Lydia in Moscow

Lydia, a junior President’s Scholar majoring in theatre studies in Meadows School of the Arts and Spanish in Dedman College, is spending fall 2010 in Moscow, where she is studying with the Moscow Art Theater.

First post from Moscow: Part I

After a very rough and exhausting 24 hours of travel, we arrived at the Moscow airport around 8 p.m. Wednesday evening. My first glimpse from the plane window of some extremely tall silver birch trees and grass the darkest green I have ever seen sent my heart spiraling inside itself with excitement. Granted, the airport is quite a distance from the city, but the fantastical adventure of my imagination had already begun. In my head I was seeing Levin and Kitty’s estate (“Anna Karenina”), the lake behind the house in Chekhov’s “The Seagull,” and the country forests that give Turgenev’s play “A Month in the Country” new meaning. Russia is beautiful.

moscow1.jpgWe then proceeded to sit in traffic for several hours as some occasion or other blocked up the city to an extreme standstill. Probably the worst traffic I have ever experienced. Not quite so beautiful, but we did eventually arrive, which was more than enough at the end of the day. Our long day’s journey had turned into night/early morning already and slap-happy is not potent enough of a word to describe our state when we finally entered the building and got our keys.

The boys unloaded the bus. (Here, men are expected to carry/lift all heavy objects, because if women do, the effort will supposedly damage their ability to have children… And of course we ladies must be able to make babies, so… men do all of the heavy work, even carrying chairs in classes. Feminists would have much to get used to.)

The girls got things moved into the rooms, which are quite lovely and are complemented with bed linens and towels that are cooler, more colorful, and more geometric than I could have imagined. The rooms are small but nice, and everyone is together. We are already becoming a family, and the added challenge of sharing two showers and two toilets per 15 people is teaching us to be an even better ensemble.

The Moscow Art Theater and its collection of buildings is on the corner of Tverskaya Ulitsa and Kamergerskiy Pereulok, about a five-minute walk from Red Square. The American studio where we have most of our classes is on the fifth floor of one of the buildings, which thus requires either much marble-stair-walking past the photos of some of the most beautiful and famous actors, directors, theater personalities, etc. or a quick elevator ride to the fourth floor and a slight jaunt up the last few steps.

Either way, combined with the amount of walking involved in living in this city, I am slowly building my very own strong Russian quads. If I come back in the best shape of my life, it will be not only be due to my classes but also to the very nature of transportation here in Moscow: my feet.

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Blogging and ballet

Lots, in fact millions, of people have been blogging before me. Therefore, they greatly surpass me in experience and Internet savvy, and I give them all the credit they are due. But these trite words that you are reading compose my first contribution to the worldwide web, my first step into putting my thoughts out there for everyone to see. Well, that’s not exactly true, considering I am a rather outspoken person who has been telling people her thoughts since she was old enough to tell them to herself. Yes, I talk to myself, don’t you? Don’t lie.

As a girl I was always enchanted by the notion of telegrams and the distances they traveled to arrive in the hands of their destined readers STOP What a magical system of communication STOP I must admit however that the present day means of communicating through the Internet is considerably easier and certainly magical in its own way STOP I have many journeys ahead and am looking forward to being able to share them with those who are willing to read my particular flavor of prose STOP Rest assured however, I will not be so tacky as to continue the use of the word Stop throughout my blogs STOP I just wanted to try it, for kicks, you know?

Thus my ramblings begin, with silly words and silly musings that probably mean very little to the outside world. I promise to write more direct and interesting posts in the future; forgive me for being unable to overcome the challenge of writing a brilliant first blog EVER. Needless to say I am excited to share with you all, whoever you are (of course I know who some of you are, but leave me my dramatic address), the experiences that lay behind me, ahead of me, and with me as I type.

So let’s dive in, shall we? Here is one tiny tidbit from my day to start us off:
I shall be going to Moscow, Russia, this fall to study abroad with the Moscow Art Theater. Much preparation for this intense journey has been under way, but to give you a recent update, not 30 minutes ago my mother and I purchased ballet shoes, tights and two leotards for the beginning of my ballet training. I may be 20 years old with only three meager years of jazz under my belt, but it’s never too late to dance. And the 5-year-old Lydia that still lives in my soul is aching to start. Ballet?! Please mom oh please oh please! We did buy the extra tall tights, right?

So today, a very special day, I begin to blog, and I begin to be a ballerina. Welcome to the Tall Perspective.

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