I saw two dance videos recently that I liked for their combination of classical and contemporary styles. The first, surprisingly enough, is an advertisement for Rag & Bone’s new menswear line. The dancers are Baryshnikov (yes, Misha, really) and Lil Buck, and the song is by the Venetian Snares. It’s a fun mash up of styles, from the aesthetic to the music and movement. And yeah, I may have drooled over the clothing line just a little bit ūüėČ

The second went viral recently, and with good reason. This is Sergei Polunin, a Ukrainian ballet dancer, dancing to a song by Hozier. I love pretty much everything about this — the dance, the song, the space, and the videography. Oh yes, and Polunin’s tattoos. He’s had critics, of course, saying that he ruined his career, his ability to play roles, etc. by getting inked — that body art distracts from getting into character. I think that’s silly. It’s like saying people of different races or genders can’t play certain roles. The whole point of performance is to become the part, and he does this beautifully.

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The past few weeks have been so full of excellent news, I’ve been delighted to the point of bursting.

At the end of January, my friend Helen won the Costa award, which is one of the biggest literary prizes in the UK. I’ve mentioned her brilliant book H is for Hawk a couple of times¬†and keep raving about it. It finally¬†comes out in the US in March, and she’s going on tour. She’s wonderful, as is her book, so please preorder and go see her!

A few days later, a couple of VCFA alumni won major awards in children’s literature, notably Kekla Magoon for her Coretta Scott King honor and Jandy Nelson for her Printz.¬†Kekla was ahead of me in the program, and Jandy was a semester or two behind, and it’s so exciting to see how far they’ve come, and, of course, to read their brilliant books.

And then last week Andrew had his private thesis defense before his committee, which he passed in the best way possible. My coup? Throwing a surprise party for him that day that was, in fact, a complete surprise. He didn’t even know that I’d booked the babysitter for the night, let alone booked dinner for us at a restaurant he wanted to try and drinks afterwards with a dozen of his friends. He still has to submit his final draft and have his public defense (which is a formality), but the big hurdle has been passed, and in under three years!

A few days after that? The infant took his first few steps. I’m going to have to start calling him a toddler soon. How on earth did that happen?

It’s been an exciting few weeks, and I feel like I can’t keep up with the people around me. So I’ll simply celebrate them.

 

I think I’ve mentioned that I’ve been working on a secret project. I’m delighted to announce the launch of Haven Education, an educational consultancy and writing coaching service.¬†Please take a look at the site and our offerings — I’d love your feedback if you have any and your¬†help spreading the word. The company’s based in Switzerland, but I am accepting¬†clients internationally.

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