good coexists with evil. nine0003 A friend who watched this composition for the first time whispered: “Well, goat, well, goat, well, goat!”. During the break, she said that before speaking out loud, she repeated this fifty times to herself. After thinking, I noticed to her that, according to the plot, Pinkerton belongs to this particular type of animal, so everything is correct. :-)
I must say that my friend belongs to the ardent admirers of the Bolshoi Theater performance staged by Wilson, but I just don’t like this performance - the cold, lined aestheticism of Bob Wilson is actually close to me, but not in relation to Puccini, and especially to his tear-squeezing Butterfly. She saw Stasik's Butterfly for the first time - she missed the premiere, and then she didn't go, under my pressure she was waiting for Guryakova. And the first step was disappointing. Wilson, I note in passing, is undoubtedly stronger than the next director Stasik Naletova, both as an ethnographic imitator and as an esthete. nine0003 But I objected to my friend that the ethnographic nature of this performance is conditional - after all, this is European music by a European composer, therefore, of course, the Japanese texture is advantageous for the theater, because. allows you to draw beautiful pictures, manipulate the image of an exotic butterfly chrysalis, but the essence of the opera is not at all in the Japanese texture, but in the feelings that unite the proletarians of people of all countries. The feelings of the Japanese Butterfly are understandable to any woman of any nationality who has been used and, considering her as a doll or a second-class person, thrown out of her life, in which (supposedly) everything should be only real and first-class. nine0003 And secondly, I told my friend, her assessment is premature. I saw both performances, and I have the right to rate. Wilson's performance, as an exclusively aesthetic performance, made according to the principles of mimodrama (in a sense, even ballet), appeals only to the eye and is deliberately deaf in feelings. And Stasik's performance is quite lively and sensitive. The main thing was ahead. And so it happened. And with the play, and with a friend. Guryakova made melodrama a high drama.
The emotional impact of the second and third acts was compensated for by the insufficiency, deafness and falsehood of the first act (I admit that Guryakova, the Young Geisha of the 1st act, is somehow not very reliable). The almost absence of Urusov in the second half of the performance also helped. The return of Pinkerton with traditional cries - an episode in the third act, glory to the creator! By the way, Polikanin-Sharples also began to sound much better (it seems that he took doping during the intermission). nine0003 BUT THIS IS ALL DETAILS. Guryakova completely riveted all the attention to herself, of course, Puccini helped her in this, who leads his heroine from rosy hopes and blind naivety to the inevitability of the end. However, the part is very complex vocally and emotionally, in order to realize all the possibilities presented by the composer Puccini, one must match. Yes, Guryakova was good at the premiere, but now she is just on a qualitatively different level. She grew up a lot in this part, everything was very heartfelt (I hate to say that everything is done - in fact, not everything is "done" yet - despite the fact that sufficient efforts were made to look like a Japanese woman, Japanese for the most part she did not look, remaining a European woman). The last scene, before the suicide, was an exception - when disheveled hair, a face distorted like a tragic Japanese mask, and a conditional, rather than exact physiological, pose in which (according to my ideas, formed mainly by Japanese cinema) prepare for hara-kiri. nine0003 It happens that you look at the stage and don’t think at all about the quality of singing (while Urusov was there, you had to think about it all the time, and thoughts weren’t so funny :-), but you get into a trance of empathy, because in front of you is a real artist (artist), and you are immersed in the performance. And, starting from the second act, an immersion happened to me: I didn’t think at all about how Guryakova sings, I thought about poor, poor Butterfly. Although she did not consider herself poor, and in Naletova's performance the main character, of course, is tender and fragile. You can't get away from this characteristic, given by music, but she is also the strongest of all the characters. Unbroken. The real heroine of the tragedy, the tragedy in the Greek tradition, perhaps in the Japanese-samurai, but I don’t know for sure about that. This woman, deceived and deceived, when she realizes everything, leaves very honorably. Although not without touching-tenderness. Just dignity and sincerity are the main colors of Butterfly-Guryakova. And I have seen and heard options for post-zooming. nine0003 As a result, at the exit from the theater, a staunch admirer of Wilson, she is also my friend, admitted defeat, but not without pleasure. Yes, she said, it will be stronger than our Bob Wilson. :-) Thanks to Olga Guryakova.

