dansesdesirene: (Stock; Books)
Long time, no see dreamwidth! School has started again and with it brings a lot of work. But I wanted to check back in again. I have lots of things I'd like to update about so hopefully I'll be around more often. Tonight I'll start with something a little different than what I usually gravitate towards.

As some of you know I'm taking a poetry class and this is a little out of the ordinary for me. For those who don't, I've written some poetry in the past and have read poetry before but my strong point is fiction writing. I've been wanting to take a poetry class, though, and decided to this semester.

The first book of poetry we read is A Defense of Poetry by Gabriel Gudding. It's a funny piece of work. Funny as in farts and rectums, which isn't exactly my idea of funny. There were a few poems that really caught my eye and after hearing some of the things my teacher had to say about another of Gudding's collections it sounds like something I might be interested in. But this particular collection wasn't my cup of tea.
dansesdesirene: (Stock; Books)

I sit for a long time and watch the night bruise toward morning, the purple turning yellow, the yellow fading till it's as if the dark has never marked the skin of the sky at all.
-- A Great and Terrible Beauty, Libba Bray

After tragedy strikes her family in India, Gemma Doyle returns to London and is sent by her brother to the elite boarding school, Spence. At first she clashes with the royal circle of the class but soon need forges a friendship between them and a small group is formed. Through an old diary Gemma, Felicity, Pippa and Ann begin learn about The Order--an ancient magical group--and Gemma begins to discover her own powers.

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray started off a bit slow for me. It's not there wasn't a hook in the beginning, I just wasn't as interested in it until Gemma reached Spence. But the imagery in the first few chapters were beautiful and kept me reading. Once Gemma began attending school I was hooked. It was a book that was hard to put down and one that was on my mind when I wasn't reading. I'm definitely looking forward to reading the next in the trilogy, though it's hard to imagine it comparing to this one.
dansesdesirene: (Stock: Dancer)
Dancers: Jeanine and Jason
Song: If It Kills Me by Jason Mraz
Choreographer: Travis Wall

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Dancers: Kayla and Brandon
Song: "All I Want" by Ahn Trio
Choreographer: Stacey Tookey

dansesdesirene: (Stock: Dancer)
I've really enjoyed the choreography of Tyce Diorio on So You Think You Can Dance so I've been looking at past dances he has choreographed. Keep your eye for more to come!

Today, I'd like to show you all this gorgeous piece that was nominated for an Emmy.

Dancers: Jessica and Will
Song: "Silence" from the Unfaithful soundtrack
Choreographer: Tyce Diorio

dansesdesirene: (Stock; Books)

Little is known about Ophelia from Shakespeare's Hamlet other than her love affair with the prince of Denmark, her descent into madness and her untimely death. But what if that wasn't the true story? Lisa Klein gives her version of Ophelia's tale, chronicling Ophelia's relationship with Hamlet to her supposed death and what happened afterwards.

Ophelia has always been my favorite character from Hamlet, partly because she is portrayed by Kate Winslet in the Kenneth Branagh film and partly because her story is so tragic. Because of this, when I saw this novel on the shelf at the bookstore I had to read it. The novel started off a little slow for me. In the middle it picked up and I was hooked but once it reached the end it slowed down again. It starts before the events of Shakespeare's play and ends after. The part of the story I enjoyed was what took place during the original play. The rest, for me, could have been cut out.
dansesdesirene: (Stock; Books)

When Alice's mother died from cancer it was just her and her father... until he remarried. Now, as he and his new wife welcome a baby into their home Alice feels more alone than ever. With only her music, her best friend and her boyfriend for comfort she starts pulling away from her family and spending more time away from her home. But when she ends up stuck in a snowstorm with her stepmom and stepsister she's forced to face her feelings about them.

What I love most about this book is that it is a verse novel. While they're different to read I feel like they can draw you into the emotions of the characters more because of their unique style. They also make for quick, enjoyable reads. Also recommended is Lisa Schroeder's other YA verse novel I Heart You, You Haunt Me.
dansesdesirene: (Stock; Books)

After being released from rehab for an alcohol addiction Amy feels like she has entered a different world. Her parents--once only interested in themselves--are giving her extra attention. but the biggest change of all is returning to school sober and without her best friend. It's nearing one hundred days since Julia was killed in a car accident and Amy is still reeling from the loss of her friend and blaming herself for Julia's death. Without Julia by her side, she's become a social outcast. When her counselor suggests she begin keeping a journal she begins writing Julia letters, telling her friend what she's seeing and feeling.

