photography

An Up-Close Look at NYCB’s Nutcracker Costumes

As far as I’m concerned, the holiday season isn’t complete without seeing a performance of the Nutcracker. (Or, at least listening to the soundtrack a couple times in its entirety—something that’s driven my family mad over the years!)

Tonight, I’m seeing City Ballet’s production (with my mom :)). It’s been several years since I’ve seen their version, and I’m pretty excited—there’s nothing as inspiring as seeing the pros dance, live!

Recently, NYCB posted behind-the-scenes photos of their Nutcracker costumes on their Facebook page. I thought it was super-cool that they gave us normal folks (and professional dancer wannabes!) a little peek behind the curtains!

Reams of fabric at the NYCB Costume Shop

Reams of fabric at the NYCB Costume Shop

Waltz of the Flowers tutus

Waltz of the Flowers tutus

Marzipan costumes

Marzipan costumes

Sugarplum fairy costumes

Sugarplum fairy costumes

Sugarplum fairy costume

Sugarplum fairy costume

Are you a Nutcracker fan, too? What’s your favorite number? (Mine has always been the “Waltz of the Snowflakes”—which I was thrilled to perform earlier this season.)

(Photos via NYCB’s Facebook page)

Dancers Among Us

Yesterday, I stumbled across a post on Joycreation that made my day. It featured Dancers Among Us, a photography project and book by NYC photog Jordan Matter. He shoots dancers in street clothes in various locations around the country—but in every shot, they’re captured in the middle of a move, a jolting contrast to everything/everyone around them. Many dancers are soaring mid-air in Russian pas de chats, attitudes and jetes; you can’t help but feel a little exuberance and joy while looking at them!

I got sucked into looking at all the photos on the Dancers Among Us site, but was particularly impressed with the range of locations for the NYC shots. Some of my favorites:

luke mccollum, dancers among us

ft. tryon park, adrienne hayes

broadway

stone street

central park

lincoln center

(All photos via Dancers Among Us; found via Joycreation)

Goodbye Troubles

Yi Peng Festival floating lanterns

Here’s a great image for your Friday. I stumbled across it earlier in the week, on NPR’s Tumblr, and every time it flitted into my thoughts, it brought a smile to my face.

Here’s the story behind it:

During the Yi Peng Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand, lanterns are launched into the night sky in the belief that grief and misfortune will fly away with them.

“Yee” refers to the second month in the lunar calendar and “Peng” means full moon—so the Thai hold this festival on the night of the full moon during the second lunar month. I love how the simple, positive ritual associated with it—of literally releasing your troubles—creates such a gorgeous sight. Yet another reason to visit Chiang Mai. рџ™‚

Happy Friday!

(photo by Hong Wu/Getty images, from News Hour via NPR)

A Gorgeous NYC Calendar (That Benefits Sandy Relief)

A NEW YORK CALENDAR TO RAISE FUNDS FOR SANDY RELIEF

It’s no secret how much I love my hometown. So I was thrilled when I came across this gorgeous 2013 calendar of NYC images, by Jenna Park, a Brooklyn-based designer. The photos are just breathtaking. I love their dreamy feel and how they represent a variety of local places.

In a very nice gesture, 30% of proceeds of calendars purchased this month will go to NYC organizations that are aiding Hurricane Sandy victims. Now that’s definitely a reason to feel good about buying one now—especially since parts of the city are still struggling with the aftermath.

And while I’m on the topic of Sandy: Tragically, a friend of our family was one of the hurricane’s victims. Jeffrey Chanin was a retired NYPD sergeant who was killed when a tree fell through his house the night of the storm. He leaves behind a wife and four children. If you’re interested in making a donation to the family, it can be sent to The Chanin Family Fund, P.O. Box 739, PearlВ River, NY 10965.

(Image via Sweet Find Day, found via A Cup of Jo)

This Photo Made My Day

Inbound by Phrasikleia Epoiesen (Phrasikleia)) on 500px.com

Click through to get a better look at this image–it’s so pristine that it’s hard to believe it’s a photo and not painting.

Peter sent it to Mal and me this morning with the message, “Guess where this is?” I thought it looked like Lake Bled, in Slovenia. I was close; it’s actually Lake Bohinj, also in Slovenia. The three of us have been wanting to take a trip there for years, but we haven’t been able to get the timing right. Peter’s family is Slovenian and every time I go to his family’s house and see their gorgeous paintings of the country (which look a lot like this photo), I just want to pack my bags and go!

Anyway, this morning, I was running late and completely frazzled. But when I saw this photo, it immediately made me smile and cooled my nerves. Nothing like a little vacation inspiration to put you in a good mood, huh? рџ™‚

(“Inbound” image by Phrasikleia Epoiesen)

Beijing NYC

beijing nyc

I recently stumbled across a blog post whose intriguing photos caught my eye. They were the work of John Clang, a Chinese artist from Singapore who splits his time between there and NYC. In his project “Beijing NYC,”В Clang took photos of ordinary Beijing citizens, printed and cut them out, then taped the tiny figures onto different locations around NYC. The juxtapositions are striking.

According to Clang:

For me, the actual Chinese citizens being used [in the photographs] demonstrate a dream yet to be fulfilled.

As the granddaughter of Chinese immigrants who came to NYC many years ago, I think that’s what drew me to these photos and made them feel so poignant. Plus, there’s something both wistful and whimsical about them that really depict feeling like a stranger in a new place.

beijing nyc

beijing nyc

beijing nyc

(Photos by John Clang via Open City)

This Must Be The Place

this must be the place

How gorgeous is that photo? I came across it on Gadling today and loved it so much that I had to reblog it. It’s by Flickr user il leleВ and part of his stunning photo set of White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. It kind of reminds me of the Bolivia’s Salar de Uynui–except with dunes. But nevertheless, I’ve now added it to the long list of places I want to visit.

(Photo by il lele via Gadling)