Postscript .
And I somehow thoroughly forgot the performance.
Therefore, not without pleasure, I revised it as partly new.
Worthy. And even conceptually.
The Japanese and Japan itself are presented as alien to the European eye (not only the Americans wandering around the stage, but also the auditorium), a puppet world, obscure, toy, not real. Pinkerton's attitude to Butterfly as a doll is justified, he played and threw it away, without shame, without conscience, without regret. Typical double standards. It is likely that Pinkerton is an exceptionally kind and honest guy. Only in relation to their own, and in their own, i.e. real American life. And the Japanese world for him is not real, a toy. People with faces covered with masks, who walk not like a human, but like a seed, and dress not like a human, and their laws are somehow ... strange. :-) Can they suspect the presence of human feelings in this case? nine0006

Some advanced Japanese, anticipating the Western modernization of Japanese society that took place a few decades later, wish to join Western civilization in advance. Butterfly, driven by love for a Western person, puts on a European dress to look like a real Mrs. Pinkerthorn, dresses her servants in European style, however, her gait and body position (in Japanese, as if in a half-bow) does not change. She is waiting for the return of Pinkerton, dressing, however, her wedding Japanese outfit, and accepts death in Japanese - suicide is not encouraged by Western morality, but in Japanese tradition it is the highest manifestation of human fortitude. nine0003 So the girl "went" to the West, unsuccessfully and returned to Japan. Her potential fiancé is dressed ostensibly in a European way, but comically bad taste. He also dreams of meeting “European standards”.
The furnishings of the almost empty stage are exclusively symbolic - there are interior items brought from the West, for example, one chair, of course, only one person can sit on it, and the other must sit on a low pebble-platform.
Butterfly house - made of glass, transparent, a kind of constructivist wigwam. Its symbolism is clear. Butterfly builds air (glass castles). The boat - at first a symbol of mutual love between Butterfly and Pinkerton - crashed into everyday life - then it is used to bring the American wife of Butterfly's husband, and in the end it fulfills its real symbolic role (even initially it looks like a funeral Venetian gondola - of course, black) - on it Butterfly commits suicide and her boat takes her to another world, completing the life cycle of love-treason-death. nine0003 In general, the stage picture is formed by three components: minimalism, symbolism and beauty.
As a result - a very worthy performance. Which created a mainly female tandem - Guryakova-Naletova. And the hero-lover - F FUCKER, as one funny character from the opera forum put it.

Mozart from Kermes and Müller
Simona Kermes heard from Currentzis in Don Juan last season, and she was the only singer I heard in that deaf Don Juan. It was written about her in the booklet that she was a famous interpreter of Mozart's music, and this time she brought Mozart's repertoire to Moscow. What I have never heard are 3 concert arias written by Amadeus for her sister-in-law (Kermes performed them with a score in her hands) and arias from Mozart's operas, which she performed with skill, technique and by heart. nine0003 Well, what can I say?
From curious. The “girl” turned out to be about fifty years old (give or take). At the same time, she did not hesitate to expose or wrap her already imperfect body as much as possible (Germans do not take physical imperfections into account), moreover, with silk of the color of childish surprise, drape it with two trains, one of which, the color of a sea wave, wrapped around her body on one side, forming behind like a crown-support at the level of the head, and the second - the color of pervange (that is, gray-blue) wrapped around it on the other side, so that it was impossible to approach the powerfully draped soprana. But the soprana, very frisky for her years, sometimes pulled the conductor (also not a boy, but a jumper) behind her to bow, and the poor conductor, in order not to step on her hems, scattered with a generous hand on the floor, was forced to show miracles of dexterity - slipping, for example , into the narrow gap between the console and her draperies, or even jump over the toilet. He managed not to cause damage along the way, but she herself once got very tangled in her draperies ;-)
In terms of the color of her hair, she surpassed even me, who went to China with a naturally fiery head. Simone's head (brunette on the poster) became bright red, but not one-colored, but with wide strands of varying degrees of redness, but exclusively with eye-catching shades.
When a parrot-like lady carried herself onto the stage with two trains, the young people next to her quietly burst out, and I said, “But she sings well.”
And indeed, she sang well. But not brilliant. The voice itself, in general, cannot be called fresh. You can't call it boundless either - a very high soprano, hardly audible on the bottoms. Everything was corrected by the repertoire, it was chosen so that the shortcomings of the voice could be heard to a minimum. nine0003 They had complete mutual understanding with the conductor (conductor from Switzerland, Christoph Muller), in general, in such conductors, I am always captivated by their real operatic professionalism, rare on 1/6 of the land - the ability to interact with artists, and not "sing your song", straining singers. In short, the conductor is a separate pleasure - how wonderfully they felt each other.
Kremes sang with great skill, she is a classy Belcantist, coloratura is as natural as breathing, and breathing is boundless and natural. On virtuoso things she had a resounding success (the hall was not full, however). But coloratura like breath will not surprise me, at least this season, there was Bonitatibus, Sumi Yo, and finally, the day before yesterday - Claycomb. nine0003 Something special bribed me in Kermes - she managed to sob, laugh and even whisper to the music in such a way that it "sneaked". I was more bribed by lyrical things. The possibilities of the voice with the included emotion are much more than just mastering the technique of light and mobile sound production. Transmission of feelings - that's what's important. And the roulades are transient, curlicues stuck to real art.
In fairness, I’ll say that she sang the familiar repertoire (arias from Mozart’s operas) much more sophisticated and virtuoso than the repertoire prepared by her especially for a concert in Moscow - she sang Mozart’s concert arias for the first time. And it was felt. In general, unlike creating a stage image, she knows how to sing. nine0003