While the story of a brooding high school student struggling with sex, drugs and alcohol isn't a new story I enjoyed Elizabeth Scott's take on it. Amy was an intriguing character, as were some of the students she encountered at school. The letters to Julia added an interesting dynamic to the story as I waited to see what she would and would not admit to her friend. It was a quick read, one that I would highly recommend.
dansesdesirene: (Stock; Books)

I read the first Shopaholic book in February before the film came out in theaters and enjoyed it greatly, though it didn't hook me enough to keep me reading until a friend lent me the rest of the series this summer. While some series' get worse as the books progress this series just got better.

Confessions of a Shopaholic is the first of the series, introducing the readers to Becky Bloomwood and her shopaholic ways. It also introduces the reader to a cast of fascinating characters including her parents, her best friend Suze, Suze's cousin Tarquin and, of course, the love interest, Luke Brandon. While the book is funny as she gets herself into trouble because of her shopping habits halfway through it's evident that the story needs some sort of meaningful resolution to be a completely satisfying book.

Shopaholic Takes Manhattan was my least favorite of the series. It's a repeat of the first, set in Manhattan, with higher stakes.

Shopaholic Ties the Knot is when the series really starts to glow. Becky and Luke are engaged but she's in a bit of scrape: both her mother and his are planning completely different weddings and she doesn't know how to say no to one of them.

Shopaholic & Sister finds Becky being introduced to her long-lost sister. But as she tries to bond she discovers something terrible... her sister doesn't like to shop!

Shopaholic & Baby follows Becky as she's pregnant. When she starts seeing the it obstetrician of the stars she discovers that the woman is Luke's ex and suddenly she's afraid that her marriage is falling apart.

Overall, while the first two were fun the last three had lots of heart. They were still entertaining and she was still a Shopaholic but the story no longer focused on her shopping escapades and debt alone. They focused on her relationship with Luke and her friendships, which I found to be the heart of the story. I'd love to read the first again, to go through the beginning of her relationship with Luke once more but the last three I could read many more times.
dansesdesirene: (Stock: Dancer)
From Wednesday's So You Think You Can Dance. As the judges said, it is an experience.

Dancers: Kayla and Kupono
Song: "Gravity" by Sara Bareilles
Choreographer: Mia Michaels

dansesdesirene: (Stock: Dancer)

Two friends and I went to see The Proposal on opening night and we loved it! Sandra Bullock was amazing, as usual, in the role of a somewhat neurotic woman. She's a great comedic actress and it's always fun to see her on screen and see the things she'll do.

I've liked Ryan Reynolds in everything I've seen him in and he stole my heart in this film! His character was so sweet and Ryan had the perfect facial expressions to go along with what was taking place in the film. I love an actor who can act with his face and he did that throughout.

And last but not least there was legend Betty White continued to be fantastic in everything she does with this film! She was hilarious! It was great to see her in this kind of role instead of her Golden Girls role, which I am most familiar with.

The other supporting characters were great and added a lot to the film however there was one story line that I thought fleshed out enough and should either have been used more or cut out completely.

All three of us loved The Proposal and walked out of the theater wanting to walk right back in!
dansesdesirene: (France; Eiffel Tower)
I just want to give a huge thank you to the lovely Serena ([personal profile] norwegianwood) for the postcard from Japan! It came in the mail today and I love it! Thank you! ♥
dansesdesirene: (Stock: Dancer)

It isn't often when watching a film that I'm not doing anything else (unless I'm watching it in a theater). But while watching this I just watched.

Sure, it helps that Kate Winslet is in it. And that she's reunited with Leo in this film. But the story itself was riveting. Some of the turns were predictable and I knew what the end result would be but I didn't know just how the end would happen and what it would take to get there and that's what kept me interested.

I love that they used an actual house for filming. It brings a different feel to the film--a much more realistic feel. I also thought the camera work was phenomenal; it helped tell the story in its own way and I feel like if bad actors had been chosen for the roles the camera work would have helped make up for that by creating some of the feeling in the film.