Myasin from Merkuryev to Shpilevsky
Myasin at the Bolshoi is a favorite (why? for some reason......) ballet program, seen already 3 to 5 times (from minimum - Omen - to maximum - Three-corners , which we were fed during the opening act before the Carmen Suite). I missed this program. Additional bonuses were supposed in each of the ballet performances - the honored Spaniard of St. Petersburg, now the soloist of the Bolshoi Andrei Merkuriev in Melnik, the debut of the post-decree Nastya Meskova in Melnichikha (Cornered Hat), the best girls of the Bolshoi (Shipulina, Lunkina, Osipova) in Omens and well, and Artem Shpilevsky, discharged from Berlin - a baron in "Paris Life" (plus Medvedev-Peruvian - a bonus over the program). nine0006 Omens

Premonitions did not disappoint. The tee was powerful.
The direction of the main attack was set by Merkuriev.
I am surprised at the "Cornered Hat". This ballet is a test blotter for the professionalism and charisma of the performers. When it is performed by secondary and tertiary artists, you look around. In order to make the Tricorne sluggish and lifeless, it is necessary to entrust its execution to Kobakhidze (as an option - Antropova, no better) and Biktimirov (Skvortsov is a little better, or even worse, depending on whether Skvortsov is in uniform or, as always: -)). An amazing thing, but once and, in general, not so long ago, the Bolshoi was famous for its characteristic dancers, now the theater has almost completely forgotten how to dance Spanish dances. They dance some kind of bland, highly theatrical, highly classicalized, or rather impersonal, and pass it off as supposedly temperamental Spanish dances. As if flamenco dancers had completely abandoned Moscow, and in order to look at how it is customary to dance in Spain, it is enough not to leave the Moscow Bolshoi Theater. I'm not saying that the characteristic dancers (to be more precise, Biktimirov) are dancing an adapted, or rather, lighter version of the part of the Miller in the Three-Cornered Hat. nine0003 After the premiere's Tricorne was pushed into a distant, episodic and unloved corner of his career, the Tricorne began to seem like a boring, sad appendage to the main course. For a long time, the main course was the Carmen Suite. As a result, I watched the cocked hat the most, and I enjoyed it only at the premiere. Gudanov struck me at one time in Melnik, against my skepticism (Dimochka is just a real, one hundred percent classic!) He felt it that way, he seemed a born (and not written like Biktimirov) Spaniard! nine0003 After Masha Alexandrova (whose Miller, in general, I’m not completely satisfied, but purely for aesthetic reasons, the Miller, in my opinion, should have exotic beauty and hot sex appeal, I don’t find either one or the other in Masha, but she danced excellent) not a single decent Miller at all. Meskova, just in terms of texture and type of talent (juicy-sexy, very tangible before childbirth), asked for Melnikha. After the decree, I saw her for the first time. The beauty of the southern type has remained, the juiciness has dried up, but where did the sex appeal and temperament go? By the way, in "Romeo and Juliet" I liked Alexandrova Meskova much more than Masha herself - thanks to her vitality and femininity-sexy. And here the girl worked out the input, it seems that she did not stand next to Masha. Never. It's just a whole different level. Of course, there is a weaker example - Kobakhidze, but it's just that initially it was not Nelin's role, but Nastina's. An exotic beauty that attracts men. At least this. I will be more indulgent towards Meskova, because for Omens a small miracle happened and from somewhere everything that was lost in Melnichikha splashed out in Meskova, the soloist of the cancan. nine0003 But for the first time in my memory, Merkuriev at the Bolshoi was simply drop dead! True, before that, I saw him a little - only in the Carmen Suite and the Balanchine pas de deux. His Jose did not at all coincide with my idea of ​​what Jose should be. Oddly enough, Uvarov, whom I dislike in other roles, most closely matches this idea, I don’t know what’s the matter - textural coincidences with Godunov or something else, but from Jose Merkuriev I was left with the impression of some small-caliber and fussiness, although I really liked something. The pas de deux of Balanchine-Tchaikovsky was danced somehow a little laxly, I liked Krysanova, organic in her agility, better there. nine0003 But Merkuriev's Miller is an extravaganza! All of his unique plastic gift, all of his Spanishness, acquired in Marinka over the years of performing the Espada, and all his sense of the style of this ballet splashed out in Melnik. Plus incredible dedication on stage, plus technical almost perfection, plus a great stretch, plus the visible pleasure of dancing! All the pluses came together and formed a powerful energy message to the hall. And even, perhaps, a new dance pattern.
I think (I even know :-), not only I got goosebumps from Merkuriev’s dances (or rather, my state of supreme pleasure is physiologically expressed in a completely different way, I won’t say how :-) but goosebumps are conditional, in the accepted format). nine0003 To Merkuriev we add my favorite artist Petukhov, who in his own way - pantomime-acting - was worthy of such a Miller, and it turns out that the Three-Cornered Hat is a wonderful ballet full of high energy and primordial freshness. If a ballet (even an archaic one) has such performers, it has the right to a long existence.
Let me briefly note that Merkusha-Melnik, despite the goosebumps, did not in the least cancel my admiration for Gudusikov Melnik, whom I also wish to see again in this role. Some strictness, elegance and closeness of Melnik Gudanov seem to me even more suitable for the style of the Tricorne. Merkuriev breaks away from this conventionally minimalist style, but he does it so admirably that the scenery could also be rewritten for his Melnik. :-)
Gudanov, by the way, was in the hall - he was sitting on a chair under the right amphitheatre. Left there with the Parisian fun.
Pleasure number 2 - our top girls in Omens. Unfortunately, against the background of our not the best boys. Of course, The Omens look to today's eyes somewhat archaic, illustrative, and in places simply ridiculous. But it is renewed by the elastic, gutta-percha, strong-willed body of Shipulina (how non-classical dances suit her!) and the gently soluble Lunkina. Lunkina, however, I liked better before, in the premiere block she had a completely bewitching effect on me, but now some losses have occurred, but much remains, the beauty does not fade. Frivolity still requires a little more frivolity and less concentration than Osipova, here I like Ryzhkina more (she dances easier), but Osipova’s enthusiasm and confident thoroughness are magnetic in themselves, regardless of the name of her character. nine0003 Plots with "temptation" and especially with "fate", as well as mass movements of the cord, especially in part 4, look comical today. Some flickering (they scare us, but we are not afraid. Terribly fun!;-)

Pleasure number 3. Programmed. Forever. This is Parisian fun. Set to wonderful music. The enchanting final barcarolle is from the beloved Tales of Hoffmann, and a few more themes are from the same place. Characters - the sea. Not everyone is on top, but in this kaleidoscope and the change of moods and genres, you can find something for everyone, but raisins. My trademark pleasure is Medvedev's Peruvian, a lover of ladies and a love loser. Small goldsmith. Medvedev is a completely separate attraction that draws attention to itself when more important characters are in the foreground. It is impossible to break away from the Peruvian. You have to look at Shpilevsky, but you want to look only at Medvedev's pranks. Rare organics, ingenuity, sense of humor, artistry in a cube. nine0003 The line of the glovemaker and the baron is the main lyrical line. In accordance with the plot moves and enchanting music, the saleswoman of gloves should be a universal temptress. It is not Ryzhkina who succeeds more, but Lunkina (Ryzhkina was there that day), but by and large neither one nor the other succeeds, it would be a little more coquettishness and awareness of her female victoriousness. And we see only refinement (Ryazkina) or refinement-beauty in Lunkina.
Myasinskaya lure number 4 (after Merkuriev-Meskova-Lunkina) was Shpilevsky, oh, legends about the new sex symbol of the Bolshoi and surrounding theaters are already circulating in Moscow. True, more and more tales with an ironic bias from the anecdote “yes, you don’t have to dance, you are moves-moves!”. This time he didn't have to dance much, so the "you moves-moves" option worked quite well. Yes, he is slim, yes, handsome, yes, he holds well (supports are high and complex), but he does not feel any feelings for his chosen one, so he functions, and there is almost no cavalier charm. According to the results of looking at a sex symbol, I prefer the veteran baron Mark Peretokin - his baron came out more stylish and aristocratic. From the series about the old horse. nine0003 But for a snack and to the joy of Meskova, who, apparently, made a joke behind the scenes, and famously played a virtuoso variation in the cancan, fully rehabilitated for the unfinished Melnichikha. Oh, how almost wonderful she unscrewed the fouette on the half-fingers, and on the half-fingers, it turns out, this trick looks more advantageous than on the fingers, she went off the snout a little, but what a pace, what enthusiasm! But the soloist of the cancan, Yanin, is somehow heavy-weight, in texture and style does not fit into the cancan at all. Again, as if we had never been to Paris and not seen the Moulin Rouge, there the male soloist of the cancan is fresher, slimmer, more stretched and more gutta-perchie. It lights up no worse, but better than girls. Here everything was the other way around. nine0003 I love Parisian life in Moscow. They say that in the Bolshoi they don't know how to dance the cancan, so be it. But all together they give joy and a wonderful mood.