The cast. Kate Winslet was perfect for this role (just as she was for her role in The Reader). And now that I've seen the film with Leonardo DiCaprio I can't imagine an actor better suited to play her husband in it. I think their friendship offscreen helped to create the dynamic needed to pull off the relationship of Frank and Alice. This is also the first time I've been blown away by Leo's acting. Throughout the film, the emotion expressed in his face and in his eyes was so beautiful. It makes me think I missed something in his other films... maybe I should go back and rewatch. And, as always, Kate was amazing.
dansesdesirene: (Stock; Books)

"When the rains finally came, the skies darkened and the air became heavy. Raindrops the size of marbles came pelting out of the sky. Some parents worried that their kids might get hit by lightning, but Mom and Dad never did, and they let us go out and play in the warm, driving water. We splashed and sang and danced. Great bolts of lightning cracked from the low-hanging clouds, and thunder shook the ground. We gasped over the most spectacular bolts, as if we were all watching a fireworks show. After the storm, Dad took us to arroyos, and we watched the flash floods come roaring through. The next day the saguaros and prickly pears were fat from drinking as much as they could, because they knew it might be a long, long time until the next rain." (from The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls)

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls was recommended to me a few years ago by a bookseller while I was looking through the Jodi Picoult display. Since then it's been a book on my to-read list, though not with high priority, until this month when it became the book club book.

And I'm glad it did, otherwise in all likelihood I never would have picked it up. The Glass Castle, told from Jeannette's point-of-view, is a memoir of her childhood as her family moved around in search of the gold that would give the family enough money to bring them out of poverty and that would allow her father Rex to build his masterpiece, the glass castle, which would become the family's home. Constantly doing "the skedaddle" the family moves from California, to Nevada, to Arizona among other places, living in houses and out in the desert.

While reading this book I was at times both frustrated and fascinated by the parents and amazed at the resilience of the children. It was an interesting look at a childhood I never could have imagined. Sad at times and touching at others it's a book that takes the readers along for the ride with the children. It's a quick read, I read it the day of the book club. I would highly recommend this book to others.
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01. The Other Boleyn Girl, by Philippa Gregory
02. Love, Rosie, by Cecelia Ahern
03. The Tales of Beedle the Bard, by J.K. Rowling
04. Steamed, by Jessica Conant-Park and Susan Conant
05. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
06. There’s No Place Like Here, by Cecelia Ahern


07. Confessions of a Shopaholic, by Sophie Kinsella
08. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher
09. Kissed by an Angel, by Elizabeth Chandler
10. The Power of Love, by Elizabeth Chandler
11. Soulmates, by Elizabeth Chandler
12. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, by F. Scott Fitzgerald


13. Handle with Care, by Jodi Picoult
14. Corpse Pose, by Diana Killian
15. The Reader, by Bernhard Schlink
16. The Beach House, by Mary Alice Monroe
17. Swimming Lessons, by Mary Alice Monroe
18. The Luxe, by Anna Godbersen


19. Simmer Down, by Jessica Conant-Park and Susan Conant
20. The Villa, by Nora Roberts
21. Rumors, by Anna Godbersen
22. Everything is Illuminated, by Jonathan Safran Foer
23. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, by Nagaru Tanigawa


24. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, by Lisa See
25. I Heart You, You Haunt Me, by Lisa Schroeder
26. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
27. Interpreter of Maladies, by Jhumpa Lahiri
28. Murder Uncorked, by Michele Scott
29. One of Those Malibu Nights, Elizabeth Adler
30. Murder By the Glass, Michele Scott
31. Silenced by Syrah, Michele Scott


32. The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls
33. Lock and Key, by Sarah Dessen
34. Vampire Kisses, by Ellen Schreiber
35. The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening, by L.J. Smith
36. Shopaholic Takes Manhattan, by Sophie Kinsella
37. Shopaholic Ties the Knot, by Sophie Kinsella
38. Shopaholic & Sister, by Sophie Kinsella


39. Play With Me, by Janice Maynard
40. Shopaholic & Baby, by Sophie Kinsella
41. Love You Hate You Miss You, by Elizabeth Scott
42. The Awakening, by Kate Chopin
43. Sleeping Arrangements, by Madeleine Wickham
44. Far From You, by Lisa Schroeder
45. Ophelia, by Lisa Klein
46. Can You Keep a Secret?, by Sophie Kinsella
47. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, by Jean-Dominique Baudy
48. A Vintage Murder, by Michele Scott


49. The Truth About Forever, by Sarah Dessen
50. Moloka'i, by Alan Brennert
51. A Great and Terrible Beauty, by Libba Bray
52. The Undomestic Goddess, by Sophie Kinsella


May. 28th, 2009 09:21 pm
dansesdesirene: (France; Eiffel Tower)
I now have a dreamwidth thanks to [personal profile] lovegame. Like most people at LJ, I'm not entirely sure what I'll be doing with this but I think I will be using it for discussion of things like books, films, dance and art. We'll see!

Last Thursday I went to a dance show in which my former dance teacher was performing called International Evening of Dance. This is a yearly show. There is always belly dancing and sometimes other forms of dance as well. Afterwards I was looking at clips of some of my favorite dancers on YouTube and will share this one by Jillina with you.