Take a bite: from "Eat-ki" to "Stoned Pony" - Restaurants - Afisha Kaliningrad establishments - not cuisine, service, price tag and interior, but pretentiousness.

A word of caution: The Stone Pony bar is located in the USA, in New Jersey, practically on the ocean, and this is a very popular club among both locals and tourists. nine0006

The Kaliningrad catering establishment on Pobedy Square, known for several years as "Eat-ka" with the children's cafe "Freken Bok", last year suddenly changed its name to "Dugout" and became not a haven for those who have nowhere to put themselves in the city center after midnight, and the money is not enough for a taxi home, but only for a cup of tea and a portion of french fries - namely, a fun, relatively smart "cultural fast food" (we wrote about this here and here). In "Blindage" they gradually and constantly made repairs, but did not close it. And this summer everything changed. "Dugout" began to call itself the "Stoned Pony" bar, changing the name of a very distant neighbor by just one letter, made a very similar logo and sign (compare with this link), parted ways with not only a cult, but popular urban DJ Danil Akimov, whose parties, wherever they took place, have always been a kind of quality mark for the place, and began to position himself as a bar with the spirit of an English pub. nine0006

Everything that happened at the end of last year in Eat-Ke seemed appropriate, good, timely and reasonable. What is happening within these walls now causes, let's say, a mild misunderstanding.

Saying that they would like to recreate the "spirit of an English pub", the owners of the establishment apparently forgot that even at the simplest associative level, a classic British beer hall is associated not only with a fun drinking party, but also with such concepts as good quality, durability and reliability . In the new Stoned Pony interior, there is no quality factor and the feeling that everything has been done, if not for centuries, then at least for the next five years: the wooden surface of the tabletops gives the impression of a pasted film that imitates a tree cut with annual rings, tables sway, partitions between tables and even balusters in these partitions, the bar counter shakes at the slightest touch - all this, in principle, can be justified if we imagine that in an English bar, not only the guests, but also all the furniture are drunk in the trash. Everything is new, almost shiny, smelling like a furniture store - you can assume that time will pass, chairs and tables will be cleaned, somehow take root, but there is no guarantee that this will happen exactly at the moment when it becomes easy to sit on them and behind them impossible. The only thing not fake here is the vaulted brick ceilings; however, the Pony owners are least of all involved in their presence, thanks for not hiding them under a false ceiling. nine0006

The menu remains the same: the same inexpensive snacks, fries, sandwiches plus what can be called chicken skewers with potatoes, pork steak and several types of pasta. When placing an order, be prepared for the fact that the classic fast food dishes will be quite at the level of McDonald's and Smak, but chicken skewers can contain not only fried meat, but also fried lard. Everything seems to be fine with the bar - in any case, homemade lemonades are good, but, despite the fact that quite experienced guys work behind the counter, for example, Ivan Konorev (before that he worked at Partizan and received an Amber Shaker), sometimes you have to explain obvious things or hear: “But this is not there and we cannot replace it” - or: “We don’t know how to do it. ” It has become very crowded here, and dancing at the notorious bar counter is a somewhat dubious occupation, you will have to do the dance steps very gracefully so as not to be doused with your own cocktail or another dancer's cocktail. nine0006

The main trouble is not crowded, and not even that shashlik is found to contain bacon, and pasta can turn out to be simply undersalted and it is not always possible to ask the waitress for spices. Bribes are smooth with fast food: fry yourself french fries, stack sandwiches, if you have a license for alcohol - mix rum with cola, well, if you still have imagination and a desire to arrange some additional entertainment besides gluttony, then good parties will also be appropriate . Now there are no former cheerful and smart dances, and there is nowhere to dance, the sterility and simplicity of the interior has become a kitsch stylization, and when they put a plate with a typical assortment of train station food on a supposedly century-old table, you get the feeling that you were not told "Good evening", and - "Here, take a bite!".

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